Historic buildings in the Art Deco district
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This city will show you a good time
Historic buildings in the Art Deco district
Families, couples, friends, lend Miami your ears – this city is ready to give you a sunny, sophisticated break. Everything really is better by the sea.
With miles and miles of beautiful beachfront from South Beach all the way up to Fort Lauderdale, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hotel without great seaside access and a chic pool deck. If you’re not a poolside paperback kind of holidaymaker, then there are plenty of things to do. Explore the biggest Art Deco district in the world, or inspect the quality of contemporary art galleries, from the Wolfsonian to the Bass. Shop in reinvigorated Lincoln Road, or the achingly upmarket Bal Harbour.
Between South Beach and Miami Beach, the city is perfectly walkable – grab your boardshorts and get on the boardwalk. Hail an Uber to take you to Wynwood. If it’s a fly drive holiday you’re after, hire a car and do things your way. Kick the dust and drive through the leafy Everglades or trickle down to the Florida Keys. Book flights to Miami now.
There are no shortage of hotels here, so how do you make sure you’ve found the best for your holiday? Our list of carefully selected hotels has something to suit all budgets. For a boutique hotel for couples, stay at The Plymouth, which has a great sushi restaurant as well as a quiet location set back from the beach.
If you're looking for South Beach hotels Cardozo South Beach enjoys cult status as the backdrop for Hollywood blockbusters, or choose to stay at Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, this art deco gem offers stunning ocean views, especially from the Ocean Tower rooms. While W South Beach is the ultimate five-star accommodation; contemporary and sleek, it lets the beachfront views do the talking.
If you’re spending all that time on the beach, a simple three-star hotel in Downtown Miami, Brickell, or near to Miami Beach will meet all your needs. Find somewhere to relax between the party on Saturday and brunch on Sunday.
If your budget won’t stretch to five star, stress not: we have lovely four-star hotels with everything from beach views and boutique-feel décor to Art Deco facades and outdoor pools.
Celebrities love Miami, and you will, too – when you pick one of the city’s upmarket five stars. Outrageous nightclubs, citadel-sized subterranean spas and poolside glamour will be yours when you book one of these carefully-selected hotels.
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Miami is just the beginning: this stylish city sits bang in the middle of some of Florida’s most extraordinary wildlife. Why not drive to the Everglades, or bomb down Highway One to see the mainland USA’s only coral reef? Hire a car in Miami and discover the rest of Florida on one of these five Miami fly-drives.
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Tips for how to master Miami
Do: Use Lyft and Uber to pop over to Downtown – it’s the easiest way to travel the five miles inland from Miami Beach, crossing the Intracoastal Waterway.
Don't: Lose your temper at traffic jams or bad parking, which are both comedically common in the city. Instead, focus on Miami’s road system, which can take a little while to get your head around.
Do: Check the dress codes for the clubs. You don't want to be turned away from LIV for rocking up in flip flops.
Don't: Go to certain areas of South Beach during Spring Break unless you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Do: Tip well – 15 to 20% – you’re in the States. But make sure service hasn’t already been added to your bill, it's a common scam to trick you into ‘double tipping’. Also, check the price before you order ‘today’s special’.
Don't: Expect good value for money in the restaurants on Ocean Drive. Don't miss out on trying Cuban, South American and Caribbean food – some of the best around.
Do: Wear your sunscreen – you’re close to the equator and Miami’s sun is unforgiving. Hat, t-shirt and sunglasses are also highly recommended.
Don't: Swim if the lifeguards are flying red flags – currents and surf could be making the water unsafe. Check with the on-duty lifeguard – you’ll find them in their stylish Art Deco lightguard stations.
Miami has an odd next-door neighbour: the Florida Keys. These laid-back islands provide a fitting foil to all those difficult club bouncers. Embark on an adventure down where life is simple, you don’t need your shoes, and there’s all-you-can-eat Key Lime Pie.
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Miami Beach has some of the most glamorous beachfront real estate in Florida – Faena Hotel Miami Beach is luxurious, decorated to perfection and sits on ample beach front.
Everybody wants a slice of South Beach – hotels here are easy to come by, and many look out onto the sand. The area is defined by its original art deco beachfront strip. The SoBe hotels might not all be ‘deco’, but they are all decadent.
Downtown Miami is the city’s business district, and Brickell its up-and-coming neighbour. With more and more Miamians moving here, it’s increasingly residential. There are hip, young hotels here to suit those who are happy to travel the short distance to the beach. Try the Mandarin Oriental at Brickell Key.
The glamorous beachfront stretches north to Aventura, where golfers will love Turnberry Isle and shoppers will zone in on upmarket Aventura Mall. If you head south, Key Biscayne offers a leafy city escape with its own swanky Ritz-Carlton, just south of South Beach.
Outside the city, Coral Gables hotels have more space, plus all the quirky features of the area. It’s residential and less ‘happening’, but comfortable with its reputation. Anyone who skips it by is missing out on great shopping and quirky cafes. Stay at the famous Hyatt Regency Coral Gables.
A lot of the best restaurants are attached to hotels: like the Basque and Spanish dishes at Bazaar, the James Beard-approved restaurant at SLS South Beach. Little Haiti is slowly gentrifying, and the excellent Mandolin Aegean Bistro is a recent hotspot in the area. For a true romantic spectacular, dine at The Villa Casa Casuarina – the old Versace mansion has turned its courtyard into an intimate, iconic, but seriously pricy restaurant.
That’s not heat you’re feeling, that’s humidity. Miami sits only two degrees above the tropic of Cancer, firmly in tropical climes, with an average temperature of 24 degrees. Crowds flock in spring and summer, though it can get quite humid by July. Summer rainfall might be heavy, but it’s usually over quickly – and might even feel quite refreshing once it clears the air. Go early in March for a light breeze, pleasant temperature and less humidity. Hurricane season (June to November) isn’t usually a problem for tourists and autumn is a nice, warm time to visit. In winter, the 'Magic City' is quieter and you can get some great rates on hotel rooms.
This is one cool corner of Florida, flanked by two national parks and only a few hour’s drive to the Florida Keys. Further afield there are Florida’s famous theme parks and the shell-strewn beaches of the Gulf Coast. Take a road trip down to Key West and spot some memorable marine characters on the drive south along the island chain. Alternatively, drive up the famous gold coast towards Delray Beach – your gas will run out before the beaches do.Customise your trip