Courtesy Wynwood Walls



The Magic City is a hot-bed for haute living mixed with authentic allure.
By Paul Rubio

Brickell City Centre This sky-scraping shopping mecca is the new heart of downtown. Shop exclusive retail outposts from Italian fragrance brand Acqua di Parma to Spanish label Mirto, and dine at the tri-level Italian food hall La Centrale (from one of the folks behind restaurant Sant Ambroeus).

Courtesy Swan and Bar Bevy/Morelli Brothers

Swan and Bar Bevy Nightlife mogul David Grutman and recording artist Pharrell Williams teamed up to create this two-level, resto-lounge duo in the Miami Design District, where music, food, mixology, and style excel. Opened last November, the indoor-outdoor venue currently reigns as the apex of the Miami scene.

Courtesy Wynwood Walls

The Wynwood Walls Garden Within the Wynwood Walls street-art museum, this half-acre parcel opened in 2015 featuring three murals by American, Brazilian, and Portuguese graffiti artists, plus work covering once-discarded shipping containers and a highly photogenic, two-versus-three-dimensional mashup of sculptures and frescoes by visionaries like Eduardo Kobra and Vhils.

Courtesy SLS LUX Brickell

Kaido This cozy, Japanese-inspired cocktail lounge in the Design District commingles the talents of Miami chef Brad Kilgore and mixologist Nico de Soto (of Mace New York fame). Expect plates such as Floridian fugu (Kilgore’s take on lionfish sashimi) and Tokyo-style libations like the Hokkaido Sour, a potent mix that includes soy milk–washed Japanese whiskey and kombu bitters.

Courtesy The Spa at Mandarin Oriental

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami Calling its signature treatments Time Rituals, this celeb-frequented and locally loved spa blocks off hours-long sessions to deliver personalized treatments that blend Thai, Balinese, Ayurvedic, European, and Chinese traditions with modern techniques. Request one of the six spa suites, where floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Biscayne Bay.

Courtesy Kaido/Juan Fernando Ayora

STAY: SLS LUX Brickell Each of the 84 suites at this Yabu Pushelberg–designed hotel, which opened in June 2018, feels like a hyper-cool studio apartment that’s oh-so-Miami. The vibe is underscored by interiors melding the city’s notable design eras: art deco, mid-century modern, and contemporary. From $300;

Stephen Frink

The Fish House Adorned in license plates, braided lights, and faded signs, this kitschy restaurant is a Key Largo institution. A quintessentially Upper Keys vibe accompanies the region’s catches of the day—from yellowtail snapper to hogfish—prepared blackened, Jamaican jerked, or Matecumbe-style (topped with tomatoes, shallots, fresh basil, capers, olive oil, and lemon juice, then baked).

Masa Ushioda/BluePlanetArchive

Spiegel Grove Shipwreck This 510-foot retired Navy ship sunk in 2002 six miles off Key Largo. Now a holy grail among advanced dive sites, the wreckage teems with marine life from colorful coral and sponges to grouper, sharks, and barracuda. Rainbow Reef Dive Center runs regularly scheduled trips.

Courtesy 121 Marina

121 Marina The Keys’ most coveted waterfront resort community Ocean Reef Club has completed 27 high-design, multi-bedroom condos. These are the first new-build units in over two decades for the 2,500-acre, density-sensitive members’ club, which houses a mega-marina, a private airport, two 18-hole golf courses, a cooking school, and a cultural center.

Courtesy Bungalows Key Largo

Shark Valley Take an adrenaline-inducing, ranger-guided nighttime tour along the paved foot trails of the Shark River Slough at Everglades National Park. Observe alligators during their nocturnal prime. Only the adventurous need apply, and reservations are required one week prior by calling 305.221.8776.

Courtesy Taste of Redland/Angel Valentin

Taste of Redland’s Locavore Culinary Experience Discover Miami’s lesser-known agritourism industry through this ticketed locavore dinner and brunch program, which runs once per month from November to June (with the exception of March). The city’s most renowned chefs plate their creations at different local farms while the South Florida Symphony Orchestra entertains.

Masa Ushioda/BluePlanetArchive

STAY: Bungalows Key Largo Reopening in late December, this adults-only, all-inclusive waterfront resort feels like a private island retreat. Beyond its gates lies a vast expanse of bike trails, bamboo gardens, bungalows with outdoor soaking tubs, and three tiki bars (including floating ones you can take to sea). Two-night minimum required. From $400/person, all-inclusive;

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