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Where the People Go: Miami

Local influencers share what to do, eat and see.

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Palm trees and buildings in Miami during the sunset
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I live in the perpetually summery city of Miami, so friends always want to come and visit. And when they do, I whip out my black book of tried and true #SoMiami spots that out-of-towners will love experiencing. There’s rarely a bad time to visit, but next month is a guaranteed good time, with the July Fourth fireworks over Ocean Drive, Spa Month, Comic Con and other fun events.

If friends are just passing through for lunch or dinner, we make a beeline for Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, a buzzy indoor/outdoor spot in one of the Magic City’s hippest ‘hoods. In one stop we can enjoy Latin-inspired eats, sip rum cocktails with a diverse crowd and tour the Wynwood Walls, where vibrant murals (including one by Shepard Fairey, who created the famous Obama “Hope” poster) are the perfect selfie backdrops. Then, if they’re up for shopping, I take my friends to Iniva, a really cool concept store in Upper Buena Vista that sells art, furniture, clothing and accessories from Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and Zanzibar.

Want more insider intel? Read on for the 411 from a few of my friends in the 305.

The Copper Door B&B in Historic Overtown is a nostalgic Black-owned bed-and-breakfast that revives Overtown's cultural past with vintage decor.” – Fabiola Fleuranvil, CEO, Blueprint Creative Group

Yardbird on South Beach does really good fried chicken and cocktails. It’s not too far from Miami International Airport so I sometimes take people there when they have a short stopover.” – Kai Anderson, compliance officer, American Express

“At Balans on South Beach, I love the fact that I can get both a great cheeseburger and a delicious steak from a good-looking server.” – Debra Jenkins, vice president of marketing, Resorts World Bimini

“For brunch, I enjoy Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill’s duck and waffles with a fried egg on top. I add some bacon-wrapped dates and my life is good!” – Nicole White, president and principal designer, Nicole White Designs

Outdoor fun
“On Miami Beach, I always take friends to the beach at 71st Street. It’s less crowded than South Beach and just as beautiful.” Dana Thompson-Hall, teacher

“Maurice A. Ferré Park (formerly known as Museum Park) downtown is a great place to walk next to the water. If you go at sunrise, you can see cruise ships turning around in Biscayne Bay. And any time of day you can check out the outdoor statues at PAMM [Pérez Art Museum Miami] next door.” – Alison Dwyer, accountant

Beyond go-tos such as Aventura, Dadeland and Sawgrass Mills malls, I’m digging Prinzzesa Boutique in Coral Gables for cute clothing and gifts and the Wynwood Marketplace for vintage looks at a bargain price.” – Vanessa James, media personality, Vanessa James Media

Happy hour
“Aside from Frosée Fridays with my girls at The Standard hotel on South Beach, I also love Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill. There’s always a great vibe with well-priced happy hour specials, and I highly recommend it for friends from out of town.” – Vanessa James

“Take the whole day to just relax and do you at Tierra Santa Healing House at the Faena hotel. The spa itself is stunning and there’s a sauna, hammam and cold room you can enjoy complimentary with every treatment.” – Kai Anderson

“Rooftop or beach yoga on Sundays at Exhale Spa + Fitness at Loews Miami Beach is a regular thing for me. I like that the space has a steam room, showers, a Zen lounge (for tea and stretching) and a nail salon. Give yourself three hours to enjoy it without feeling rushed.” – Vanessa James

“I get my mani-pedis at Mira Nail Bar on Biscayne Boulevard. Because nails and champagne go together!” – Debra Jenkins

Live music venue
Prohibition in Midtown has great live jazz, the meatballs are to die for and bartender Larry really knows how to pour drinks. – Debra Jenkins

Performance space
“For concerts, I’m impressed with the acoustics at The Fillmore on Miami Beach. Catch dinner and a sensual performance at El Tucán downtown or at the theater inside the Faena hotel on Miami Beach. For salsa, there’s no place like Little Havana’s Ball & Chain on a Thursday or Saturday night. – Vanessa James