City Guide: Miami


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Another exciting addition to our new City Guide series, this travel guide to Miami, Florida, features the most pertinent information about the area. Use the menu below to jump among sections for suggestions on where to stay, insider tips, restaurant recommendations and more.


 Miami City Overview

Miami map From the classic splendor of Coral Gables to the parade of vanities that is South Beach, few American cities are so vibrantly beautiful — and so profoundly aware of it. Miami legally belongs to the United States, but it's also the cultural capital of Latin America, and the lingua franca here is Spanish in all its myriad accents: Cuban, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Puerto Rican. The last decade has seen the ascendancy of several cultural institutions, including the symphony and Basel Art Fair, and a resurgent downtown in the Design District. Outside of the city, several lavish resorts offer self-enclosed experiences popular with families and those looking for some straightforward rest and relaxation.

 Miami Travel Tips

Photo by MWP. Courtesy of The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.

When to visit, tastemaker tips and what to do in Miami.

When to Visit Miami

March through May is typically the most pleasant time to visit Miami. Spring is filled with sunshine with temperatures ranging from high 70s to low 80s. Hurricane season (and the hottest time of the year) runs June to November. Expect afternoon showers in summer and fall.

Tastemaker Tips

Want to experience Miami like an insider? Follow these tips from notable individuals in the travel, design, food, fashion and hospitality industry.

Andrew Harper, Editor in Chief of The Hideaway Report, Andrew Harper Travel

Andrew HarperAt Art Basel Miami Beach (December 3-6, 2015), around 250 galleries show work from modern masters, as well as by emerging artists. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs and films are displayed in the exhibition hall, while performances take place at Collins Park and SoundScape Park. In addition, Miami’s leading private collections — the Rubell Family Collection, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, the de la Cruz Collection, the Margulies Collection and the Craig Robins Collection at Dacra — open their homes and warehouses.

  Hotels: Where to Stay in Miami

Mandarin Oriental, Miami

I was a fan of South Beach in the early years of its rehabilitation, but somehow, its moment seems to have passed. The “cool” factor has become self-conscious and fake. I now find myself returning to the city’s more traditional resorts.

  Restaurants: Where to Eat in Miami

OLA Miami
OLA Miami - Photo courtesy of OLA.

Miami has a diverse population to provide culinary inspiration, but this has not always been reflected in the quality of the cuisine. Things have improved recently as the city has become a crossroads and financial center for Central and South America. Inspired by new energy, ingredients and traditions, chefs are creating food that is well worth exploring.


One would think, given the city’s proximity to the sea, that Miami would be jumping with good seafood restaurants, but that turns out not to be the case. Mandolin proves an exception, drawing on the cuisines of Turkey and Greece. In this pleasant, light-washed space, look for mezzes such as the Greek sampler of tzatziki, eggplant purée and taramasalata, or marinated grilled octopus. The simply delicious mains might include fresh whole fish grilled with olive oil, lemon and oregano; a classic moussaka; or grilled lamb chops with an orzo pilaf.

Il Gabbiano

Miami doesn’t generally bring to mind Italian food, but this restaurant on Biscayne Bay is the Southern sister of esteemed Il Mulino in New York. Look for classic appetizers such as clams casino and arugula salad. The terrific pastas include a fine spaghetti alla carbonara and fettuccine alla Bolognese. The array of main courses features dishes such as veal saltimbocca, chicken scarpariello and roasted branzino. Service is excellent. Closed Sunday.

Palme d'Or

A makeover has taken the signature restaurant of The Biltmore in Coral Gables from stuffy to stunning. The seasonal menu is as contemporary as the décor. Look for starters such as tangerine-poached Alaskan king crab with sweet peas, carrots, mint and onions; or creamy egg with langoustines and sea urchin. Main courses might include black sea bass and razor clams with a bouillabaisse sauce and a fregola pasta ragout, or prime beef tenderloin and braised Kobe beef cheeks with carrots, potatoes, sauce daube and aged balsamic vinegar. Closed Sunday and Monday.


Small-plate aficionados will be delighted by the Nuevo Latino flavors at this bright and simple space in South Beach. To begin, an astonishing variety of ceviches might include salmon with white soy sauce, citrus juices, chili-spiced cucumber, tarragon, red onion and crispy garlic. A starter could be the chicharrón plate, featuring crispy rock shrimp coated with rice and corn flour in a sweet-and-spicy sauce with micro cilantro. Among the main courses, you might find filet mignon churrasco.

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

Michael Schwartz’s airy, modern bistro is a Design District favorite. Schwartz cites Alice Waters as an inspiration, and his creative menu emphasizes unpretentious, locally sourced dishes at reasonable prices. It changes frequently, but look for selections such as house-made country pâté with cornichons and apricot mostarda; stracciatella with heirloom tomatoes, basil and extra-virgin olive oil; and slow-roasted and grilled Harris Ranch beef short rib with roasted cipollini onions, romesco sauce and hazelnuts.

  Things to Do: Sightseeing in Miami

Perez Art Museum Miami
Perez Art Museum Miami - Photo courtesy of Perez Art Museum Miami.

Don't overlook these iconic sightseeing attractions while visiting Miami.

  Top Experiences in Miami

South Beach Miami
South Beach Miami

Want to learn more about travel to Miami? Read our in-depth articles from The Harper Way, The Hideaway Report and Traveler Magazine on topics such as shopping, food, wine, art, culture and more.

Smith Cove, Cayman Islands
Smith Cove, Cayman Islands - © Jo Ann Snover

Discover the best destinations around Miami as recommended by our team of well-traveled editors.

Stay tuned for more from our City Guide series, detailing what to do, eat and see, and where to stay, in Andrew Harper's favorite cities around the world.

Want our full travel guide to The United States? Purchase a copy in the Harper shop.

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By Hideaway Report Staff

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