- The 13th annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE takes place February 20-23, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. The four day, star-studded destination event features the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. And we can't wait!
- Whether you’re an art deco buff or first-time visitor to Miami, the Miami Art Deco walking tour should be on your list of to-dos. Tour guides Christine and Robert will show you the ins and outs of Ocean Drive, Miami’s famous street that has a history as colorful as its pastel-hued architecture.
- From Little Havana to Ybor City, Florida has a serious history with the cigar industry, and the future is anything but smoky. Check out our favorite stores to buy the best cigars in Miami and Tampa from our special Viva Florida 500 issue, celebrating 500 years of Florida.
- The Weekend: Get spoiled at the W Hotel in South Beach. Whatever you need for a weekend of beach, dining and indulgence is just steps away at this resort.
Start Here: Everything at the towering W South Beach has a cool name — the pool is called Wet, the fitness center is Sweat and the staff are W Insiders. Book one of the 26 VIP suites on the 18th floor that comes with services of a personal concierge at your beck and call — key for dinner reservations, spa bookings or whatever else you crave.
Weekend To Dos:
1. Begin your day with an invigorating walk on the Atlantic shoreline and then claim a poolside cabana, where you can linger with pitchers of fresh berry lemonade, spiked with Ultimat Vodka, and platters of tortilla chips and house-made guacamole.
2. Decked out in pop-art colors of tangerine and lime green against pure white, Bliss Spa is the place to grab a late afternoon ginger rub. The treatment’s warm foil wrap will completely relax you after a day of swimming and sun.
3. Don't visit the W without dining at The Dutch. Chef Andrew Carmellini’s pork loin, wrapped in prosciutto and served with a salchicha polenta that’s whipped with milk to enhance its creamy texture, scores for flavor. Dessert is a short walk to in-house Wall nightclub, where your name will be on the VIP list — guaranteed if you book a VIP Suite.
- The Weekend: Explore art in Miami. The world-renowned Art Basel brings the contemporary art world’s social hoopla and high stakes to Miami every December, but the city’s artistic influence, from architectural mainstays to up-and-coming creators, is bustling year ’round.
Start Here: The Raleigh Hotel, in the heart of Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, is a stylish spot to start a citywide tour of the arts. The circa-1940s scalloped pool is a work of art unto itself.
1. Take a stroll from the Raleigh to join the Art Deco Walking Tour. Stops at iconic locations such as Casa Casuarina (the former mansion of designer Gianni Versace), the Carlyle (featured in the hit film The Birdcage) and The Palace Bar (site of Miami Beach’s first single-residence home) immerse you in over-the-top architechture and design, as well as give a taste of the city’s history.
2. Stay outdoors with a trip to Midtown’s Wynwood Arts District, home to the awe-inspiring Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Doors. Massive murals painted on the sides of abandoned warehouse buildings are larger than life, showcasing the talents of cutting-edge artists from all over the world as they reflect their visions of Miami.
3. Dine at the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar to keep yourself surrounded by the art of the walls. The drinks list pays homage to the street artists showing there, like the Nunca, a mojito-style cocktail with muddled strawberries, sake and mint that’s named after the Brazilian “grafiteiro” artist Nunca. — Susan Friedman
- The Weekend: Catch some race action at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Fast is better at Homestead-Miami Speedway, 35 miles south of Miami. Plenty of racing events, from go-cart competitions and motorcycle racing to street-legal car runs and NASCAR events, draw crowds 280 days of the year. But the big daddy is the grand finale of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in Mid-November.
Start Here: Book yourself at the Epic Hotel in downtown Miami, with easy access to State Road 836 and the Florida Turnpike — a 40-minute drive to the speedway. The sleek, 54-story hotel boasts panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami River, enjoyed from the room and 16th-floor pool area where cabanas, a fitness center and outdoor dining come together. The speedway works with the hotel to create race-day packages for the NASCAR championship, and you’ll most likely meet other race fans here.
Weekend To Dos:
1. Pick a spot at the Pit Box, the closest thing to a private club, and watch events from the start/finish line. Waiters serve drinks from a fully stocked open bar and foods with a Latin spin — sugar-cane chicken with dark rum and habanera mango salsa, and smoked chipotle rubbed pork loin. Splurge and book the Pit Box for three days at $800. But reserve early as NASCAR draws fans from around the world who consider this their bucket-list event and are ready to spend.
2. On the NASCAR champions weekend, the Richard Petty Driving Experience comes to the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Buckle into an authentic NASCAR racecar and feel the thrill as you ride shotgun for three laps at speeds up to 160 mph.
3. For a late-night dinner, head to Black Point Ocean Grill, tucked in the Black Point Marina off of Biscayne National Park, 20 minutes from the track and popular with racing fans. Enjoy South Florida’s balmy weather with a frosty beer, some peel-and-eat shrimp and a mahimahi sandwich on the waterfront patio.
- Can't decide between an ocean or a skyline view? At this hotel, you can have both.
- Find out where to go for a sexy drink — and try our favorite signature cocktail at The Setai in Miami Beach.
- New year, new you! Book a quick trip to one of these top Florida spa destinations and indulge in massages, fitness classes and delicious food from these relaxing resorts.
- Looking for a place to stay on Collins Avenue? Don't worry, we've got you covered for your Miami getaway. Check out our favorite little quirks about these hot South Beach hotels, and hotel hop your way to the beach.
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