Everything you need to see, do and eat during the Miami Open
By Dan Koday, Jan 2020
One of South Florida's most coveted entertainment experiences, the Miami Open isn't just the chance to see world-class tennis. It also puts you in close proximity to some of the area's best food, recreation, nightlife and accommodations.
Running in the spring, at the state-of-the-art Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Open is the ideal place to spot top-flight tennis pros on and off the court (and maybe even improve your game a little while you're in town).
Here's everything you need to know to have a grand-slam springtime trip to the 305.
What to do
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens comes to life during the Open, with pop up dining from esteemed restaurants including Casa Tua Cucina, Novecento and Pincho Factory and activations from Moët & Chandon and Stella Artois; meanwhile, the surrounding tennis complex is also host to musicians, DJs and curated art galleries, and there's even some art you can purchase and take home with you, too.
There are also plenty of neighboring places to explore and opportunities for peeping the players nearby. Nearby Pembroke Pines is home to an impressive, year-round indoor ice rink and high-end shopping. C.B. Smith Park is also in the Pines; it's a recreational area and water park with mini golf courses, driving ranges and campgrounds, plus a few tennis facilities where you can practice your backhand.
Your best chance of seeing a player before a match in the days leading up to the Open is to head to Hard Rock Stadium, where many of them will be practicing. Some players hit the courts in seaside resort community Key Biscayne and posh downtown neighborhood Brickell on their off days.
For nightlife and entertainment, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino packs 20 bars and lounges on its campus, not to mention casino games and a 7,000-seat entertainment venue hosting entertainers, comedy acts and Broadway performances.
Catch a glimpse of the players in the lavish restaurants and bars of downtown Brickell.
Where to eat and drink
Most of the players stay in Brickell, which is filled with glitzy high-rise hotels, condominiums, shops, restaurants and bars. Players can be found at popular area restaurants such as Novecento, an Argentinian favorite that's big on steaks; The River Oyster Bar, where the menu extravagant seafood menu features some of the freshest catches from the Atlantic; and Brickell City Centre, a sophisticated, design-centric urban mall filled with juice bars, wine bars and a robust, worldly roster of upscale and casual restaurants.
If you've never spent a night in Brickell at Blackbird Ordinary, one of Miami's most popular bars, the Open is the time to do it. The late-night spot often hosts live music and DJs and slings trendy cocktails, and its down-to-party vibe will be extra turned up with all the athletes, agents, managers, publicists and friends filling it to capacity.
Closer to the action in Miami Gardens, you'll find quality eats at Lorna's, a lively restaurant known for its diverse, authentic Caribbean offerings. If you've got a hankering for some serious barbecue, check out Backyard BBQ & Brew, where you can find smoked brisket, turkey, duck and ribs. If that doesn't make your mouth water, there's a brisket truffle poutine and plenty of awesome burger options. A bit farther away in Wynwood (but totally worth it) is 1-800-Lucky, a cool cafeteria in an industrial space where in-the-knows go to tuck into pan-Asian food.
Miami's waterfront comes alive after sunset, offering a nighttime vibe to suit any taste.
Where to stay
Many Open players and VIPs stay and play at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel because of its central South Beach location. Players this season will be lured to the hotel's recently renovated Exhale Spa for post-match R&R, and its newly revamped Presidential suites are two-story stunners with oceanfront views and posh, contemporary living and dining quarters. If you weren't already convinced they're player-ready, consider that one of the suites has its own in-room gym.
Whether you can splurge for a Presidential suite or not, Loews has nearly 800 rooms and suites that fit any budget, and each comes with access to the hotel's gigantic pool and outdoor sun deck, which sit just steps from the beach. Also close driving distance to Hard Rock Stadium is Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, a quick 20- to 30-minute drive to the Open, depending on traffic. It's positioned directly on the Atlantic Ocean and has four (!) pools so that you can maximize quality beach and swim time.
With these insider tips on what to see, do and eat while you attend the Miami Open, you'll be sure to make the most of your trip. If you're lucky, you might just rub elbows with a player or two.
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