There’s a good reason why Miami is known as The Magic City. It glows day and night, pulsating with energy from the ocean’s waves and is set to a soundtrack uniting bongo beats with
electronica. Anything can happen here. As we find out behind the wheel of a Ferrari California that, despite the name, adapts itself well to the pleasing climate of Florida
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
BAL HAR BOUR/AVENTURA /NORTH MIAMI BEACH
The northern end of the city is best known for its highend, world-class fashion and jewellery retailers, many of which have boutiques exclusively in Miami and available nowhere else in the entire south-eastern United States (case in point: Harry Winston).
With interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg, the new five-star ST REGIS BAL HARBOUR RESORT (stregisbalharbour.com) is the most pristine of all offerings in the area. Equally modern environs can also be found nearby at ONE BAL HARBOUR onebalharbourresort.com), along with large terraces offering panoramic views of the sea and interiors swathed in mahogany, granite and leather. With its 1,900sq m ESPA ocean-front spa, three ocean-front restaurants and swimming pools, and an innovative marine biology-based children’s programme, ACQUALINA RESORT & SPA (acqualinaresort.com) defines indulgence. TRUMP INTERNATIONAL BEACH RESORT (trumpmiami.com) is also a top pick. However, there’s nothing quite like TURNBERRY ISLE MIAMI (turnberryislemiami.com), with its gloriously spacious suites, two championship golf courses, and a lagoon-style pool featuring a water slide and lazy river. On Collins Avenue is CANYON RANCH MIAMI BEACH (canyonranch.com/miamibeach), a resort and spa that promises guests will leave in better condition than when they arrived, thanks in part to its health-minded restaurants and fitness and wellbeing services.
BAL HARBOUR SHOPS (balharbourshops.com) is the most luxurious shopping destination in the entire region, stocking SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, VERSACE, CHANEL and men’s swimwear label VILEBREQUIN. New boutiques, like ALEXANDER MCQUEEN and STELLA MCCARTNEY, regularly pop up. It’s also the spot for iconic jewellers, such as GRAFF, BULGARI and HUBLOT. The more heavily trafficked AVENTURA MALL (aventuramall.com), said to be the fifth largest in America, is home to a range of retailers. Its biggest coup to date is a twostorey LOUIS VUITTON “Maison,” where bespoke services include men’s shoes and ladies’ handbags. Tifosi can find trademarked attire and accessories at the FERRARI STORE (store.ferrari.com). There’s also a store at 19051 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura.
See and do
Golfers will gladly spend days at Turnberry Isles’ two 18-hole championship courses, while others will get fresh air walking outdoors at any number of scenic trails. Sunbathing at any number of local beaches defines relaxation, but stop by SKYWARD KITES (skywardkites.com) first to marvel at what the wind can do. Or take in nature’s riches by renting a kayak at OLETA RIVER STATE PARK (floridastateparks.org/oletariver) or head slightly north west to catch an exhilarating airboat tour from EVERGLADES HOLIDAY PARK (evergladesholidaypark.com). Need airconditioned environs to escape the heat? Stop into the MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART NORTH MIAMI (mocanomi.org) and be sure to spend a few minutes perusing the original gift shop.
Eat and drink
Enjoy authentic French bistro fare at LA GOULUE (lagouluebalharbour.com) or modern Japanese delicacies, many of which are made on a bincho (charcoal robata grill), at MAKOTO (makotorestaurant. com). Afterwards, a quick stop at MADMAC (madmaclounge.com) will yield a wealth of saccharine macaroons suitable for gift giving or staving off a sweet tooth. One can imagine what the specialties are at BOURBON STEAK (michaelmina.net), a restaurant by famed chef Michael Mina, but don’t neglect the duck-fat fries. MISTER COLLINS (mistercollins.com) nearby offers a smart take on American cuisine. Simple, yet succulent dishes can also be found at J&G GRILL (jggrillmiami.com), a concept by Jean-Georges Vongerichten with an inspiring view. Locals and repeat visitors also treasure neighbourhood gem TIMO (timorestaurant.com), which serves fresh Italian-Mediterranean cuisine.
DESI GN DIS TRICT/WYNWOOD/MIDTOWN
This area is so up-and-coming that hotels haven’t even made their way inside the boundary lines. But that’s part of its charm: much of what can be experienced in this region is a tribute to Miami’s strong local art movement. Only in the past few years have restaurateurs and retailers moved in, riding the wave of tourism that sweeps the area annually during Art Basel.
