There’s plenty to love about Miami from October to May, but Summer? Summer is just daily rainstorms, oppressive humidity, and biblical-level flooding, right? Wrong. It's actually pretty awesome... provided you check out this list of 13 things you absolutely must do this Summer.
What: Watch the World Cup with people from competing countries
When: June 12th-July 14th
Where: Ask us tomorrow. Seriously.
Sure, there’re a ton of “only in Miami” things that make you shake your head and seriously consider moving to Delray. But then there’re times like the World Cup, where you can probably find a bar full of die-hard fans from whichever country is playing to cheer along with. Unless you’re watching the United States.
What: Coral Gables Restaurant Week
When: June 9th-29th
Where: All over Coral Gables
If you can’t wait until August to get your prix fixe discount dinner on, Coral Gables kicks off Summer with their own, slightly-misnamed version, where favorites like John Martin’s, Seasons 52, Swine, Uvaggio, Bulla, and 37 others are offering three-course menus for $30-40.
What: Hit Miami’s best pool parties
When: Every Sunday
Where: The Delano, Shore Club, Clevelander, W Ft. Lauderdale, Hyde Beach, The Surfcomber
We’ve already power-ranked Miami’s best pool parties for you, but in case you missed out last Summer, both Privileged Sundays at the Delano and Salvation at the W Ft. Lauderdale's WET pool are back. Plus the Surfcomber returns to the pool party scene with Summer Daze. So whether you’re in Dade or Broward, you can celebrate every Sunday with girls in bikinis and high heels.
What: Viernes Culturales
When: June 27th, July 25th, and August 29th
Where: Domino Plaza, Little Havana
Not in to getting groped/crushed at Calle Ocho in March? Well, the last Friday of every month gives you a chance to check out great, local Latin American art, show off your best salsa moves to live music, stroll 8th St with a cigar and a mojito, and maybe even get in a game of dominoes.
What: Catch FOUR 4th of July fireworks displays at once
When: July 4th, duh
Where: Mike’s at Venetia, South Pointe Park, or any friend’s house with a sick balcony
Much like a man-made lake in West Kendall where everybody living around it competes to see who can have the most obscene fireworks display, so do the various municipalities of Dade County, which means if you snag the right spot, you can catch fireworks from the city of Miami, Miami Beach, Surfside, Hollywood, and others all at the same time.
What: Actually go to the beach
When: All Summer
Where: Key Biscayne, South Beach
Okay, so it rains every day, the water feels like a septic Spring Break hot tub, and you could probably cook a Palomilla steak on the sand. But, since the worst people on the beach have mostly gone back up North for the Summer, you can actually have a reasonable amount of space to yourself, not fight for parking, and get a good tan in like an hour before the rain rolls in.
What: Watch a movie somewhere different
When: All Summer
Where: Blue Starlite Drive-In, 1930 Social Club
The thought of watching a movie outside here in the Summer is about as appealing as... ugh, living in Jacksonville -- unless you try the Blue Starlite drive-in, which just moved to the Grove and lets you watch vintage '80s flicks from the comfort of your car. Or, hit up a Gutter Films offbeat movie night on Mondays at 1930 Social Club, where they’ve got “popcorn mixology” with flavors like piña colada and cayenne pepper that’ll help you truly appreciate the genius that is Samurai cop.
What: Spa Month
When: July - August
Where: These 35 spas around Miami
One of the most interesting things about living in Miami is that it’s completely normal for guys to have serious conversations about chest waxing. Enter July and August, where it’s a great time for men to celebrate this rich tradition and join the ladies in getting severely discounted facials, body scrubs, massages, and pedicures at 35 luxury spas that may or may not also wax your chest.
What: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim
When: July 17th-21st
Where: Raleigh Hotel, South Beach
The words “fashion week” are usually a cue for you to stop listening to your girlfriend and start thinking about football. However, when said week means nightly swimsuit fashion shows featuring world-renowned supermodels strutting the runways of the Raleigh, you pay attention.
What: Miami Spice
When: August - September
Where: 200+ restaurants throughout Miami
For two glorious months, Miami’s best restaurants will finally be accessible to people going there to do something other than launder money. Hundreds of local eateries are offering three-course, prix fixe menus for between $30-40 a person, some including a drink. And just like last year, we’ll be telling you where to get the most bang for your buck.
What: Discover the rest of Florida
When: All Summer
Where: The rest of Florida
You live in Florida, which means A) everyone is jealous of you, and B) there're a ton of sweet places to checkout, like Key West, Jacksonville (which doesn’t suck as bad as you think), and even Disney. Or, if you’re super-ambitious, you can check out the Treasure Coast beaches in Jupiter, then the Gulf Coast beaches in Sarasota, after taking a private jet between the two.
What: Cruzan’s Summer Country Megaticket
When: July 7th, August 16th, September 13th, and September 27th
Where: Cruzan Amphitheater, West Palm Beach
We know you’re a closet country fan, so buy one ticket and unleash your inner-redneck four times this Summer when Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Florida-Georgia Line, and more hit SoFla’s top outdoor music venue.
