The "parking building," as some call it, is another new landmark in the city. Envisioned by Robert Wennett (who lives in the penthouse on top) and designed by starchitects Herzog & de Meuron it is much more than just a fancy parking lot. Head to the top of the building, and then walk down to explore the various ?ber-minimalist volumes, and enjoy the amazing views. 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
Located right near the water in Downtown Miami, the Arsht is the Lincoln Center of Miami and your go-to for world-class opera, ballet, and Broadway. This December, I'm looking forward to being wowed by a Merce Cunningham Dance Company memorial production.
A spin-off of the Swiss-based art fair, this is now the biggest art fair in the U.S. and has injected the city with a newfound love for art and culture in the past decade. During the first week of December everyone who's somebody in the art and society world can be found sipping champagne at one of the numerous cocktail events, private dinners, beach concerts, or penthouse after-hours parties. Oh yes, and there are 14 major satellite shows to visit that have sprung up around it, like Scope, Art Miami, and Design Miami. I suggest you start at the main one, in the Convention Center, and if you still have some stamina after that do keep going to the many others! Early December; Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive
Founded in 2004 by Hernan Bas and Naomi Fisher, two of Miami's biggest art stars, it's an alternative art space located in the Buena Vista Building in Miami's Design District and the perfect way to start exploring this ever-changing part of the city. Opening and closing receptions are usually on the second Saturday of every month from 7-10 p.m., otherwise they're open by appointment. Design District, 180 NE 39th Street, Suite 210
Starting to feel guilty about too much pool and beach and not enough intellectual stimulation? Then this is the perfect spot to visit for your shot of culture. Located in South Beach it has a precious selection of artifacts from the Renaissance (Botticelli!) until today, with great temporary exhibitions all year round. You won't need more than two hours to see it all, and then you can get back to working on your tan. 305-673-7530; 2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
Contemporary art collected by Miami's power couple
A little outside Miami, Rosa and Carlos's private residence has been open to the public for the past 15 years and was expanded in 2009 to a space they commissioned in the Design District. Rumors say they?re in constant competition with the Rubell family (those other top collectors) for the art power of the city. Whatever might be true, the result is exciting contemporary art, easily accessible for the Floridian public and tourists alike. 305-576-6112; Design District, 23 NE 41st Street
Not only an amazing place to enjoy and learn about endangered species, but also a great contemporary art space in a really lush tropical setting. Past exhibits included a large outdoor exhibition of more than 20 works works by French sculptors Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, and for those who missed it at MoMA in New York, a chance to leave a wish in Yoko Ono's Wish Tree installation! 305-667-1651; 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables
A landmark in the Miami art world! Artists are encouraged to create site-specific installations as an extension of their representative work without the pressures of gallery sales. Definitely check out the Jim Drain exhibition in December 2010. He's another of those Miami art stars, and very surprisingly this is his first solo show in the city. Open Wednesday-Saturday 12-5 p.m. and by appointment. 305-576-8570; Mainland Miami, 155 NE 38th Street, Suite 100
A vanguard of contemporary art for Miami and beyond
The big guy of the Miami art museums. Even though it's located a bit further away, in North Miami, the Museum of Contemporary Art is the most "serious" and internationally renowned in town. It originates most of its own exhibitions (an exciting mix of both emerging and legendary artists) which then travel all over the world, so make sure to catch them here first and be the one to act all blas? when others haven't seem them! Closed Mondays. 305-893-6211; North Miami, 770 NE 125th St.
The spectacular new MAM -- the other building in the city created by Herzog & de Meuron -- is set to open in 2013, overlooking Biscayne Bay and including a gorgeous public garden and sculpture installations. Museum Park is Miami's urban redesign vision for the area now known as Bicentennial Park, merely steps away from the Performance Art Center. For now, the old space (in Cultural Center Plaza) is still going strong and in early 2011 they are planning a tight retrospective of Robert Rauschenberg's work. 305-375-3000; Downtown Miami, 101 West Flagler St.
Mira and Don Rubell -- yes, that Rubell from Studio 54 fame; Don is Steve's brother -- are avid art collectors and opened a vast space in the Wynwood district to display selections from their big collection. An astonishingly original manifestation of the power of art to provoke debate and prompt social intercourse, it features some of the edgiest and most important contemporary work of the last 30 years. A must see! Open Wednesday-Saturday. 305-573-6023; 95 NW 29th Street, Wynwood
With the opening of their new Frank Gehry-designed campus in early 2011, the architect?s first building in Florida, the New World Symphony takes Miami into the 21st century. Right in the center of South Beach, it has more than 60 annual performances, 15% of them free to the public. Don't wait until the opening to check out the work in progress of this new landmark. 305-673-3330; 541 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
Decorative arts and design in the Art Deco district
Located in the hearth of the Art Deco district, the Wolfsonian always has something interesting in design and decorative arts on view. My favorite is the political propaganda design from the early 20th century. The museum café is also a great place for a quick bite and a strong coffee. 305-535-2622; 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach