by Betty Cortina-Weiss | August 23, 2017

Pre and Post-Game Plays

Explore the best places to eat, stay and shop in these NFL cities


MIAMI


Suite living at the Mandarin. Photography Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

SLEEP & CHILL

Kimpton Epic Hotel Perfect for the impossibly hip traveler, this hotel is situated where the Miami River and Biscayne Bay meet—in downtown Miami, but just far enough from the hustle and bustle. The rooftop bar, with spectacular sweeping views, is not to be missed. epichotel.com 

Mandarin Oriental An icon of Miami’s new skyline, the towering hotel is located on Brickell Key, across a short causeway from downtown Miami. It’s home to one of the city’s only five-star spas and features a private beach. mandarinoriental.com/miami

Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club Completely revamped this year, the storied oasis—once frequented by the glitterati of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s—sits on Miami Beach’s north end in the charming Surfside area, just blocks from the world-class shopping at Bal Harbour. fourseasons.com/surfside

Garden salad. Photography Plant Food Wine Miami

WINE & DINE

Plant Food & Wine Keep things extra healthy at this cutting-edge, plant-based eatery tucked inside The Sacred Space Miami, ground zero for the city’s clean living movement. Situated in the Wynwood Arts District, it’s upscale but with a casual vibe. thesacredspacemiami.com

Artisan Beach House Located inside the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, the restaurant offers globally inspired breakfast, lunch and dinner and has become one of South Florida’s hottest dining spots. artisanbeachhouse.com

Pubbelly Sushi From Miami’s most prolific restaurant group, this impossibly cool sushi emporium—where Asian traditions are blended with Caribbean flair—boasts some of the freshest, most innovative dishes in town from inside the sparkling new Brickell City Centre. pubbellysushi.us

Photography courtesy of The Webster

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The Webster It’s the house that made Miami-chic a thing. With pieces from designers like Sonia Rykiel, Lanvin and Proenza Schouler, the three-story boutique occupies historic Art Deco hotel on South Beach. thewebster.us/south-beach

Design District This neighborhood is home to some of the world’s most exclusive shopping, with recent openings that include Christian Louboutin, Isabel Marant and Van Cleef & Arpels. miamidesigndistrict.net

Brickell City Centre This multi-block downtown complex is a shopping emporium, dining destination and entertainment hub—all in one. Anchored by a larger-than-life Saks Fifth Avenue, recent debuts include Chopard jewelry, Bruno Magli footwear and Apple. A luxury dine-in movie theater and three-story Italian food hall joined the line-up this year, too. brickellcitycentre.com


JAX


Pool deck view. Photography Omni Hotels Resorts

SLEEP & CHILL

Omni Jacksonville A favorite among NFL fans, local and opposing, this classic riverfront hotel in downtown Jacksonville is only a short drive from the stadium and walking distance to some of the city’s best restaurants and iconic music venues, such as the Florida Theatre. omnihotels.com

One Ocean Resort & Spa Situated in the Beaches Town Center, east of Jax, this contemporary seaside hotel offers thoughtful amenities—even an unpacking service and a “Guest Historian” who reaches out prior to arrival to ask what snacks and drinks visitors would like on hand. Locals love the spa and dining at restaurant Azure. oneoceanresort.com

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

This oceanfront resort in quaint Ponte Vedra Beach evokes a sense of nostalgia with striped awnings, its signature seahorse fountain and a classic beach-club vibe. Open for nearly 90 years, the resort’s grounds stretch across 300 acres with golf, tennis, gourmet fare and a fabulous spa. pontevedra.com

Doro Restaurant. Photography Aline Lopes

WINE & DINE

Intuition Ale Works At this downtown craft brewery, which has inspired a cult following, there’s a 20-tap bar on the first floor and 20 more taps at the rooftop beer garden. The food menu, created by the local Black Sheep Restaurant, offers a special menu on game days, including Southern classics like pimento cheese and po’boys. intuitionaleworks.com

Town Hall Helmed by two-time James Beard nominee Tom Gray, this recently opened gem, located in San Marco Square, uses fresh seasonal ingredients and highlights collaborations with area farmers and artisan purveyors. townhalljax.com

Restaurant Doro A tiny, chef-driven, New American treasure in Neptune Beach, just east of Jax, the restaurant features only a dozen or so tables in an impeccable beach-chic dining room. The menu runs the gamut from land to sea and changes frequently based on the season. restaurantdoro.com

Photography Two One Four Boutique

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Beau Outfitters Named for the Southern term of endearment, used here to describe a gent passionate about the outdoors—and one who cleans up well, too—this men’s boutique located in the San Marco shops strikes a perfect balance between rugged and refined syle. beauoutfitters.com

Two One Four This indie boutique in Jax Beach is curated by Rachel Lazzara, who’s dedicated to bringing serious style and global designers like Sachin & Babi, Vivian Chan and Hemant & Nandita to the River City.

Blend Indoor Outdoor This locally owned home decor store in the Avondale neighborhood aims to help shoppers stylishly blend indoor and outdoor spaces with a mix of modern and traditional accessories and furniture. blendindooroutdoor.com


TAMPA


Photography Epicurean Hotel

SLEEP & CHILL

Le Méridien Tampa’s historic but vacant federal courthouse, a Beaux-Arts beauty built in 1905, was transformed three years ago into this charming boutique hotel, a Four Diamond accommodation in the city’s up-and-coming downtown core. lemeridientampa.com

Epicurean Food-focused and located in the heart of the historic Hyde Park district, the hotel offers a state-of-the-art culinary classroom, one of the city’s most popular rooftop bars, a fine wine shop and a chocolate patisserie, in addition to a spa and urban-chic rooms. epicureanhotel.com

Opal Sands Resort After its spring debut, this $50 million, 15-story resort, with its stunning modernist curved exterior, became the newest luxury offering in nearby Clearwater Beach. Take in the panoramic Gulf views or get pampered at the spa. opalsands.com

Wine room. Photography Bern’s Steakhouse

WINE & DINE

Bern’s Steak House As storied as it gets in Florida, Bern’s, a more than 60-year-old legend in SoHo, offers world-class everything, from perfectly aged steaks to a spectacular wine list and a famously decadent dessert room. bernssteakhouse.com

Fodder & Shine
One of the area’s most celebrated chefs, Greg Baker serves up a sophisticated culinary nod to Florida’s old cracker culture with his newcomer in the Seminole Heights area. fodderandshine.com

American Social Located on Tampa’s Harbour Island, with 443 seats, four full bars, two four-tap private booths for self-serve beer and a full raw bar, this fast-growing Florida gastropub group is a perfect pick for pre- or postgame festivities. americansocialbar.com

Photography Penelope T

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Penelope T Catering to women with global mindsets, this South Tampa shop features indie designers and edgy, modern finds. Its two founders, friends who studied and worked in fashion in New York, also own a second boutique in Jacksonville Beach. penelopetboutique.com

Hyde Park Village
This open-air mall features an enticing mix of national and local stores, plus a heavy emphasis on dining and entertainment. Highlights include one of the country’s top-performing Sur La Table stores and a recently debuted Kendra Scott boutique. Don’t miss local gems like chic men’s boutique London Philips and recent Miami-transplant Boho Hunter. hydeparkvillage.com