Here's the scoop on fan festival events celebrating the new issue in New York City and Miami.
Just because it's winter doesn't mean the swimwear stays packed: Sports Illustrated has announced the return of its popular fan festivals celebrating SI Swimsuit 2016 in New York City and Miami this month—a series of events that are free and open to the public.
In New York, "Swim City" at the Altman Building takes place February 15 through 16, then the festival heads to Miami from February 17 through 18 for "Swim Beach." Both events run from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and feature appearances by this year's models, such as Gigi Hadid, Erin Heatherton, Emily DiDonato, Hannah Ferguson, Nina Agdal, Irina Shayk, and Chanel Iman.
Last year, the SI Swimsuit fan festivals drew more than 65,000 attendees, and this year, it's expected to be even more robust. In addition to seeing the models themselves, expect a live Q & A, autograph sessions, music from DJs, and a host of other fun activities, like the opportunity to get a free shave at a Schick Hydro Barbershop—and maybe from one of the SI Swimsuit models. The new 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach—a T+L It List Winner—is the official hotel of SI Swimsuit 2016.
For more information and to RSVP to the events, click here. Then, read on for our tips for where to stay and what to do while you're there.
"Swim City": New York City
February 15 and February 16
Since the Swim City event in New York City will be at the Altman Building (135 West 18th street), set squarely between Chelsea and Union Square, you'll be in a great spot for food, drinks, and shopping.
Take advantage of your proximity to Chelsea by staying at the High Line Hotel—an edgy space on the grounds of the General Theological Seminary, whose interior gives a subtle nod to a Wes Anderson film set.
Just a 10-minute walk from the Altman Building is Union Square's ABC Kitchen, helmed by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Snuggle into this rustic-chic space for some serious farm-to-fork bites—think crispy shrimp salad with mixed grains, grilled chicken paillard with quinoa, and a fresh house-roasted turkey sandwich, making it ideal for a late lunch or leisurely dinner.
With Swim City ending at 5 p.m., there's no excuse to miss out on the New York happy hour scene. Head to Porchlight on Eleventh Avenue for classic cocktails turned into works of art—it's home to one of the city's best Sazeracs—and a killer value, featuring $5 flasks of punch and the much-loved avocado toast topped with crab.
"Swim Beach": Miami
February 17 and February 18
Seeing as January through April is Miami's high season, SI has chosen the perfect time to bring fans down to South Beach. Swim Beach will be hopping at Lummus Park (at Eighth Street and Ocean Drive), giving revelers tented areas and open-air spaces to take in the ocean while hanging at the all-day event.
Keeping in theme with the trendy beachwear event, head to the Shore Club South Beach for luxurious lodgings right along coastal Miami Beach. Just a short seven-minute drive up Collins Avenue from Lummus Park, this minimalist, white-on-white hotel tends to play host to beautiful people dressed in beautiful swimwear. Just off the beach sit two pristine infinity pools and an impressively stocked Rumbar (with around 75 varieties of the spirit in stock).
Also conveniently located along Collins Avenue, just a quick jaunt away, is Beachcraft, celebrity chef Tom Colicchio's eco-friendly restaurant on the premises of the luxury 1 Hotel. The restaurant focuses on fresh seafood, and the modern space is graced with elegant petrified wood tables and an exhibition-style kitchen, perfect for getting a peek at what goes on behind culinary doors.
There's no better place to go people-watching than Miami's South Beach bar scene. Check out The Rum Line, which is only a 15-minute walk from Lummus Park and feels like a chic trip to mid-century Havana—complete with tiki bar, teak furniture, and torches. If you're in the mood for something a little more clubby, head to Mac's Club Deuce, located just a block from the beach. This bustling venue is the epitome of a South Beach dive bar—it's open from 8 a.m. until 5 a.m., Monday through Friday.