City Guide

How to Experience Miami like a Local

Designer Alix shares all her secret spots. In collaboration with W Hotels.

By: Hannah Baxter
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

Miami has been at the top of our go-to getaway list for years, and it has yet to let us down in terms of sun, surf, and relaxation. This year, we have the added bonus of Alix designer Alix Alvarez, a Miami native, to guide us through our upcoming trip to paradise. Given that it’s Miami SwimShow this weekend, there’s no shortage of goings-on (including her and Cov-alum Thaddeus O’Neil’s WCFDA pop-up). It’s a must-see lineup, especially since you’re going to need to stock up on bikinis—is there any other way to experience this city? Check out Alix’s picks below to experience Miami like a true local!

 

What to see:

1. “The Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has the most incredible architectural style and [is] a great place to see modern art pieces by artists like Wilfredo Lam. It’s a nice hangout for daytime and also a cool happy-hour spot with incredible views and a swanky restaurant, Verde.”

2. “Right next door is the new Frost Museum of Science, which has something exciting for everyone. On Friday nights, they put on laser light shows to different artists like Pink Floyd and Daft Punk.”

3. “If you’re into thrifting, check out Flamingo Plaza. If you’re patient enough, you may find some great gems.”

4. “Try to go see a show at the North Beach Bandshell. It’s a small, intimate venue that will leave you crushing on the lead singer.”

 

Where To Eat:

1. “Cecconi’s for brunch, if your goal is to do as little as possible for the rest of the day or are into people-watching at Soho House.”

2. “For lunch, Milos in South Beach is a staple, and they have the best lunch deal for $29.”

3. “Dinner is Upland in the SoFi area. Stephen Starr has done it again. I love the one in NYC, and the charm translates perfectly in South Beach.”

4. “To grab coffee, ALL DAY café in downtown. My favorite is the ‘Joe Went to Thailand,’ which is Thai iced coffee with xocolatl mole bitters. They also have the cutest pink quartz tables.”

5. “The best croquetas in Miami are from Islas Canarias. It’s pretty far from the beach, but Postmates can take care of that.”

 

Where to Drink:

1. “Bay Club in Sunset Harbor—I’m really into tequila and ginger these days.”

2. “The Anderson in MiMo (North Biscayne). They have incredible cocktails and an ’80s-inspired vibe. The place has so much character—I love it.”

3. “Living Room at the W Hotel. The mixologists make the best cocktails ever.”

 

Where to Go (Out):

1. “Being Cuban, it’s hard not to love the Spanish music vibes at Ball and Chain. Located in Little Havana, it’s a mix of locals jamming to merengue and millennials discussing their latest start-up ventures over mojitos.”

2. “Babyjane in Brickell for some quick pork buns and a shot of Hibiki.”

3. “Doheny Room opened recently, I’m hoping to have a Justin Bieber run-in next time I go… Guilty.”

4. “I can’t talk about the nightlife in Miami without paying homage to LIV. Some of the better Sundays have ended with an appearance by DJ Khaled. If you want the real Miami nightclub experiences, LIV is the place to go.”

5. “Wall at the W—this is a classic, always a great scene and music.”

 

Where to Beach:

1. “If I don’t spend the day lounging at W Hotel or Soho Beach House, I’ll go to 3rd Street Beach. It’s less crowded, and if you’re lucky you can catch the beach yoga happening right by the neon lifeguard stand.”

2. “I also love Surfside. It’s the most charming part of old Miami Beach. Lots of art deco buildings and the best Jewish delis.”

 

Your Must-See Swim Week Spot:

1. “My pop-up shop is happening at Bungalow 1 at the W South Beach this Friday and Saturday! I’ll be there showing my new collection to buyers and press. You should come by—there will be lots of suits, babes and rosé. The hours are 11am-6pm. But to be honest, I’m just happy to be home in Miami!”

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