Downtown Miami is a district in Miami, steel-and-glass buildings have sprung up around downtown, the heart of the city. By day there's plenty of activity downtown, as suited lawyers and bankers share the sidewalks with Latino merchants wearing open-neck, intricately embroidered shirts called guayaberas. But it's still pretty quiet when all the merchants close up Miami shops for the night.
Downtown Miami includes the Central Business District (CBD) and Brickell. The border between them is the Miami River. Within Bricknell, Broadway splits Upper and Lower Brickell apart.
Brickell, which includes the Financial District, is home to the majority of the major corporations and large businesses in Miami. Along Brickell Avenue, you will find headquarters for major banks, real estate companies and law firms. In contrast to South Beach, Brickell tends to be more "buttoned-up" during the day. However, there are plenty of places to eat and relax by beautiful Biscayne Bay.
Better known as Miami’s finance district with a great variety of international banks, Brickell is also home to many of the best Miami vacation rentals. These are mainly preferred by tourists who want to enjoy a relaxing vacation away from the hectic Miami nightlife yet close enough to Downtown Miami and a 15-minute drive to South Beach. Business travelers from all over the world also prefer the Miami hotels in Brickell for their convenient location.
The Miami Metrorail offers convenient transportation from stops throughout Miami as well as Miami-Dade County, with connections to Tri-Rail to Miami International Airport, all Miami-Dade County bus lines, Tri-Rail and Amtrak. There are two main downtown stops: 1 Government Center station and 2 Brickell station.
Most intercity buses terminate at the airport, from where you can take Metrorail to downtown.
Public transportation in the downtown area is used more than in any other part of Miami and is a vital part of downtown life. The Metromover free of charge train system runs 3 lines through downtown (the downtown loop, the Omni loop, and the Brickell loop), and the Metrorail, Miami-Dade County's heavy rail system, makes 3 stops in the downtown area at the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Station, Government Center Station, and the Brickell Station. The MetroMover Brickell Branch has a stop at the MetroRail station as well as a few other stations in the area, and goes to Downtown Miami . Brickell Village, as it has come to be known, is a constantly evolving collection of not only brasseries and bistros, but also unique shops and services that reflect the wonderfully eclectic nature of Miami. The growth of office and residential space has also brought with it new supermarkets, pharmacies, dry cleaners and video stores to meet the needs of its residents. But Brickell Village's greatest assets are surely the natural beauty that surrounds it and the friendliness of its people.
- 1 Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd. This park has two amphitheaters (one large and a one smaller) and hosts live performances. This park also has memorials for the astronauts who perished in the Challenger spaceship accident, former president John F. Kennedy (the JFK Torch of Friendship), and a fountain dedicated to Claude Pepper, a distinguished US congressman.
- 2 Miami Circle. An archaeological site - a 38 ft (12 m) circle of holes and wood claimed to date back somewhere between 1,700 and 2,000 years old
- 3 Brickell Key (Claughton Island). An island community, attached to Brickell by a pedestrian friendly bridge. It is home to the famed Mandarin Oriental hotel. Strollers along Brickell Key often spot one of the many giant iguanas that make the island their home.
- 4 Jungle Island, 1111 Jungle Island Trail, ☏ . Lush tropical garden that features animal shows and exhibits.
- 5 Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, ☏ . This 38-acre tropical island paradise features marine shows and marine life exhibits. Expect to stay around two to three hours touring the large aquarium. 10 minutes from downtown Miami and directly adjacent to Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden.
- 6 Miami Children's Museum.
- 1 Bayside Marketplace (MetroMover to College-Bayside station). Shopping, dining, and special boat tours of surrounding islands, including the island where celebrities live.
- Island Dreamer Sailing School, 555 NE 15th st #200, ☏ . Daysail and sunset sailing trips. Take a day or evening sailing trip around Downtown Miami, Miami Beach and Biscayne Bay.
- 2 Museum Park (Miami) (Bicentennial Park).
- 3 American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd (near Bicentennial Park), ☏ , (box office). In addition to Miami Heat (an NBA team) games being played here, this arena has hosted several awards shows in its past such as the MTV Video Music Awards (twice). Several concerts are also held here. Call box office for ticket information.
- 4 Simpson Park Hammock. Urban park and nature preserve
- 5 Alice Wainwright Park. Waterfront park and nature preserve.
