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Miami Design District
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phillip Pessar

Here's how to spend the perfect day in the Miami Design District

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil


Ready to shop? Bring your black card to Palm Court, where shops from the likes of Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton line the glittering promenade. On the top level of the outdoor mall you’ll find Abaco Wines, a modern wine haven offering flights, paired tastings and classes. If it’s Wednesday, make sure to visit the Market #atMDD, the weekly farmers’ market at Jungle Plaza. With more than 40 vendors selling artisanal breads, homemade jams and grab-and-go fare (think acai bowls and arepas), it’s more than just a place to stock up on fresh produce.


The spectacularly lavish Miami Design District (MDD) still packs as much of an arty punch as it did a decade ago, before the high-end retailers moved in. To tap into the ’hood’s original laid-back vibe, start your day exploring one of numerous free museums. Head to the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space to browse one of the city’s largest privately owned troves of modern art and to Institute of Contemporary Art, which debuts a new space this December, for artists talks and public programming. For creative eats, you can’t beat OTL. Eating for the ’gram? Order the very photogenic OTL super-seed-butter toast topped with fresh berries.


Ten years after opening, James Beard Award–winning chef Michael Schwartz’s flagship restaurant in the city, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, remains one of Miami’s top establishments. Everything on the seasonal menu is remarkable, but you’d be remiss to skip the oysters, the wood-roasted double-yolk farm eggs and the local veggie specials. Down the street at Palm Court, Estefan Kitchen serves upscale Cuban food, Latin-inspired small plates and fancy mojitos. It’s chic but not stuffy, and the resident pianist is known to shake things up.

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