Never a dull moment in the glittering Oz of Florida
Greater Miami and The Beaches, a designation that encompasses a meandering collection of more than 35 municipalities spread out over 2,000 square miles, ranges from the internationally renowned Art Deco District of Miami’s South Beach to clamorous Little Havana, tony Coral Gables and bohemian Coconut Grove. Collectively, they make up one of the nation’s most exciting destinations.
With more than 400 flights daily through Miami International Airport (MIA), it’s always easy to get there. And the airport is the first in Florida and second in the country to receive health accreditation from ACI World.
Meet and Stay
The reimagined, futuristic Miami Beach Convention Center is LEED Silver-certified and GBAC STAR accredited. Yet it lacks one thing—until 2023, when it finally gets a headquarters hotel worthy of Miami Beach’s Convention Center District.
Grand Hyatt Miami Beach, an 800-room, 17-floor property is rising within walking distance of the beachfront, Lincoln Road Mall, New World Symphony, The Bass Museum and The Fillmore Miami Beach. Two of its floors will be devoted to meeting spaces and ballrooms. A resort-style pool deck will offer thrilling views, and a skybridge will invite event attendees to move freely between hotel and convention center in a climate-controlled, art-filled corridor.
Plans also include landscaped pedestrian promenades on surrounding streets, bike-sharing stations and connectivity with public transit.
When it comes to what to see and do between sessions, the big question is where to begin. With sunny skies and warm temps the norm, start with the more than 1.1 million acres of outdoors to explore. Pinecrest Gardens, in the South Dade neighborhood of Pinecrest, is the only natural rainforest on the U.S. mainland, with more than 1,000 varieties of rare and exotic tropical plants and palm trees. Several indoor spaces are available for meetings, celebrations and corporate dinners. In Coral Gables, 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a paradise of nature trails, sunken and sculpture gardens, even a butterfly garden; guided walking and tram tours come with lender binoculars.
The primarily underwater Biscayne National Park teems with sea life and plants, as well as the longest stretch of mangrove forest on Florida’s east coast. It’s great for kayaking and snorkeling in small groups. Or hop on the Manatee Photo Tour that leaves from Virginia Key Outdoor Center at Crandon Park, about a half-hour’s drive from Miami Beach. It takes your group through Virginia Key Cove and Jimbo’s Lagoon for both manatee and dolphin sightings. The park is also a great place for a nature walk and beach team building.
Urban Host Tour offers customizable African American, Caribbean, and Latin Heritage Tours that can include Historic Overtown, Little Haiti, Little Havana, Coconut Grove and Liberty City, as well as downtown Miami, South Beach, Coral Gables and the Everglades. It can be by bus, walking, a culinary tour or a combo of all three.
Art lovers shouldn’t miss Miami’s Wynwood district, home to the country’s largest concentration of street art. Unique shopping and hip restaurants, too.
Need to Know
- 70 Languages spoken
- 800+ Art Deco in South Beach Miami
- 1944 Sun tan lotion invented in Miami