The newest city in our Re-imagine: Event Destinations series is Miami, “The Magic City”.
Through this series, we share insider travel guides for prominent cities to consider as destinations for your next major event (read our Peru travel guide). Here, we’re setting our sights on Miami. In this Miami travel guide, you’ll discover what's new and noteworthy and those tried and true highlights you simply can't miss!
RE-IMAGINE: MIAMI FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT
Welcome to Miami. True, this Floridian oasis was once a swampland – a far cry from what reigns today as America’s sexiest city. This metro area grew from just 1,000 residents to nearly 5.5 million in the years 1896 to 2006. “The Magic City” experienced seemingly overnight growth, and today, the magic lives on. Sun-kissed beaches and art-deco beauties make an alluring backdrop to Miami’s other charms – a burgeoning arts scene, creative cuisine and blazing nightlife. Today this destination is emerging as a vibrant, electric network of cultural preservation with a serious reputation for extravagance. One of the glitziest places to visit in the U.S., Miami is eternally on the hunt for cutting edge trends and bold ideas – proving there’s more to its appeal than Ocean Drive.
Best time to go
Miami enjoys year-round tropical temperatures, and is an ideal winter destination.
January – May
Weather: 60s-80s°F (10s-30s°C)
Where to stay
One of the best parts about planning a Miami getaway is choosing a hotel that matches your style and intentions perfectly. To be sure, there is no shortage of accommodations here, and the list of highly-anticipated hotels keeps growing. From intimate boutique spaces to luxury incentive resorts and business-friendly properties, Miami has a hotel for that.
What to do
WYNWOOD ARTS DISTRICT
Since Art Basel’s Miami Beach debut in 2002, the influence and relevance of the arts community in Wynwood has become undeniable. Welcome to Miami’s artsiest ‘hood and its epicenter of art. Perhaps no neighborhood helped usher in this Miami renaissance more than the trendy Miami arts district known as Wynwood. It’s an eclectic district in the urban core of Miami, Florida. It’s home to art galleries, retail stores, antique shops, eclectic bars, artisanal eateries and one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world.
MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT
Bordered by Buena Vista, Upper Eastside, Edgewater, Midtown, and Wynwood, the posh Design District is one of Miami’s trendiest zip codes. Sleek and modern, it’s filled to the brim with once-derelict warehouses that have been renovated into chic showrooms, creative events venues and gallery spaces. You’ll also find sophisticated restaurants and brand-name fashion shops like Cartier, Burberry, Alice + Olivia, Christian Louboutin, and Givenchy.
Meet our Miami Pro
Get to know: Marcia Smith, Senior Project Manager
Marcia's Miami Travel Tips
Something travelers might find surprising about Miami: It’s the only major U.S. city founded by a woman! It was also a popular place for pirates to visit after Ponce de Leon arrived. Famous pirates like Blackbeard were regular visitors, and their stolen Spanish treasures have been uncovered on and off land in the Miami area.
One meal or dish we must have while in Miami: Azucar Ice Cream Company is a must try – whether you’re an ice cream lover or not. It’s a Cuban ice cream parlor that takes homemade ice cream flavors to a whole new level. Head to Calle Ocho (the historic street in Little Havana) and cool off with flavors you’ve never heard of. Trust me, there are so many signature and seasonal flavors on the menu, it might be impossible for you to choose. They also offer special orders and catering, which is a sweet way to add local flavor to group experiences. From there, if you have a chance for a quick trip west of downtown, stop in La Rosa Bakery in Coral Gables. It’s an old-school bakery and a Miami legend.
Tips for traveling like a local in Miami: If you’re a foodie, head to Sunset Harbor – a picturesque micro-neighborhood where South Beach locals like to hang. It’s a pedestrian-friendly area just barely spanning three blocks, and it’s teeming with some of the best restaurants in the city.
Top 3 things we must see or do in Miami:
- People Watching: Miami is a people-watching paradise. Pull up a chair at a café, toss a blanket down in Lummus Beach or head to a Miami Heat game. From A-list celebs to everyday locals, the people here are always a mesmerizing combination of glam, eclectic, entertaining, audacious, stylish and diverse. I also love the water taxi – it’s a cool way to see Miami from a different view (and you don’t want to miss Star Island where all the rich and famous live!)
- Fests: It’s no surprise that events in Miami are star-studded and full of personality. Two of my favorites being Art Basel and SOBE (South Beach Wine & Food Festival). It can be busy when events and city-wides are in town, so be prepared for crowds…but it’s worth it!
- The Everglades: It’s easy to forget that a massive network of wetlands and wildlife is within a stone’s throw to Miami. I don’t think any trip to southern Florida is complete without a tour of this subtropical ecosystem. In my opinion, the best way to see the Everglades is by airboat. There are so many ways to see this habitat – private tours, biking, hiking, canoeing and more. Find an adventure that’s right for you and take it. Trust me, it’s worth it.
One thing we need in our suitcase when traveling to Miami: Your weather app and proper reinforcements. The weather can be unpredictable, so check the extended forecast and just come prepared for everything. Sun defense is top of the list (sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or visor are a must). You’ll also want a light jacket or sweater to layer for cool nights and air-conditioned venues (Miami loves A/C). A compact umbrella is great for a (generally quick and fleeting) shower. I guess that’s more than one thing, but you get the idea! (Tip – there’s plenty of incredible shopping here. So if you’re in the market for a new swimsuit or summer attire…you may want to save your purchase for Miami!
Click to read more in our Re-Imagine: Event Destinations series: