Miami has a bit of a reputation, doesn’t it? Ice cream-coloured art deco buildings; the sounds, smells and tastes of Cuba; the bronzed denizens of Miami Beach. But north of downtown between Little Haiti and Wynwood, lies the Miami Design District – a cutting-edge fashion, culture and art mecca, and about as far away from the neon glow downtown as you can get.

Splintering off from Buena Vista in every sense but the street signs, this neighbourhood is where the hippest galleries, showrooms bars and restaurants call home, serving as a place to buy, sell or just feel creative.

Like many other creative districts, it was rundown and tired for some time before regeneration. Public and private investment smartened it up, and cheaper rents and the number of existing warehouses made it the ideal place for creatives to base themselves. Craig Robins, who is credited as the originator,
Once award-winning designers Alison Spear, Peter Page and Holly Hunt cottoned on, the rest followed. Today, you can find stores from Alessi, B&O, Armani, Ligne Roset, Versace, Cartier and Christian Louboutin.

But for a pure visual treat, over 50 local and internationally-renowned graffiti and street artists have jazzed up the blocks and blocks of drab Wynwood district warehouse walls and doorways with colourful, opulent murals. Scroll through the carousel above to see what we’re talking about.

For more, check out documentary series ‘Here Comes The Neighbourhood’ via YouTube:

Take a slow drive around the Miami Design District, it’s easily reachable from downtown – just head north on Biscayne Boulevard, take a left at NE 36th Street and a right on NE 2nd Avenue. Street parking is usually available in the neighbourhood, but bring a bag of quarters for the meter. Some galleries and showrooms offer valet parking too.