Overshadowed somewhat by the glitz and glamor of South Beach, downtown Miami provides a distinctive urban personality. Dominated by sleek, soaring skyscrapers, Event venues in Miami have a tropical, international cosmopolitan flair unmatched by any other city in the U.S.
Overlooking Biscayne Bay, Downtown Miami is a few minutes from South Beach, the Miami Beach Convention Center, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. It is 7.5 miles from Miami International Airport and 25 miles from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.
For planning purposes, Downtown is segmented into four distinct districts: Brickell, home to numerous global financial institutions and corporations; Central Business District, the business core with a mix of historic and new architecture; Media and Entertainment District, an artsy area, home to Miami meeting space like the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; and Park West, a residential area with dramatic high-rise condominiums.
Downtown Miami's hotel scene is highlighted by well-respected, luxury chain hotels brimming with meeting space, plush, exquisitely appointed guest rooms and suites with spectacular views; European-style spas and restaurants with top-notch chefs. Some choice hotel venues in Downtown Miami include the 641-room JW Marriott Hotel Miami, 641-room InterContinental Miami, 347-room Mandarin Oriental Miami, and 221-room Four Seasons Hotel Miami.
Away from the ballrooms, the off-site venue inventory is inviting. For parties and receptions with stunning downtown panoramas, the 11,000 square-foot Miami City Club on the 55th floor of the Wachovia Financial Center (overlooking Biscayne Bay) offers six event spaces. A hip and historic choice is the Alfred I. Dupont Building, a 21-story Art Deco structure (built in 1939) that can host up to 400 for a cocktail party. The James L. Knight Center on S.E. Second Avenue offers 4,645 seats for general sessions and 28,000 square feet for exhibit, meeting and banquet space.
For attendees who love to shop, Downtown Miami is nirvana with offerings like The Shops at Mary Brickell Village. Located in Miami's financial district, The Shops is a tree-laden, open-air area with a mix that includes one-of-a-kind designer boutiques and Downtown Miami dining venues like The Oceanaire Seafood Room and Blue Martini Lounge. There's also the Seybold Building, the second-largest jewelry building in the U.S. (with 10 floors and more than 280 in-house jewelers); as well as and Bayside Marketplace, a sprawling complex nestled alongside Biscayne Bay with over 120 stores, restaurants and bars.
Groups won't have to venture to South Beach to party the night away either, as Downtown has dozens of nightclubs, including sizzling selections like 90 Degree, Space Miami and The Vagabond. Daytime entertainment options include Jungle Island theme park and the Miami Art Museum.