Q I’m planning a two-week birthday celebration trip to Miami. What do you recommend?
James Litston, freelance travel writer & industry consultant: The obvious place to stay is South Beach, but why not mix things up and head to the formerly unfashionable Mid-Beach? New hotels such as the Edition, Faena and Como Metropolitan (a restored art deco gem) make this Miami’s most talked-about stretch of shore. For a change of scene, relocate inland to affluent Coral Gables for a few days at The Biltmore Hotel, a recently-refurbished Miami icon that’s home to America’s largest swimming pool. After that, take a short flight to Key West and check into the Southernmost Beach Resort (literally the USA’s most southerly address). Then, because it’s your birthday, rent a convertible and island-hop your way back to Miami on the Overseas Highway via a final few days on Islamorada at the newly renovated Cheeca Lodge & Spa. Bon Voyage can tailor-make this holiday from £2,987 per person, based on two sharing (including flights, room-only accommodation and car hire).
Suzie Sponder, director of media relations, Europe, GMCVB: South Beach is an architecture buff’s paradise, but you’ll definitely want to spend some of your time in Miami exploring other areas. At the top of my list is the Wynwood Arts District, one of Miami’s trendiest, up-and-coming neighbourhoods. The best way to see the district is to take a mural tour with Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide, where you can explore the neighbourhood by bike or on a golf cart (great way to beat the heat and cover lots of ground). There are lots of local breweries to help with that too. My favourite spots are Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, 1-800-Lucky and the Wynwood Yard.
Nearby, you can visit the aspirational Miami Design District, a creative neighbourhood and shopping destination dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining. Even if you can’t afford to shop there, you’ll find lots of art in public places, plus the new St Roch Market and Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).
Finally, no trip to Miami would be complete without a visit to the Everglades National Park. Don’t miss the Everglades Alligator Farm — you can take a 10-minute airboat ride there that beats any ride at an amusement park.
Published in the Jul/Aug 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)