Dance, Theater, and Music

Art Design Night

"The Miami art scene has blossomed into an international destination for contemporary art lovers, with an ever expanding roster of galleries, private collections, and museum branches in the Design District and Wynwood. Don't miss the gallery nights and artist talks in both neighborhoods of the city."—Elisa Turner, Miami Herald art critic and Miami correspondent for ARTnews. Design District gallery walk held the second Saturday of every month; dozens of art galleries open their doors at night and offer free wine and cheese as the streets fill with artists and art lovers. The district is north of downtown from Northeast 36th to 41st Streets and from Northeast Second Avenue to North Miami Avenue; tel. +1 305 531 8700. www.miamidesigndistrict.net

Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club

Serious jazz inside the historic Deauville Hotel with host/Cuban trumpet player and four-time Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval regularly appearing, along with visiting national artists and local musicians (Dee Dee Bridgewater, James Moody, Joshua Redman, Jane Monheit); the menu is heavy on seafood and Latin classics, and the drinks are serious (17 martinis). Tickets from $15. Currently closed for renovations. 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; tel. +1 305 403 7565. www.arturosandovaljazzclub.com

Books & Books

"Not only an architecturally beautiful spot and one of the great bookstores anywhere, but the food is first-rate. Be sure and catch the photos on the restaurant walls, a who's who of American literati."—James W. Hall, Miami-based author of Magic City (2007) and 13 other novels set in South Florida. Big-name authors regularly stop at this independent bookseller, packing in standing-room only crowds that sip wine and chow down on salads, grilled sandwiches, and pasta specials at the stellar café and coffee bar; four rooms of wall-to-wall books on handsome, dark shelving in a 1926 Mediterranean-style building that is home to the local literary scene. 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; tel. +1 305 442 4408. www.booksandbooks.com

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

"Magnificent acoustics—a world-class hall for a world-class city."—Donna Shalala, University of Miami president and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Designed by famed Argentine architect Cesar Pelli, it's the new cultural hope of Miami; people love or hate its craggy, bunker-like design, but there's no disputing its stellar acoustics; home to the Florida Grand Opera and Miami City Ballet, the collection of concert halls and black box theater also hosts the diverse likes of the Companhia de Danca Deborah Colker from Brazil, Classical Theater of Harlem, The Temptations, Evgeny Kissin, and the Cleveland Orchestra (in residency January-March). 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; tel. +1 786 468 2000. http://www.arshtcenter.org/

Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts

Once home to comedian Jackie Gleason's TV show and visiting legends such as Frank Sinatra and Jack Benny, the former Miami Beach Auditorium now hosts an eclectic mix of music, dance, and live theater (El Puma, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Seal, Marc Anthony, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Riverdance, Rent); the Billboard Latin Music Awards and MTV's Video Music Awards Latino America have been held here, too. Tickets $10-$70. 1700 Washington Ave., South Beach; tel. +1 305 673 7300. www.gleasontheater.com

Miami Heat

"The biggest bonding in our community has become the Heat games. You can find anyone who's anyone at the games, from Beyonce to Mayor (Manny) Diaz. My children love it and it's a must for anyone visiting Miami."—Ralph Navarro, president Florida Yachts International and Miami Heat season ticket holder. The defending NBA champions, led by the enigmatic "Big 3" of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, rarely fail to put on a show. Whether you love them or hate them, the Heat are the hottest ticket in town. Tickets $30-$75. American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; tel. +1 786 777 HOOP. www.nba.com/heat

Movies by the Bay

Outdoor movie showings in Bayfront Park; grab a beach chair from the 209 offered and watch a first-run movie under the stars on a 60-foot (18.3-meter) screen while breezes come in off the bay and downtown Miami twinkles as the backdrop. Tickets $9 adults; $6 kids, 5 and up; $6 seniors. 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; tel. +1 786 425 1800.

