Your Guide to the Perfect Three-Day Weekend in Miami

If there’s one place New Yorkers love as much as New York, it’s Florida. (Just ask your grandparents.) Snowbird jokes aside, we adore Miami for its mix of beaches, restaurants and culture. And with nonstop flights from the city clocking in at around $100 round-trip, there’s virtually no reason not to head south right this minute. We've mapped out four distinct itineraries, whether you’re looking to ogle street art or pass out under an umbrella.

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All Things Art: Wynwood

Once a bleak and abandoned warehouse district, Wynwood is Miami’s new South Beach. There’s so much to see, eat and experience within the outdoor arts district, which runs from 36th Street to 20th Street between I-95 and NE First Avenue.

Stay: Even though you’re hungry for art, we prefer a stay at the 1 Hotel South Beach. Four pools, seven restaurants (we’re looking at you, Habitat, STK and Plnthouse), a farmstand with fresh produce in the lobby, beachfront yoga and an in-house SoulCycle studio. Ahh, we could go on and on. Plus, an Uber is only 15 minutes to the Arts District.

Eat: It’s all about booze-infused doughnuts at the Salty Donut, brunch at Zak the Baker, hummus at Dizengoff and unicorn ice cream at 1-800-Lucky. For something more upscale, transport yourself to Greece at Mandolin. Oh, and don’t forget Wynwood Kitchen & Bar—its charming back patio is one of the few places where you can dine while fully surrounded by graffiti-clad walls.

Do: Stroll around the stores inside Wynwood Block. (We love the botanical beauty products at Aesop.) Travel down Second Avenue to nursery-gallery mash-up Plant the Future, then forage for treasures at Thrifter Market. Don’t forget to visit the Wynwood Yard for live music and happy hour. As you explore, keep an eye out for open galleries. (They’re basically everywhere.) Afterward, make your way to the PAMM, Miami’s flagship art museum, which features—along with an impressive collection of contemporary works—a delicious waterfront restaurant and a really cool swing set outside.

Sand, Sun And Spa: South Beach

We could complain about how it’s forever buzzing with drunken tourists, but it’s a small price to pay for the pastel-colored Art Deco buildings, palm trees and ocean view. And at sunset, we’re speechless.  

Stay: The Faena is more than just a hotel—it’s a palace. This opulent establishment is home to famed Argentine eatery Los Fuegos, a South American-inspired spa and a private beachfront oasis. Oh, there’s also a 24-karat-gold woolly mammoth skeleton in a glass case in the backyard…because, you know, why not?

Eat: Need the opposite of SoBe chaos? Head to Cecconi’s, where the courtyard tables are quiet, the lights twinkle, and the avocado and chickpea dip hits the spot. Otherwise, visit the Freehand, home to our favorite patio bar (oh hey, the Broken Shaker) and our favorite restaurant (we’re looking at you, 27 Restaurant & Bar). Oh, and of course we can’t forget Joe’s either.

Do: Indulge in a spa treatment and take an Art Deco tour. Otherwise, spend the rest of your time bouncing between the Faena’s pool area and private beach. With a view like this, it’s hard to do anything else.

I’m Just Here To Shop (and Eat): Miami Beach

There’s no better excuse to live large than a vacation, and this posh nabe ought to do the trick. Luxury shopping at Bal Harbour? Check. An eight-course tasting with a Top Chef? On it.

Stay: The St. Regis Bal Harbour has killer views, tons of amenities (infinity swimming pool! private beach! spa! butler service!) and amazing dining and cocktailing options. The sprawling property is equal parts luxurious and laid-back, so you’ll get the best of both worlds. Let’s not forget you’re right across the street from Bal Harbour Shops.

Eat: Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford is behind an eight-course tasting at Stubborn Seed. Stiltsville will satisfy those beachy seafood cravings. And a meal at Gianni’s at the Villa will give you enough luxury to last a lifetime. The best part is, they’re all located in Miami Beach. 

Do: Speaking of Bal Harbour Shops, we could spend hours walking around this luxury playground. (Prada! Fendi! Chanel! Balenciaga!) Take it up a notch and visit the Miami Design District too. You’ve got ultra-luxe shopping like Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Tom Ford coupled with delicious and affordable lunch spots and coffee shops like OTL and Michael’s Genuine.

Soak Up Cuban Culture: Little Havana

Wynwood, it looks like you have some competition. In one of the largest Cuban neighborhoods outside the island nation, you can nibble on a Cubano and a guava pastelito as you roam through some of the most colorful streets in town.

Stay: With classy accommodations and top-notch service at the Hotel Colonnade in Coral Gables, don’t be surprised if you feel more like you’re a guest at a château than at a resort.

Eat: Whatever you do, you’ve got to go to Versailles. It’s a Miami icon responsible for the best Cubanos (and cafés con leche) in town. Cool down with ice cream at Azucar and doughnuts at Velvet Creme. Or go all out with a guided Cuban food tour, which includes visits to numerous Little Havana staples.

Do: Walk along Calle Ocho and gawk at the brightly-painted roosters, various art galleries and the Walk of Fame, an ode to some of Cuba’s most notable expats like Celia Cruz and Gloria Estefan. Make sure to stop in and mingle with locals at Domino Park, peek into the Cuba Tobacco Cigar Company and have a cocktail and listen to live music at Ball & Chain.

clarissa buch

Miami Editor

Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor based in Miami. Focused on food, lifestyle, and travel, her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Bon Appétit, and...