Hit up South Beach
What is it about South Beach that makes it so legendary? There are beautiful art deco buildings in candy colours. The lifeguard stations are the only thing that breaks up the expanse of sand and bronzing bodies stretching down to the sea. Crowds come to wet their whistles at Wet Willies or pootle along the promenade by Segway. The tingle of glamour is palpable at Ocean Drive – you’ll see tourists photographing Versace Mansion through the shrubbery.
Where to stay: Boulan Suites South Beach is a great place for holidaymakers seeking a little independence: these relaxed apartments each have their own kitchens and share a chic rooftop pool and Jacuzzi.
“Swing by the Wynwood Walls – graffiti artists have made them into a glorious outdoor gallery.”
Head to LIV nightclub
In Miami, you're here for the nights as well as the days. The definitive destination in Miami is LIV, an expensive two-storey monster club comprising 18,000 square feet of stunning architecture and plush furnishings all illuminated like a kind of colourful spaceship-grotto. LIV has lit up the lives of many visitors – but it also lightens the wallet.
Where to stay: LIV nightclub is within the massive Fontainebleau Miami Beach resort, comprising 22 acres of magnificent indulgence. Beyoncé has performed there. Enough said.
Drive to the outlets
This glamorous city has to keep its residents well dressed. That’s why you’ll find beautiful beach wear and chic espadrilles at Sunset Harbour – it takes 20 minutes to drive out to this rather over-the-top arcade and bowling alley. Bal Harbour Shops is for upmarket offerings and upmarket people – there are Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren and Bonpoint boutiques. For discounts, though, most people head out of town, to Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Florida, which has everything from a Bose factory store to Calvin Klein, Coach and Converse.
Where to stay: Sole on the Ocean is on Sunny Isles Beach, just north of Miami. This hip beach hotel is a great base for hitting all the malls: it’s seven minutes from Bal Harbour, and half an hour from Sawgrass Mills.
There are 800 Art Deco structures in the district, and they’re home to plenty of scandal and stories.Book flights and hotels
Watch a sports match
Inter-city team rivalry is real down south – see the Miami Marlins battle their way to baseball victory or cheer on American football stars, the Miami Dolphins. Head to Little Havana for even fiercer competition. Watch residents slam down domino tiles in games at Máximo Gómez park. For something a little different swing by the Wynwood Walls – graffiti artists have made them a glorious outdoor gallery. Spot work by the famous Os Gemeos from Sao Paulo.
Where to stay: The Miami Beach Edition is right on the shore and, as well as its glamorous bars and spa, it has an unusual perk: its buzzing Basement, below the rooms, has an ice skating rink and bowling alley.
How to make an entrance
3,000 rock crystals adorn each of the three chandeliers in the Grand Hall of the St Regis.Book the St Regis Bal Harbour Hotel
Stay on the beach
Soak up the sun in the day and then visit the hotel’s own nightclub in the evening.Book The Miami Beach EDITION
There’s nothing to stop you playing golf all day on the courses.Book flights to Miami
Florida is made for golf holidays – the pleasant people, the relaxed atmosphere, the space and the weather means it’s easy to find a fair fairway. Originally designed by architect Robert Trent Jones and then reimagined by Raymond Floyd, the two 18-hole Championship Courses at Turnberry Isle Miami are a dream to play on.
Where to stay: Turnberry Isle Miami, Autograph Collection has more than just good golf. Enjoy the seclusion of a resort set within an oasis of gardens and the sanctuary of the light and bright âme Spa, which is set over three floors.
Visit a spa
For better or worse, Miami is an image-conscience city. Eventually it may have you reaching for a mirror. So, escape: cover your eyes with cucumbers at the Carillon Hotel & Spa, a wellness hotel with a 7,000 square foot spa. Try a sunrise meditation to kick off your day or try yoga and barre. Have a full makeover ready for a big night out or spoil yourself with an indulgent treatment.
Where to stay: The Carillon Hotel & Spa is on the Ocean Front at Miami Beach. As well as wellness, for something a little different, you can always take advantage of its two-storey indoor rock climbing wall.
Head to the Everglades
The Floridian Everglades is a vast expanse of tropical wetland, flat and wild, with only a healthy population of crocodiles, alligators and manatees for company. Florida only gets stranger from here – drive down the Florida Keys. This chain of interconnected islands ends at Key West, just 90 miles from Cuba, but a thousand miles away from stylish Miami. This is where things get a bit weird, the locals are colourful characters and even the cats have six toes.
Stay: The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne boasts a gorgeous beach on the Atlantic and a huge tennis centre with 11 courts.