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Take a trip to Miami this Summer

From the classic splendor of Coral Gables to the parade of vanities that is South Beach, few American cities are so vibrantly beautiful — and so profoundly aware of it. Miami legally belongs to the United States, but it's also the cultural capital of Latin America, and the lingua franca here is Spanish in all its myriad accents: Cuban, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Puerto Rican. The last decade has seen the ascendancy of several cultural institutions, including the symphony and Basel Art Fair, and a resurgent downtown in the Design District. Outside of the city, several lavish resorts offer self-enclosed experiences popular with families and those looking for some straightforward rest and relaxation.

When to Visit Miami
March through May is typically the most pleasant time to visit Miami. Spring is filled with sunshine with temperatures ranging from high 70s to low 80s. Hurricane season (and the hottest time of the year) runs June to November. Expect afternoon showers in summer and fall.

Where to Eat in Miami
Miami has a diverse population to provide culinary inspiration, but this has not always been reflected in the quality of the cuisine. Things have improved recently as the city has become a crossroads and financial center for Central and South America. Inspired by new energy, ingredients and traditions, chefs are creating food that is well worth exploring.

Mandolin
One would think, given the city’s proximity to the sea, that Miami would be jumping with good seafood restaurants, but that turns out not to be the case. Mandolin proves an exception, drawing on the cuisines of Turkey and Greece. In this pleasant, light-washed space, look for mezzes such as the Greek sampler of tzatziki, eggplant purée and taramasalata, or marinated grilled octopus. The simply delicious mains might include fresh whole fish grilled with olive oil, lemon and oregano; a classic moussaka; or grilled lamb chops with an orzo pilaf.

Il Gabbiano 
Miami doesn’t generally bring to mind Italian food, but this restaurant on Biscayne Bay is the Southern sister of esteemed Il Mulino in New York. Look for classic appetizers such as clams casino and arugula salad. The terrific pastas include a fine spaghetti alla carbonara and fettuccine alla Bolognese. The array of main courses features dishes such as veal saltimbocca, chicken scarpariello and roasted branzino. Service is excellent. Closed Sunday.

Palme d'Or 
A makeover has taken the signature restaurant of The Biltmore in Coral Gables from stuffy to stunning. The seasonal menu is as contemporary as the décor. Look for starters such as tangerine-poached Alaskan king crab with sweet peas, carrots, mint and onions; or creamy egg with langoustines and sea urchin. Main courses might include black sea bass and razor clams with a bouillabaisse sauce and a fregola pasta ragout, or prime beef tenderloin and braised Kobe beef cheeks with carrots, potatoes, sauce daube and aged balsamic vinegar. Closed Sunday and Monday.

OLA
Small-plate aficionados will be delighted by the Nuevo Latino flavors at this bright and simple space in South Beach. To begin, an astonishing variety of ceviches might include salmon with white soy sauce, citrus juices, chili-spiced cucumber, tarragon, red onion and crispy garlic. A starter could be the chicharrón plate, featuring crispy rock shrimp coated with rice and corn flour in a sweet-and-spicy sauce with micro cilantro. Among the main courses, you might find filet mignon churrasco.

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
Michael Schwartz’s airy, modern bistro is a Design District favorite. Schwartz cites Alice Waters as an inspiration, and his creative menu emphasizes unpretentious, locally sourced dishes at reasonable prices. It changes frequently, but look for selections such as house-made country pâté with cornichons and apricot mostarda; stracciatella with heirloom tomatoes, basil and extra-virgin olive oil; and slow-roasted and grilled Harris Ranch beef short rib with roasted cipollini onions, romesco sauce and hazelnuts.

Sightseeing in Miami
Don't overlook these iconic sightseeing attractions while visiting Miami:

• Pérez Art Museum Miami
• Art Deco Historic District
• Adrienne Arsht Center
• Fairchild Botanical Garden
• Little Havana
• Faena Forum
• The Wolfsonian
• Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts Gallery
• Fisher Island
• Bass Art Museum