From A to Z, Here's How to Spend Every Day in Miami This Summer

By Jon Warech | July 1, 2016 | Lifestyle Feature

Miami is hot—literally and figuratively—as the dog days of summer heat up the beach with 100-degree days and steamy Magic City nights. Here, Ocean Drive curates a complete list of what not to miss during July and August.


AmericAnAirlines ArenA
The Miami Heat are off negotiating contracts for the summer, so the house that Dwyane Wade built welcomes Justin Bieber (July 2–3) and Drake (August 30–31). If you’re more into the afterparty, odds are both Biebs and Drake will make their way to LIV, Story, or The Villa Casa Casuarina (where many were turned into “Beliebers” during the heartthrob’s last $50,000 two-night stay in town). 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Summers are for barbecuing, but who wants to do all that work? W South Beach Summer BBQ Series by The Dutch fulfills all of your grillin’ and chillin’ needs. Every Wednesday evening starting July 6, local chefs and breweries team up for a night of bourbon, beer, and barbecue, Miami style. 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-938-3111

Giancarlo Stanton! José Fernández! The boys of summer are back, and your Miami Marlins put on quite a show. Of course there are also special events like Yoga Day (July 10) with a postgame yoga class on the field and Dontrelle Willis Bobblehead Day (July 23), but nothing quite screams summer like a cold beer and hot dog at the ol’ ballgame. Marlins Park, 501 NW 16th Ave., Miami

Artist John Salvest’s can’t-miss solo show “Forever” from The Bass Museum of Art’s bassX gallery is on display at the Miami Beach Regional Library until July 10. His work features business cards, reclaimed medicine cabinets, used crutches, secondhand romance novels, and other everyday objects recontextualized into some pretty cool art. 227 22nd St., Miami Beach, 786-436-8133

In a more intimate concert setting, ray lamontagne (August 13) and Jill Scott (August 30) take the stage at The Fillmore in Miami Beach, while sublime with Rome (July 2) and rock legends Brand new and modest mouse (July 8) will intertwine their musical legacies in their first-ever co-headlining tour at Bayfront Park Amphitheater.

Get hands-on with chef Gaetano Ascione at Spasso Italian restaurant in Coconut Grove as he hosts a cooking class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Debone a fish, make authentic red sauce, and learn all the tricks from inside the kitchen of the famed chef who is known for his “brutally honest” cuisine. 3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove, 305-441-0219

DIY DrInks
Jealous of your kids’ summer camp stories? Adults can attend “Cocktail Camp” at Craft Social Club every Wednesday from 8 to 11 pm and learn cocktail mixing from bar manager Ray Tremblay. Use their rose-hibiscus or grapefruit-lime-jalapeño soda with an array of garnishes and bitters and feel like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. 100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786-216-7719

Through July 31, famed chef Daniel Boulud’s Mediterranean-inspired NYC eatery, Boulud Sud, will “pop up” in his Magic City brasserie. Order the grapefruit givré, which The New York Times lauded “as if straight from a cookbook by Escoffier and Ferran Adrià.” 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, 305-421-8800

It’s not a pool party unless there’s a Funboy luxury pool float involved. The inflatables made famous by Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Miami’s own Dave Grutman now have a swan float designed by Miami artist Alex Yanes in their lineup, which includes a flamingo, unicorn, lips—even a hashtag.


Clockwise from top left: Experience manatees up close at Manatee Lagoon; a Lou La Vie Lamborghini; Ball & Chain salsa lessons on Thursdays; oysters at db Bistro.

FontaInEblEau MIaMI bEaCh
There is no better getaway than a staycation at the famed Fontainebleau Miami Beach, which this summer has programming ranging from Michael Mina 74 mixology Wednesdays to painting lessons with a side of rosé at La Côte on Thursdays. There are also behind-the-scenes tours of the Fontainebleau’s pastry shop, Chez Bon Bon. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-535-3283

If you feel the need for speed, head to K1 Speed, where you can race electric go-karts on an indoor track at speeds upwards of 45 mph. It’s fun with the kids, but it’s even more fun when you leave the kids at home. 8600 NW South River Dr., Medley, 786-0612