New World Symphony

"I love the New World Symphony. The musicians are terrific, and it always buoys me to see these youngsters playing so brilliantly. And many of the concerts are inexpensive (including terrific Sunday chamber concerts)."—Beth Dunlop, editor-in-chief of HOME Miami magazine, architecture critic for the Miami Herald. A training ground for tomorrow's classical music stars, the NWS is composed of young musicians on three-year fellowships under the artistic direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, a former protégé of Leonard Bernstein's; the group tours the world, but its home base is in Miami Beach, where it performs full-orchestra concerts, a chamber music series, a new music series, small ensemble concerts, a family series, and special recitals. Tickets $10-$70; several concerts a year are free. Lincoln Theatre, 541 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; tel. +1 305 673 3331. www.nws.edu

Nightlife

Cameo

"The hottest nightspot that I love the most right now is the Cameo. They have the best DJs, music…and the energy is through the ceiling."—Tracy Young, Miami DJ who has deejayed at Madonna and Guy Ritchie's 2000 wedding reception in Scotland and Britney Spears' 21st birthday. In a historic art deco movie theater, the nightclub has a 10,000-square-foot (929-square-meter) dance floor and a big, glass-enclosed VIP area upstairs; a catwalk around the second floor offers views of the dance floor below. Cover charge $20-$30. 1445 Washington Ave., South Beach; tel. +1 305 532 2667. www.cameomiami.com

Churchill's

One of the few rock clubs in Miami; it's dirty and dicey, but the Little Haiti drinking hole has booked some of the city's hottest bands before they hit the big time, including country music band the Mavericks; live music from heavy metal to singer-songwriters; owned by an Englishman, it's also known for showing live soccer matches on a 15-foot (4.6-meter) screen. (U2 was seen here when they were recording in Miami.) 5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; tel. +1 305 757 1807. churchillspub.com

Circa 28

"Upstart venue in an old locals bar in Wynwood. Saturday nights brought to you by Sweat records, Miami's premier indie record store."—DJ Le Spam (Andrew Yeomanson), DJ who heads the Miami band The Spam Allstars. Nightclub-lounge for the upscale/hipster set in the Wynwood Arts District. 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami; tel. +1 305 722 1858. www.myspace.com/circa_28

Club Space

Created from four warehouses, the cavernous, 25,000-square-foot (2,322.6-square-meter) dance space in downtown Miami has an oversize dance floor, a mezzanine, rooftop terrace, lounge, and several VIP areas; resident and visiting internationally known DJs; other mega-dance halls have arrived on the scene, but this was the first and still a favorite. 34 NE 11th St., Miami; tel. +1 305 375 0001. www.clubspace.com

Hoy Como Ayer

"It's a bit cramped, but once the show begins, everyone becomes a part of the fun, and the dancing can't be beat."—Teresa Rodriguez, Univision TV correspondent and cohost of the weekly newsmagazine show "Aquí, y Ahora". Small, spirited Little Havana dance club where the nostalgia of old Cuba permeates with the help of live music by some of the island's best musicians-in-exile. The Spam Allstars play funk/Latin/hip-hop here most Thursday nights. 2212 SW 8th St., Miami; tel. +1 305 541 2631. www.hoycomoayer.us

PS14

"Indie rockers and alt crowd hangout with a nice patio in the back just a few blocks north of the downtown club district."—DJ Le Spam (Andrew Yeomanson). Downtown music club featuring elector house, hip-hop, rock, and Latin; WVUM, the University of Miami's alternative radio station, often hosts music nights. 28 NE 14th St., Miami; tel. +1 305 358 3600.

Rooftop Lounge

Rockin' parties Friday and Saturday nights until 2 a.m. on the terrace at the Townhouse hotel; young professionals dangle cocktails while lounging on king-size waterbeds; '80s retro music common. 150 20th St., South Beach; tel. +1 305 534 3800. http://www.townhousehotel.com/default.aspx?pg=rooftop

Tapas y Tintos

"Get there late and it's a terrific place to dance the night away with no cover charge."—Frances Robles, Cuba reporter for the Miami Herald. Free tango and salsa classes Mondays and Tuesdays; live music and DJ nights; flamenco shows. 448 Española Way, South Beach; tel. +1 305 538 TAPA. www.tapasytintos.com