- Club Space Miami, 34 NE 11th St, ☏ (Info), (VIP). Voted best U.S. club at the IDMA 2011 Awards. Known for their Saturday nights. There are multiple rooms with different genres of music in each room so you can choose from a wide variety. They hold events almost every weekend with themed parties and well known/famous DJs.
- 1 The Shops at Mary Brickell Village. upscale shops, restaurants and bars
- 2 Bayside Marketplace, 401 Biscayne Blvd (near Bayfront Park), ☏ . M-F 10AM-10PM, Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Despite having several chain stores such as the Hard Rock Café, the Gap, Sketchers and Victoria’s Secret attached to it, this mall is noted for its gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay. The only downside is that traffic is bad at Bayside when Bayfront Park is having a concert nearby. Connected to public transit via Metrorail and Metromover. $12 (parking).
- 3 Buchwald Jewelers, 36 N.E. 1st street, suite 123, ☏ . 10-5. The third largest jewelry building in th U.S. over 100 jewelry stores under one roof.
- 4 Acero316, Inc, 36 NE 1st Street #622 (Sixth Floor) (Seybold Building), ☏ . 9-5. A jeweler known for their wholesale prices.
This particular area is bustling with tourist and "white collar" workers during the day. It is pretty desolate and quiet at night. Due to downtown's previous shady reputation, for many years locals and tourists avoided the Downtown area in general. Today Brickell is one of Miami's hot spots for good restaurants, dynamic nightlife, and luxurious hotels.
There are plenty of fine Miami restaurants in Brickell with the best menus by outstanding chefs. Beneath the towering architectural masterpieces that rise along the eastern edge of Brickell you will find quiet, shaded streets that offer a charm and relaxed atmosphere that is unheard of among major metropolitan areas. And accompanying the resurgence of this diverse Miami neighborhood is a substantial growth in the amenities available to its residents. Nowhere is this more notable than in the area of dining and entertainment. Whether you're looking for a sandwich at a sidewalk cafe or a sumptuous gourmet meal, you'll find something to satisfy your palate on the streets of Brickell.
- 1 La Estacion Cafe, 1390 Brickell Ave #100, ☏ .
- 2 Novecento, 1414 Brickell Ave, ☏ . A very popular Argentenian style food restaurant and bar. There are a variety of casual and fine dining options for you to choose from. This area has several luxury hotel chains due to its central location in Miami and its proximity Biscayne Bay.
- 1 Hilton Miami Downtown, 1601 Biscayne Blvd, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. 527-room hotel.
- 2 InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza. 5 Star hotel. 641 newly redecorated rooms and 34 suites, offering views of the skyline and Biscayne Bay. 66,000 square feet of meeting space, including 30 meeting and conference rooms.
- 3 Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, 1633 North Bayshore Dr, ☏ . All of the rooms offer some sort of view of the bay with a balcony.
There are many hotels in this area, especially luxury hotels. Many celebrities and A-Listers choose to stay in Brickell hotels because it is centrally located in Miami (15 min from South Beach) yet it's away from all the noise and partying that is South Beach.
- 4 Hotel Urbano, 2500 Brickell Ave, ☏ , toll-free: . An urban boutique hotel that features stylish accommodations and exceptional services. $119-$299 per night.
- 5 Holiday Inn Port of Miami Downtown, 340 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 4 pm, check-out: 11 am.
- 6 Conrad Miami, 1395 Brickell Ave. Hilton's luxury chain.
- 7 Four Seasons Hotel Miami, 1435 Brickell Ave (in the Brickell business district), ☏ , fax: . Has a large pool deck at the seventh-floor lobby level with a view of Biscayne Bay. This hotel takes more on a art approach to impress you, having some rare paintings and the decor to go with it. Expect everything you will from any other Four Seasons. In your expectations include that the staff will have the "Miami-tude". $250-$3500 per night.
- 8 Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 500 Brickell Key Dr, ☏ . From the Mandarin Hotel Group. This is considered the most luxurious (and expensive) of them all. The facilities are top notch and so are the staff (depending on when you go, their turnover is way higher than it should be for a luxury chain of this size and reputation). It is commonplace to find rappers and A-listers in the pool or walking through the lobby. It is also isolated on its own island (Brickell Key) which to some seems more of a hassle than an amenity.