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By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

Love art? Then Miami is the place for you. While the masses flock to Miami once a year for Art Basel, locals know that art and culture thrive here all year. Whether you love museums filled with paintings and sculptures, edgy street art, music, or live theater and dance performances, we’ve put together an art-infused, three-day itinerary that will hit all the marks. Plus, this itinerary puts you in all the right areas for soaking up the sun and beaches and some of the best food in town.

Day 1. The first stop for art lovers should be the Wynwood Arts District, a hip neighborhood of 50-plus city blocks packed with vivid street art and murals by renowned and emerging artists from around the world.

Panther Coffee
Start your day with Panther Coffee

Morning. Start your day off with a caffeine boost at Panther Coffee, where beans are hand-roasted onsite; then tour the neighborhood’s backbone, Wynwood Walls, a maze of eclectic walls that are always evolving. From there, you can spend hours wandering the streets and snapping Instagram-worthy photos of all the colorful murals, and if you desire a more in-depth look at Wynwood, Wynwood Art Walk offers a variety of tours from graffiti tours to adventures on bikes or Segways.

When you’re done with the street art, pop into locally owned boutiques and art galleries. Standout galleries include The Margulies Collection at The Warehouse in Wynwood (open October to April) which showcases 20th and 21st century sculpture, photography, video, painting and large-scale installations by international artists culled from the renowned collection of Martin Z. Margulies. A quick drive away is the new home of the Rubell Museum for long-term installations, special exhibitions and more than 7,200 works by more than 1,000 artists (check website for hours of operation).

Taiyaki at 1-800-Lucky
Stop by Taiyaki at 1-800-Lucky

Lunch. Wynwood boasts some of Miami’s best restaurants, and you’ll always find a buzzy scene at Asian-inspired KYU restaurant; or raid the Asian-inspired food hall 1-800-Lucky for stalls offering everything from dumplings to sushi and Instagram-worthy Japanese ice cream.

Afternoon. For a mix of art and fun, embark on your own craft beer crawl at the area’s many breweries. If you need a jolt of sugar, stop by The Salty Donut for artisanal donuts like maple + bacon, brown butter + salt, or guava + cheese, just to name a few to entice your taste buds.

Wynwood Walls
Strike a pose at Wynwood Walls

Evening. If you just can’t get enough of Wynwood, have dinner at Three, which has different toques creating new menus on a rotating basis, then cap off the day at the rooftop lounge, No. 3 Social. Depending on when you’re in town, join the massive crowds for Art Walk, a huge block party that happens every second Saturday.

Or, check the schedule at the Adrienne Arsht Center in the heart of Downtown Miami to catch a top-rated Broadway show, or watch the graceful Miami City Ballet perform.

Day 2. Another neighborhood brimming with art, culture and world-class food is the Miami Design District which has attracted the world’s most desirable artists and architects, along with top chefs.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast at Ella

Morning. Grab a delicious pastry, buttery croissant or smoked salmon bagel at the adorable cafe, Ella; then set off on foot to explore the neighborhood dotted with can’t-miss public installations like Fly’s Eye Dome, a larger-than-life dome by architect Buckminster Fuller, and Nuage, a steel cloud-like canopy designed by French brothers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, who were commissioned to bring new life to the fountains on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Even the parking garage, Museum Garage, is an extraordinary work of art. Two times a month, you can join an art tour that showcases selected public artworks and architectural highlights.

Lunch. Can’t decide what you’d like to eat? The food hall, Politan Row, offers a delicious variety of stations offering everything from inventive Peruvian sushi rolls to real-deal Italian and Israeli cuisine. We suggest grabbing a few different items to share.

Louboutin in the Design District
Browse luxury shops at Miami Design District

Afternoon. To further immerse yourself in art, check out the shiny new location of Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), where you can roam their exhibition galleries and beautiful sculpture garden for free. Or, fashionistas can set their credit cards on fire at more than 60 luxury fashion boutiques such as Gucci, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Christian Louboutin — all of which have unique facades to match the artsy neighborhood. Don’t miss taking a “selfie” in front of the vivid orange walls of Fendi.

Evening. Buzzy new restaurants are opening all the time in the Design District, and a local favorite is Estefan Kitchen. Chef Odell Torres reimagines traditional family recipes by famed owners Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Highlights include lechón crispy moros, vaca frita, braised short ribs, and paella. When it comes to what to do after dinner, check the Design District’s full calendar for free outdoor concerts and other cultural events.

South Beach
Soak up the sun in South Beach

Day 3. Start your day in South Beach, where in addition to world-class beaches, you’ll find the nation's largest concentration of Art Deco architecture.

Morning. Grab breakfast on bustling Ocean Drive, then take a walking tour with the Miami Design Preservation League that provides an introduction to the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern (MiMo) styles found within the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District. Explore hotels, restaurants and other commercial structures with a visit to a number of interiors.

Time Out Market
Pig out at Time Out Market

Lunch. Move on to pedestrian-friendly Lincoln Road for lunch at Time Out Market Miami lined with food stalls from many of Miami’s top chefs; then, browse the locally owned independent bookstore Books & Books to scour the bookshelves for art books, as well as those on Miami and Florida.

Afternoon. A stroll through Collins Park features one of Miami Beach’s most celebrated public art sculptures, Miami Mountain, 2016 by Ugo Rondinone.  Also notable is the neon installation Eternity Now, 2015 by Sylvie Fleury, welcoming guests into the main entrance of The Bass. This wonderful contemporary art museum celebrates exhibitions that reflect the spirit and international character of Miami Beach.

Evening. For a culture-filled evening, head to Faena Hotel Miami Beach, which boasts trendy restaurants like Asian-fusion Pao by Paul Qui and Los Fuegos by Argentine super-star chef Francis Mallmann. Central to the Faena experience is the wow-worthy art. The “Cathedral” lobby showcases floor-to-ceiling painted murals and borders of more than 632,000 tiles created by Argentinian painter Juan Gatti. The showpiece of the Faena is British contemporary artist, Damien Hirst’s, Gone But Not Forgotten, 2014, which is an enormous gilded mammoth that’s incredibly displayed in a glass case on the beachside boardwalk.

You’ll return home with a new appreciation of art and Miami.

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