Let me make this clear: with the previous few weeks leaving us very stressed and exhausted, we needed this. And Miami has sun and fun in spades; it's the kind of place where it seems that nothing as serious as a presidential election could ever happen.
We love Miami not just because the beach or the pool are always close-by, but because if you scratch the surface there's also a lot of art and good food around. In the heart of bling-ed out Miami Beach is the Faena, a new addition to the hotels and resorts that give Miami a distinct global party vibe. Walk out to the pool area and you'll see Damien Hirst's 'Gone but Not Forgotten', a stunning gilded woolly mammoth fossil enclosed in a glass tank. It sounds gimmicky but it's simply stunning when you walk up to it and it helps give the place a rich, glamorous feel. We spent what seemed to be our life savings at the Living Room, a bar right past the main lobby, but the 1950s/Latin ambiance made for an unforgettable nightcap.
The real heart of the city's art and design scene, though, is Wynwood. It's Miami's answer to Bushwick and Soho, a Lower East Side with palm trees. Dotted with galleries and taco stands and all that hipster stuff you secretly love and pretend to hate, the main draw here is the Wynwood Walls, an installation featuring some of the world's most recognizable street artists, but we had a lot more fun just walking around and checking out all the art prominently displayed on the refurbished buildings and warehouses in the neighborhood.
Between all this art-viewing and poolside-lounging, we ate. A lot. Honestly, way too much. We hit up Michael's Genuine in the Design District, gorging on delicious American small plates. Back in South Beach, the brunch at 27, a homey restaurant (by homey I mean it actually looks like your Midwestern grandma's home) inside the hip Freehand hostel, is perfect for the morning-after. We also went to Taquiza, an outdoor joint offering authentic tacos, at least 3 times. And we went there both drunk and sober, meaning that it really is very good.