48 hours in Miami

By Travis Cohen

Photography by antoniodibacco/Getty Images

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With its sandy beaches, laid-back yet trendy atmosphere, Art Deco details and distinctly Latin vibe, Miami is the ideal place to get away from it all or be part of the action. We asked local writer, Travis Cohen, for his tips on making the most of 48 hours in the Magic City.

Day one

08:30 – Read all about it

Get up and out early to catch the city waking up and coming to life. Why not stretch your jetlagged legs and wander along the most famous strip in the city, Ocean Drive? Pop over to The News Café, a true Miami Beach mainstay, kick back with a cappuccino and a plate of huevos rancheros and enjoy some of the world’s best people watching.

11:00 – City on the sea

Famed for its Art Deco buildings, celebrity sightings and spectacular wide sandy beaches, Miami Beach is the perfect post-breakfast stop. Kick off your sandals, wet your toes in the turquoise seawater, and soak up the sun and the sounds of waves, music and mix of languages being spoken.

Kick back with a cappuccino and a plate of huevos rancheros and enjoy some of the world’s best people watching

14:00 – Picnic at the Pointe

Joe’s Stone Crab  is one of the oldest restaurants in town and arguably the most famous, known for its deliciously fresh seafood and longstanding first-come first-served policy. What many don’t know is that Joe’s offers take-away for many its sought after standards, from stone crab claws to their absolutely essential hash browns. Get your lunch to go and head to South Pointe Park to watch the cruise ships leaving the Port of Miami.

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  • Feast on a Cuban sandwich ©Getty

    Healthy appetite

    As well as delicious Creole cuisine, visitors to Miami shouldn’t leave without trying some other local delicacies, like stone crab, arepas, croquetas, the Cuban sandwich or a fritas burger.

    Things to do in Miami
  • Check yourself in to the effortlessly cool Miami Beach EDITION

    A little luxury

    Besides having its own private beach, the Miami Beach EDITION also boasts a 1950s Havana-style nightclub, a bowling alley and even an ice rink, as well as a top-class spa.

    Book a stay
  • Take in the sights of Little Haiti © @Getty

    Be independent

    Little Haiti is brimming culture not yet touched by huge swathes of tourists. Explore the traditional family-run eateries, burgeoning independent shops and alternative art spaces.

    Explore Miami

17:00 – Lively Lincoln

What better place to walk off your hearty lunch than Miami Beach’s outdoor shopping mecca, Lincoln Road Mall? You’ll find something for everyone here and there’s no shortage of entertainment as a cast of characters tries to earn your time and dime with all manners of strange antics. Whether you buy something or not, you’re certain to leave with a story.

19:00 – Setting the standard

Just beyond the end of Lincoln Road is the Venetian Causeway, one of the more peaceful arteries connecting the beach to the mainland. Make your way to the first island along the chain of bridges and head to the bar of The Standard Miami Beach for a sunset cocktail or two on Biscayne Bay.

21:00 – Old-school style

Once you’ve had a chance to catch your breath back at the hotel, head out for dinner and dancing at one of Miami’s oldest bars, Ball and Chain. Boasting a venue that dates back to the 1930s, this Little Havana establishment has found new life serving up casual Cuban cuisine with a twist and hosting some of the best live salsa in the city. Fight off the jet lag and try out those moves and a mojito.

Day two

10:00 – Start the day right

Sleep in, there’s no rush to get to your first port of call for breakfast. Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop  is about as quintessential a Cuban cafeteria as there is. Whether you just get a pastelito (a puff pasty with a sweet or savoury filling) or something more substantial, like the bistec al caballo (Colombian steak and eggs), make sure you start your morning with a café Cubano – it’ll pump you full of enough sugary goodness to power through the day ahead.

  • Take in the sea views with a refreshing drink at a seaside café © Getty

    Did you know

    Miami is the only city in the USA bordered by two National Parks, the Everglades and Biscayne – perfect for a break from the buzz of the city.

    Book flights to Miami

12:00 – Walk through Wynwood

The Wynwood neighbourhood is where a lot of Miami graffiti and street art was born, and since it’s blossomed into Miami’s official arts district – there are over 70 galleries – that heritage of street art has held strong. Every former warehouse building – now housing bars, restaurants, and boutiques – is adorned with murals by artists from around the world, making Wynwood a unique and entrancing place to wander.

15:00 – Captivated by Creole

The Haitian influence, long part of the Magic City’s identity, is never more apparent than in Little Haiti. Make your way to Leela’s Restaurant for a plate of Haitian griot (a lip-tingling pork dish) or to Cayo Esquivel for some spicy seafood. Once you’ve had your fill, swing by Libreri Mapou. This beloved bookstore has over 3,000 titles in Haitian, Creole, and English as well as newspapers from Port-au-Prince to Paris and serves as a nerve centre of Haitian creativity.

18:00 – See from the sea

There’s no better way to appreciate the beauty of this city than from the water. The Millionaire’s Row Cruise offers an hour and a half of the best views of Downtown, Brickell Key, Fisher Island and, if you time it right, you’ll get to see it all under the setting sun.

21:00 – Through the grapevine

After a pitstop back at your hotel, start your night at Lagniappe just over the bridge in Midtown. You’ll find a remarkable wine selection, simple, yet delicious food ranging from fine cheeses to perfectly prepared steaks, and a bohemian backyard atmosphere. Grab a bottle, a bite and a chair and while away the hours between the palm trees out back.

Late night – A corner of town

Sleep can wait if you want to experience true Miami. The Corner is a local watering hole, open until well past sunrise and sating the thirsts of one of the most interesting, cross-sections of drinkers in the city. Join in with the crowd and toast to your time in Miami.

Where to stay

Make the most of the Miami Beach Edition’s the private beach access and 50s-inspired outdoor pool.

The Confidante  by Hyatt is an oceanfront hotel that mixes kitsch touches with mid-century glamour. Stop by its Bird & Bone restaurant to sample local chef Richard Hales’ classic American menu made using the best local ingredients.

Offering a boutique Art Deco experience, Clinton South Beach is moments from Ocean drive and Lincoln Road Mall is ideal for sightseeing or relaxing.