We have beaches with beautiful people, some of the most iconic nightlife around, and we never have to buy winter coats. But that’s Miami for beginners. There’s more to this city than meets the eye, so we’ve put together the ultimate guide to its hidden gems and heart-stopping moments. All you need to give us is 24 hours.
Wake up at 3rd Street Beach YogaSouth of Fifth
Miamians love two things: themselves and the beach. To combine the two, downward dog your way into the day with 3rd Street Beach Yoga’s free 7am yoga class at 3rd Street and Ocean Drive. BYOM (bring your own mat) and donate some dough to the volunteer yoga teachers who got up to make this happen. It’s 7am and they’re doing this for free? Come on, dig deep.
Get wet at SUP yogaSouth Beach
Sunrise yoga not hard enough for you? Let’s take it up a notch, Miami-style. Throw on your suit, head to South Beach at 10am on Wednesdays and Saturdays and try doing it on a SUP paddleboard, right in Biscayne Bay. There’s a 100% chance you’ll fall in the water during your sun salutation, but there’s also a 100% chance that you’ll walk away from the class with a tan.
Stuff your face at BeachcraftMiami Beach
When celebrity chef and James Beard Award-winner Tom Colicchio brought Beachcraft to Miami in 2015, alllll the foodies (and the few remaining Top Chef fans) rejoiced. His daily breakfast is served from 7:30 to 11:30am at the bottom of the 1 Hotel South Beach and has everything. A cereal bar and eggs made to order, an organic Greek yogurt bar, homemade granola, top-shelf oysters, Florida Blue Crab & roasted pepper omelettes, truffle flatbread. Wash it all down with handcrafted breakfast cocktails like the Rise & Shine: Olmeca Altos Blanco tequila, chile, blood orange and St. Germaine.
Get smarter at Books & BooksCoral Gables
When it comes to cool, hip neighborhood bookstores, nothing compares to Miami-bred Books & Books. There are three locations throughout the city, plus a joint book-meets-bike shop in Wynwood, but the flagship locale is in Coral Gables. Think of it as some sort of alternate universe where WiFi doesn’t exist and humans actually read books and enjoy each other's company. Stay for the Mediterranean-style courtyard, live music, celebrity author appearances, and caramel lattes.
Stroll through South Pointe ParkSouth of Fifth
This park is located at the southernmost point of Miami’s most fabulous neighborhood: South of Fifth. It’s surrounded by Art Deco buildings and (random) contemporary art sculptures, has 360-degree ocean views, a huge grassy area, a miniature water park, and is right next to a dog park & tot lot. It’s so pretty that film crews and photographers like to shoot there often, so do your best not to photobomb someone’s engagement photos. (Unless you want to.)
Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles at YardbirdMiami Beach
This is 27-hour-brined-and-spiced fried chicken with honey hot sauce, chilled spiced watermelon, a Vermont sharp cheddar cheese waffle and bourbon maple syrup. Don’t ask questions. Go. NOW.
Tequila and tacos at COYO TacoWynwood
Tacos are always a good idea, especially if they’re made by chef and restaurateur Scott Linquist. After stuffing your face with his amazing slow-roasted pork shoulder tacos, head to the back for the not-so-secret, secret speakeasy. Look for the door marked “Employees Only” -- it’s the secret passageway to a mezcal and tequila-based sanctuary that pumps electric music, serves popsicle-infused margaritas called “Palelaritas,” and makes it MUCH easier to go to work after.
db Bistro ModerneBrickell
Partially because he’s French, but mostly because his food is mind-blowingly good, celebrity chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud is a man among men. Hit db Bistro Moderne in Brickell’s JW Marriott Marquis for an American-meets-French lunch from the locale’s Executive Chef Clark Bowen. Start with the Maine Lobster Salad with avocado, hearts of palm and watermelon, throw in a Gianduja Chocolate Bar with hazelnut mousse, praline jam, a candied violet wheel and orange sorbet, and hug us. Or Chef Clark.
The most Miami place everCoral Gables
Now in The Shops at Merrick Park, 320 Gastrolounge is a Latin-Asian fusion restaurant with the mantra “from Miami, for Miami" and Miami-themed art all over the walls, just in case it wasn’t clear. During the week, it opens for lunch at 11:30am, which is when you can start ordering skirt steak croquetas, vaca frita buns, Homestead short ribs, Gastro Burgers, and a bunch of other delicious Miami-like things.
Located in Downtown Miami’s EPIC hotel, Zuma is much like the hotel in which it stands. It serves up a menu of modern Japanese, with perfectly-presented plates like rib eye steak with chili ponzu sauce and banana-and-green-tea cake with ripe banana and toffee syrup. Enjoy your meal surrounded by fancy business people who like to talk stocks over sushi.
SUP at The StandardMiami Beach
The Standard Spa, Miami Beach is a historic hotel here in Miami, and one that’s anything but standard. Located just off Belle Isle, go there anytime between 1 and 5pm, any day of the week, and take an hour-long SUP lesson from the best.
Hang out in a hostel (no, really)Miami Beach
Pretty much all times other than this, if we tell you to go drink at a hostel, ignore us. But the Freehand Miami is a hostel with an award-winning courtyard bar, Broken Shaker, that has its own herb garden, hammocks and a pool. The weekly-changing menu of Instagram-worthy cocktails come complete with funny names, too. Case in point: “Hey Mameys,” a mix of Bulleit Bourbon, Amontillado sherry, mamey, cinnamon, espresso cordial, and fresh lemon. So in this case, hang out there a lot.
