Every December visitors flock to Miami Beach for its annual whirlwind of fairs and festivities. And every year those people leave asking the same question: Why don’t we visit more often? Though this coastal community can be chaos during Art Basel, it’s a refreshing splash of culture any other weekend, with world-class exhibitions, cutting-edge design, and ultra-luxurious accommodations. Last year, the Bass opened the doors to its updated building—reconfigured by architects David Gauld and Arata Isozaki—while the Institute of Contemporary Art cut the ribbon on its new home, the first U.S. project by Spanish firm Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos.

Just across the street, finishing touches are being made to the Design District’s Museum Garage, an assemblage of daring façades by a dream team that includes WORKac and J. Mayer H. (What better place to park before shopping at the new Prada and Rick Owens boutiques?) And Annabelle Selldorf is creating a 100,000-square-foot museum for the Rubell Family Collection. Of course, you don’t just come here for enrichment, you come here to unwind. For some pampered bliss, look no further than the year-old Four Seasons at the Surf Club—with rooms by Joseph Dirand and an outpost of famed Positano restaurant Le Sirenuse—or the Faena, an enduring favorite thanks to its glam decor, sublime spa, and mouth-watering asado feasts. Just down the street, hitmaker Alan Faena is slated to unveil his new retail concept, Faena Bazaar, this coming fall. And even more local excitement is yet to come, with Tommy Hilfiger undertaking a dramatic transformation of the Raleigh with the help of Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Touzet Studio. As the Million Dollar Decorator puts it, “Miami is a city of surprise, style, sexiness, and constant reinvention. The energy is intoxicating.”


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