Tobacco Road

"Miami's first bar (liquor license #001), former speakeasy, and hangout of Al Capone. Some incredible R&B, blues, and jazz acts have passed through the upstairs cabaret over the years."—DJ Le Spam.  Miami's oldest bar, established in 1912; best place for a greasy burger and live blues; its stage has seen the likes of John Lee Hooker, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, and Buddy Guy. 626 S. Miami Ave., Miami; tel. +1 305 374 1198. www.tobacco-road.com

Viernes Culturales

Little Havana's free monthly music and art festival, with walking tours, dancers, and gallery openings held the last Friday of every month; live music on the main stage with Afro-Cuban, R&B, hip-hop, rock, and salsa bands. On Southwest 8th Street, between 14th and 17th Avenues; tel. +1 786 314 5993. http://www.viernesculturales.org/

Festivals

Art Basel Miami Beach

December. The hottest international contemporary art show in the states; the American sister event of the August Art Basel in Switzerland; exclusive selection of 200 leading art galleries from around the world exhibit 20th and 21st-century artworks by more than 1,500 artists over four days; special exhibits, parties, and crossover events that include music, film, architecture, and design; exhibits in the Art Deco District, but a handful of other art shows have sprung up around Miami at the same time. Tickets $30 day pass. Miami Beach Convention Center, 1700 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; tel. +1 305 674 1292. www.artbasel.com

Art Deco Weekend

January. Three days devoted to art deco with lectures, films, art, and photo exhibits, guided tours, and a street fair along Ocean Drive, closed to traffic for the event; hosted by the Miami Design Preservation League. Free. Art Deco Welcome Center at 10th Street and Ocean Drive; tel. +1 305 672 2014. www.mdpl.org/ADW

Calle Ocho Festival

March. A celebration of Hispanic culture known as the world's largest street party; spans 23 city blocks; musical stages, food vendors, craft booths, youth sites. Along Southwest 8th Street between 4th and 27th avenues, Little Havana; tel. +1 305 644 8888. www.carnavalmiami.com

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

February. One of the largest and most prestigious outdoor fine arts festivals in the United States; features more than 330 artists and craftsmen. Admission $5. Along the streets of Coconut Grove; tel. +1 305 447 0401. www.coconutgroveartsfest.com

Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Late February/early March. Brings culinary superstars (Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Alain Ducasse, Todd English) to South Beach with local celebrity chefs for three days of classes, cooking demos, grand tastings and parties. Events from $15; $1,225 weekend pass. Various locations throughout South Beach; tel. +1 305 FIU WINE. www.sobewineandfoodfest.com

Miami Book Fair International

November. Downtown Miami hosts one of the nation's largest outdoor book fairs; more than 250 authors (Frank McCourt, Thomas Cahill, Isabel Allende, Carl Hiaasen) read excerpts from their works, sign books, and talk with fans; highlights include a street fair, children's activities, food kiosks, lectures, and music. Free. Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; tel. +1 305 237 3258. www.miamibookfair.com

Miami International Film Festival

Late February/early March. Showcases a variety of acclaimed films from various genres and countries, emphasizing international and Ibero-American film; with panels, discussions, and seminars; more than 70,000 people attend, including 300 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry reps from around the world; an intensive three-day program gives emerging producers from Portugal, Spain, and Latin America the chance to present new projects to U.S. industry professionals. Various locations throughout Miami; tel. +1 305 237 3456. www.miamifilmfestival.com

Redland International Orchid Festival

May. One of the world's largest annual orchid events, with more than 60 world-class professional growers; features an orchid show, lectures by orchid experts, food, crafts, and supplies. Fruit and Spice Park, 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead; tel. +1 305 247 5727. www.fruitandspicepark.org

Winter Party Festival

Late February/early March. Six days of parties and events to support the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force that draws about 10,000 participants from around the world to South Beach; art, dance, music, comedy, and sporting events, culminating with a beach party. On the beach at Ocean Drive and 14th Street and other venues throughout Miami; tel. +1 305 571 1924. www.winterparty.com

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