What do you do when you have a whole day to yourself? Look no further than the Miami Design District where a French breakfast, an afternoon of luxury, and a Turkish-Greek supper awaits.
Start your day off on the right foot with a visit to Buena Vista Bakery where the smell of freshly baked chocolate almond croissants will greet you. If that doesn’t wake you up, a cup of java from nearby local roaster Panther Coffee might. 4590 NE 2nd Ave. Miami, 305-576-3945
If there’s anywhere to shop 'til you drop it’s the Design District. Feel like a kid in an opulent candy store as you peruse the city blocks oozing pure luxury. Think Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Bulgari, and even Jonathan Adler. Whether it’s a timeless Cartier you’re looking for, red soles from Christian Louboutin, or even just window shopping, you’ll find it all here.
Shopping counts as cardio, right? After being on your feet all morning, head over to James Beard winner Michael Schwartz’s namesake restaurant. While you simply can’t go wrong at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, do it right with the deviled eggs, chicken liver crostini, and house-made pastrami sandwich. Don’t forget to finish it off with one of Hedy Goldsmith’s infamous treats, like strawberry shortcake in a jar. 130 NE 40th St. Miami, 305-573-5550
Forget venturing over to Miami’s Arts District to scope out street art—the Design District’s got a few of its own murals to take in and photograph like Jungle and Vortex by 2X4. Once you’ve analyzed those works, move on to enjoy a bit of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein at contemporary art gallery Adamar Fine Arts. 4141 NE Second Ave. 305-576-1335
A lingering afternoon is complete only with a proper Old Fashioned. Get it at Michael Schwartz’s ode to fine dining, The Cypress Room. There are only eight seats at the bar, so be sure to snag one quickly, and skip ahead to the cocktails chapter of the book of a menu. 3620 NE Second Ave. Miami, 305-520-5197
There’s something about Mandolin that’s simply irresistible—perhaps it’s the white and blue façade that transports you to the heart of the Greek islands, or the picturesque courtyard enveloped by oak trees and lit by lanterns. It could also be that the Turkish-Greek fare is undeniably fresh (the herbs are plucked from the on-site garden) and delicious. 4312 NE Second Ave. Miami, 305-576-6066
Get cozy on one of the couches at live music venue/bar The Stage, which has the look and feel of a coffee shop and the energy of a comedy club. Views of the stage are available from every seat in the house, so you’ll be able to not just hear what's happening, but also see local and national acts, which range from jazz and hip-hop to reggae and alternative. 170 NE 38th St., Miami, 305-576-9577
Did all that dancing and drinking make you hungry again? Stop by La Latina on your way home for an arepa, a Venezuelan stuffed corn cake, unlike any other; these authentic pockets of heaven are gluten-free and filled with hormone-free meat, so you’ll feel better about noshing in the late hours of the night. Be sure to try the reina pepiada—house-made chicken salad with avocado—and don’t be afraid to sauce it up. 3509 NE Second Ave. Miami, 305-571-9655