The Meridian Hotel
Close to the buzz of the iconic Ocean Drive, South Beach, yet within the authentic, quieter residential district of 'SoFi', this new budget hotel offers a cool Miami vibe with its brilliant white, mid-century architectural style, courtyard of tropical palms, and café lobby where arriving guests are greeted with a welcoming Cuban mojito. Rooms are simple yet comfortable and well presented. The hotel is a 10-minute walk to the ocean, but you can borrow one of the guest-use bicycles to get around.
East Miami is the strikingly modern hotel within the revitalised Brickell district of downtown, one of the most on-trend places to eat, drink, party and stay. The hotel has genuine swank; with a sleek pool deck and bar area, and signature restaurants. Also, it's home to Sugar Miami, the award-winning 40th floor rooftop bar and garden - a place to enjoy cocktails and tapas over-looking the city's skyline.
Puerto Sagua Restaurant
You can see, feel and hear the influence of Miami's Cuban American residents across the city. You can taste it too, in the many Cuban restaurants, of which Versailles, in Little Havana is probably the most famous.
Yet at Puerto Sagua, the simplicity is the restaurant's charm; with a menu of home-cooked dishes like 'Picadillo a la Criolla' (seasoned ground beef with olives, raisins and spices, served with rice, black peas and sweet plantains); or 'ropa vieja' (pulled pot-roast beef with vegetables). There are generous authentic Cuban sandwiches and homemade soups too.
Puerto Rican eats in a friendly, family café in trendy Wynwood. It gets busy, so arrive early to get a table.
Joe's Stone Crab
For more traditional flavours of Miami, head to this renowned family eatery in Miami Beach's SoFi district to try the seasonal crab claws; as well as homemade Key Lime Pie. Reservations are not taken, so expect to wait for a table.
Expect great coffee in Miami - and this local gourmet coffee roaster has locations across the city, including in artsy Wynwood, romantic Coconut Grove and colourful Little Haiti.
Restaurant Quinto la Huella
This smart Uruguayan restaurant is a homage to Parador La Huella, the famous seaside South American eatery. Interiors of chic chiringuito design, with an outside terrace. Wood-burning oven and South American style grill for authentic South American flavours.
Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio are the names behind the trendy beach restaurant, Larios on the Beach, as well as this new upscale restaurant, Estefan Kitchen. Found in the exclusive Palm Court pedestrianised mall, in the Miami Design District, the restaurant offers sophisticated interpretations of family Cuban recipes.
Ball & Chain
Dine, drink and dance with live salsa, jazz and DJ sets at this reincarnation of the renowned bar and lounge that opened in 1935 on Calle Ocho, in Little Havana.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery
Take a free weekend tour of a 12th century Spanish monastery, in North Beach Miami! Randolph Hearst, the entrepreneur and newspaper publisher, purchased, and then shipped the ancient cloisters from Segovia to the USA.
Museums and galleries
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a must for families; it has interactive exhibitions, and a full-dome planetarium offering 3D presentations. Opposite is the Pérez Art Museum Miami, with its world-class collection of contemporary art from the perspective of the Americas. See a full list of Miami's diverse cultural centres on the city's visitor website.
Miami is a good base for a fly-drive holiday. The Florida Keys, an archipelago of coral islands linked by a highway, makes for a classic road trip from Miami, ending in picturesque Key West. For further road trip inspiration, look at the Hertz Road Trip Planner and discover iconic and off-the-beaten track routes, maps and guides.
PortMiami is undeniably the cruise capital of the world, catering for some five million customers, making Miami a great place to start and end a cruise holiday.
Brickell city centre
When it comes to destination shopping, then The Brickell City Centre is one of Miami's go-to malls for sophisticated retail, and upscale leisure. There's also a VIP cinema.