A Guide and Map to Miami Art Week

Miami Art Week - Photo by Arnaud Civray
Miami Art Week - Photo by Arnaud Civray

Table of Contents

Miami Art Week is a whirlwind of activity, a weeklong festival that transforms Miami into a hub of art and culture. The fairs, exhibitions, performances, and parties attract thousands of art collectors, dealers, and artists from all over the world.

But Miami Art Week can be more chaotic than other art fairs. The deadlock traffic and confusing public transportation can make it challenging to get around. The standard rule of thumb is to “pick the city or beach and stick with it.”

I say, embrace the chaos! With a bit of planning, you can see all the best art and have a great time. Here is your guide to Miami Art Week.

Inside Art Basel Miami’s Biggest Year Ever | Forbes

Art Basel Miami Beach

The flagship event of Miami Art Week is Art Basel Miami Beach, considered one of the world’s most prestigious art fairs. Art Basel Miami Beach attracts a global audience of collectors, curators, and art professionals.

The fair features a wide range of modern and contemporary art, from paintings and sculptures to photography and video installations. It’s the ideal place to see which artists are rising to the top and the trends about to take over auction houses.

Also, set aside time to walk to Collins Park near The Bass. This year, the Audemars Piguet installation in the Rotunda will be ‘Topography of Memory’ by Sallisa Rosa.

Art Basel Miami Beach | Dec 8-10 | Miami Beach Convention Center in the South Beach district of Miami, USA

Audemars Piguet Installation at Collins Park | 2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

UNTITLED ART FAIR MIAMI BEACH 2021 | Contemporary Art by ArteFuse Magazine

Miami Beach Satellite Fairs

In addition to Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Art Week hosts a number of other art fairs called satellite fairs. They offer a more intimate and focused experience than Art Basel Miami Beach.

Each satellite fair has its own personality and can feature emerging to established artists. They are a great way to discover new artists who have yet to receive as much press as those showing at Art Basel.

If you have a VIP pass to a fair, check the fair’s website to see if other fairs will accept it. Remember to show it at the front door if they do, as some fairs will upgrade your ticket. For instance, Art Miami’s VIP Preview and lounges are open to VIP pass holders for Context, Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami, and Untitled.

Untitled

Untitled is considered the premier satellite fair during Miami Art Week. It features a wide range of contemporary art, from paintings and sculptures to photography and installations.

The artists you will see will likely be showing at Art Basel in a few years. It takes place in a massive air-conditioned tent on the beach at 12th Street and Ocean Drive in South Beach.

Untitled | Dec 6-10 | 12th Street and Ocean Drive in the South Beach district of Miami, USA

Photo Basel Miami

Photo Basel is the Switzerland satellite fair I spend the most time at. I deeply love almost all photo fairs, but Photo Basel consistently knocks it out of the park with each exhibitor. So, it’s exciting to see Photo Basel Miami, a curated section of Scope Art Fair.

Scope is two blocks south of Untitled and is also in an air-conditioned tent on the beach. It focuses on street art, graffiti, and digital art and is popular with young collectors and the NFT crowd.

Photo Basel Miami | Dec 5-10 | Scope Art Fair curated section, 10th Street and Ocean Drive in the South Beach district of Miami, USA

Aqua (by Art Miami)

Aqua by Art Miami focuses on emerging and mid-career artists. Over the years, the fair has established itself for its distinct, laid-back yet lively atmosphere.

Set in a classic South Beach hotel, the hotel rooms become the gallery spaces. The courtyard is social and a wonderful place to end the day before wandering to find dinner.

Aqua (by Art Miami) | Dec 6-10 | 1530 Collins Avenue in the South Beach district of Miami, USA

NADA Miami 2022 by VernissageTV

City of Miami Satellite Fairs

Art Miami & Context (by Art Miami)

Art Miami & Context is a two-part fair at One Herald Plaza in Downtown Miami. Art Miami features established contemporary art, while Context features emerging and mid-career artists.

One block away from Art Miami is the Adrienne Arsht Metromover station that connects to Downtown Miami.

Art Miami & Context (by Art Miami) | Dec 5-10 | One Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street & Biscayne Bay in Downtown Miami, USA

NADA Miami

NADA Miami has eclectic programming and a commitment to supporting new talent. NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) members notoriously are good at spotting what is coming next – trends and artists.

You can reasonably use the fair as a cheat sheet to determine who will likely spike in their career soon. It’s located a few blocks west of Art Miami at the Ice Palace Studios in Miami’s Art and Entertainment District.

NADA Miami | Dec 5-9 | Ice Palace Studios in the Art and Entertainment District of Miami, USA

Miami art week - w south beach
Miami Art Week – W South Beach

Where to Stay During Miami Art Week

For me, the beach is the ideal place to stay, with a day in the city set aside. The SLS South Beach Miami and W South Beach are conveniently located near Art Basel and provide excellent dining and fun bar scenes for those nights when I want to get to bed earlier.

The SLS provides a luxury Lincoln house car for traveling within a three-mile radius, so you can quickly get to everything in South Beach for Miami Art Week. If you are staying at the W, present your room key at The Bass across the street for a complimentary tour of the contemporary art museum. The Bass’ December show is always the best of the year.

In addition to the convenience, the SLS and W South Beach are two of the city’s most luxurious hotels. Both have all the amenities you need to rejuvenate between outings and steal away moments for a post-Thanksgiving break.

SLS South Beach Miami | 1701 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 | Trivago | Agoda

W South Beach | 2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 | Trivago | Agoda

Miami art week - photo by hector falcon
Miami Art Week – Photo by Hector Falcon

Where to Eat & Drink During Miami Art Week

Art Week can get overwhelming quickly, so having a place to duck into for a break that isn’t serving overpriced fishbowls is helpful.

