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By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

While South Beach might get all the headlines, its thriving neighbor known as Mid Beach, which extends north from 23rd to 63rd streets and east from Indian Creek to the Atlantic Ocean, is a must-see destination. Don’t underestimate its quiet location. The area is packed with a unique mix of luxurious new resorts, boutique gems and high-end hostels that boast buzzed-about restaurants, energetic nightlife and endless entertainment.

fontainebleau pools
Discover Miami Beach's glamorous golden era

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

If you want to know where the revival of Mid Beach began — the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel lays claim to the bragging rights. A longtime symbol of Miami Beach's glamorous golden era, where cool kids like the Rat Pack used to hang, the hotel still bustles with activity day and night. The sprawling resort built by famous architect Morris Lapidus offers 22 acres of nightlife, great restaurants and plenty of space to relax or meet for business. Retreat to Lapis, The Spa at Fontainebleau, known for its soothing water features, or join the sun-soaked parties and concerts at the expansive poolscape. In the evenings, a well-heeled crowd moves across the lobby’s bowtie-patterned floors to have cocktails at Bleau Bar, dine at a dizzying array of restaurants like Michael Mina’s Stripsteak, Pizza & Burger, or AAA Four Diamond Award Winning restaurants such as Scott Conant’s Scarpetta, or Hakkasan, or to party the night away at Liv. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Pao uni dish
Experience celebrated chef Paul Qui's Asian fusion dishes

Faena Hotel Miami Beach

Considered one of the most over-the-top additions to the neighborhood, the luxe Faena Hotel Miami Beach is the brainchild of Argentine developer and hotelier Alan Faena, who has transformed the surrounding blocks from 32nd to 36th streets into the culturally focused Faena District. From a dramatic red-carpet entrance to jaw-dropping art pieces like a 24-karat-gold mammoth by Damien Hirst, and rooms and suites draped in bright red, this hotel offers a glam stay. Dining is elevated thanks to Asian-fusion Pao by Paul Qui, live-fire cooking at Los Fuegos at Faena Miami Beach and Tree of Life, an outdoor tropical retreat with hand-painted mosaic seating and columns made of seashells. Mingle with locals at the Living Room, which gives off the glam vibes of an old Hollywood movie; settle into a seat at intimate Saxony Bar; or reserve a table at Faena Theater, where shows range from seductive cabarets to a jazz series. Book a spa day at the colorful Tierra Santa Healing House for shaman-inspired treatments and body-healing rituals. 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Matador Terrace
Enjoy an al fresco meal at Matador Room

Miami Beach EDITION

An ice-skating rink in Miami? Yep, this cool hotel has one, and it’s a playground for nightlife and upscale dining. With the feeling of a boutique hotel, but the amenities and perks of a resort, Miami Beach EDITION offers 294 guestrooms and suites, including 28 private oceanfront bungalows and a posh rooftop penthouse. Michelin-starred chef and culinary genius Jean-Georges Vongerichten developed the dining scene with his signature restaurant, Matador Room, for a modern take on Latin cuisine and stunning views of the ocean; inventive and delicious pizzas at the casual Market; fun cocktails served in copper pineapples at Matador Bar and al fresco dining at Tropicale. Bounce between two large pools during the day, revitalize at the spa and then hit Basement — a nightclub, hip bowling alley and indoor ice-skating rink in one hub.
2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Confidante beach
Sun, fun & beachside bites at The Confidante

The Confidante Miami Beach

Housed in a building constructed in the 1940s, The Confidante Miami Beach is a beachside retreat that celebrates its retro-glam roots with 345 rooms and suites (some with wraparound balconies) decked out in mid-century modern décor. The airy hotel is all about bright colors and will make you happy. Beachside bites and drinks are served in coconuts at The Backyard. Great Circle cold brew and drip coffee as well as “Extravaganza” and “Signature Latte Gourmand” caffeinated confections are served at The AM Cafe. Rejuvenate at the rooftop spa for a treatment in an air-conditioned cabana, and choose from the epic floatie menu to float in one of the resort’s two pools that are lined with chairs adorned in bright colors and stripes. 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Generator
Hang out & take a selfie in the pillow room

Generator Miami

This shiny upscale hostel by the hip UK hospitality brand Generator is a looker. It's safe to say it doesn’t look like most hostels you’ve seen before. Your eyes will be drawn to all of Generator Miami’s design details meant for Instagrammable moments. The hostel is also packed with plenty of places to hang out. A stay here means all 103 rooms come with a view, whether it’s the Atlantic Ocean, the skyline or the pool, and guests can choose between private and shared rooms. Kick back at the poolside bar, Driftway, for frozen cocktails and a photo of the bar’s giant iguana mural, then indulge in top-notch food at Hoja Taqueria, the Oaxacan restaurant by Bar Lab that’s always buzzing with activity.
3120 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Freehand courtyard
Try inventive drinks at Broken Shaker

Freehand Miami

Freehand Miami is a hip hostel that knows how to draw a lively crowd of world travelers as well as locals. Known for being light on the wallet, thanks to a wide selection of shared and private guestrooms meant for every budget and style, it’s heavy on award-winning food and drinks. After a laidback day by the pool, mingle in the tropical courtyard of Broken Shaker, a staple for inventive drinks concocted with fresh-pressed produce and garnishes from the property’s onsite garden. For one of the best and most creative meals in the area, snag a candlelit table at 27 Restaurant and Bar, where the menu rotates seasonally and plates are served family-style.
2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach, FL

Circa39 lobby
Vintage and tropical vibes at Circa 39

Circa39

While located on busy Collins Avenue, just steps from the beach, this bright boutique hotel feels like a secret enclave tucked away from the masses. Circa39 offers a mix of vintage and tropical touches throughout. The ambiance immediately sets the tone for a laidback getaway. It feels like you’re staying at a friend’s beach bungalow. The centerpiece of the hotel is WunderGarden, where locals and visitors gather in the lush courtyard filled with palm trees, exotic plants and plenty of spots to relax. Expect weekend events like barbeques and yoga classes. You’ll want to grab a chair at the cheery WunderBar, where the cocktails are focused on rum. There are more than 80 different brands of rum and then you can indulge in global comfort food at the whimsical Jules Kitchen. 3900 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Cadillac pool
Relax in a cabana by the adults-only pool

Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club

Now under Marriott's luxury chain banner, the recently refurbished, 357-room Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club on the ocean offers mid-century architecture and sea-inspired design for a true coastal getaway. Hang under the palapa-roofed Bungalow by the Sea for cocktails and frosé made with fresh strawberries. Then dine at gorgeous Donna Mare Trattoria — an authentic Italian trattoria that serves seafood including traditional branzino, Neapolitan pizzas and house-made pastas. Make a splash at the main pool, unwind in a cabana at the adults-only pool, or choose one of the Cadillac Signature Experiences, where guests can engage in curated experiences ranging from a seaplane adventure to a day on a private luxury yacht or a chartered fishing trip. 3925 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Want to see more? Here is a comprehensive list of hotels in Miami Beach's Mid Beach neighborhood.

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