When baseball fans arrive in Miami by the thousands for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game on July 11, they’ll bring with them images of sandy beaches and bikini-clad models… and while we’ve got our share of both, we’re also home to a thriving urban core that will be ground zero for festivities surrounding the big game.
Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park will become Play Ball Park; the InterContinental Miami will serve as the league’s Headquarters Hotel; and the neighborhood’s bars and restaurants will be filled with fans throughout the weekend.
With so much activity set to take place in Downtown, a trip to Miami Beach may be an afterthought. Here’s our list of the top picks for seeing mainland Miami like a local during All Star Weekend:
- Ditch your car. We mean it. Miami may be obsessed with cars, but we’re gradually catching on to the transit trend. Take the free Metromover or Brickell Trolley to get around Downtown, hop on a CitiBike, hail an Uber or Lyft, or use your walking sticks. Here are some tips for getting around.
- Shop until you drop. Then eat sushi. Downtown’s new shopping complex, Brickell City Centre, is earning high marks for its design, its connectivity with the Metromover, and its climate ribbon, which provides relief from the summer heat. They’ve got everything from Saks Fifth Avenue and an Apple Store, to Armani and Cole Haan. Pubbelly Sushi is a local standout, featuring a fusion of Pan-Asian and Latin American flavors.
- Get your culture fix (and beat the heat). Miami is undergoing a major arts and cultural renaissance, with Pérez Art Museum Miami and the adjacent Frost Museum of Science, both in Museum Park, being the latest addition. Best of all: both museums offer a welcomed break from the heat and humidity, which make them a favorite spot for locals in the summer.
- Join in some rooftop revelry. Downtown’s rooftops have the best views in the City – and now they’ve got the best drinks. Visit Area 31 at the Epic Hotel where they have a live DJ on Fridays with happy hour specials until close. Stop by Pawn Broker for handcrafted drinks atop a 1920s era bank building. Or head to Sugar at the EAST Hotel, where you can delight on Asian-themed cocktails 40-stories high. If caffeine is more your style, be on the look-out for a ventanita — or cafe window — serving Cuban coffee on any corner.
- Take a spa day on the cheap. After a long day sightseeing, reward yourself with a pampering massage – without breaking the bank. July and August are Miami Spa Month, where dozens of the best hotel spas and resorts offer discounted packages. For example, the mySpa at the InterContinental Miami is offering a 50 minute champagne mud wrap for $109.
The MLB All-Star Game will be the perfect dry run leading up to the 2020 Super Bowl, which will likewise base its public festivities in and around Downtown Miami. The All-Star Game and Super Bowl coming to the urban core are just the latest example of how the surge of investment flowing into Downtown is helping to lure the world’s biggest events.
“While our appeal has historically centered around the sand and surf, our global brand has expanded beyond the beach,” explains our firm’s president, Tadd Schwartz. “Now we’re home to a thriving urban core with waterfront parks, a growing inventory of hotel rooms, and the state’s best transit network.