What: The Heat Championship parade
When: Sometime next week
Where: From Brickell Ave, up Biscayne Blvd, to the AAA
Overconfident? Please, the only thing more predictable than the 4pm thunderstorms is the NBA.
1. John Martin's Irish Pub & Restaurant253 Miracle Mile, Miami
2. Seasons 52321 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
3. Swine Southern Table and Bar2415 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables
4. Uvaggio70 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
5. Bulla Gastrobar2500 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables
6. Delano South Beach1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
7. Terrazza at the Shore Club1901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
8. The Clevelander1020 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach
9. W Fort Lauderdale401 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
10. Hyde South Beach1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
11. Surfcomber Hotel1717 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
12. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In70 NW 29th St, Miami
13. 1930 Social Club1930 Bay Rd, Miami
14. The Raleigh1775 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Irish classics and Cajun flair meet at this Coral Gables pub. The odd combination works surprisingly well, as regulars rave about staples like their Pub Burger, a blacked patty topped with smoked bacon, Irish cheddar, and seasoned with Cajun spices. Locals come for the food and stay for the weekly live music, as the 20 foot mahogany bar -- lifted from an old Irish church -- proves an ideal place to enjoy a pint. Consider swinging through on St. Patrick’s Day -- apparently the festivities here are some of the most raucous and merry in Miami.
We know you probably don't care that whatever you order from this seasonally rotating menu of fresh eats is under 475 calories, but that is indeed a thing. You know what's also a thing? Flatbreads, desserts in shot glasses, and choosing from a list of over 100 wines while all out on the patio; definitely a thing.
Bacon is one of the best foods ever - but the rest of the pig isn't so bad either. Especially at Swine, where chefs serve pork with everything from maple butter and grilled apples to beans and barbecue sauce. Swine Souther Table is one of our top favorite places to get BBQ in Miami.
Michael Porter, a 20-year sommelier -- along with Top Chef alum Bret Pelaggi -- took his favorite bottles and created an entire menu of stuff to pair with them at this Coral Gables hot spot. Try the veal sweetbreads with gnocchi, beech mushrooms and gremolata with the J.L. Chave Mon Coeur 2010 Côtes du Rhône. Pair with any of their 20+ wines by the three or 6oz glass, or one of their 100+ by the bottle.
Bulla (pronounced boo-ya) is slang for chatter, and likely refers to both the bustling open kitchen at this large and light-filled space, and the conversation-inducing plates. The gastropub features tapas and a full bar, and brings the flavors of Spain to Coral Gables with courses like a calamari and king prawn paella, and a salad made with watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, and truffle honey.
If next-level luxury is what you crave, The Delano's got you covered. Check-in for ocean-facing views, spa amenities, beach club access, and rooms featuring rainfall showers and iPads (actually) for you to play with.
Terrazza at Shore Club offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner in both indoor and outdoor spaces that overlook the club’s infamous pool. The Italian menu is comprised of handmade brick oven pizzas, homemade pastas, fresh salads, and wood-fired, dry-aged steaks and chops. Opt for the Bufalina pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, grated Parmesan, and basil, or the branzino with sautéed kale, cannellini beans, bacon, garlic, and salsa verde.
Miami is notorious for housing debaucherous Spring Breaks, which isn’t fair because a lot of places in Miami don’t reflect that parties-gone-wild mentality you’re picturing right now… but a lot of them do. The Clevelander is one of those places that does: it’s reminiscent of everything you think of when anyone utters the words “Spring Break,” mostly because it’s one of the founding fathers of those ubiquitous, raging parties on South Beach. The art-deco hotel’s three poolside bars serve tropical frozen drinks and plenty of American bar favorites (burgers, pizzas, salads, snacks), and the weekday happy hours and weekend brunches are the perfect excuse to see-and-be-seen on one of the busiest patios on South Beach.
By day, infinity-edge pools, award-winning restaurants, and water views from every room await you at W Fort Lauderdale. By night, guzzle a signature cocktail at either of their clubs, Whiskey Blue or the Living Room.
Oh, you thought you knew all there was to know about SLS? Well now you need to learn yourself on Hyde, the LA superlounge whose infinitely more low-key Miami version basically looks like a swank rec/sun room complete with cushy orange couches, hula girl lamps, a tile-lined patio and pool, plus a foosball table whose players are princesses and punk rockers.
This boutique hotel offers up ocean views and top-of-the-line amenities like direct beach access, wine tours in the evenings, and of course their heated pool, which hosts some of Miami's sickest parties.
This diminutive and charmingly retro take on the classic drive-in boasts space for 24 cars, walk-up seating in the grass beneath its giant screen, and serves up serious nostalgia in the form of old-school flicks (The Princess Bride, The Shining, etc.) on the screen, and vintage-y treats (Pop Rocks!) served out of a trailer.
The people behind 'za joint Lucali have opened up 1930 Social Club that's, well, literally behind Lucali and's got old movies and board games that you can enjoy while sipping on some craft brews.
One of the original hotels built during the crazy '40s "Boom over Miami" period (3k hotel rooms in two years, son!), The Raleigh combines pre-war decor with a buttload of tropical foliage right on the beach.