Opened in 1939, Gulfstream Park has grown into a hotbed for horseracing, but now there is also a casino, top-notch restaurants, and shops. Nyquist won the Florida Derby here in April and went on to win the Kentucky Derby, so keep an eye out for the next big winner. 901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach

ICE VoDka bar
When the Miami heat hits unbearable levels, don’t just cool down—freeze down, at Drinkhouse Fire & Ice’s 23-degree Ice Vodka Bar, where guests don plush faux fur coats and gloves to survive the arctic temperatures while drinking their vodka straight. Who needs rocks when you’ve got 100,000 pounds of ice? 1672 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-534-2423

JuMp arounD!
Dance like no one is watching at Ball & Chain (1513 SW Eighth St., Miami), Calle Ocho’s retro jazz bar, where Billie Holiday once serenaded folks and master salsa instructor Rene Rodriguez teaches gratis salsa classes every Thursday night. Everyone from Gloria Estefan to Gigi Hadid has stepped up to the dance floor, including NFL star Antonio Brown, who flew in to practice during his run on Dancing with the Stars. Want to go all week? Enjoy five straight days of shaking your hips at the Miami Salsa Congress, the Latin music and dance festival held at Deauville Beach Resort from July 27 to 31. In its 15th year, the MSC features pool parties, workshops, concerts, and dance showcases from the world’s top salsa swingers.

There is no shortage of drum circles and parties celebrating the full moon, but on July 19 and August 18, join Blue Moon Outdoor Center for a Full Moon Kayak Tour around Biscayne Bay to Oleta’s private beach, followed by a bonfire and marshmallow roast. Don’t forget to bring glow sticks.

Islamorada, or as out-of-towners call it, “that place where they film Bloodline,” is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Miami, and it’s pure summer paradise. Sip a cocktail on a hammock on the private beach at Amara Cay Resort, get a Japanese facial or an island body massage at the Moorings Village & Spa, or celebrate the full moon at pierre’s at Morada Bay. If you’re up for traveling further, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is known as one of the most exclusive and captivating private islands in the world. At Key West’s Ocean Key Resort & Spa, the all-suite resort embraces the elegance of the West Indies while still capturing the playfulness of the Florida Keys.

Fast cars aren’t just for Tracy Chapman lyrics, so live life in the fast lane and swing by Lou La Vie to rent a Lamborghini or Ferrari for a weekend (or all summer). Just don’t go drag racing like Justin Bieber after you do it. 1444 Biscayne Blvd., Ste. 113, Miami, 305-974-1914

A day trip up to Manatee Lagoon, an FPL Eco-Discovery Center, is fun for the whole family with a multifunctional educational center, two levels of exhibit and observation areas, and a picnic area. Best of all, the “fun-filled flippers-and-whiskers” experience is on the lagoon! 6000 N. Flagler Dr., West Palm Beach, 561-626-2833

Miami Spice
Starts in August, which means delectable three-course lunches ($23) and dinners ($39) at almost every restaurant in town. The fun starts with Iron Fork from the Downtown Development Authority on July 28 at AmericanAirlines Arena. Attendees can sample food from more than 70 restaurants and watch some of the city’s finest chefs battle it out in a live cooking competition.

NocturNal Beats
Only in South Beach would there be a music store open Thursday through Sunday from 9 pm to 3 am, but such is the case at South Beach Music Exchange, where store owner Marty is happy to teach you to play guitar, drums, or a number of other instruments in the shop. 1771 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach, 305-984-5999

oNe epic summer pool party
The aptly named monthly series (taking place July 16 and August 13) at Epic Hotel downtown will be epic indeed, thanks to food, lots of booze, and an array of DJs blasting hits until well after the sun goes down. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, 305-424-5226

passport 305
Spend the whole summer like you are on vacation with Passport 305, a membership program that allows access to high-end boutique hotels. Work out in the gym, relax in the spa, and lounge by the pool at places like Nautilus, Hotel Astor, and Surfcomber.

retail therapy
Miami was just named the country’s number one retail market, so stroll around the high-end boutiques in the open-air Bal Harbour Shops or head to Aventura Mall, one of the largest malls in America. Meanwhile, the Design District, which recently added Tom Ford, Hermès, Dior, Theory, and Helmut Lang to the mix, is basically an entire neighborhood devoted to shopping.


