When you’re hosting house guests in Miami, it goes without saying that they’ll be eager to explore everything that the city has to offer, but how does one begin to capture the essence of this dynamic metropolis during something as short as a single weekend? If you’re looking to show your guests a side of the city they won’t find in any guidebook, and let them know what the real Miami is about, there are a few simple ways to give a quick introduction to the city’s style that will have your visitors begging for you to host them again.
Miami is known worldwide for its eclectic, Latin-influenced cuisine, and there’s no better way to introduce guests to the city than with a great meal in town. While casual classics like the Cuban sandwich are easy to come by and rarely disappoint, your guests will also love getting a higher-end taste of the local fare at some of the city’s upscale eateries. Peruvian cuisine gets a modern update at GK Bistronome, while the city’s freshest seafood can be enjoyed at hotspots like Jardim de Portugal and Truluck’s.
If you choose to host at home, make sure your guests get the full Miami experience all the way from the way you plate the food you serve. Local lifestyle guru Sara Colombo’s home furnishings mecca, Nest Casa, is a great place to pick up last-minute details that will make your meal — and your guests’ trip — a memorable one. Plate your meal on one of NEST Casa’s beautiful place settings, like the vintage-inspired styles from H Déco, or the Baccarat’s stunning crystal settings, which evoke the Art Deco glamour the city is known for.
Of course, the look of the food isn’t everything; getting the perfect ingredients is the first step to a perfect meal, and you’ll find that they’re not hard to come by in this food-obsessed city. Stop into Epicure Market for prepared food and brunch staples, like bagels and lox, or take your guests on a tour of Norman Brothers Produce, where you can pick up everything from stone crabs to local oranges. And remember, no grown-up gathering is complete without a few drinks, so mix up a Latin-infused cocktail, whether you prefer fancy spicy bloody marys with a fresh shrimp garnish or pisco sours made with key lime juice.
After your guests have settled in and eaten, show them all the beauty the city has to offer with a walking tour. Art enthusiasts will enjoy North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art, where they can take in a retrospective of Colombian abstract painter Carlos Salas. Miami Beach’s Bass Museum is another surefire hit, with everything from Ruben’s nudes to Jim Drain’s chess table installation filling its hallowed halls. As you make your way out to West Palm Beach’s Norton Museum of Art, home to a diverse collection ranging from Chinese antiquities to contemporary American art, show your guests some of the area’s emerging architecture developments, like The Bristol, a modern, amenity-rich condominium that harkens back to the city’s midcentury structures with its asymmetrical tiered exterior. If music better suits your taste than visual art, take your guests for a show at one of Miami’s incomparable music venues, like Bardot, where they can enjoy bottle service and the dulcet tones of a local indie band, or The Vagabond, where they can check out some of the city’s best DJs. When you’ve had your fill of the art world, indulge in a little local shopping — the Aventura Mall is perfect for big-ticket items and designer goods, while tasteful parting gifts, like Missoni candles and Sofia cashmere travel kits, can be scooped up at NEST Casa’s stores in the Design District and at the Bal Harbour Shops.
Miami’s originality can’t truly be described — it has to be lived. Help your house guests experience the real Miami by offering them the sights, sounds, and tastes of the city during their trip.
Note: This is a guest post by Candace Schaffer; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author. Candice Schaffer works at Knightsbridge Park, a leading digital marketing firm for luxury real estate brands such as xoco325.com and The Harrison,