Sure the view’s decent from your office window, but chances are your daily downtown Miami grind has a lot more to do with work than play. For less than the cost of even the cheapest plane ticket and hotel deal, you can take a day-long staycation adventure that will completely change your perspective. From fine dining to arts and culture to getting seriously spoiled, a day in downtown can be way more inspiring and indulgent than any old day at the beach. Hop off your workweek grind and take a mental health day to discover and delight in downtown Miami.
Nothing shakes off those workweek vibes like a beautiful brunch. Start your day at Chef Michael Schwartz’s delicious Italian haven, Fi’lia at SLS Brickell, with a perfectly poached egg on avocado toast, plus a sweet like coffee cake or their daily biscotti, for just $23 during Miami Spice. Take your time with that latté, there’s no rush hour today.
Hop on the metromover up to the Bayfront Park stop, where you’ll head to mySpa Miami at the Intercontinental Hotel to treat those weary feet. Their 50-minute Sole Salvation package clears up your blocked energy through traditional Eastern therapy that promotes healing, relieves stress, and improves your outlook. Book yours for $139 during Miami Spa Month and add on a paraffin dip to further relax those muscles and joints and soften your soles.
With your toes twinkling and a new spring in your step, take a walk along the bay in Bayfront Park or hop on the Metromover up to Museum Park. This formerly blank canvas in downtown has taken on vibrant life with the additions of PAMM and the Frost Science Museum. The special exhibitions are the stars of both museums, but their permanent collections at either are well worth the price of membership, which gets lucky locals unlimited access during museum hours. Even if you can’t make a day of it, stealing away on the occasional lunch break here is highly recommended. During Miami Museum Month in May, your membership to one local museum gets you access to both, plus dozens of others throughout the city.
Linger over lunch at PAMM’s Verde. We love the pizzas and the Pérez chopped salad. The breezy porch vista spanning Biscayne Bay is one of the museum’s most lovely features, and that’s saying a lot, considering the treasures within its walls. Catch the 2:30 p.m. tour to gain perspective on the collection or exhibitions on display. If you’re seeking serenity, we’re especially fond of Frost’s incredible aquariums, and if you haven’t posted your own ubiquitous shark tank selfie yet, well, what are you waiting for? Frost’s immersive planetarium shows offer an incredible perspective on places you’d never see, like deep space or the deep sea. Check out the native habitat exhibits on the upper level of the Frost, which also offers a beautiful vantage point to take in the bay and that ocean breeze.
When you’re ready for another change of scenery, venture back down to the EPIC Hotel. The 16th-floor bar, Area 31, serves up some of the most stunning and sweeping views of downtown and the Miami River, plus fresh cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired bites with herbs sourced straight from its on-site garden. Take in the view, especially at sunset, when you can check their happy hour Monday to Thursday with $7 drinks and bites from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Their special “chase the clock” happy hour runs from 5 p.m. to midnight on Fridays, with drinks starting at $5 and going up by a dollar each hour, and happy-hour-priced food until 10 p.m. There’s no better place to watch downtown transform into its nightly sparkle.
Living on the EDGE
After the happy hour high, head back to the Four Seasons in Brickell to sample Executive Chef Aaron Brooks’s impressive lineup of modern steak and seafood at EDGE Steak & Bar. During Miami Spice, you’ll score an appetizer, your choice of strip steak, roast duck, or swordfish steak and a decadent dessert for just $39 any night of the week. The portions are perfectly balanced and the atmosphere is welcoming and warm, with, you guessed it, a gorgeous rooftop terrace. There’s a communal table here and fire pits, perfect for making new connections, and enough twinkling lights to transport you and your companions far above the daily downtown grind. After a day like this, it’s easy to see for yourself why they call it the Magic City.