We’ve rounded up our favorite Florida attractions, from the glamorous to the gloriously down-home.
Miami: Ultimate People-Watching
Top Florida Attractions
Miami: Ultimate People-Watching
Now in its 11th year, Art Basel Miami Beach (Dec. 6–9) is as much global bacchanal as art fair. When the world’s top dealers, advisers, and collectors descend upon the Miami Beach Convention Center this month, a flood of larger-than-life personalities will follow in their wake. With so many VIP’s flitting from one cocktail party to the next, name badges are redundant—the real way to tell who’s who is by attire. Here, a breakdown.
The Power Players
Dealers and gallery owners—the true lifeblood of Art Basel—come decked in designer shift dresses or tailored pastel shirts from Arnys in Paris.
Spotted: At private parties at the Raleigh Hotel or Soho Beach House.
The look is golf-club chic: Ralph Lauren twinsets; cashmere sweaters draped around their necks; Stubbs & Wootton slippers or Jack Rogers sandals.
Spotted: Dining in the lobby bar of the Setai or the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach.
The Window Dressing
Actors and fashion groupies come to the fair to flaunt their style in sinuous scarves and jagged-edged T-shirts chosen to maximize paparazzi potential.
Spotted: At Le Baron, a pop-up nightclub in the Delano Hotel.
Look for basic shorts and tank tops from this season’s American Apparel. Exposed bikini straps and baseball caps are dead giveaways.
Spotted: Gawking in front of the bouncers at the 1111 Lincoln Road elevators.
The Big Money
The least fashion-forward of all, the hedge-fund set, is there to spend. Baggy shorts and sneakers underscore their comfort in their new domain.
Spotted At private tables in the Dutch, Nobu, and Casa Tua restaurants.
Hotel of the Moment: The just-opened James Royal Palm ($$$) is this year’s unofficial Art Basel HQ for insiders—hotel guests can mingle with the partygoers at the fourth-floor spa, which doubles as a lounge during the fair for round-the-clock schmoozing.
Thanks to more than 1,350 miles of sandy shoreline, beach hopping in Florida is a connoisseur’s sport. Here, four of our favorite seaside spots.
Delray Beach: Despite its cosmopolitan vibe, with boutiques and galleries and the glossy Seagate Hotel & Spa ($$), the cozy downtown feels like a village—and fronts an inviting, umbrella-dotted stretch of sand.
Vero Beach: Stay at Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa ($$) and stroll the virtually crowd-free shore. The town’s cultural offerings are surprisingly good—check out the musicals at the Riverside Theatre and the modern collection at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.
Related: Florida Keys Travel Guide
Anna Maria Island: As notable for what it doesn’t have—namely, high-rise buildings along the water—as for what it does: seven miles of quiet, tree-fringed beach and unpretentious seafood shacks like the Rod & Reel Pier (941/778-1885; $$).
Gasparilla Island: Park your bike on the one-lane road and search for lightning whelks at low tide, then head to the 1890’s lighthouse to look for roseate spoonbills. After you’ve fished for tarpon, kick back on the porch at your hotel, the Gasparilla Inn & Club ($$).
Did you know? No matter where you are in Florida, you’re never more than 60 miles from the ocean.