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There is more to this slick party town than the dazzling beaches and blissed out boulevard of South Beach. Miami oozes art, culture and incredible nightlife in all shapes and sizes. Here are my favourite things to see and do in The Magic City.

John Gregory-Smith South Beach, Miami
John Gregory-Smith South Beach, Miami

Get Insta Famous at Wynwood Walls

This incredible outdoor urban art gallery showcases some of the hottest talent in the world – including one of my favourite street artists, Shepard Fairey. There is a brilliant cafe and plenty of interesting shops by brands like Ray Ban and Levi’s within walking distance. Strike a pose and soak up this #influencers dream.

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Dine Bay Side at The Standard

With retro cool oozing out of every well manicured nook and cranny, this stunning hotel boasts sweeping views over the bay towards the city. If you’re not staying – the rooms are bright and breezy and well worth it – dinner is a must. Night and day, the pool is where the action is, and the restaurant spills out around it so that you can tuck into sushi rolls between swilling champagne and swimming.

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Soul Cycle Miami

Sweating it out at Soul Cycle

Ok, so I’m officially one of those people who does spinning on a holiday. But I like to stay fit and if you are in Miami these classes are knock out; super hard and perfect to dust off a margarita hangover. I was the only person who forgot to have a blow dry BEFORE the class started. I never got the memo.

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Cocktails at The Living Room

Swathed in opulent leopard prints and red velvets, this decadent bar does some of the best cocktails in town. Located in the glitzy Faena hotel on South Beach, there’s a sophisticated vibe and a well dressed crowd drinking killer cocktails.

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Chilli Out in Soho House

It’s super annoying to be recommended a member’s bar if you are not a member. Well, sorry but this knock out club is not only super slick and stunning, it’s packed with a very cool party crowd. My advice, beg steal and/or borrow to get in. Failing that, book one of their lux rooms for a stay.

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Eat Everything at Politan Row

Located in the very swanky design district, a smart suburb with high end boutiques, designer Italian gear and Michelin starred restaurants, Politan Row is a smart selection of food stalls by up and coming chefs, selling exciting dishes like vegan falafel from Jaffa and a fragrant Pho from Tran An.

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Party at The Anderson

Located in the Upper East Side, this wickedly kitsch bar is an eighties inspired gem. There is a huge outdoor terrace and a rather mad tiki bar. Inside, it’s red booths, boom boxes and a huge piano on the stage.

Tuck into Tacos at Bakan

This riotous restaurant is packed to the gills with happy diners tucking into some of the best Mexican food I have ever had in The States. Choose from juicy pork tacos, spicy achiote snapper and smoky octopus tostadas. Wash everything down with their sensational fresh ginger mezcal mule and save room for their delicious desserts.

Barhop at Mac’s Club Deuce

South Beach Miami
South Beach Miami

Grungy dive bars don’t get better than the Deuce, a much needed addition to the glossy hotel bars of South Beach; dark and dingy in all the right ways. Take a seat at the neon lit bar and sling back tequila shots and beer chasers until the evening takes you wherever you want to be.

Hike the Boardwalk

South Beach is stunning, a beautiful beach, colourful art deco buildings and so much going on, all the time. Soak it up with an early morning stroll or jog to South Point Park Pier. Here you’ll find the best views of the beaches and Downtown.

How to get there

Norwegian Airlines fly from Gatwick to Miami from £272

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John Gregory-Smith Sydney