48 hours in Miami with VIVA

‘Miami baby!’ Steeped in a golden-era glamour mixed with a massivo party scene where hot new openings are ten a penny (or dollar), it’s like something out of the movies.

 

From its famous beaches, top-rated night life and spectacular Art-Deco buildings creating an old-time charm, there really is something for everyone, whether you’re a 24-hour party person or have 2.4 kids in tow.

 

Fashionistas looking for a cool retail hit should head directly to South Beach’s shopping streets while Lincoln Road, Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue and Espanola Way, offer laid back cafes and shops for browsing.

 

If you’re travelling to the city for the first time and only have a day or two, fear not, VIVA’s handy guide to this beautiful city and beachside districts will help you find the new, uber-cool ‘must-see’ and ‘things to do’ within a 48-hour window. You can get there with British Airways in its enhanced first class cabin.

 

Miami has it all and we want to live there, forever!

 

Miami Beaches

 

 

The weather is amazing all year round and the sparkling seashore lines Miami Beach for miles. North Beach Oceanside Park offers wide open spaces and no hotel towers to share the view, while Lummus Park provides palm trees and sand dunes that connect the sparkling blue Atlantic with pastel-coloured Ocean Drive.

 

Little Havana

 

 

This area was declared a national treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It’s a slice of the motherland created by Cuban exiles in the 1960s and hums with perpetual activity. Espanola Way is well worth a visit to one of the many Cuban coffee houses, special margarita bars or people watch while eating fantastic Cuban-soul food in one of the many restaurants that line the pretty little streets.

 

Cuban retirees gather to play dominoes at Maximo Gomez Park. Little Havana is also home to unique shops selling items such as traditional guayabera shirts and authentic

 

Miami Design District

 

 

Lovers of modern interiors, architecture and fashion can happily pass the time in the Design District, curated by the best and offering a local nexus of art galleries, showrooms, architectural firms, designer stores, antiques dealers, cafes and bars.

 

Cultural happenings take place all year round at Palm Court and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA).

 

Gloria & Emilio Estefan’s restaurant is here too, so it’s perfect for celeb spotting. So, enjoy as there’s plenty of things to appreciate here in this relatively new district of Miami.

 

Shop in Style

 

 

Greater Miami’s exciting mix of haute couture, retail markets, designer boutiques and bargain outlets test the stamina of even the most dedicated shopaholic. You could spend the whole day in a magnificent mall, or window shop for miles outside bathed in the glorious sunshine.

 

Bal Harbour

 

 

This exclusive beach town at the northern tip of Miami is a pedestrian-friendly community of beautiful homes, world class resorts and shops. On a scale of its own, Bal Harbour Shops is a must-see destination hosting the crème de la crème of retail. Think Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci and Versace.

 

Art Walk Tour

 

 

Saturday is the best day of the week. But, in Wynwood every second Saturday is extra special. Thousands of visitors looking for culture, food and fun crowd the streets to enjoy a night out and all the Miami art scene has to offer during Art Walk. Starting at 6:00pm and extending throughout the night, this iconic art event features openings at art galleries, restaurants and retail businesses.

 

Where to eat

 

Pull up a chair and feast at the banquet almost anywhere in Miami, and let its many famous chefs, renowned restaurants and those on the food scene, delight. Here are some of VIVA’s favourites:

 

Breakfast, lunch or dinner at Nobu at Eden Roc Hotel, 4525 Collins Avenue 

 

 

Last year, Robert De Nero and chef Nobu Matsuhisa brought the famous food, beverage and hotel concept to the area.

 

His brand of new Japanese cooking includes the rightly famous signature black cod, yellow tail sushi and Wagyu beef on hot stones. We stopped for breakfast given it was next door to our hotel, the Eden Hotel, which also boasts all kinds of food stations in keeping with Nobu.  Superb.

 

Lunch or dinner at Chotto Mate, 1664 Lenox Avenue  

 

 

You are sure to have an experience like no other at this place. With its signature interior that combines a Tokyo urban vibe with Miami’s tropical life, electric atmosphere, and visually stunning and delicious food that is a combination of Japanese and Peruvian flavours. Yes, you read that right, and it works. There’s a happy hour between 3 pm and 7 pm every day. VIVA loves places that doesn’t limit ‘happy’ to an hour. I mean, why would you?!

 

Dinner at Red, the steakhouse, 119 Washington Avenue

 

 

The perfectly cooked charred steaks, fresh seafood and well executed small plates like mac and cheese, very parmesan-cheesy tater-tots and salads are enough to make you want to eat at the joint every weekend. It’s no wonder it was named as one of the top ten steakhouses in the whole of the USA. And there’s a huge wine cellar with an array of wines from all over the world.

 

Malibu Farm at the Eden Roc Hotel, 4525 Collins Avenue

 

 

The bright and airy outpost of Helene Henderson’s Californian restaurant boasts simple farm-to-table dining that is fresh, organic and locally sourced. Directly overlooking the beach and the Atlantic Ocean it is the epitome of laid-back luxury. It’s oh-so Miami.

 

Time Out Market, 1601 Drexel Avenue

 

 

Time Out market recently opened. The concept is identical to what you will find in Lisbon, but indoors because of the heat. There are 18 different kitchens serving epic food. Be prepared to drink and mingle with the locals!

 

Where to stay: Eden Roc Hotel, 4525 Collins Avenue

 

© Kim Sargent

 

This is an institution in Miami Beach since the likes of Frank Sinatra and Bogart and Bacall decorated the city’s art deco cocktail bars and one of them is bang in the middle of this hotel. The iconic hotel has undergone a $250 million make-over.

 

Right on the edge of the sea, this lush hotel has been designed for pampering and relaxation and provides a modern, comfortable setting to relax and enjoy the spectacular view from the oversized balconies.

 

There are three distinct pools, beachfront cabanas and award-winning onsite dining options as well as Saatchi Art that don the walls. It’s a real cosmopolitan retreat.

 

Prices for rooms start from £185 per night in low season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to get there: British Airways 

 

The airline flies from London to Miami twice a dayFirst fares from £2070 return including taxes/fees/carrier charges, are available to book on ba.com/Miami or call 0844 493 0787. Connecting flights are available from Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle and Scotland