Ocean Drive is the easternmost street in South Beach. It stems from south of First to 15th Street, running in a north-south direction. It is also famous for being the site of Casa Casuarina, Gianni Versace’s former oceanfront mansion.
Stay: The Carlyle Hotel on Ocean Drive near 13th Street is an iconic art deco landmark. Built in 1939, it is one of the most sought-after settings for photo shoots, televised programming and Hollywood films.
Eat: Miami is also home to several prominent restaurants, including News Café, Mango’s Tropical Café and the MTV-popularized Clevelander.
Collins Avenue runs parallel to Ocean, one block west.
Stay: There are also a number of fancy hotels in the area, worth checking out. Try the Shore Club, it has a glitzy outdoor lounge/pool area called Skybar. Another promising experience is to walk through Delano, one of many swanky hotels in the area.
Eat/party: Depending on your mood, head to the elegant Mynt Ultralounge or Rokbar, a rollicking dance venue.
South Beach has an active club and bar scene. It is host to more than 150 clubs and other venues, most of which close at 5:00 am. Overall, the clubs have an exorbitant cover charge and are slightly overrated. Make sure you see Lincoln Road in South Beach—an open-air pedestrian mall, as well as a premiere hotspot for shopping.
Eat/party: To spend a day of pure fun here, I recommend renting a scooter, eating Haitian food at Tap-Tap or head to Van Dyke Café, a vibrant old-timer known for a broad menu, music and people-watching. You can later head to Jazid on Washington Avenue to hear some local reggae and Latin bands over a nightcap. Lincoln Road also has several popular restaurants like Spris for Italian food. If good Mexican food is what you crave, try the Homestead area, which has a number of hole-in-the-wall type of places like Rositas or El Nicamex. Setai, The Forge and Purdy Lounge are a few of the other big names.
Washington Avenue is one of the best known streets in South Beach. Running parallel to Ocean and Collins, it is known for some of the world’s largest and most popular nightclubs.
Downtown is the heart of Miami, on the east side. The area is South Florida’s main business district and home to several major financial and tourist attractions.
Eat/party: Downtown has some fun joints to hang out in like Club Space, offering a good mix of eclectic music and people.
Wynwood, located north of Downtown Miami, is the arts hub of south Florida—complete with murals, street art, graffiti and other interesting outdoor art. With more than 70 galleries and museums, restaurants and bars, the neighbourhood is buzzing with activity all the time!
Some of the best beaches here are located in Key Biscayne, just south of Downtown Miami. At the end of the Key, lies Bill Baggs State Park and the Crandon Park, both of which make interesting sights.
The southern side of Miami includes Coconut Grove. Coconut Grove has a number of bohemian shops. A popular hangout area, "the Grove" also has a number of clubs.
The western side of Miami includes Little Havana, West Flagler and Flagami. The area is home to a number of immigrants from Central America and Cuba. It is also good for trying out some authentic Cuban food (sandwiches, espresso, etc.). Top picks include the Versailles restaurant located right on Calle Ocho, the main drag of the Little Havana neighbourhood. Stroll around to find cute little cigar shops and other little cafetarias that provide a true Cuban feel. If you are lucky, you might also catch some street action in the form of traditional festivals!
Little Haiti: The ethnic Miami neighbourhood that’s the cultural heart of the Haitian Diaspora. Here you’ll find an amazing mix of Haitian art galleries, books and music stores, and the Little Haiti Cultural Center, which regularly hosts dance and theater performances.
Lastly, the northern side of Miami includes Midtown, a district with a great diverse mix.