WHAT TO DO
After you've settled on lodging arrangements and made dinner reservations, decide how to spend the rest of your time in Miami. Here's a glimpse at just some of the options.
$$$: Take in a performance by the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, or the Miami City Ballet. Sit for a play or a concert at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Jackie Gleason Theater, or the Lincoln Theatre.
Hit the glittering nightclubs of South Beach. They're plentiful--and constantly evolving. You'll know by the sounds coming out (Latin, hip-hop, heavy metal, jazz, and others) and the people going in (dressed to the nines in black-on-black formals, whooping it up in screaming-loud party dresses, sheathed in tattoos and body-piercing jewelry, and others) whether any given nightspot is right for you.
$$: See the performing whales, dolphins, otters, and other sea creatures at the Miami Seaquarium. Let colorful birds perch on your outstretched arms at Parrot Jungle and Gardens. Take in a big-league sporting event--Miami Heat basketball, Miami Dolphins football, or Florida Marlins baseball.
$: Stroll paths and greenhouses at Fairchild Tropical Garden. Meet nearly 200 different species of animals at Miami Metrozoo. Tour the Italian Renaissance villa known as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Hit the public beaches at South Beach and Haulover Point (caution: designated and otherwise, each has areas where nudists gather), at carousel-accented Crandon Park, and lighthouse-accented Bill Baggs/Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne.
WHERE TO SHOP
$$$: The Bal Harbour Shops take the cake for ignore-the-tag browsing by elite shoppers. Anyone interested in interior design and architectural accents will enjoy walking around several square blocks in the resurgent Miami Design District.
$$: Two fun open-air malls include CocoWalk (and the Coconut Grove business district surrounding it) and Lincoln Road Mall, a pedestrians-only zone in South Beach.
$: Look for bargains at the Bayside Marketplace downtown, or head north to Fort Lauderdale's infamous Swap Shop for everything from garage sale junk to discontinued lines of clothing and appliances.
"Miami: Three Days, Three Ways" is from the November 2001 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.