Where Your Journey Begins........
Seeing the gorgeous pastel buildings of Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District is something no first-time visitor should miss. Take a self-guided audio tour or regularly scheduled walking tour of one of the world’s greatest concentrations of 1930’s architecture. Start at the Art Deco Welcome Center at 1001 Ocean Drive. Admire the porthole windows, breezy front porches and nautical motifs of the Ocean Drive hotels. Learn the names of star Deco architects like Henry Hohauser and L. Muray Dixon. Stop for lunch at an outdoor café while soaking up the unique style of South Beach and the Art Deco District.
Little Havana is one of the best places to experience Miami’s Latin flavor. On Calle Ocho (Southwest Eighth Street), stroll over to Domino Park for some local color. Walk into any of several cigar shops and watch stogies being hand-rolled by skilled torcedores. Little Havana has several wonderful art galleries as well as souvenir shops selling everything from Cuban flags to classic guayabera shirts. A great way to experience the sights and sounds of Little Havana at night is during Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays – the neighborhood’s monthly arts and cultural event. And don’t leave Miami without sampling some delicious Cuban food.
Miami offers endless cultural offerings, from ballet to opera to symphony concerts and gallery nights. Catch a show at the Arsht Center or check out smaller venues around town for modern dance, comedy and theater productions. Museums like History Miami and the Jewish Museum of Florida offer glimpses of Miami’s intriguing past, while art museums like the Miami Art Museum, Frost Art Museum at FIU, Lowe Art Museum, Bass Museum of Art, Wolfsonian-FIU and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami house dazzling collections of ancient, modern and contemporary art and design. Monthly gallery nights showcase local art while mega art fairs like Art Basel Miami Beach and Arteaméricas bring in art and collectors from around the world.
Visiting Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a step back in time to turn-of-the-century Miami. From Newport to San Francisco, wealthy industrialists had the means to create their own pleasure palaces. Some got a bit adventurous, choosing the wilds of Miami to create what is still its most spectacular home. James Deering’s stunning Mediterranean-style villa is filled with art and furnishings. Ten acres of gardens set along Biscayne Bay beckon to be explored. In the winter and spring months, you can take a tour of Vizcaya by moonlight – a truly magical experience.
Miami’s attractions offer something for everyone. Step into Miami’s Garden of Eden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Swim with the dolphins at Miami Seaquarium, meet and greet exotic animals at Jungle Island, or laugh at the hilarious antics of primates at Monkey Jungle. At Zoo Miami, you will encounter a wild world of over 2,000 animals including fauna from the wilds of South America at the zoo’s permanent exhibit, Amazon and Beyond. Ponder the mysteries of Coral Castle. Miami attractions will dazzle your senses.
Greater Miami and the Beaches are surrounded by water. In Miami, you can dive, snorkel, canoe, kayak, standup paddleboard (SUP), windsurf, or fish to your heart’s content. Miami also boasts the only underwater national park in the country, Biscayne National Park. From the Visitors Center here, you can take a glass-bottom boat tour to glimpse sea creatures undulating across brilliant coral reefs. Some of the very best views of Miami are the ones from the water! Take a ride on the Island Queen tour boat or speed across Biscayne Bay on a Thriller Miami speedboat cruise.
Miami’s nightlife is legendary. On South Beach, popular spots include Mynt and LIV. Downtown clubbers head for Space, Grand Central or Bardot. Lose yourself to swirling lights and house music or catch a live act. One tip: Call ahead to get your name on a guest list so you’re not stuck standing in line. Then put on your dancing shoes and explore Miami’s night clubs! For some Latin flair, try out Hoy Como Ayer, La Covacha or Yuca. Miami nights are full of possibilities.
FIND A FESTIVAL
With Miami’s year-round sunny weather, there’s always a festival somewhere. Throughout the year, you can check out art shows, food and wine fests, ethnic pride celebrations and much more. Browse a list of popular annual events in Miami and Beaches and get ready to have fun!
