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Keep an ear out for what’s hot
There’s usually a new art fair for emerging art trying to make a splash. In 2012, it was "Untitled" that pitched a beachside tent early in the week near Ocean Drive and 12th Street.
Use art resources to figure out where to go
Art Collecting is a great website that can be a guide for all the various satellite fairs.
Art is where the food is
The Rubell Family Collection, at 95 NW 29th Street, is one of the best spots to view art year-round, but during Art Basel, they have a free breakfast many mornings. The opening day breakfast is usually an interactive food installation.
Check out the coolest art yard in town
The Wynwood Art District has become tres chic the past few years, but the longtime residents – most from the Caribbean – give the 'hood a soul.
Not all of the art is in an art fair
For a more serious art experience, check out the Bass Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami. Also check out Collins Park, which is often turned into an outdoor gallery with multiple sculptures and live performances.
First off, book your Miami flight and hotels early and be prepared for sticker shock. The art may not be too expensive but the process of traveling there will be. Consider coming a few days earlier than the Thursday start (first week of December) so that you can enjoy Miami before it gets deluged.
Hailing a cab can be treacherous, especially if there’s a short tropical storm passing through, so consider renting a car or focusing your art walk in an area that’s centralized. People eat late here so make your restaurant reservations early and you’ll get into whatever is hot at the moment. When in doubt, or if you want to people watch, head on over to the Lincoln Road outdoor mall (there’s a fabulous parking garage there that’s a work of art itself) as this will allow you to break out of the purely art crowd and experience the al fresco living that makes Miami so popular.