What’s your first reaction when someone says they’ve just booked a holiday to Miami?
Bikini-dotted beaches as far as the eye can see? Cocktails in an Art Deco hotel bar? Or watching the dolphins at Miami’s famous Seaquarium?
Sun, sand, sea and cocktails aside, Miami is as rewarding for culture vultures as it is for the “fly-and-flop” brigade whose idea of the ideal holiday is sun…and more sun!
If you can tear yourself off the sunlounger, the Big Orange and American timeshare favourite has a lot to offer on the cultural front.
Here are five ways to enjoy the fruits of Miami’s art and cultural scene:
Take a walk on the Deco side
It’s in all the guide books and for good reason, because Miami’s Art Deco District is an absolute must-visit while you’re in the South Beach area. Candy-coloured buildings with hotel names emblazoned in iconic “art deco fonts” line the streets, dating back to the ‘20s and ‘30s.
These hotels were often something completely different in their former lives…drinking dens or holiday homes for the working class. It’s a fascinating district to explore.
Admire the world’s most amazing Graffiti Wall
Never heard of Wynwood Walls? This once semi-derelict warehouse district is now the biggest street graffiti gallery in the States – street artists from all over the world have left their mark on it. Every second Saturday, the public can come and view it for free with art walks when local galleries open their doors, and street food and drinks add to the arty atmosphere.
Treat your ears to a night at the New World Centre
New York and LA are famous for their concert halls but Miami’s New World Centre, designed by famous contemporary architect Frank Gehry, is up there with the best of them. Home to the New World Symphony, you’ll be amazed when the walls of this fascinating building are transformed into a performance space – films are screened onto a huge 7,000 square foot project wall. Better still, these special screenings are often free.
Devour some culture at the Wolfsonian Museum
Miami’s famous Wolfsonian Museum is located smack bang in the heart of the Art Deco district and it’s a brilliant place to while a few hours (perhaps if it’s cloudy outside). You’ll find collections dated from the late 1800’s to circa 1945. If you’re after a cultural fix, it won’t disappoint.
Have fun in Little Havana
Spice things up with a trip to Miami’s Cuban quarter where the food is hot, the cigars are the best in the world and the music will take you to Havana shores…it’s a wonderful melting pot of cultures and while you’re exploring, stop for a sweet, strong Cuban coffee – it’ll set you up for the rest of the morning!