Timeout’s article, The Best Bars in South Beach to Avoid the Tourist Traps, is an expert-vetted guide that includes nineteen breezy rooftops, intimate cocktail dens, and my favorite dive bar. Be sure to jot down a few of these on your map beforehand. 

In April 2023, Bon Appétit named Miami the 2023 Food City of the Year. Check out their recommendations in ‘Where to Eat in Miami.’

Enjoy wood-grilled oysters at Ariete, pork belly arepas from Los Félix, and tender skirt steak at Loretta & the Butcher in Coconut Grove. Grab a couple of cheesy chorizo croquettes at Doce Provisions and stroll through Calle Ocho in Little Havana.

Miami is a city of distinct and vibrant neighborhoods. Bon Appétit recommends three to make time for. Visit Black-owned restaurants like Lil Greenhouse Grill and Red Rooster in Overtown during your visit to NADA Miami, Art Miami, and Context.

Red Rooster Overtown is Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s first Miami restaurant. It serves Southern food with a Caribbean flair. The restaurant’s upstairs lounge is a cultural space showcasing exhibitions, performances, and weekly thematic celebrations. Co-owner Derek Fleming curates the programming to take stock of Overtown’s rich history.

Some of my favorite restaurants in Miami Beach include Joe’s Stone Crab for a classic South Beach meal, À la Folie Café as a quiet getaway while exploring the Miami Beach satellite fairs, and Cecconi’s Miami Beach for brunch. Remember to make reservations well in advance, especially during Miami Art Week.

Miami trolley - photo by ronny rondon
Miami Trolley – Photo by Ronny Rondon

How to Get Around Miami Art Week

  • Private car: A private car will cost approximately $130 each way from Miami International Airport to a hotel near Art Basel and can be arranged by your hotel concierge.
  • Taxi: Taxis are available at the airport on a first-come, first-served basis. They have a flat rate of $33 each way from Miami International Airport to a hotel near Art Basel, and it takes about 30 minutes.
  • Uber or Lyft: Uber and Lyft are also available. You can see real-time traffic information on the FDOT Interactive Map. However, I recommend having a backup plan in case taxis and rideshare apps are unavailable.

Metromover and trolleys: Traffic will begin to congest once the fair is open. If you need to get around the neighborhood, you can use the free Metromover and trolleys.

Art basel miami beach - south beach route for the miami beach free trolley
Art Basel Miami Beach – South Beach Route for the Miami Beach Free Trolley

Getting Around Miami Beach

The best way to get around Art Basel Miami Beach is by foot. The fair is located in the Miami Beach Convention Center, just a short walk from the beach. If you’re staying at a hotel in South Beach, you can easily walk to the fair.

If you have a First Choice VIP pass for Art Basel, you can take advantage of their complimentary BMW VIP Car Service. You can email the fair to arrange a car. A stand is usually outside at the fair, but the wait can be long.

If you’re driving, valet parking is on the convention center’s west and east sides. The MBCC Campus also has a parking garage with a $20 flat fee. I recommend leaving your car for the day if you are going to the satellite fairs.

You can also take advantage of the free trolley. Miami Beach has four routes: South Beach, Middle Beach, North Beach, and the Collins Express. All trolleys move in a loop, so make sure you’re okay with the direction you’re headed. The South Beach route is the only one that offers clockwise and counterclockwise.

You can download the city’s Track the Trolley app or use their website to see the stops near Art Basel Miami Beach, Untitled, and Collins Park (Audemars Piguet Installation, The Bass, and the W South Beach.)

You can download the city’s Track the Trolley app or use their website. Each route runs daily every 20 minutes from 8 AM – 11 PM.

City of Miami Beach E-Gov – Track the Trolley | iPhone | Android

Art basel miami beach - little haiti route for the miami free trolley
Art Basel Miami Beach – Little Haiti Route for the Miami Free Trolley

Getting Around the City of Miami

If you stay in Downtown Miami, you can take the Metromover to Art Miami (Adrienne Arsht Metromover station) and NADA Miami (School Board Metromover Station.) You can find the Metromover map here.

If you are driving, Art Miami has valet parking. I recommend parking here for the day and using taxis or trolleys to explore the city.

The City of Miami Trolley has shorter routes than the beach, but the thirteen routes help get around neighborhoods. The Biscayne route stops outside Art Miami and goes north to the Design District.

You can get off at the Biscayne & Little Haiti trolley connection (NE 2 Av & 37 St) and go to the Institute of Contemporary Art or L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which are a short walking distance. Or, you can connect to the Little Haiti route to go gallery hopping.

The trolleys run daily from 6:30 AM – 11 PM, except Sundays. Only five routes, including Little Haiti and Little Havana, run 8 AM – 8 PM on Sundays.

City of Miami Trolley Tracker | Website Map | iPhone | Android

Miami Art Week Map

Miami Art Week can be a lot, so planning your trip is essential. Soak up the art, the culture, and the chaos. It’s an experience you will remember.

Here are a few tips:

  • Book your flights and accommodations well in advance.
  • Make reservations at restaurants.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring your sunscreen and a hat.
  • Pace yourself. There’s a lot to see and do, so don’t try to do it all.

The ‘Find Contemporary Art’ Google Map has yellow pins for Art Basel Miami Beach and the satellite fairs, a green pin for the Audemars Piguet Installation at Collins Park, numbered blue pins for museums and galleries, and purple icons for hotels, restaurants, and transit recommendations.

To install the ‘Find Contemporary Art’ map on your phone or desktop, please write your email below, and I will send you the directions.

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