When planning a city break, Miami is probably not the first destination to spring to mind. Many people simply associate Miami with nightlife and palm trees, but away from the neon lights, Miami offers plenty to explore for culture lovers and is a wonderful long weekend destination. This vibrant city offers a mix of art, culture, history, and of course, stunning beaches.
Miami can be explored either on foot, via a tour bus, and even by water, by booking a miami yacht rental. From your boat, you will be able to enjoy views of the city from an entirely different perspective and get to see Miami’s beautiful waters up close.
Self-guided walking tours are available for those who prefer to explore at their own pace, or if you like to ask questions and get lots of insider knowledge of a city, a guided walking tour may be your best option. Hop on and hop off bus tours are also available for anyone that would prefer to save their legs, and explore more of Miami in a short space of time. Here are some of the gems just waiting to be discovered in Miami:
Did you know that Miami is reportedly home to the largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world? If you’re a fan of this sleek and stylish aesthetic, then Miami is the place to go. Head to the iconic Ocean Drive to see some great examples of Art Deco architecture, along with plenty of buildings you will recognise from movies, such as Scarface.
Little Havana is the Cuban hub of Miami and can be found surrounding Calle Ocho. Experience the sounds of Latino music, the flavour of Cuban cuisine, as you wander Little Havana; this neighbourhood will delight all your senses.
Take a pit stop and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many bars, cafés and restaurants available here, and wash it down with a cup of Cuban coffee. Watch as the locals pass the time gathered playing dominoes, and look out for the street art as you explore the area.
Museums in Miami
Miami is one of the USA’s most art-friendly cities so, while you are in Miami, why not take a trip to the Wolfsonian FIU. The Wolfsonian FIU is linked to the Smithsonian and features a library, research centre and museum. Within the museum, you will find a wide range of exhibits, with a focus on art and design, and their power of persuasion.
Expect to see examples of propaganda material, rare books, along with work from the Arts and Crafts movement from the likes of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and William Morris.
Another great choice is The Bass, newly refurbished by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, which offers contemporary art to explore and a cafe to relax in. It’s worth going just to see Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain – the 42-foot sculpture that stands outside the buildings.
Art and Design
The Miami Design District features exclusive eateries and designer shops, but if these aren’t your thing, you will certainly enjoy the array of art and unique sculptures to admire. The Miami Design District is home to a staggering amount of art galleries. It is believed that there are over 130 art galleries here in total, making it the perfect place to visit for anyone with a passion for art and design.
Bookshops in Miami
This wouldn’t be Books and Bao if we didn’t add some great bookstores for you to visit. While Miami isn’t the first place you think of in terms of literary culture there are some fantastic local bookstores tucked away just waiting to be discovered and they even host a sizeable literary festival which attracts visitors form around the US.
Books & Books is one of the biggest shops and hosts the most literary events and author signings, they even have a great cafe to lounge in. For rare and antiquarian books, you can’t do better than Dunbar Old Books, they even ship their books internationally.
For your comic, second-hand books and memorabilia needs then A & M Comics is by far the best place, it’s the oldest comic store in Miami, the staff are friendly and they frequently bring in new stock and host events. If you’re visiting New York then check out our guides to New York State and Brooklyn.