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Sure there's some pretty interesting and even cultural stuff to do out here in Miami, but it's really all about "the scene" – by day, sun and sand amid scantily-clad, hard-bodied rollerbladers and volleyballers; by night, dining and partying amid a mix of the rich, famous, and fabulous (leavened by a good smattering of none of the above). In recent years, a number of seasonal events have sprung up or been cooked up to raise SoBe's profile even further in various areas, from cuisine (February's South Beach Wine and Food Festival) to music (the Winter Music Conference) to art (Art Basel).

Things to do in Miami

Bal Harbour Shops

With 500,000 square feet harboring two stories worth of chichi retailers and several fine-dining restaurants, this is the gold standard for Platinum-Card consumerism.

9700 Collins Ave., FL, 305-866-0311,
Tags: shopping | expensive | things to do | eclectic

Bass Museum

This museum shows off its impressive permanent collection of 15th-century art, including works by Botticelli and Ghirlandaio. There are also world-class rotating exhibits (past programs have featured work by superstars like Annie Leibovitz).

2121 Park Ave., FL, 305-673-7530,
Tags: editor pick | art | things to do | culture

Charter a Yacht

Renting a yacht is an unforgettable way to experience the flashy Miami Vice lifestyle, if only for a day. Channel Don Johnson as you slip into a pair of docksiders and light a cigar on the deck of your private chartered yacht. Take the helm as captain or hire a full service crew to navigate the turquoise Biscayne Bay while you kick back and relax, cold beverage of choice in hand.

401 Biscayne Blvd., Bayside Marketplace & Marina, FL, 305-223-3488,
Tags: editor pick | smart splurge | water sports | things to do | outdoors | boating

Coral Castle

The Coral Castle consists of turrets, fountains, a rocking chair, even a revolving nine-ton door you can push open with a finger – all built out of coral over a 28-year period using nothing but hand tools.

28655 S. Dixie Hwy., FL, 305-248-6345,
Tags: family | editor pick | things to do | culture

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

A favorite local sanctuary, this 83-acre garden devoted to tropical plant conservation overflows with palms, cycads and flowering trees. Special displays include a butterfly garden, tropical fruit pavilion and a two-acre rainforest. Walking is the ideal way to explore, but guided open-air tram tours are also offered year-round. From December through May, major sculptural installations by artists such as Dale Chihuly and Roy Lichtenstein are incorporated into the grounds.

10901 Old Cutler Rd., FL, 305-667-1651,
Tags: off the path | things to do | culture | gardens | walk

Miami Seaquarium

Recognize the building? It was the backdrop for the movie Flipper. Dolphins, manatees, sea lions, and Lolita the killer whale, entertain the whole family; kids love feeding the seals.

4400 Rickenbacker Cswy., FL, 305-361-5705,
Tags: family | things to do | wildlife

Museum of Contemporary Art

Architect Charles Gwathmey melded New York chutzpah with Miami whimsy in his colorful 1996 building design for MoCA. The cubist construction turned a parking lot into an urban art park, where exhibitions featuring well-known artists (Salvador Dalí, Yoko Ono) and rising local stars (Pablo Cano, Hernan Bas) feel equally at home. Free outdoor jazz concerts are held on the last Friday of the month.

770 NE 125th St., FL, 305-893-6211,
Tags: things to do | culture | museum | jazz

Nikki Beach

The first in what is now a jet-setting chain that stretches from Cabo San Lucas to Saint-Tropez sprawls along the oceanfront at the southern end of South Beach's sands. Lounge by day in a private cabana with VIP bottle service or sashay after dark into 0-1 (One Ocean) on the second floor. A seafood restaurant and raw bar provide sustenance to the fashionable, international crowd.

One Ocean Dr., FL, 305-538-1111,
Tags: nightlife | views | trendy | lounge | waterfront | dancing | things to do | bar menu | champagne

Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation

Housed in a 45,000-square-foot former Drug Enforcement Agency warehouse in the blossoming Wynwood Arts District, this pioneering institution is a must-see for lovers of edgy, contemporary art. Works from the 1960s to the present, from such luminaries as Damien Hirst, Keith Haring, Anselm Kiefer, Cindy Sherman, and Jeff Koons, are showcased in 27 galleries. The privately owned collection launches a new exhibition each year for Art Basel Miami Beach in early December, which then stays up through May. (It's closed from late May to early December.)

95 NW 29th St., FL, 305-573-6090,
Tags: arts and culture | great value | off the path | things to do | gallery

South Florida Art Center

Not only can you buy the wares of local artists here, you can also watch them at work in their ateliers.

924 Lincoln Rd., FL, 305-674-8278,
Tags: family | shopping | editor pick | smart splurge | art | things to do

The Wolfsonian

This quirky museum houses design, furniture, and artwork relating to 20th- and late-19th-century social movements in the U.S. and Europe. The 1927 Mediterranean Revival building is a sight in itself.

1001 Washington Ave., FL, 305-531-1001,
Tags: family | art | things to do | culture | architecture

Visit an animal park

Find feathered friends like Cockatoos and African Queens out in force at this elaborate island animal park, as well as critters like orangutans, crocodiles, giant snakes, and land tortoises.

Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, FL, 305-400-7000,
Tags: family | things to do | wildlife


Business mogul James Deering's early 20th-century take on a grand, Italianate, renaissance palazzo draws brides, debutantes, and tourists for photo ops in its lush formal gardens overlooking Biscayne Bay.

3251 S. Miami Ave., FL, 305-250-9133,
Tags: family | things to do | culture | architecture | history

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