When it comes to game day, this fun, tropical city brings the heat.
This year, Super Bowl 50 is being played in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, a long way from Miami. But even when the city isn’t hosting the big game, it’s always up for celebrating it. The options include watching the action on Feb. 7 from the glamour of a poolside hotel cabana, cheering along on a bar-hopping run, or simply contemplating the historical sweep of the match at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium. The big game is here, and these are some ideas for a Miami-centric Super Bowl.
1. Poolside Cabana Viewing
Watch the Super Bowl in an only-in-Miami fashion: from a poolside cabana at one of the area’s posh hotels. It’s a nice departure from the clichéd image of beer, chips, and living room recliner normally associated with this day. The Fontainebleau is offering a series of cabana packages with built-in TVs and butler service, including the “End Zone,” which comes with a barbecue platter and three buckets of Heineken. The Delano, the seminal South Beach boutique property, can fit 10 fans in its cabanas, with snacks are available from the hotel’s Bianca restaurant.
2. Watch in the Company of Legends
Since retiring from football, legendary Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula has created a second career as a restaurateur. Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club has the original Shula’s Steak House, holding memorabilia from the Dolphin’s perfect season in 1972. The property has televisions for game-day viewing, and the hotel is—of course—a preferred hotel for the Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium.
3. Channel Your Inner Las Vegas
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, just outside Miami, will be pulling out all the stops—gambling and otherwise—but when the game is done, grabbing some high-end Japanese fare and cocktails at the Hard Rock’s Kuro is not a bad way to scale back to normal life: Japanese restaurants, after all, are all about restorative atmospheres.
4. Take a Bar-Hopping Tour
This city’s nightlife runs the gamut, and Super Bowl Sunday opens up even more possibilities. In downtown Miami, the MO Bar + Lounge at the tony Mandarin Oriental has a special game day menu, including short rib sliders with caramelized Vidalia onions. In Coral Gables, the Local Craft Food & Drink has great food for the celebration: a special $12 hamburger with bacon crust and pickled onion and equally evolved cocktails, courtesy of a cocktail program run by David Perez and Will Thompson. In-the-know patrons are all about the “Where’s Winter” drink, with such arcane touches as cinnamon-infused absinthe rinse, and for Super Bowl, an $8 dollar punch is also available.
5. Spend the Day at Sun Life Stadium
A lot of Super Bowl history has been played out in Miami at Sun Life Stadium, formerly Joe Robbie Stadium. The Miami Dolphins were once a powerhouse in the early 1970s—including the aforementioned landmark 1973 Super Bowl win—and once ruled the stadium. The Super Bowl is normally a big, noisy event, but there’s something to be said for a moment of quiet reflection: park outside on February 7 and consider the significant history right next to you.
Tom Austin is based in Miami and covers the Florida beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @TomAustin__.