Eat and drink
Dining options in the Design District range from small cafés to upscale eateries, but this area is a great destination for delicious lunches. CRUMB ON PARCHMENT (facebook.com/CrumbMiami) is a sunlit spot known for market-fresh salads and sweets made by the chef/owner’s mother. The MC KITCHEN (mckitchenmiami.com), serves modern Italian fare. Rustic Greek dishes can be enjoyed under the trees at MANDOLIN AEGEAN BISTRO (mandolinmiami.com). MICHAEL’S GENUINE (michaelsgenuine.com) is perhaps Miami’s bestknown eatery, specialising in all that is “fresh, simple, pure”. Across the street at Midtown, SUGARCANE (sugarcanerawbargrill.com) buzzes all day thanks to its cool environs and inventive menu with raw bar and robata grill. Coffee connoisseurs head to the independent PANTHER COFFEE (panthercoffee.com), percolating with character and specialty brews.
See and do
Drive through the streets of Wynwood slowly to enjoy colourful graffiti and murals, many of which were created by the world’s best artists in the genre. It’s worth parking just in front of
WYNWOOD WALLS (thewynwoodwalls.com), a grouping of giant canvases, for closer observation. The area also has many galleries to visit, the most interesting of which might be DIET (gallerydiet.com), FREDRIC SNITZER (snitzer.com) and ALEJANDRA VON HARTZ (alejandravonhartz.net). Those pressed for time might be better served by THE MARGUILIES COLLECTION AT THE WAREHOUSE (margulieswarehouse.com), RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION (rfc.museum) or CISNEROS FONTNALS ART FOUNDATION (cifo.org). Catching a sports match nearby can also be fun. The Miami Heat basketball team plays at the AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA (aaarena.com), the Miami Dolphins football team hosts its games at the SUN LIFE STADIUM (sunlifestadium.com), and the Miami Marlins play baseball at the new MARLINS PARK (miami.marlins.mlb.com).
If you haven’t been to Miami for a few years you won’t recognise the DESIGN DISTRICT (miamidesigndistrict.net). Once known for highend, high-concept furniture stores, it’s now also home to PRADA, HERMÈS, CARTIER and the city’s only CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN boutique. Just across the street, THE SHOPS AT MIDTOWN (shopmidtownmiami.com) isn’t as glamorous, but there’s no better place to find basics. Visit TARGET, WEST ELM and LOEHMANN’S, especially.
CORA L GABLES/COCONUT GROVE/ KEY BISCAYNE
Just this once, skip the highway and take a leisurely drive through Little Havana, soaking in the vivid colours and sounds of this buzzing district. Pulling over for a café con leche and chat with a local
THE BILTMORE (biltmorehotel.com) in exclusive Coral Gables is not only a national historic landmark but also a romantic tribute to the 1920s. The hotel’s gargantuan pool alone is reason enough to stay a few extra days, along with its 18-hole championship golf course, top-rated restaurants, on-site cooking academy, spa and tennis facilities. The excellent RITZ-CARLTON COCONUT GROVE and RITZ-CARLTON KEY BISCAYNE (ritzcarlton.com) both boast the label of a brand known for its impeccable service, yet the Coconut Grove location also prides itself on “green” initiatives and myriad activities (brunches, barbecues and sea turtle education sessions are tops) and the Key Biscayne property is utterly romantic and arguably the best spot to take a break from Miami’s quick pulse.
Eat and drink
Tourists tend to get their Cuban food fix at VERSAILLES (versaillesrestaurant.com), an admittedly tacky, souped-up diner with an extensive menu offering everything from croquettes to vaca frita. For a significantly more upscale dining experience, however, head to RED FISH GRILL (redfishgrill.net) on the water’s edge or the elegant and award-winning PALME D’OR (biltmorehotel.com). On the main street in Coral Gables, affectionately known as “Miracle Mile,” are gems like HILLSTONE (hillstone.com), an upscale chain restaurant with an energising bar scene; RANDAZZO’S (randazzoslittleitaly.com), family-style Italian-American cuisine served in a double-decker space; and THE DOME (thedomebar.com), a Latin-American fusion and caviar bar that happens to be the “greenest” restaurant around. (Energy-efficient lighting, use of iPads instead of paper menus, and list of local farm vendors serve as proof.)
The alfresco VILLAGE OF MERRICK PARK (villageofmerrickpark.com) boasts an impressive list of tenants, including AGENT PROVOCATEUR, CANALI, H STERN and GUCCI. Colombian designer SILVIA TCHERASSI (silviatcherassi.com) also has a boutique there, but stop by her atelier in downtown Coral Gables to view her prêt-à-porter creations. Meandering around the charming COCONUT GROVE (coconutgrove.com) district is also a treat. Most of the retailers there cater to tourists, so don’t expect much in the way of deals, but artisan finds are always abundant. THE COLLECTION (thecollection.com), is Miami’s only official Ferrari dealer. FERRARI OF TAMPA, FERRARI OF CENTRAL FLORIDA and FERRARI OF FORT LAUDERDALE are also in the region.
