Next weekend, I’m flying from Toronto to Miami to host : a round table for women in creative industries at The Wolfsonian in the Art Deco District of Miami Beach, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve never been to that part of Florida and, though I’m only in town for a day, today’s 24-hour guide from could not have come at a more perfect time.
Abby is a freelance interior stylist and shop owner of , an online design store. She and her husband have two daughters, Beatrice (7) and Josephine (2), and have enjoyed watching Miami change over the years, making it “the perfect place to live and not just vacation,” Abby says. Similar to our Orlando guide last month, Florida has seen a lot of change over the last decade; there’s tons of new museums and music venues, and truly inspirational fairs that take over the city such as , and . Though Abby’s schedule may be hectic, if she had a day all to herself in Miami, today’s guide would be how she’d spend it.
9 am: A great start to anyone’s day would be a visit to in Wynwood. This bright bakery and cafe sells everything that’s baked, natural and delicious (they serve lunch, too, but are closed on Saturday).
Wynwood is an area that has boomed relatively recently with new shops, restaurants and creative agencies appearing every day. One of the most recent is , which sells its self-designed, Miami-centric cards and stationery alongside a beautifully fun selection of confetti, stickers and balloons.
Wynwood’s most noticeable feature is its public art, which adorns pretty much every exterior wall in the neighborhood. Possibly the two most Instagrammed artworks are the graphic black and white stripes of (home to a great hair salon, ) and the dripping rainbow diamonds by (which are part of a wonderful outdoor space called ).
11 am: Still in Wynwood, I love to pop into cozy, overgrown to check out their terrariums full of succulents and fresh flowers (they also have a coffee bar). While you’re there, also pop into .
This bright and airy concept store sells a wonderful variety of small housewares, jewelry and clothing and is a great place to find a gift. Also close by is eyewear company ‘s new store. The color of their soothing ice blue walls was apparently inspired by the Blue-Footed Booby (Google it, you’ll see…). They also have an overhead “photo-booth.” Just enter your email address, swiftly get into position on their yellow lounger, et voila! You have a cheery snap of yourself sent to your inbox.
Another yummy interior belongs to with its tropical, leafy wallpaper and fluorescent pink sign.
Noon: Downtown Miami is another area that is undergoing massive change, thanks largely to the addition of (Pérez Art Museum Miami).
This stunning structure was designed by Hertzog & de Meuron and the museum’s restaurant, , is one of my favorite places for lunch. A glass of prosecco and a squash blossom pizza on the vast bay-view terrace among the hanging gardens pretty much makes my day. The museum store is always worth a quick peek, too. Afterwards I like to take a walk along the waterfront of the newly completed and check out some of the ridiculously big yachts docked alongside. The prettiest bridge between the mainland and “the beach” (Officially Miami Beach) is the Venetian Causeway* with its varied residential architecture, beautiful views and pelicans just hanging out. The entrance to the Venetian is less than a mile from PAMM and the causeway itself is just under three miles long.
*Note: The Venetian Causeway is closed until early 2016 for renovations. To reach South Beach from the mainland take 195 or 395 (the larger bridges either side).
2 pm: At the end of the Venetian you’ll reach the . Sit by the pool here and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven (seriously). Their outdoor restaurant, the , is another great spot for lunch with its bright furniture and abundance of native Florida greenery. The Standard’s spa here is fantastic and their Fetish Pedicure is an absolute treat.
3 pm: A short walk from the Standard is Sunset Harbor, which is home to restaurants, boutiques and yoga studios. is a beautifully-styled lingerie boutique that sells delicate underwear in a rainbow array of colors alongside swimwear and (gorgeous) clothes for young girls.
Just along from Eberjey is , a super-stylish clothing store that also sells lovely jewelry and , which calls itself a café but is so much more.
4 pm: A visit to Miami isn’t complete without a walk down . This pedestrianized street is loved by tourists and locals alike and is home to the best of the best high-street chains (Anthropologie, J. Crew and CB2) as well as a few Miami–based stores. is a local treasure with a wonderful selection of books, magazines and children’s toys. And their restaurant is a favorite among pretty much everyone I know. At the end of Lincoln Road is the ; a magnificent Frank Gehry-designed concert hall. In the winter its Wallcast concerts are displayed on a 7,000-square-foot wall people are encouraged to enjoy them with a picnic on the lawn.
5 pm: At the tip of south Beach is my favorite park in Miami, South Pointe Park. My family and I often take a blanket and picnic on a Friday afternoon and watch the cruise ships as they sail out to the Caribbean directly alongside the park. The park has rolling (mini) hills, twisting pathways and a playground which my girls love.
7 pm: is a small and cozy Italian restaurant not far from South Pointe. Across the street from its sidewalk tables is the iconic building at 404 Washington Avenue whose multicolored lights provide entertainment during dinner. When I first moved to Miami, my first job was in this building…I have fond memories of working late and ordering scrumptious Penne Dell Appennino.
Later: is a bustling bar on Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street in Little Havana) which has a fascinating history dating back to 1935. It recently reopened with Paella Sundays, salsa classes and live bands which perform on their impressive, open-air “Pineapple Stage.” On my last Saturday night outing to B&C, a Cuban band were keeping people dancing (I’m sure) long after I hopped into my Uber…
: No visit to Miami would be complete without some time spent at a swanky South Beach hotel. Ian Schreager’s Miami Beach Edition is possibly the best and one of its restaurants, Market at Edition (conceived as a 21st century food bazaar), is a favorite of mine. I love this casual restaurant’s beautiful interior, abundance of pretty cakes on pedestals and fresh smoothies that you can take to go.
: This lovely Italian restaurant is in Sunset Harbor and has the most wonderful pasta dishes and a cheese plate to die for.
: I’m English and so naturally I love tea. However, like most Brits, I prefer “builder’s tea” (black tea with milk and sugar), nothing at all fancy. Small Tea in Coral Gables stocks lots of very fancy tea so I go there to eat rather than sip; I love the grain-rich lunch menu and the incredibly detailed wooden interior.
: The Biltmore is a Miami landmark and a must-see. Built in the 1920s the hotel has hand-painted frsecos on vaulted ceilings, beautiful grounds and a HUGE swimming pool (225 feet long). There are several restaurants and bars of which my favorite is Fontana, where you eat in the central courtyard surrounded by lush greenery.
: Choices Café is a wonderful vegan restaurant with several branches in Miami. My go-to is the Mental Lentil wrap.
: I recently discovered this wonder of a farm which is situated in Homestead about 30 miles from downtown Miami. Drive to Homestead and you feel a world away from the city, surrounded by fields of banana, mango and pineapple trees. Isaac Farms specializes in succulents and has one of the largest collections in the US. They’re also open at the weekend unlike many of the Homestead nurseries.