It’s a city at the seaside, with those miles of white sands on Miami Beach just a short drive via causeway from a number of interesting neighbourhoods.
South Beach is the trendiest district, famous for its Art Deco buildings, many transformed into cool hotels. At night the place pulsates with bars, restaurants and clubs. By day, head for the shops along Lincoln Road or the Versace Museum in the house where the designer was murdered in 1997
By contrast with the glam, cat walk scene on South Beach, Miami has plenty of more serious cultural distractions including the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on Biscayne Bay, once the Italianate home of James ‘Tractor’ Deering. For street art at its most cutting edge, go to Wynwood Walls in one of the city’s up and coming, still a touch edgy, districts.
On the ‘mainland’ be sure to visit Little Havana for cigars, cups of steaming café con leche or a powerful, super sweet café cubana and Cuban cuisine, with most cafes and restaurants to be found on Calle Ocho (8th street). Coconut Grove is the city’s oldest neighbourhood, Coral Cables the Beverly Hills of Miami (take you swimwear and take a dip in the exotic Venetian Pool with waterfalls, coral caves and grottos).
If your tire of the urban attractions, rent a convertible and spend two or three days driving south along the Florida Keys, each one linked by a series of enormous bridges, to Key West, a funky, let your hair down world where Hemingway once lived.