See and do
This is an area rich with cultural history. Start with LITTLE HAVANA (littlehavanaguide.com), a Cuban time capsule and perfect for a cortadito (espresso with milk), cigar and game of dominoes. Closer to Coconut Grove is the Renaissance-style VIZCAYA MUSEUM & GARDENS (vizcayamuseum.org), a National Historic Landmark. Take a dip in the VENETIAN POOL (venetianpool.com), carved out of coral rock and filled with 820,000 gallons of spring water. Further south is FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANIC GARDEN (fairchildgarden.org), with more than 80 acres of lush greenery and a new butterfly exhibit. To the east is KEY BISCAYNE (keybiscayne.fl.gov), a secluded strip of land, with beaches on either side, and a bridge offering breathtaking views. Paddleboarding, jet-skiing or kite surfing is available, while on dry land there’s the CRANDON TENNIS CENTER (miamidade.gov/ parks/parks/crandon_tennis.asp).
When most people think of Miami, this area is what comes to mind. The beach is home to a dizzying array of hotels, restaurants, shops, nightclubs and more. Downtown is the city’s more serious side, with glass-and-metal skyscrapers and bustling business centres
Various luxe accommodations downtown include EPIC (epicmiami.com) and FOUR SEASONS (fourseasons.com/miami). Within the nearby JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS is not only the luxury HOTEL BEAUX ARTS (marriott.com) concept with an NBA-approved basketball court and virtual bowling alley, but also famed Chef Daniel Boulud’s DB BISTRO. The MANDARIN ORIENTAL, MIAMI (mandarinoriental.com/Miami) really needs no introduction, known for its central location, incredible bay views and lush spa services. SLS SOUTH BEACH (slshotels.com/southbeach), with its Philippe Starck design add-ons, and the contemporary W SOUTH BEACH (wsouthbeach.com), with all its 312 rooms and bungalows boasting ocean views, are also best bets. THE SETAI (thesetaihotel.com) with its rich Asian aesthetic and elevated level of service is a slice of heaven. For a true slice of nostalgia, THE VILLA BY BARTON G (thevillabybartong.com), a 1930s Mediterranean dream home, replete with a glittering mosaic pooland butler service. THE DELANO SOUTH BEACH (delano-hotel.com) is a luxurious bolt-hole, with a well-heeled international clientele.
LINCOLN ROAD (lincolnroadmall.com) is the shopping destination for many, mostly because it offers the best people-watching opportunities in the city. Folks come from all over to experience the mix of casual to high fashion by way of H&M and ALCHEMIST, J CREW and APPLE. The best time to visit is on Sundays when the farmers market takes place. There’s also a smattering of great shops nearby: ESPANOLA WAY, COLLINS AVENUE and OCEAN DRIVE. Hunt in hotel boutiques for hidden treasures, too. Favourites include GUYANDGIRL (shopguyandgirl.com), IDA AND HARRY (fontainebleau.com), THE SIGNATURE
(ritzcarlton.com) and CURVE (shopcurve.com). The best way to get around, however tempting, is not by Ferrari; rent a DECOBIKE (decobike.com) to get some exercise and a tan while saving parking hassles and the environment.
SEE AND DO
There’s never a shortage of activity in this part of the city. Early birds might want to take a walk along the beach or spend time at a spa, like the ones at the VICEROY (viceroyhotelsandresorts.
com/Miami) or over at the MANDARIN ORIENTAL (mandarinoriental.com/miami/luxury-spa). Soak up some culture at the WOLFSONIAN-FIU MUSEUM (wolfsonian.org), with 100,000 objects illustrating the role of design from 1885 to 1945, or peruse historical and contemporary art collections at THE BASS MUSEUM (bassmuseum.org). The crown jewel of Miami’s cultural scene is arguably the ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS (arshtcenter.org), while live music fans enjoy performances at NEW WORLD SYMPHONY (nws.edu). A different kind of music can be heard at nearby MANGO’S (mangostropicalcafe.
com), an iconic Ocean Drive spot bursting with samba dancers and tropical cocktails. The best crowds can be found at nightclubs LIV (livnightclub.com), SET (setmiami.com), STORY (storymiami.com), MANSION (mansionmiami.com) or at CLUB SPACE (clubspace.com).
EAT AND DRINK
In recent years, many eateries have committed to using local, sustainable ingredients. Try 1500° (1500degreesmiami.com), FLORIDA COOKERY (florida-cookery.com) and AREA 31 (area31restaurant.com). Steak lovers will enjoy MEAT MARKET (meatmarketmiami.com), while seafood aficionados prefer the 100-year-old JOE’S STONE CRAB (joesstonecrab.com), Japaneseinspired ZUMA (zumarestaurant.com) or the new TOSCA. Tasting menus are the specialty at DINING ROOM AT VILLA BY BARTON G. (thevillabybartong.com). PUBBELLY (pubbelly.com) is where locals go for unique fare, followed by drinks under the stars
at CECCONI’S (cecconismiamibeach.com). Any of the aforementioned have notable cocktail pairings on offer, but the most extraordinary concoctions can be enjoyed at THE BROKEN SHAKER (thefreehand.com/venues/the-broken-shaker).
Words Riki Altman