Known for its beaches, bikini babes and bars, Miami is culturally diverse, eco-conscious, foodie-friendly and one of the coveted vacation spots in the country. Make the most of a trip there with these insider insights.

 

Rec Room: Barely one year old, this hip, retro-style lounge pays tribute to NYC celeb hotspot No. 8 with DJs spinning on old-school vinyl, classy cocktails and photogenic revelers. In other words, it’s the perfect place to grab drinks, listen to great music and relax with friends.

 

Cobaya: This underground dinner club can pop up anywhere at any time, and you can be one of the chef’s gastronomic guinea pigs. Just be ready for Beef Wellington with white truffle zabaglione, Szechuan-style tripe, porcini mushroom croquettes and other delectably experimental dishes.

 

South Beach: East of the city, between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic, SoBe is a hub for gorgeous ladies, serious volleyball games, strong drinks and breezy outdoor cafes. Pro tip: Grab a Deco Bike for a couple hours ($10) and you can cruise from one end to the other quite easily, stopping and chilling wherever you like.

 

Monkey Jungle: Welcome to the Jungle, where 400 primates of 30 species run amok over three acres of Amazonian-style flora—and you witness their moves through a series of tunnel-shaped cages. No wonder the slogan is “where humans are caged and monkeys run wild.”

 

Beacon Hotel: Scarface fan? Tony Montana’s arrival in the Art Deco District was shot on Ocean Drive and 13th Street. The chainsaw scene is at the Beacon Hotel, 720 Ocean Drive. And full-on film buffs can check out locations for everything from Goldfinger to Miami Vice to Ace Ventura with Miami Movie Tours.

 

Everglades Tour: Zoom through national parks with nothing between you and hungry beasts but a goofy airboat. Get up close and personal with alligators, snakes, turtles and Florida wetlands wildlife—the beauty and diversity of the ’glades puts your everyday swamp to shame.

 

Treehouse: Say goodbye to the pretense, unnecessary valet parking, foam-covered dance floors and roped-off booths you may expect at a snooty upscale club. Treehouse is just right for packing in passionate partiers who come as they are… and simply want to drink, dance and party till 5 a.m.

 

Wynwood Brewing Company: The trendy, artsy neighborhood of Wynwood is worth a visit, especially to check out this newer brewer’s taproom, and craft beers like La Rubia Blond Ale and Wynwood IPA.

 

Gramps Miami: Wynwood’s also home to this charming dive. Food trucks on the weekends, good live music, a dance floor and a faux-tropical outdoor area with a shuffleboard court keep things loose, irreverent and fun.

 

Little Havana: This vibrant neighborhood is a great place to nosh on a killer Cuban sandwich, check out a block party or street fair on Calle Ocho or grab a mojito and soak up the sun.