11 tips to avoiding the traffic hell that is Miami Art Week

When it comes to Art Basel and Miami Art Week, figuring out how to navigate traffic is half the battle.

On the bright side of things, many of the satellite fairs have dispersed from what was once a tight knot in Midtown to other parts of the city, including Downtown, Wynwood, Brickell and Miami Beach, and should loosen up congestion, especially on opening night for the fairs.

Here are a bunch of tips to keep in mind to increase your chances of smooth sailing.

  • Travel by water. While there’s no UberBoat planned for this year, you can always take advantage of Water Taxi Miami services. Their Blue Route is a good option for navigating from South Beach to Sea Isle Marina near Art Miami on the mainland. One-way fares are $15 per person and all day unlimited fares are $30. Check out their route maps and timetables here.
  • Roll in by trolley. Miami, Miami Beach and Miami-Dade Transit have joined forces with a free Venetian Causeway Shuttle trolley connecting the Miami Beach Convention Center with Downtown Miami at Omni near Art Miami and three park and ride stops. Download the Miami Beach e-Gov app for iOS or Android to track the trolley and shuttles.
  • Use your legs. Explore on foot as much as possible. It’s just as fun to look at the outdoor public art and to people watch as it is to see what’s inside the official tents. This is especially true in South Beach along Collins Avenue between fairs like Untitled and Pulse. And at Collins Park where Art Basel’s Public sector is sited. Plus there’s lots of great stuff to see when you’re hotel hopping. In Wynwood explore the streets along NW 2nd Avenue starting from the Wynwood Walls. In the Design District, explore the areas between the newly opened ICA, Miami and de la Cruz Collection, including Palm Court.
  • Hop on a bike. Don’t have your own? Grab a CitiBike – there are stations throughout Miami Beach, Downtown, Midtown, Wynwood, Brickell, Coconut Grove and as far north as 65th Street and Biscayne Boulevard.
    • If you’re headed to The Midtown fairs: Look for the station at NE 30th St. and Biscayne.
    • If you’re going to Wynwood: Look for stations at NE 27th St and N. Miami Ave., 26th St. and NW 2nd Ave. and 24th St. and NW 2nd Ave.
    • If you’re coming from the beach: Go across the Venetian and drop your bike off at NE 15th St. and One Herald Plaza where Art Miami is being held.
  • Share a car ride. In most cases, you’re probably better off with Uber, Lyft or hailing a cab as opposed to driving and searching for parking. Fair warning: surge pricing has been known to get pretty obscene, so consider UberPool or Lyft Line to ease costs and make new friends. But if you really gotta get somewhere by yourself, check out Lyft’s ArtHop feature, which will be cheaper for single riders. From Dec. 7 – 9, if you go into ArtHop mode from within the Lyft app, you’ll be matched with other folks heading in the same direction along three routes between mainland Miami and Miami Beach. The stops include Aqua Art, Art Basel, Art Miami, Basel House, Bayside, Mary Brickell Village, Pulse and Red Dot/Spectrum.
  • Try your luck with public transit. In addition to Metrobus, try the free Metromover that travels throughout downtown. Use the Miami-Dade Transit Tracker app for iOS and Android for routes, timetables and real time updates on Metrobus and Metromover.

If you insist on driving your own car and parking, here’s what you should know.

  • Don’t cross the causeways. For the truly traffic averse, a good rule of thumb is if you live on the Beach, stay on the Beach, and if you live on the mainland, stay on the mainland. Many of the worst traffic woes come with crossing the causeways. But of course, there’s a lot to see on both sides of Biscayne Bay, so get strategic with your itinerary and focus on one part of the city per day or night. Note: The Venetian Causeway is fully operational again and can sometimes be a travel hack, but there’s no guarantee, especially if you catch a drawbridge.
  • Splurge for the valet. The Miami Beach Convention Center and Art Miami offer valet service.
  • Park your car here: There’s limited parking at the municipal lot on Convention Center Drive and 17th Street for convenient access to both Art Basel and Design Miami. And there’s parking at the Omni Parking Garage at 1645 Biscayne Blvd. adjacent to Art Miami.
  • Watch out for lane closures: This year lanes are closed headed southbound on Indian Creek Drive, so be prepared for congestion heading to South Beach on that route and consider alternatives like Pine Tree Drive or Dade Boulevard. Wynwood’s main drag along NW 2nd Avenue between 22nd and 29th Streets will be closed to vehicular traffic and turned into a pedestrian friendly zone, so be sure to navigate north or south of this area when crossing town by car.
  • Try a shuttle service: Art Miami has new digs on Biscayne Bay at the old Miami Herald site and offers complimentary shuttle service to sister fair Aqua on South Beach, the Miami Beach Convention Center, JW Marriott Marquis and PAMM.

That’s all we’ve got for you. Good luck implementing these tips and tricks and Happy Baseling!