There are plenty of great Miami neighborhoods where culture, food, music and shops are unique and interesting. Sure you’ve ventured off to Little Havana, Brickell and Downtown Miami and discovered all there is to do and see in these areas. But then there’s Miami Design District. A hop, skip and jump away from Wynwood (literally, you could walk from one to the other), Design District offers something a little different. MDD is teeming with art, high-end boutiques, galleries, restaurants, bars and design and architecture firms.
Below are eight things to do on for day well spent in the Miami Design District. This is just a start, of course, but it’ll leave you wanting more for sure.
There’s a lot of eating and imbibing on this list so a workout might be a nice way to break up the day. With daily flow, power flow and meditation classes, you don’t have to worry about yoga being too fast or slow-paced for you at Ahana. Instructors here aren’t afraid to help with adjustments and are super friendly and helpful, especially if you’re a first timer.
You could easily spend all day (and by all day, we mean 9 a.m to 10 p.m. daily, the market’s operating hours) inside St. Roch Market, the New Orleans food hall that made its way to Miami early last year. The 10,000 square foot second-floor space features 12 vendors with creative menus, like Elysian Seafood and Jaffa, where you can order a mushroom turmeric hummus that’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before. There’s a bar here, too. Plus coffee and plenty of treats to satisfy a sweet tooth. No meat, no problem. St. Roch offers an abundance of vegan options at Chef Chloe and the Vegan Cafe, too.
This 21+ establishment now has multiple locations throughout Miami, but the Design District storefront is still our favorite. It’s intimate and cozy inside and inventive menu items include a Tangerine Mimosa champagne sorbet as well as the Highland Truffle, a single malt ice cream made with 12-year Macallan. We’re not sure just how many scoops (or pints!) will make you feel a little tipsy, but why not go and see for yourself?
Window Shop at the Best Luxury Boutiques
Chanel, Cartier, Creed, Hermes, Fendi, Louis Vuitton — Most of these stores have one thing in common. OK, maybe two. The first is that some used to be located in Bal Harbour Shops, a suburb near the water to the north of MDD, and then moved over to this side of town. The second is that you probably can’t walk in and out without spending the equivalent of one month’s rent, which is why we suggest window shopping, unless you’re feeling like spending some major money, that is.
Go Gallery Hopping
Like walking into luxury shops, gallery hopping in MDD could result in some pretty steep purchases if your pockets are deep enough. Instead, why not map out the local galleries, showrooms and museums within walking distance and make a point of stopping in at a handful that intrigue you. Snap some pics (of course, always ask if it’s OK first — most galleries will allow you to take photos with the flash off) and ogle the talents of artists from all over the world.
Take a Free Guided Art Tour Through MDD
If wandering around on your own doesn’t sound so fun, make sure your visit coincides with Margery Gordon’s bi-weekly public art tours. The journalist, art critic and educator hosts walking tours one Wednesday evening and one Saturday afternoon every month (check the MDD website for schedule and more details). All tours meet in the front of Fly’s Eye Dome on the first floor of MDD’s Palm Court and will highlight new and classic art and design by local and world-renowned artists. Everyone is welcome to join for a tour, so bring the kiddos along if you think they’ll enjoy it.
Go Wine Tasting at Abaco Premium Wines
Try some wines by the glass or go rogue and opt for bottle service (we are in Miami, after all) at Abaco Premium Wines, located on the second floor of MDD’s Palm Court. Cheese and charcuterie plates are available for purchase here, too. Have burning questions about grapes? Abaco employs sommeliers who will answer all your questions and advise you on which wines pair best with whatever you plan on eating. If you’re a fan of rosé, you’re also in luck. Abaco hosts Sunday Afternoon Rosé Wine Tastings for $15 per person. This includes light bites and a discussion on the rosé winemaking process. Check the Abaco website for other scheduled events, such as the Fried Chicken and Bubbles Wine Tasting — because everything pairs well with bubbles!
If you want to be transported to a place outside Miami, dress in something chic and head to dinner at the new and swanky Swan, then go for cocktails upstairs at the restaurant’s Bar Bevy. The sceney spot, which is partially owned by Pharrell, draws lots of celebrities to the area and its Modern European cuisine ranges in price from two to four dollar signs. It should go without saying that the playlist here is always on point and the desserts are a little extra special. You can’t ever go wrong with chocolate mousse and a cocktail.