EPIC Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel, downtown Miami, USA
We stayed here in June 2012 for 2 nights following a trip in the Caribbean. We chose a downtown location as opposed to South Beach as we’ve previously stayed in South Beach and wanted to see the other side of Miami.
We got a cab from the airport straight there, it was quite a glitzy lobby with lots of people coming and going, there seemed to be a conference on. Check in was smooth, we arrived early in the morning and they kept our bags safe until we returned later in the day. Miami generally has a feel of glamour about it which was reflected in the hotel and got us in the mood to explore. The staff were friendly and helpful and pointed us in the right direction for the open top bus tour – which was slightly embarrassing to ask for in such a trendy place!
The hotel is set on the edge of one of the waterways so it was fun to look at the huge yachts. The bus tour is a must to get your bearings, it’s a huge city with lots of different, interesting districts. There’s a big Hispanic influence which gives the place a different feel to most US cities. We stopped off at South Beach and enjoyed the shops and Ghilrardelli Chocolate café on Lincoln road. The beach side bars are extremely expensive for cocktails so it’s as well to venture bit behind the main stretch.
When we returned to the hotel our room was ready and are bags were quickly available. We were shown to our room on the 11th floor, over looking the Miami tower and waterways. The view at night was great as the Miami tower was lit up in bright colours.
The room was really comfortable with plenty of areas to sit and relax. Everything was up to date and looked really shiny and new, it was in the upper band of a 4 star we would say. We had a moderate sized balcony which we could enjoy the view from. Free WIFI is available in the rooms too if you sign up to be a member of the Kimpton hotels (free online).
We were back in time for complementary wine hour which was plentiful and well served. There’s simply a choice of red or white wine, with the high prices of alcohol in Miami this makes a saving. As well as the hotel there are Residences at the Epic, they have their own private pool area and sun deck. There is however a great roof top pool, with plush fluffy towels, robes, and modern sun chairs/pods to relax in. A good place for people watching. There’s a pool side bar too, which price wise was in line with Miami.
The hotel is in the centre of downtown Miami which is more of a business district but the more touristy South Beach can be easily reached by taxi. Boat trips around the harbour can be picked up a 15 minute walk away via a pretty park along a walkway by the waterways.
The hotel was set in what felt like a safe area for two women to walk about in the day, but taxis were better after dark.
Check out was easy and again we stored our bags with them for our later flight, we would definitely stay at the Epic again.
Our Reviewers Rating:
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Epic Hotel Miami
A boutique hotel in Miami's vibrant downtown, EPIC Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel, marries
the city's sparkling energy and leisure lifestyle with worldly sophistication and
signature Kimpton hospitality. The 411 spacious guestrooms and suites, located on
floors 18–30, envelop you in stylish, luxurious comfort. Soothing, glittering elements
abound, echoing the water and sun that characterize our location.
Our Miami Hotel Rooms
Guestrooms in our Miami boutique hotel feature calming earth tones accented with
golden pumpkin and soft white in a fresh, clean contemporary design. Fine fabrics
and custom furnishings add to a pampered experience. Evening turn-down service
and beds wrapped in Frette triple sheeting with luxurious throw blankets promise
soothing sleep while the hydrotherapy air bath tubs in our suites assure indulgent
relaxation. The warm lighting in the room plays with the spectacular views and the
Magic City Lights of downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay and the brilliant Florida
sunlight shining through sound absorbing floor-to-ceiling windows.
City View Double / Double Premier Rooms:
City View King Premier Rooms:
Water View King Premier Rooms:
Your well-being doesn't go on vacation just because you do. Our Mind.Body.Spa.
program offers a variety of ways to stay well, including the Yoga Channel on every
TV, yoga accessories to use during your stay, in-room spa services, and the onsite
fitness center and swimming pools. Or live well by simply indulging in our well-
stocked honor bar.
Other hotels and flights to Miami are available from: