With Maison et Objet Americas coming up in just under a week, and the warm sun setting into summer nicely, the time has come to put together a small list of things to do and places to go, in one of America’s most vibrant cities, Miami.
Knows as Southern Florida’s crown jewel, Miami has so much to offer to anyone that visits, be it for a relaxing holiday, a weekend of partying, a cultural visit, or even a business trip. Moreover, with solid sunlight exposure throughout the best part of an entire calendar year, there’s an eternal sense of summer that kicks in when strolling down the shorefront on Miami Beach. Here are some Boca do Lobo essentials for any M&O Americas visitors:
Soak in the Art Decor
Art Decor played a crucial role in the Miami’s urban development and aesthetic, with extensive use of symmetry, elements in triplets, cantilevered window shades, as well as other exotic details, influenced by the Aztecs and Mayans. Known as Tropical Deco among the locals, the city’s architecture is characterised by low rise buildings (which ensure maximum sunlight exposure to it’s citizens), porthole windows, strong geometrical patterns and abstracted natural forms.
Go to the Art Deco Historic District along Ocean Drive, and have a walk around the neighbourhood to see what distinguishes South Beach from any other beach town in the world. Featuring the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the country, which are preserved by the Art Deco Historic District.
Pop round to the Clevelader Hotel roof terrace for an incredible view over the city’s unique urban landscape, or head down to the Crown Room for a full-on Art Deco drinking experience
Miami is highly influenced by Latin culture and lifestyle. Notably, Spanish is spoken by many of the city’s residents, and a lot of the communication around the city is translated into Spanish. Unsurprisingly, it also features some of the best Latin food and drink in the United States.
Little Havana, located on the other side of the bridge from South Beach’s Art Deco district (which also has some incredible South American flavours to explore), feels like an entirely different country. With Spanish being the predominant language, Little Havana was developed as a neighbourhood for Cuban exiles, and there is an evident contrast in look and feel compared to glossy South Beach, meaning visitors can really experience and get involved in the Latin culture embedded in the city.
A true multi-sensory experience, Little Havana has a some of the best Cuban food and coffee you can find in America. Take a stroll down Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street), the town’s epicentre, to hear latin music being played from record stores with the distinct scent of rich tobacco wafting from the neighbouring cigar shops. It was on this mythical avenue that thousands of Cuban exiles lived after leaving the country in the late fifties. Although many of them have moved on, younger generations have started to move here, attracted by the cheap prices and artistic vibe it offers.
Street art & Galleries
Moreover, Calle Ocho’s art galleries are also a must on the to-do list. With over 20 galleries all condensed around the Futurama Building, Little Havana has a lot to offer for art lovers, both on and off the streets.
But for the complete street art and gallery experience, a trip to the Wynwood Arts District is in order. With Wynwood’s streets bustling, the trendy arts hub is currently Miami’s hottest spots. It boasts over 70 galleries, and is the location for much of the action during Art Basel, with pop up parties, galleries and special unusual artistic collaborations between all kinds of creative types.
Beachfront drinking and dining
With miles and miles of beach stretching along Miami’s coast, it’s impossible not to wind up at a beachfront spot for food and drinks. Head down Miami Beach to the Nikki Beach Club for a true Miami experience. Described as an outdoor fantasyland, it is filled with tiki bars and lounge chairs. Great to work a tan, or release some steam, the parties start early and finish late, with a rigorous dress-code (or lack thereof) that has to be followed: Swimming shorts or bikinis.
For a more refined experience, visit the Living Room Bar, inserted in the W Hotel on South Beach. It’s striking interior, elegantly assembled and laid out is complimented by one of the most extensive deck and pool areas in the city. With drinks mixed by Scott Beattie, one of the region’s most appraised cocktail maker, an evening at the Living Room is guaranteed time well spent.
Keep an eye out for Boca do Lobo at M&O Americas, as we’ll have a team of twenty strong in Miami for the show as well as for the fun to be had!