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Four Great DesignDestinations in Miami



When people think of Miami they think of the skimpy attire on South Beach…..…….the super sized  frothy cocktails…..the  boisterous block parties…..or the strong Cuban vibe.  While all fun, I have four great alternatives to recommend.  I will  call them DesignDestinations.

 Visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami

First, be sure to head to the new buzz-worthy Pérez Art Museum Miami  (PAMM) on the Biscayne Bay.  We went there in Jan.  It was so new our taxi driver didn’t know the way so he dropped us off at what felt like the back door.  Later we saw the real front entrance in the midst of a construction zone. When finished, the new Museum Park will be a must see destination.

Pérez Art Museum Miami

 But what about the museum?  Designed by the folks who did the Bird’s Nest Stadium for the 2008 summer Olympics in China, the PAMM was built and finished just in time for Miami Basel—the huge art extravaganza that takes over the city in early December.  I loved the clean lined and contemporary design, much like the Modern Wing of the Institute of Art in Chicago.

It looks and feels like it is floating on the Bay.  I like that a lot.



The views are different than those of the Windy City, but the use of large expanses of glass that let in lots of natural light makes me smile and think of the Chicago counterpart. I also enjoyed the minimal interiors, lunch outside,  the hanging gardens and the huge and adaptable video theater.

An interesting innovation was a photography exhibit where no name plates added to the clutter of the walls.  Instead you looked up the piece you were interested in on an IPad, connected to seating in the middle of the room.


 Best of all we enjoyed the exhibit of boats in the entry called “For those in Peril on the Sea” by Hew Locke. The installation consisting of 70 model boats suspended from the ceiling are eye candy for boat lovers as well as people who enjoy a truly creative and artistic effort.


Meander the Wynward Art District 

 So, what else might you do in Miami?  The Wynward Art District is right up there on the list of places to visit. Wedged between 20th and 36th Streets, just east of I-95, you will find block after of old warehouses painted by very talented artists.  This has spawned a whole new life for this district including galleries and restaurants.   For more information,  go to the recent blog. Click here.





 Head to South Beach for New World Symphony 

And then, while I didn’t get there on my last trip to Miami, I love the combination of design and music at the New World Symphony Hall.  It’s well worth a visit.

Designed by Frank Gehry, this is a stunning building designed for cutting edge and the most talented performers.  I recommend both taking the tour of the building and attending a concert.  Click here for my DesignDestinations post on this terrific destination. 

New World Symphony Building



Enjoy the Art Deco Beauties in South Beach

And then last on this blog post,  but high on my list of recommendations is taking a tour in South Beach of the Art Deco treasures. You really don’t want to miss this and you probably won’t appreciate the architecture and design of this special part of the city unless you do.

Take an hour or so break from the sun, sand and soothing cocktails and meander around on a tour, learning about these historic structures.  Again….click here for more details about this opportunity.



 What is next?

So, what’s next?  Well, I have my finger pointed to the Art Basel dates for 2014 on my calendar.  I’d love to see what that’s all about……if nor, maybe the next big boat show.  Want to join me? What would you recommend?

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Feb 20, 2014 Reply

    Great pictures of the PAMM. Sounds like my kind of place, sleek lines and comtemporary style. Onto my bucket list it goes!

  2. posted by
    Mar 5, 2014 Reply

    loved seeing all the art work. what a trip you had.

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