The Magic City

by bella |
Published on

Expect eternal sunshine, tantalising flavours and a top-notch cultural scene on a trip to Miami…

Why Go?

For residents of Miami, life must sometimes feel like a full-time holiday. With miles of golden beaches, turquoise waters and candy-coloured buildings, the year-round summer vibes seem to rise up from every sidewalk, coming alive to the city’s soundtrack of salsa music. Whilst traditionally known for its world-class nightlife, there is so much more to experience with countless activities and attractions to visit, making this Florida city the ideal holiday destination for all ages.

Miami Beach

If you’re travelling without little ones, check in to The National Hotel, situated on the opulent South Beach oceanfront. This adults-only hedonistic hideaway is a heady blend of old-style charm and elegance, and notably boasts the longest infinity pool in SoBe. A short walk away and you’ll find yourself amongst the red-tiled roofs and palm-fringed streets of Espanola Way, where a sensual nirvana awaits. Stop by Mercato Della Pescheria for an authentic taste of Italy, serving up fresh seafood and homemade pasta alongside the buzzing boulevard backdrop. Nearby, Lincoln Road provides the opportunity for shopaholics to get their fix, offering a seemingly never-ending strip of stores and boutiques. Those with an appreciation for architecture should be sure to book an Art Deco tour with the Miami Design Preservation League (, where you’ll become well acquainted with the candy-coloured buildings the city is famous for, many of which have been restored to their former glory. For Cuban flavours on Ocean Drive, Havana 1957 has your calling – order the vaca frita (shredded garlic and lime beef), with plantain tostones and truffle yucca fries. For those looking to swap the glam of South Beach for something more gritty, check out the graffiti in the cutting-edge creative district of Wynwood. Just a fifteen-minute drive away, this up-and-coming neighbourhood is home to the world-renowned Wynwood Walls, where leading graffiti writers and muralists make their mark and tell meaningful stories through spray-paint. After working up an appetite, dine at Doya – a modern Aegean Meze restaurant – where Chef Erhan Kostepen creates crowd-pleasing spectacles upon his open flame grill, including the must-try spiced lamb Adana Kebap.

Go downtown

Diverse, dynamic and densely populated, Downtown Miami and the adjoining bustling Brickell area is a hub of dining, arts and entertainment that no visitor should miss. Stay at the newly opened Yotel, for starlet-worthy style at a snip of the budget. Head up to Vela Sky on the highest floor, and you’ll uncover the jewel of this hotel’s crown: a rooftop pool that buzzes amongst the city’s skyscrapers. Take the Metrorail into the centre of Brickell, where a plethora of shops, restaurants and museums await, including the Frost Science Museum. Little ones will delight at the countless floors of fascinating exhibitions and an awe-inspiring subterranean aquarium. When you’re feeling peckish, the swanky Havana-inspired bistro, Marabu, offers al fresco dining under the outdoor pergola. Then head to Bayside Marketplace and take to the water on the Thriller Speedboat Tour, providing the ultimate sightseeing experience in true “Miami Vice Style” (book at:

Eating Havana

Little Havana marks Miami’s Cuban quarter, loaded with Latin swagger, scrumptious flavours and sounds of salsa beats. This vivacious neighbourhood is best savoured through your tastebuds on a walking food tour, where your passionate guide will immerse you into the heart of Cuban culture and community through the exquisite cuisine (book at::a[]{href='' }). You’ll visit Domino Park, watch cigar rollers at work, sip cortaditos at a walk-up ventanita, and feast on Cuban sandwiches and pastelito de guayaba – a delicious combination of guava and cheese, stuffed inside a puff pastry casing. Afterwards, learn the art of letting your hair down, Cuban-style, and stop by the legendary Ball & Chain bar to sip on a refreshing mojito whilst enjoying live salsa music.

Need to know

  • Room rates at Yotel Miami start from £164 per night. Book at:

  • A Cabana Room at The National Hotel start from £352 per night. Book at:

  • Norse Atlantic Airways have recently launched flights from London Gatwick to Miami, operating up to five times a week throughout the winter months, and daily during the summer season. Want to travel in style? Splash out and book a premium seat on their 787 Dreamliner, offering a ridiculously comfy recline, generous legroom, gourmet meals and bubbles on tap. Fares start from £420 for a round trip. Book at:

  • Keen to see more of the Sunshine State? Relax and journey from Miami to Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach or even Orlando with Brightline trains. Visit:

  • For more inspiration for your Miami vacation, visit

Words: Helena Holdsworth

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