Weekend City Picks: Miami

From New World sunshine to Old World glitz, this international city provides the best of both worlds: outdoor sun and fun and world-class dining and culture. Here are our recommendations for a weekend adventure in The Magic City.

Weekend City Picks Miami - Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Arts & Entertainment

El Tucan Miami

The tropical glamour of 1940s Havana lives on at this vibrant supper club, where you can enjoy dinner and a show Thursday through Saturday. Adventurous night owls can hear live music until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

With its new permanent home on 41st Street in the Design District slated to open in December 2017, this museum continues its mission of promoting experimental contemporary art. Now located in the Design District’s Moore Building, the museum offers free year-round admission with tours available upon request.

Miami City Ballet

Founded in 1985 by dance legend Edward Villella and Miami philanthropist Toby Lerner Ansin, the Miami City Ballet is now under the direction of Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez. In addition to exceptional performances, the ballet also focuses on a loftier mission: training the best young dancers and becoming a leader in dance education.

The Landmark at Merrick Park

This new seven-screen luxury multiplex next to Neiman Marcus in an open air mall is the only mainstream movie theater operating in Coral Gables. Offering state-of-the-art laser projection and Dolby 7.1 sound, the multiplex also features reclining leather chairs, online reserved seating, a full bar menu and concession fare a cut above popcorn and a Coke.

Food & Drink

OTL Miami

Located in the heart of Miami’s Design District and created by the team behind The Smile NYC, OTL sells breakfast, pastries, sandwiches, coffee and other drinks in a bright, warm space with indoor and outdoor seating and high-speed WiFi. The second floor is home to a community space that hosts events ranging from yoga classes to designer pop ups.

Ball & Chain

Nestled on historic Calle Ocho, this restaurant and live music spot was once a notorious presence in the 1930s-1950s. Now, with gambling and amateur stripping long in its past, Ball & Chain has reinvented itself as a spot for Cuban-style music, tapas and specialty drinks and dancing.


At this second outpost of a New York City favorite, Chef Justin Smillie and restaurateur Stephen Starr bring a California-inspired menu to Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood. The menu features many wood-fired dishes and an unmistakable Italian influence.

The Wynwood Yard

The Wynwood Yard

At this casual outdoor hub in Wynwood just around the corner from the neighborhood’s famous murals, diners can sample variety of options from a changing mix of resident chefs, including vegetarian fare, Brazilian grilling and Japanese and Spanish cuisine.

Bulla Gastro Bar

Like the Spanish gastropubs that inspired it, Bulla Gastro Bar first draws your eye to its loud and lively bar, where happy hour crowds gather to sip wine and chat (“Bulla” is slang for chatter, after all). But the restaurant also serves up moderately priced and authentic Spanish and Catalan dishes.

Mister 01 

Tucked away in an office building just off Miami Beach’s busy Lincoln Road, Mistor 01 is a thin-crust pizza lover’s dream – and the very definition of “hidden gem.” This cozy spot serves Neapolitan-style pizza, antipasti and salads and is famous for its star-shaped pie.


Marlins Park

No more worrying about rainouts at the home of the Miami Marlins baseball team – a retractable dome protects fans from South Florida’s sudden thunderstorms. On less steamy nights the dome opens to reveal warm breezes and the stars over Miami. The 2017 season begins April 1 against the Detroit Tigers.

Venetian Pool

Reopening in March 2017 after renovations, this public pool opened in 1924 and was designed by architect Phineas Paist. Carved out of a rock quarry in the Mediterranean Revival style, it’s the only pool on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Frost Science

Scheduled for a spring 2017 opening, this massive science museum on four acres at downtown Miami’s Museum Park is located next to the Perez Art Museum. In addition to exhibits on flight, the human body and the importance of the Florida Everglades, it will include an aquarium and a planetarium. 

Miami Children’s Museum

Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the museum just east of downtown Miami on the MacArthur Causeway features rotating exhibits with one main goal: teaching kids to love learning. Activities are designed with this in mind and are geared toward children of all ages.

