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Miami, more than just a beach.

South Florida’s famous city on the sea is slowly earning must-stop status on the global arts circuit, reports the New York Times. The famous Swiss Art Basel festival of contemporary art has a sister event, Art Basel Miami Beach, which is set to take place in December 2011 and is the most important art show in the United States. Exhibition sites are located in the city's beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and many hotels, and are becoming the favorite winter meeting place for the international art world.

Big-time music also arrived in Miami last month in a big way, with the opening of a huge performing arts centre in the heart of Miami Beach, the New World Center (pictured), designed by the exciting architect, Frank Gehry. The 100,000-square-foot space will be home to the New World Symphony and its conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, and will have a 2.5-acre park for outdoor performances, a 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall for videos and installations, and a music academy for young artists.

A number of new swanky hotels are opening to accommodate visiting patrons of the arts, led by Soho Beach House with 49 rooms and a private screening room and a new top-end of the range JW Marriott will open in the next couple of months.

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