Why Miami is about so much more than just the beach

Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

As we approach the opening of our new Miami Pool House, gallerist Nina Johnson shares why the city has so much to offer

Friday 6 January 2023 By Nina Johnson

The opening of Miami Pool House, which is nestled between the neighbourhoods of Wynwood and Edgewater, is just around the corner. And while our members have been enjoying all that Soho Beach House has to offer, we’re expanding our Miami presence this month with another House over on the mainland.

But why would you leave the crystal-clear waters of Miami Beach, you might ask? Founder member and renowned gallerist, Nina Johnson, shares her reasons why Miami is so much more than just the beach. 
 
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

Our culture happens on the mainland 
‘While Miami Beach is beautiful and has many wonderful cultural icons, including The Bass Museum and The Wolfsonian, Miami itself is home to the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Rubell Family Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Miami. In fact, there are so many great art institutions here that they are too numerous to count on a short list, so I had to lump them all together as my top reason for crossing the bridge.’

 
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

The food, and then some… 
‘Clive’s Cafe, Mandolin, Boia De, La Natural… Miami’s most popular restaurants are often on the mainland. Over the years, the scrappier upstarts moved to my part of town as it was more affordable and less tourist-driven. While the affordable part has certainly changed, long gone are the days when we would host our gallery afterparties at Denny’s because it was the only mainland restaurant open past 9pm.’

Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

The historic architecture
‘With recent laws making it easier to tear down historical gems and the simultaneous increase in property values, not a day goes by that I don’t see some beautiful old Miami Beach home being demolished. If you take a drive through Morningside, Miami Shores, El Portal or Spring Garden, you’ll find many homeowners who know a good thing when they see it and have chosen to lovingly restore their properties.’

Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

Fox’s Lounge
‘Speaking of historic architecture, it would be remiss of me not to mention my good friends who have brought Fox’s Lounge back to its heyday with a stunning renovation and throwback menu. It’s so grand, it’s where I spent Christmas Eve last year.’

 
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

The galleries
‘Spend a day visiting Miami-based galleries with a global reputation – preferably a Saturday when most of them are open to the public. There’s Primary, KDR305, Emerson Dorsch, Frederic Snitzer, David Castillo and myself (to name a few). Miami is robust with galleries whose reputations are growing beyond the confines of this city. It kills me to see a newly acquired work by an artist who I know one of my colleagues just showed locally, and then hear it was acquired from a gallery in New York or LA. If you want to see the culture thrive here, you have to support it.’

 
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

Cuban Tropical Tile Co 
‘This is a hidden gem that has existed in Miami for decades. All that lovely concrete tile you love seeing around town… this is where it comes from. Each piece is handcrafted by this team of skilled artisans and they’ll even work with you to create something custom.’ 

Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

Paradis Books & Bread
‘The wine, the books, the stellar company, Bianca. If you love natural wine, this is your spot. The team here is knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.’

 
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

Oleta River State Park
‘Did you even know this existed? Many Miamians drive past this stunning park and have no idea it’s there. You can cycle on trails, take kayaks out, go for a hike or even camp here. This gorgeous waterfront park is one of my favourite places to visit when the weather is cool and dry throughout the winter.’ 

 
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

The Cleat 
‘OK, it’s not exactly Miami, or even the mainland, but it’s worth the drive to Key Biscayne. Located inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a fabulous sunset bar. They have live music most nights, the best Pina Colada in town and the most spectacular views of the city.’

 
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House
Why Miami is so much more than just the beach | Soho House

The local musicians  
‘The city is full of great musicians who put on local shows, including my husband, Daniel Milewski. I’m biased, but what can I say? Check him out on Spotify and give him a follow – he’s an exceptionally talented songwriter and we’re lucky to have him in town. You’ll occasionally find him playing a set locally.’