Best things to do in Miami Beach
Part of the Faena District, the architecturally stunning event space hosts some of Miami’s best public gatherings. During Art Basel Miami Beach, it’s where you’ll find groundbreaking exhibitions and installations—like the kaleidoscopic floor designed by assume vivid astro focus (avaf). The site-specific piece doubles as a roller-skating rink and opens free to the public every second Sunday of the month. Bring your skates or rent a pair and make your way around to music from a live DJ.
If you visit one bar during your stay in Miami, make it the Broken Shaker. This indoor/outdoor watering hole sums up the city’s drinking culture down to its poolside seating and shareable punch bowls, which change seasonally. Not sure what to sip? Close your eyes, point to the menu and see where your finger lands—every cocktail served here is a good one.
On weekends, the lobby of the Fontainebleau could easily be mistaken for the pit at Coachella or the entrance gate to Ultra—it’s just that crowded with people pushing their way to the front of the line to enter Miami’s hottest club. Last summer’s million-dollar renovation added more LED screens that generate greater light spectacles to highlight its usual star-studded lineup—everyone from Travis Scott and Skrillex to Justin Bieber have held court at LIV. And for the uninitiated, LIV On Sunday remains the biggest hip-hop party in the world.
For all its luxury and richness—literally, drinks will run you upwards of $20—the Faena Miami Beach’s on-site theater has a steady roster of cool acts and even occasionally offers free programming, like a weeknight live band karaoke. Its cabaret-style setup lends itself to the sorts of experiential performances and intimate concerts you’ll see here—think interactive cirque cabaret Sensatia and Grammy-winning artist CeeLo Green.
Take advantage of the plush cabanas at Nobu Hotel Miami Beach (located within the Eden Roc), which are open to hotel guests and locals during select promotions. Book either an ocean garden or main pool cabana (priced at $250 and $200, respectively) and enjoy a luxury daycation with perks like complimentary prosecco, Fiji water and magazines to peruse while listening to a live DJ (on weekends). Hungry? Order Mexican bites from beach bar Gitano or the locally themed pool menu with options from Zak the Baker and Miami Smokers.
Photograph: Mike Butler
Few city parks offer the kind of variety that Haulover does: the 99-acre waterfront green space features picnic pavilions, offers easy parking and beach access and hosts a fun food truck festival every Tuesday from 5 to 9:30pm. It’s also a tan-line-free zone: Haulover is one of the few nude beaches in the county.
While most activities in this city require driving, Basement solves your transportation woes by grouping your favorite nighttime activities (and even some daytime things) into one super fun location. The underground space offers bowling under neon lighting and indoor ice skating, plus features a full bar and a dance floor.
A spa that ticks off our proverbial list of wellness wants—hidden, quiet, vast and with spotty cell reception (yes!)—Lapis caters to those seeking a relaxing escape as well as the tired and hectic who need a quick rubdown. For the former, paradise awaits in numerous hydrotherapy rooms and saunas. The spa recently introduced medical-grade skin treatments, such as microneedling and dermaplaning, to supercharge your fresh glow.
Summers are notoriously hot in Miami, but there’s still nowhere else we’d rather be at the end of a long week trapped under fluorescent lighting than the beach. And on the first Friday of the month, that means heading north to Surfside for an oceanfront picnic, complete with drum circles and family-friendly activities. Bring your own food or purchase snacks and themed dishes on site. Friday Beaching is on hiatus but resumes summer 2018.
Tee up at one of the few golf courses in Miami Beach. Just outside of South Beach, and a few blocks away from the water, the historic greens—designed by foremost golf course designer Arthur Hills—boasts 18 holes and offers lessons for all levels of expertise.
There isn’t a single person who likes trekking to the beach with chairs and umbrellas, but a day on the sand isn’t as enjoyable when you're lying on a towel. Instead, spring for a day pass at the Confidante and score access to beach chairs, pool loungers, the hotel’s fitness center and outdoor showers, plus get discounted valet, all for just $35.
Unlike regular spas, where you go for individual treatments, this facility focuses on communal bathing, steaming, soaking and exercising. You’ll go in groups to soak off the day in one of many therapeutic pools or sweat out toxins in a steam room or sauna. Skin treatments like wraps and scrubs are also available.
This adorable music venue with a proscenium stage and bench seating is where you’ll catch Miami’s most eclectic bookings—think rare world music acts and Latin jazz brought to you by venue managers Rhythm Foundation. A host of local food and drink vendors are known to pile into the intimate space, so you’ll never go hungry or thirsty while watching your favorite indie band perform.