Take a number of diverse cultures, add a strong dose of the arts and a splash of ocean water, and you have Miami. Looking at the fantastic art museums and the blossoming gastronomical scene, you might find it hard to believe that just a century ago, this colorful Floridian city was covered in swampland. Once developers rushed into the area, one of the most popular tourist destinations and spectacular city skylines in the country was born. Today, with South Beach before you and the Everglades behind you, you can walk through the bustling streets past historical homes with Spanish words and Caribbean music floating into your ears
This mini melting pot has preserved multicultural neighborhoods like famous Little Havana as enclaves for unique traditions to thrive. United, they form an electric network — Miami. Its reputation for vibrant nightlife and extravagant parties is realized in Miami Beach, a barrier island to the east of the mainland. Meanwhile, the down-to-earth city proper cultivates an artsy vibe.
The best time to visit Miami Beach is between March and May when the sun shines with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s during the day. Aside from the gorgeous weather, a spring visit allows you to sidestep the peak winter rates. This part of Florida enjoys a subtropical climate, meaning it’s usually warm year-round and a bit rainy. Pack an umbrella if you visit in summer or fall; at the very least, you can expect some afternoon showers. In the worst-case scenario, you could experience torrential downpours since Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November. If you’re trying to keep your bank account in check, hotel rates and flight fares tend to decrease in the summer as the temperature and precipitation increas.
And then there’s South Beach. This popular southernmost neighborhood proves that Miami Beach is more like two cities – a family-friendly vacation when the sun is shining and a super-chic metropolis come nightfall. If want to keep up with the Joneses, you’ll have to exercise your credit card at the high-end stores, schmooze at the cutting-edge fusion restaurants, dance at the energetic nightclubs and relax poolside at the art deco-style hotels. But the rich and famous aren’t the only ones who will enjoy their time here. More laid-back travelers can relax along the sands of Haulover Park or Lummus Park, learn a little more about architecture on an art deco tour or even try their hand at fishing off of the South Pointe Pier. Another must-do? Window-shopping and strolling along the Lincoln Road Mall. And you can’t leave Miami Beach without chowing down on tasty small plates and enjoying cocktails at a rooftop bar.
© Glamour and City