Jet ski around Fisher and Star IslandBiscayne Bay
Remember when DJ Khaled got lost on a jet ski visiting Rick Ross, and went to his all-knowing contingent of Snapchat followers to help him get home? Yeah… that was Miami. We’re not saying we’re proud of it, but we’re also not saying that our billionaire-mansion-lined waters aren’t totally worth jet-skiing through. Just use a little common sense. Or unlike DJ Khaled, Google maps.
It’s Miami. Drink your 3:05 cafecitoLittle Havana
We take our Cuban coffee seriously. As in, we have to have it daily, before work and also at 3:05 in the afternoon, because it’s Miami, and thanks to Pitbull, we believe in the power of our area code: “the 305.” To qualify as a real Miamian, get it from the Versailles on Calle Ocho and make small talk with the viejos around you, because they are the wisest people you will ever talk to ever.
Take a dip at Venetian PoolCoral Gables
Anyone who is anyone in Miami can be found by a pool. This particular one is historic and carved out of coral rock formations. There are also lookout caves, stone bridges and Mediterranean caves you can swim through -- all emptied and filled with fresh spring water daily. Beat that.
Do happy hour at Rusty PelicanKey Biscayne
Alcohol. Sunset. Alcohol. Fancy restaurant. Alcohol. Beautiful people. Any questions?
Fuel up at Pizza & BurgerMiami Beach
Michael Mina is kind of a big deal, and because of that, he has two restaurants in the Fontainebleau. One of them, Pizza & Burger, started as a #Summer16 pop-up, and became so popular that it never popped back down. Different from Mina’s other restaurants, this casual (affordable) spot puts an upscale twist on a backyard BBQ with a small menu of munchie food, pizzas and burgers that will blow your mind. Go for The Farm: for just $19, you get a whole pizza covered in bacon, egg, Yukon Gold potatoes, Bermuda onions, crimini mushrooms, and smoked mozzarella.
Ooh and aah through Wynwood WallsWynwood
These six, once-neglected buildings have since become a canvas for some of the world’s coolest graffiti art. There’s a Jugofresh there, so grab an açaí bowl, walk around the walls, and take the coolest selfie ever.
Get helado at AzucarLittle Havana
We like our Cuban things, but this one takes the cake -- er, ice cream. Located on Calle Ocho, Azucar has a menu of decadent ice creams geared towards the Cuban palate. Start with something simple like guava ice cream, then move on to more adventurous flavors like platano maduro (sweet plantain), dulce de leche, guarapiña (sugarcane and pineapple), and the matriarch of all helados, Abuela Maria -- a creamy blend of guava, cream cheese chunks, and Maria cookies.
Slurp oysters at River Yacht ClubMiami River
Those of you who aren’t from Miami probably assume that we spend all day on yachts, in bathing suits, screaming, “Rosé all day!” and listening to Rick Ross. While this is true for a small part of Miami, but for most of us, this only happens in our dreams. That said, we pretend as much as we can; so we drink rosé and eat oysters at swanky waterfront lounges like River Yacht Club, where we can watch the yachts sail by all day long. Possibly with Rick Ross.
Imbibe at SugarBrickell
Brickell City Centre and its in-house hotel, EAST Miami, is the hot new place. Go to the 40th-floor rooftop and you’ll find Sugar, a stylish, Asian-inspired bar and lounge with sofa pits, sexy Miamians, and two floors of lush cocoplum, Star Jasmine, local Sea Grape, and Japanese Privet trees. The prices might make you die a little inside, but the beautiful people and #SoMiami setting are worth it.
Go ice-skating at Basement at the EDITIONMiami Beach
Miami likes to show off, hence bars with ice skating rinks on the bottom floor of fancy hotels. Complaining about the price tag is really a humble brag for being there, 1) because it’s awesome and 2) because there’s a 70% chance we’ll run into Kevin Hart if we go.
Do Wednesdays at BâoliMiami Beach
If you’re rich, sexy and European, or if you like to flirt with people who are rich, sexy and European, welcome to Bâoli. Go on Wednesday nights, when this restaurant-meets-lounge-meets-nightclub has its weekly “My Boyfriend Is Out of Town” party. Likely to be spotted that night: Miami’s finest passing around champagne and sparklers, guys dancing on tables, dancers hanging from ceilings, and, on special occasions, women walking around on stilts, covered in lights. Even more fabulous, Bâoli brings the outside in; the restaurant is covered in trees, so it looks like you’re eating in the middle of one of those really trippy adult scenes from Alice in Wonderland.
...and then Thursdays at Villa AzurMiami Beach
If you loved Bâoli on Wednesdays, you’ll freak out over the “Thursday Night Dinner Party” at Villa Azur, located in an unassuming building just a couple blocks off Bagatelle Miami, The Setai and W South Beach. Pass through the velvet ropes and enter a weird world where luxury literally has no bounds. It’s an actual dinner, one with $600 oyster towers and $55 cocktails, in an indoor-outdoor setting with a clear ceiling, a walking saxophonist, white marble, silky drapes and twinkle-lit trees everywhere you turn. Build up your stamina, though: It’s pretty standard for dinner to evolve into an all-night affair.
Watch the sunrise… from E11evenDowntown Miami
E11even is a day-club and a nightclub all in one. It’s open 24 hours a day, has a buffet worth going to, and is located right in the heart of Downtown Miami, so it’s convenient for everyone. Don’t leave until you see the sun come up over Biscayne Bay. At this point, it’s a new day in Miami, so… sunrise yoga, anyone?