A quick guide to the ultimate weekend in Miami, any time of year, with lots of basking in the sun, art walks and a little Latin flavor. Three days should be more than enough to check out avant-garde art installations in Wynwood, shop in the Design District, and check out a melting pot of Latin heritage in Little Havana. Given short driving distances between these neighborhoods, it’s possible to explore Miami’s multiple identities in a weekend without feeling rushed.
DAY ONE: MIAMI BEACH
Your first destination should be Miami Beach. Enjoy some immediate surf-and-sun time! The sand is powdery-white and depending on the time of year, the water’s temperature is just right. Once you get tired of sun bathing, venture out on an Art Deco safari. The most densely populated stretch of Deco is found along Ocean Drive, from Fifth to 15th streets, which also happens to be the beach’s most touristy area. So do some shopping and then enjoy the obligatory mojito—the unofficial official cocktail of the city—before graduating to Miami’s more advanced offerings in mixology.
The city’s night life has endless options for clubs, and bars. If this is your scene, I suggest you look up popular clubs on instagram or facebook and request to be added to the guest list. This way you’ll avoid paying a cover charge, and waiting in line. My friends and I usually end up getting into the VIP area where the drinks are free!
DAY TWO: WYNWOOD WALLS
Head out to the Art District and check out Miami’s ever-expanding enclave of artist-commissioned graffiti murals. Once a concrete wasteland of abandoned industrial warehouses, Wynwood Walls has transformed this neighborhood into an artistic outdoor public space that attracts locals and tourists alike. There used to be nothing but gray walls in this neighborhood. Now it looks like massive outdoor art gallery. My friends and I went a little crazy and took way too many pictures!
DAY THREE: LITTLE HAVANA
Visit the city’s most famous ethnic enclave, Little Havana! I loved strolling through the famous Calle Ocho. Little Havana is the core of Miami’s Hispanic community. Originally a Cuban neighborhood, Little Havana is now a melting pot of Latin American immigrants. It gives you an accurate glimpse into real life in Spanish-speaking Miami and it’s a great place to watch Cuba’s old guard face off over dominos in Maximo Gomez Park.
My favorite memory was meeting a nice Cuban grandpa who treated all my girlfriends to a 50 cent “Cortadito” (a shot of Cuban coffee with steamed milk).
This is also the place to watch cigar rollers hand roll stogies at family-run factories. And break your diet and indulge in tasty Cuban food & desserts!