Hello, Miami! Our Top 10 Reasons For Loving YOU

Miami already knows that it’s one really, really good-looking city. Those breathtaking views! That year-round weather! And, yes, the best bikini bods on the East Coast (actually, Malibu has nothing on the 305, either). But, there are plenty of reasons to love this Magic City that go way beyond just the exterior.
We’re talking about you, obviously! You’re the reason for Wynwood Art District’s internationally recognized renaissance. Thanks to your sophisticated palate, the culinary scene just won't quit. Oh, and let’s not forget your worldly wardrobes, which provide enough eye candy to keep us shooting 365 days of the year. Which you know we will, now that we’ve — guessed it yet? — finally launched right here, right now. So, in typical Refinery29 fashion, we’ve penned our top ten reasons to fall completely in love with Miami, all over again — think hot homegrown talent, a can't-miss city food tour, and the very best place to score vintage Chanel. We already told you you’re gorgeous, right?
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Homegrown Talent
No longer is Miami just a muse for visiting designers like Carlos Miele and Zac Posen. The city is now breeding its own batch of visionaries, too. Most recently on our radar is Vintage Mavens’ Shareen Sarwar-Rubier, whose vintage-inspired threads are all hand-sewn by her mother — and reasonably priced, to boot! For a daily distraction, we visit Sarwar-Rubier’s personal style blog, Vintage Mavens, where she dresses in found gems she scooped up at hidden thrift stores. We’re just hoping she’ll share her haunts someday...

Photo: Courtesy of Vintage Mavens.
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Global Grub
Vietnamese. Peruvian. Ethiopian. Name your region, and Miami probably has a restaurant dedicated to its specific cuisine. But we can all use a cheat-sheet at times, and that’s where Miami Culinary Tours comes in handy. Guided by local foodies, the eat-by-district bus ride takes you to several landmark and hotspot restaurants for tastings and chef meet-and-greets. Intimate dining, indeed.

Photo: Courtesy of Miami Culinary Tours.
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Sleeping Around
Let’s think about this for a second: We live in a place where people flock from all over the world, just to enjoy our natural daily pleasures. With our backyard being a highly coveted vacation spot, it’s no wonder our playgrounds come in the form of stunning hotels.

Paddle boarding followed by a holistic massage? The Standard has you covered. Poolside mojitos to ease you into a night of dancing? Visit the massive Fontainebleau. And, if your plan is to hide out on the mainland, you won’t be short of options either— Epic Hotel, Hotel Beaux Arts Miami, or the Mandarin Oriental are all in the area, and at your service. Just consider it our version of Southern Hospitality (minus the carbs).

Photo: Courtesy of Fontainebleau.
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What Is Old Is Ours
When the snowbirds retire in Miami, they also tend to retire their vintage Chanel suits. Meaning those forgotten jewels are hidden away among the plethora of suburban thrift shops and high-end consignment stores like Fly Boutique and The Consignment Bar. If you’re looking for a cheap confection, try Lotus House Thrift, but, if you’re a more serious contender, there’s the holy grail of vintage shopping: C. Madeleine’s. Stocked with hundreds of pieces and organized by era, at this landmark, only the strong will survive. But we’re not worried about you.

Photo: Courtesy of C. Madeleine's.
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Garden Fresh
Sure, the expression farm-to-table may be a bit overused these days, but who doesn’t appreciate knowing where their food comes from? Restaurants like 1500°, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, and Yardbird all consider locally sourcing ingredients a top priority. Taking that philosophy a little further is Garden of Ian — owned by two FIU agroecology grads, the company builds sustainable livingscapes right in your backyard. Now, you don’t even have to leave your home to enjoy fresh produce.

Photo: Courtesy of 1500°.
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Night Crawlers
Blame it on our Latin influences, but Miamians love a good party. And we have the nightlife scene to prove it. From live performances at The Stage by hometown heroes Conjunto Progreso and killer dance-rock sets at Grand Central by DJ Jessica Who to speakeasies like Bardot and bottle-poppin’, dance-on-a-banquet nights at Louis, there’s something to fit every definition of fun, around here.

Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Who
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Wynwood Wows
Some credit Art Basel Miami Beach with the evolution of the local art scene (and, uh, the international one, too). But then, there are others who will tell you that artists were shacking up in desolate warehouses in Wynwood long before there was ever a Second Saturday Art Walk. Whatever the case may be, Wynwood is booming. With the recent debuts of indie spots like Panther Coffee, Found, Lester’s, Wood Tavern, and the soon-to-be-opened Wynwood Brewing Company, the little neighborhood that could is now way beyond just a strip of galleries. Like Soho in the ‘70s, Wynwood is in the midst of a renaissance — and we have front-row seats.

Photo: Courtesy of Wynwood Walls.
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Luxury Love
Design District developer Craig Robins has good taste in fashion. It started with Marni and Christian Louboutin, who moved into the Miami Design District before there was anything much to see. And now Hermès, Louis Vutton, and a few other LVMH family members are looking to become neighbors. The reason for the retail boom? It’s all part of Robins’ plan to turn the area into the Meat Packing District of the South. We’ll take it!

Photo: Courtesy of Dacra.
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High Spirits
What’s a good nightlife scene without a few wicked drinks? Beyond the boozy popsicles and coffee cocktails, the true spirits behind the bar are the city’s star mixologists. And since we’re a sucker for red lipstick and a throwback hairdo, we can’t help but give a shout-out to Hakkasan’s Camille Austin, whose concoctions are just as inspiring as her personal style.

Photo: Courtesy of Fontainebleau.
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Rebel Fashion
We wear white past Labor Day, and no matter where hoop earrings and mini skirts land on the trend meter, we’re rocking them every season. Get it? Miami definitely isn’t afraid to break a few style rules. And while many are quick to judge (they’re just jealous), there are plenty of forward-thinking locals who represent our singular aesthetic on a global scale — starting with The Webster’s Laure Heriard-Dubreuil and Gallery Diet’s Nina Johnson-Milewski. Take notes.

Photo: Courtesy of Nina Johnson-Milewski/Via The Webster.