January 1, 2012
THE BEST WAY TO MIAMI
From LAX, American and Delta fly nonstop to Miami. American, Continental, Delta, US Airways and United offer connecting flights (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $258.
WHERE TO STAY
Rates noted are for high season, which runs from the first week in December through April. In early fall, rates can drop by 40% or more.
Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-507-7900; http://www.sohobeachhouse.com. Works by Hernan Bas, Shepard Fairey and John Baldessari are among those displayed in the clubby lobby lounge of the Soho Beach House, third in the Soho House group. The lobby, main restaurant and Cowshed Spa are open to the public; other spaces are for members and hotel guests only. The rooms are among the most spacious on South Beach; amazingly, this beachfront hotel manages to be both hip and sane. For those who crave action, the Fontainebleau resort is next door; the party scene is just blocks away. Doubles from $385.
The Sagamore, 1671 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; (305) 535-8088. Subtitled "the art hotel,'' the beachfront Sagamore was the first of the Miami hotels to focus on art, thanks to owners and collectors Martin and Cricket Taplin. Works in the public spaces are mostly photographs, including images by Massimo Vitali, Jackie Nickerson and William Eggleston. The general vibe at this all-suite hotel is, appropriately, hip and artsy. Doubles from $325.
Villa Paradiso, 1415 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; (305) 532-0616, http://www.villaparadisohotel.com. There's no art here, just a peaceful ambience, a small leafy garden and large, affordable rooms in this former apartment building. Doubles from $150.
Hampton Inn, 50 S.W. 12th St., downtown Miami; (305) 377-9900, http://www.hamptoninnmiamibrickell.com. This newly opened hotel in the business district features an art collection and a location that's a reasonable taxi ride to Wynwood, making it a bargain if you're focusing on art and not the party scene. Doubles from $129.
WHERE TO EAT
Warning: Miami restaurants are loud. If you want a quieter meal, book outside. Locals generally don't dine before 8 p.m.
Prelude by Barton G, in the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, (305) 357-7900, http://www.arshtcenter.org/prelude. Beautiful food, stunning space from one of the city's top caterers/restaurateurs, with a $39 per person fixed price. Pre-paid reservations a must.
Joey's: Pasta, fish, gourmet pizza and a friendly ambience in the heart of Wynwood. 2506 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami; (305) 438-0488, http://www.joeyswynwood.com. Entrees from $15.
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, 2550 N.W. 2nd Ave.; (305) 722-8959, http://www.wynwoodkitchenandbar.com. Casual restaurant with global fare — mostly small plates and tapas — set in a space with murals by street artists, including Shepard Fairey. Most plates around $9.
Most galleries, museums and performing arts centers are concentrated on either side of Biscayne Bay between downtown and 44th Street. You'll do best to stay on Miami Beach south of 50th Street on in downtown Miami.
The most active months of the arts season mirror the school year (and the best weather). For schedules, see the websites for specific venues/organizations, http://www.miami.com, http://www.miamiartzine.com and http://www.artburstmiami.com.
Miami International Book Fair: For more than 25 years, this fair has drawn some of the world's top authors, including many presidential candidates, to downtown Miami in mid-November. A series of "Evenings With…'' events run during the week; tickets cost $10. A weekend street fair and nonstop author events cap the festival; $8 adults, $5 seniors/teens. (305) 237-3258, http://www.miamibookfair.com.
Art Basel Miami Beach: The first week after Thanksgiving, ABMB opens with a VIP-only preview on Wednesday afternoon and is open to the public daily Thursday-Sunday at the Miami Beach Convention Center at 19th Street. The fair features more than 250 galleries, plus talks and seminars. A one-day ticket costs $40. http://www.artbasel.com.
Sister fair Design Miami (http://www.designmiami.com) takes places in a tent near the Convention Center during the same period. Tickets cost $25, $15 for seniors/students.
Miami International Film Festival: Slated for 10 days in early March, this festival typically focuses on international, Latin and indie films, often making their U.S. debut. Prices vary, typically starting at $12. (305) 405-6433, http://www.miamifilmfestival.com.
Wynwood Art Walk: Galleries focused on cutting-edge works are open the second Saturday of every month; along with restaurants, gourmet food trucks are on the scene to offer sustenance. http://www.wynwoodartwalk.com. Just to the north, the galleries and showrooms of the Miami Design District are also open.
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