There’s no better time than the dead of winter to plan a trip to a warm, sun-soaked location. Miami is just the place for those looking to escape the cold. Situated on the east coast of south Florida, this vibrant city has it all. Between the mouthwatering cuisine, world-class shopping, and the constant breeze from the Atlantic, there are endless reasons to put Miami on the short list of places to go when you need to get away.
Soak Up the Cuban Culture
After Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, hundreds of thousands of Cubans fled to Miami, bringing their vibrant culture with them. While many have moved to other areas of the city, the Cuban influence can still be seen throughout Miami, especially in Little Havana. Head to Calle Ocho to take in Mediterranean-style houses, cigar shops, Maximo Gomez park (better known as Domino Park), Latin music, and, of course, flavor-packed food. These all help to contribute to the authentic Cuban vibe of the neighborhood.
Hit the Beach
No trip to Miami is complete without a day spent seaside. South Beach may be the city’s most famous stretch of sand, but it’s certainly not the only one the tropical town has to offer. With 35 miles of shoreline, Miami’s beaches are as many and diverse as its tourists. For a casual spot with a welcoming vibe, head to Sunny Isles Beach. This barrier island boasts a two mile long stretch of white sand, clear waters (perfect for snorkeling and diving), and the historic Newport Fishing Pier, a local landmark and popular fishing spot.
Indulge in Some Retail Therapy
Though the beach may be its claim to fame, Miami is also well-known for its plethora of super-posh boutiques and high-end retail stores. For a shopping experience that offers both history and luxury, spend the afternoon at Lincoln Road Mall. Once known as the “Fifth Avenue of the South,” Lincoln Road is still regarded as one of the great shopping streets in America. The pedestrian-only, open-air district houses upscale retail, local luxury fashion boutiques (like the popular Alchemist), and high-end novelty and gift shops. That’s not even mentioning all the cafes, coffee shops, eateries, and art galleries.
Take in the Local Art
While the city boasts dozens of art museums and galleries, there’s one in particular that stands out. Wynwood Walls is an open-air space located in the colorful Wynwood Arts District that was conceived by the late Tony Goldman in 2009. The space utilizes the neighborhood’s converted warehouses as canvases for graffiti and street art—a genre that Goldman believed was underappreciated and not historically respected. Since its inception, the Walls has featured more than 50 artists whose work covers 80,000 square feet of walls (with some murals spanning multiple blocks).