Peacock Park

The waters of Biscayne Bay shimmer next to this 9.4 acre urban park in Coconut Grove that lies within walking distance of the Grove’s shops, restaurants and bars. There are baseball and kickball fields as well as tennis courts, and right next door is the Coconut Grove Sailing Club.

Everglades Alligator Farm

Everglades Alligator Farm

Just outside the boundaries of the main entrance to Everglades National Park lies South Florida’s oldest alligator farm, which boasts more than 2,000 gators. Among the activities are gator, snake and wildlife shows every hour and airboat rides to bring you even closer to Florida’s most unique ecosystem.

Healthy Living


The imaginative fresh, cold-pressed juices and smoothies at jugofresh are Miami-inspired, including the P.a.m.pered Ginger (with pineapple, apple, mint, ginger and maca extract) and Mo-ringa the Alarm ( lime, moringa and honey). If you’re closer to downtown Miami, try the Wynwood Walls location at 222 NW 26th St. in Miami.

Barry’s Bootcamp Midtown

The signature hour-long workout at Barry’s include 25-30 minutes of cardio treadmill machines and 25-30 minutes of free weight work, but no two classes are ever the same. After sweating it out, try free towel service and showers stocked with Malin+ Goetz beauty products.

Emena Spa

Emena Spa

This luxury spa in Miami’s Design District offers a variety of massages, facials, hydrotherapy, manicures and pedicures, reflexology and waxing. There’s also a hair salon and, should you be so inclined, cosmetic injections.

Upper East Side Farmer’s Market

Fresh fruits and vegetables reign at this outdoor farmers market in Legion Park, run by the not-for-profit Urban Oasis Project, which also plants gardens for low-income families.


Stiltsville & Key Biscayne Sunset Cruise

Stiltsville & Key Biscayne Sunset Cruise

Once upon a time, a community of 27 stilt houses sat in the waters at the edge of Biscayne Bay. Time (and storms) have reduced the number to seven. Historian Paul George leads a sunset boat tour of one of the most iconic sights on the Miami waterfront, with tours periodically throughout the year (the next is scheduled for March 26, 2017).

TKS Miami

This store on Key Biscayne gets you out on the water with lessons in kiteboarding and paddleboarding. It also sells high-end apparel and equipment.

Miami Beach Paddleboard

Located off the Venetian Causeway not far from the western edge of Lincoln Road, Miami Beach Paddleboard rents crafts by the hour and conducts sunset “Neon Tours” with paddleboards equipped with glowing LED lights.

Museum Park Yoga,

Grab a yoga mat, a towel and some water and head to Museum Park in downtown Miami for an outdoor yoga class. The price? A donation. Classes take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.; 9 a.m. Saturdays; and 9:30 a.m. Sundays

South Pointe Park

This 17-acre urban park on the edge of Miami Beach runs along the water and features a beautiful walking trail and spectacular views of cruise ships departing from the Port of Miami. The pier is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to sunset for fishing.

Bike & Roll Miami

Whether your preferred mode of transportation is bike or Segway, Bike & Roll offers tours of famous neighborhoods, including Wynwood, Key Biscayne, South Beach’s Art Deco District, the Miami River and Little Havana. There are also sunrise and sunset tours of South Beach available. 


Miami Design District

Just a couple of miles north of downtown Miami, this upscale shopping district includes such luxury brands as Cartier, Louboutin, Dior, Hublot and Bvlgari, with plenty of nearby restaurants and galleries.

Brickell City Centre

Protected by a unique “climate ribbon” that shields shoppers from the extremes of Florida weather, this luxury, open-air shopping center lies in the heart of the Brickell neighborhood. Anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, it also connects to the Miami Metromover.

Lincoln Road Mall

Lincoln Road Mall

A few blocks from the ocean and the famous Ocean Drive, this open air mall is a mile-long pedestrian walkway lined with shops and restaurants with some of the best people watching on the beach. There’s also a farmers market every Sunday.

Leica Store Miami

This store sells new and used camera equipment and binoculars and offers a variety of other events, including photography workshops, discussions and book signings.

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