From left: John Salvest’s sculpture Forever, 2013, is made using thousands of secondhand romance novels; the Bartender’s Table at Sweet Liberty Drink & Supply Company. below: Funboy flamingo pool float. opposite page: A Wynwood Walls flower mural by Fafi; Rainforest Riptide at Jungle Island.

No boat? No problem. Sailo lets you live the boat life for a half or full day. Whether it’s a romantic affair for two or party for 20, choose a boat from their inventory of 1,500 speed and sail boats, catamarans, or mega-yachts, and even get your own captain. Catering not included.

sweet liBerty DriNk & supply compaNy
If you’ve ever wanted to see a party through the eyes of the bartender, grab some friends and reserve the Bartender’s Table at Sweet Liberty Drink & Supply Company. For $75 a person, guests sit behind the bar and enjoy an hour-long food and cocktail tasting, while watching the common folk fight for space—and attention—at the bar. 237 20th St., Miami Beach, 305-763-8217

Miami Theater Center hosts a teen theater workshop for ages 13 to 18 from July 5 to 23, where, under the tutelage of Rosalind Thomas-Clark, students can sing, dance, and act their way through the summer. There are also two sessions of musical theater camp.

Every fourth Wednesday at the North Shore Bandshell (Collins Avenue and 73rd Street), the Miami Beach Food Truck and Music Fest welcomes trucks like GastroPod, Ms. Cheezious, and Mushaboom. There’s also Food Truck Tuesdays at Haulover Park (10800 Collins Ave.) and Third Thursdays in Surfside (95th Street between Collins and Harding Avenues).

ulTiMaTe challenge
Rainforest Riptide, a floating water playground and obstacle course, is back at Jungle Island. The massive structure located in Biscayne Bay off the coast of the Miami animal center has everything from a catapult to a climbing wall for the more adventurous. 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, 305-400-7000

Swimming in public pools is cool, especially when they’re almost as old as the city itself. The Venetian Pool, an 820,000-gallon natural spring created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry and recently brought up to date, is the perfect place to splash around this summer while soaking in the history of old Miami. PS: You’ll never find a cleaner swim—it’s drained every day! 2701 de Soto Blvd., Coral Gables, 305-460-5306

Forego sight and tap into your senses of smell, taste, and sound during Vizcaya Museum & Gardens’ dark dining event on July 13, which turns its latest “Lost Spaces and Stories of Vizcaya” exhibit into a full sensory experience and takes place on the property’s 100-year-old farm. $100 per person, 7:30 pm. 3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami

WellTh saTurdaYs
Brunch and yoga next to the mega-yachts at The Deck at Island Gardens’ WELLTH Saturdays, a weekly event hosted by yoga expert and author Dashama featuring yoga classes, a water blessing ceremony, breath work, meditation, music, dancing, and an organic brunch. The festivities kick off at 10:30 am. Island Gardens, 888 MacArthur Cswy.

Whether it’s Art Walk on the second Saturday of every month or the Wynwood Farmer’s Market every Saturday, weekends this summer are made for the graffitied neighborhood. Enjoy the street art, schmooze with locals, and while you’re there, check out the Wynwood Garden, the newest extension of the Wynwood Walls, or culinary incubator Wynwood Yard.

Have you ever sat at a bar in Miami and thought, Let’s move this party to the Bahamas? Lique Miami can make that happen, as the waterfront restaurant and lounge also happens to have a private yacht available for charter. Order your meal in North Miami and finish it at Atlantis Paradise Island. 3957 NE 163rd St., North Miami, 305-705-2425

Defy gravity, do handstands on a stranger, and practice the art of acrobatic partner yoga every Sunday at South Pointe Park’s acroyoga jams (usually from 3 to 7 pm), where the city’s top yogis school you in physical education—but with playtime.

Categories: Lifestyle Feature

photography by carol grant (manatees); Courtesy of Morgan LehMan gaLLery and the artist (forever); opposiite page: andrew Meade (fLower MuraL)

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