Soak in the Miami vibes

, TRAVEL

From architectural stays to artsy neighbourhoods and delectable food sprees, subtropical Miami shows off its sunny beaches and devotion to revelry

Sugar sand beaches, an ever-evolving culinary and arts scene and an active nightlife are just a few of the reasons that make this beach city buzz-worthy than ever. It is a perfect escape for those who want to sunbathe, socialise or simply experience the beaches. Here is a guide for a memorable weekend in Miami.

FRIDAY

4PM

Check into the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, one of the most architecturally significant hotels in Florida. Following a $1 billion upgrade in 2008, it now boasts two new towers and 12 of Miami’s best restaurants. Set course for Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue to witness the colourful Art Deco hotels housing patio cafes and boutiques. In the Art Deco Historic District alone, there are more than 800 perfectly preserved — and often pastel — examples of the style that has become part of South Beach’s iconic style.

9PM

Relax and watch the day turn into night as you take in the panoramic view overlooking the downtown Miami skyline and surrounding waterways from one of the rooftop restaurants in Brickell.

SATURDAY

8AM

Haul yourself out of bed and head south on US 1 to Key Largo for some snorkelling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Plunge in and admire the vibrantly coloured fish in this protected sanctuary. Also, slather on some sunscreen and go for a swim in the ocean or spend the entire afternoon lazing on the South Beach. For those wanting some speed, head to a Citi Bike station, pick up a cruiser and explore the iconic Miami Beach Boardwalk dotted with palm trees.

5PM

Fashionistas and shopaholics will want to visit Lincoln Road Mall, a mile long, pedestrian-only promenade which is home to brands including high end label stockist Alchemist as well as Debbie Katz, Anthropolgie, J.Crew, vintage shop and Fly Boutique. While you’re there, stop at Freddo, a wildly popular organic Argentinean Ice Cream chain where the tradition of gelato-meets-helado is making major waves! Sample a grilled ice cream sandwich or try a few of the flavours that have made South Americans smile since 1969.

8PM

Head to the Española Way, a stretch of shops and restaurants with Spanish-colonial architecture. Swing by for a casual meal; a savory snack like margaritas and chips at Oh! Mexico or some ice cream.

SUNDAY

9AM

Brunch at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in the Design District, where the focus is unpretentious comfort food — think kimchi eggs Benedict with buttermilk biscuits topped with short-rib gravy or a guava and cheese pastry to go with your coffee.

11.30AM

Continue three blocks up Collins Avenue to Lincoln Road, the main shopping street of South Beach. Here you’ll find everything from outlets of Crocs and Oakley to street stalls and art galleries.

By : Elizabeth McGraw

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