We’ve made it to the end of yet another weird and unpredictable year. If 2021 were a movie, surely Miami would’ve been its star. Our resilient city thrived amid challenges and closures: For better or worse, we were one of the few places in the country open for business. We became a getaway for people everywhere and reasserted ourselves as New York City’s sixth borough. Seriously though, is there anyone left in New York City, or, for that matter, in any U.S. metropolis?
At times it seemed as though the city was going to burst at the seams. While other times, it was really the old adage, the more the merrier. We’re ending the year in what feels like a perplexing state of déjà vu, reliving the anxieties and worries of the last 20-something months. But just as our city picked itself up and dusted itself off this year, Miami will do it again.
You see, we’re poised for bigger and better things in 2022—more openings, more festivals, more big-name talents to champion. We’ve got the return of Ultra Music Festival and laser light shows at Frost Science to look forward to, the debut of F1 Miami Grand Prix to get excited about and so many restaurant openings to ink in our collective calendars. Below is a glimpse of the year ahead and the many things to look forward to in Miami in 2022.
The best of the city under one roof
Our very own food-and-culture destination has been undergoing a bit of a revamp lately. Some of it quietly, like the new, mesmerizing light installation that welcomes you through the entrance on Drexel Avenue and 16th Street. (We haven’t touted this one as much much because we don’t want to ruin the surprise before you get to experience it for yourself.) Other things we’ve been screaming about as it’s all too exciting to keep to ourselves: Holy Crab, one of the city’s top stone crab purveyors, is now at the Market, along with funky sushi spot Bubusan and hip Jamaican patty joint King Patty’s. There’s also Vinya, a well-stocked (mostly) natural wine bar helmed by sommelier extraordinaire Allegra Angelo. So, what else have we got in store? There might be some killer barbecue in your future, perhaps a juicy burger from one of Miami’s best chefs. Plus, a few other surprises too special to tease. Check back with us in 2022—you won’t be disappointed.
Snorkeling tours in Biscayne National Park—the only national park in the U.S. that’s 95-percent underwater—were always available. But you’d have to drive the hour or so south to Homestead for a chance to explore the miles of coral reefs and marine life. Fortunately for City of Miami dwellers and those nearby, that all changes next year. Biscayne National Park Institute—a unique nonprofit partnership that provides immersive and educational eco-adventures—is launching an all-new snorkel excursion from Coconut Grove Snorkel Adventure. Departing twice daily from Dinner Key Marina in Miami’s historic Coconut Grove neighborhood, the half-day guided tours take guests through magical reefs, mangrove forests and historic shipwrecks. It’s a 3.5-hour excursion that’s all fun from the minute you board the boat to the moment it’s time to go home. Who has time to drive anyway?
The global EDM fest hasn’t happened since 2019, when it temporarily moved to Virginia Key Beach, making 2022’s homecoming to its long-time site at Bayfront Park four years in the making. Underground concept RESISTANCE returns with a star-studded lineup, including Tale of Us, Camelphat and Dubfire. While festival O.G. Carl Cox is set to debut a Hybrid Live three-hour performance. Talk about stamina. Ultra’s refreshed layout will include multiple stages and areas, such as the Carl Cox Megastructure and the Cove, a new waterfront lift where the views are sure to rival the talent. As for the big-time headliners, expect none other than David Guetta, DJ Snake, Alesso, Nina Kraviz, Martin Garrix, Kygo, Adam Beyer, Afrojack and more.
Icelandic singer and ‘90s icon Björk is set to make her first appearance in Miami ever next February. A 32-piece orchestra will back the eccentric pop-goddess for her first-ever live show in the 305, resulting in what’s sure to be a mesmerizing performance of original acoustic arrangements at the Knight Concert Hall. Presented as a limited collaboration between local electronic heavy-hitters III Points music festival and Club Space with the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the special performance will be conducted by Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason.
Get ready to head to Hard Rock Stadium for something other than football and tennis: the FIA Formula 1 World Championship charges in for three days of fast cars, big personalities and what’s sure to be one of the year’s biggest events. Organizers are staying mum on the buildout but construction on the race track and multiple viewing areas is progressing. If the Miami Open can transform the outdoor space then imagine what the folks of the international mega race have up their sleeves.
If you liked stepping into the past to learn about Van Gogh, there’s another opportunity to get to know more about one of the world’s greatest impressionist painters. This winter, take a walk on the colorful side of Claude Monet. “Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience,” a multisensory art experience at Ice Palace Studios that is brought to life with cutting-edge projection technology, music and sound effects. The beloved impressionist artist’s most famous artworks, such as Water Lilies, break free from their frames to surround and encapsulate the viewer.
Moving on from impressionism, the immersive-exhibition trend heads into modernism for its latest Miami event. “Klimt: The Immersive Experience” brings to life the works of famed Austrian modernist painter Gustav Klimt via 360-degree digital projections of his most compelling works. He was known for painting the female body, so expect to see plenty of women depicted floor to ceiling.
Food halls are still a thing, and there are more headed our way
The more congested Miami becomes as a city, the more multipurpose establishments it’ll need to make your commute worthwhile. For that, and several other reasons, you can expect the food hall wave to crest for quite a while longer. Next year alone we’re expected to see the opening of downtown’s anticipated Julia & Henry’s, which will reportedly feature concepts by the likes of chefs José Mendín, Michelle Bernstein and Karla Hoyos. In Doral, Shoma Bazaar promises six unique zones, including a cafe/bakery, beer garden and sections offering different types of cuisines. We’d offer to save you a seat but that’s not how these food hall things work.
Frost Science brings back its popular Friday night laser light shows, starting January 14. So, why should you care? This state-of-the-art throwback pairs hit songs from popular artists with illuminated displays shown across an 8K projection screen. The music-themed nights feature tunes from The Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones and more. It’s as if your favorite movie theater experience and an actually fun night at the symphony combined. What’s not to love?
Edgewater’s 95-year-old Women’s Club is getting a revamp and a new tenant next year: Klaw, a crabcentric restaurant from entrepreneur Sasha Krilov and Russian restaurateur Mikhail Zelman—who’s behind some of London’s hottest restaurants, including Burger & Lobster. The elegant space will take up three floors and feature multiple dining rooms, a rooftop bar and a large aquarium housing most of what will eventually be your dinner. We can’t wait.
Homegrown GroundUP Music Festival returns to the North Beach Bandshell after a two-year hiatus. Hosted and headlined by the jazz-funk collective Snarky Puppy (which founded GroundUP in 2017), this three-day beach fest gives attendees an intimate experience via songwriting workshops with artists, oceanfront masterclasses and hangouts with musicians. The lineup includes Space Jam with Kimbra, Emily King, Moonchild and Cory Henry among others.
The country’s largest outdoor food market is landing in Miami next spring, and we’re pumped. Smorgasburg, of New York City and Los Angeles fame, has been around for about a decade, giving home chefs and small-time eateries a low-risk chance at success. Miami’s is set to open in Wynwood in March, sprawling some 50,000 square feet next door to the Wynwood Walls where it’ll welcome 60 food vendors and 10 retail shops. Expect ample picnic seating, a large central bar and the likes of several Miami favorites, including Ted’s Burgers and Drinking Pig BBQ.
The City of Miami Beach is turning its shoreline into one of the most exciting stages this spring. Dubbed Miami Beach Live! The monthlong festival happens every weekend in March, offering free thematic programming, workshops, culinary showcases, art exhibitions and more. The real attraction, though, are the concerts. Erasure, Alanis Morissette, Juanes and Bernadette Peters all headline massive (and free!) concerts on the beach throughout the fest.