5 Tips to Navigate Art Basel Miami

Insider tips after fifteen years attending the art fairs.

Art and family have always gone together in my life. Growing up in Oklahoma, I often played near my paternal grandmother while she painted nature landscapes, knit and crocheted afghans or created colorful needlepoint designs.  While visiting my maternal grandmother for holidays she always had new ceramic and oil paintings displayed around her home. Art is definitely in my blood. For fifteen of the sixteen years Art Basel Miami has happened, I’ve spent part of the Thanksgiving holiday getting ready for the event. Family understood. This year, I put together my 5 tips for you and your family or friends. Enjoy!  

5 Tips To Navigate Art Basel Miami

1.     Where to Stay — Get a hotel or Airbnb in South Beach.  My favorites are the W HotelThe Boulan (great Penthouses that are much cheaper than the Setai across the street), Soho Beach House and the 1 Hotel South Beach.  Since the main fair is at the Miami Beach Convention Center you want to be close to this venue.  Also, as the day winds down, the hottest after parties typically are in South Beach (you want to be close to home to minimize traffic congestion).

2.     Art Fair Must-Sees – don’t miss the main fair at the Convention Center, Art Miami in the chic Miami Design District (allow extra time if you’re staying in South Beach), PULSE Miami Beach, and Design Miami (the most amazing forum for design including furniture, lighting and objets d’art). There are many more great fairs around the city, so if you have extra time, here is a guide for more.

3.     After Hours – my favorite place to go each evening is Soho Beach House.  If you’re not a member, many parties are hosted in the club so as long as you’re on the guest list you should be fine (just allow plenty of time to get in as security is tight).  There are non-stop events and parties at the Faena Miami BeachMiami Beach EDITION, W Hotel, Soho Beach House and many more (these venues are in South Beach so another reason to stay in south beach vs. the design district).

4.     Local Treasures – don’t forget to unwind and walk on the beach or see the local museums.  Many people focus on going to the art fairs and get overwhelmed.  I find taking time to walk on the beach or see local exhibits is a good way to recoup and reflect on what artists you liked best from the fairs. Check out the Pérez Art Museum, the Bass Museum and YoungARTs Miami’s beautiful campus.

5.     Get Your Rest  – if you can rest up before you get to Miami, do it! The energy during Art Basel feels like normal New York to me but remember everyone is vying to get into the same venues, many of the same parties and have anxious anxiety to see and purchase art.  Therefore, rest is very important.  If you have time before dinner, set aside 20-30 minutes for a nap.  You’ll thank me later! 

So much changes each year at Miami Basel, so keep me posted on your favorite hot spots, must-see destinations, and your own personal tips to navigating this year. Above all else, don’t be frustrated if you can’t attend every event or see every artist. Simply put, enjoy the experience, the weather, and above all else, the art! 

Kipton Cronkite

I see great spaces and architectural environments as canvases for great art. My passion is to connect beautiful homes with the works of emerging and established artists - as it is through art that the true essence of space can be fully realized.

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