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posted on January 30th, 2016

With the hottest wintertime temperatures in the US, you don’t have to look far for a reason to get to Miami, stat. And while quintessential South Beach has a lot to offer, there’s also more to this sun-soaked gem of a city than hot cars, beaches, and locals. From the Wynwood arts district to the urban Brickell area downtown, we’ve put together some suggestions to help you make Miami your own.

Art for enthusiasts and amateurs

The second Saturday of each month, you won’t want to miss the Wynwood Art Walk. A free event where world-class galleries open their doors (some galleries even prove complimentary wine), you can also ogle the famous graffitied Wynwood Walls and enjoy the balmy evening temperatures while you top off the night with a bite to eat at the gourmet food trucks gathered nearby.

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Surf and sport

One of the few cities in America where bronzing yourself outdoors is feasible in February, Miami is spoilt for choice in beaches. Stroll the iconic Art Deco area surrounding South Beach on your way to lounge in white sand heaven. Or get active with some beach volleyball at the Lummus Park courts.

Social splashing

If salt water isn’t your thing, head to Coral Gables to take a dip in the historic Venetian Pool, a spring-water-filled public pool replete with fountains and grottos. The largest freshwater pool in the US, you’re bound to encounter some friendly locals also enjoying a swim through the crystal-clear waters.

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Villas and views

Miami has a wealth of elaborate architecture and gardens. We suggest exploring the Italian Renaissance-style Villa Vizcaya and soaking in the sun in the ornate gardens. If the villa leaves you wanting more, Miami Beach Botanical Gardens won’t disappoint. Get even more in tune with yourself and nature with weekly garden yoga and meditation hours.

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Decadent dining

Known for some of America’s finest dining, you can’t have a true Miami trip without sampling the internationally influenced restaurant scene. Some top picks? Joe’s Stone Crab for seafood, Yardbird for innovative farm-to-table, Drunken Dragon for Korean BBQ, and OLA for the quintessential Pan-Latin flavor of the city. To continue in the Latin vein, head over to Española Way for more restaurant options and live entertainment.

Nightlife

Miami is practically synonymous with pounding nightlife, so we’d be remiss not to mention some favorite spots to dance (and drink) the night away. Start with a low key drink at gastropub American Social before sampling the cocktails at Better Days or Blackbird Ordinary downtown. Alternatively, check out the trendy vibe in Wynwood with a drink at Wood or Bardot, then cruise over to South Beach to sip at Doraku, Purdy Lounge, or Bodega before getting swept up in dancing to the best DJs at LIV, Wall, STORY, or Mokai.

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Everglades exploration

If you want a respite from the energy and action of the city, you’ll find a true Florida treasure with an easy drive to the Everglades National Park. Between the almost mystical landscape of sawgrass marshes and coastal mangroves, you might even get lucky with a sighting of the American crocodile, endangered leatherback turtle, or rare Florida panther.

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Made up of equally entrancing neighborhoods ripe for exploration, Miami is a haven for high-energy exploits and relaxation alike. Whether you choose to travel in one of the city’s signature supercars or a more modest ride, you’ll find plenty to discover.

Virginia is equally enamored with words and globetrotting. Whenever possible, she likes to combine the two through travel writing to help other wanderers discover and fall in love with the world.