Don’t be daunted by the shirtless set — even foodies, art lovers, and band geeks can find their scene in Miami’s hottest district.
1. Secrets of South Beach, Miami: FLAGLER MEMORIAL ISLAND
Half a mile from South Beach, this three-acre, man-made island in Biscayne Bay has remained totally undeveloped, and is only reachable by private boat, Jet Ski, or, the best way, South Beach Kayak’s Fool Moon tour. On Saturdays closest to the full moon, kayakers embark on a sunset tour of the bay islands, ending with s’mores over a beach bonfire. Depart from Maurice Gibb
2. Secrets of South Beach, Miami: MONTY’S RAW BAR
With its no-frills tiki hut and plastic chairs, you’d never guess you were at the Miami Beach Marina, home to multimillion-dollar yachts. Have a cold one and a slice of key lime pie as you watch the boats set sail.
3. Secrets of South Beach, Miami: MY CEVICHE
Skip the long line at Joe’s Stone Crab for James Beard nominee Samuel Gorenstein’s fresh spin on seafood.
Despite the chef’s pedigree, it’s take-out or delivery only, so the best way to enjoy the ceviche (octopus, fish, or shrimp) is a picnic in nearby South
4. Secrets of South Beach, Miami: WOLFSONIAN-FIU
Think South Beach is only about art deco? Step inside Florida International University’s design museum, where movements such as modernism and art nouveau are well represented in the 120,000 pieces of furniture, posters, and textiles from 1885 to 1945. And the onsite shop is a trove of usable gifts: retro cardboard suitcases, Mondrian-inspired boxes, or a USB drive based on the 1929 Wrestler statue in the lobby.
5. Secrets of South Beach, Miami: DAVID’S CAFE
Locals looking for a taste of old Miami amid the glitz swear by the Cuban sandwiches and cafés con leche at this 24-hour spot, opened by Cuban immigrants in 1977 in a former Jewish deli.
6. Secrets of South Beach, Miami: MIAMI BEACH SOUNDSCAPE
Next to Frank Gehry’s New World Center symphony hall is a two-and-a-half acre park that brings Mozart to the masses via its live Wallcast series: Select concerts are projected onto a 7,000-square-foot wall, while 167 speakers around the park mimic the sound inside the hall.
7. Secrets of South Beach, Miami: RIVIERA HOTEL SOUTH BEACH
This hotel, situated in an art deco building two blocks from the sand, added 50 rooms in May. A chic palette of dark hardwood floors, crisp white sheets, and tangerine accent pillows belie the great price point.