Art Basel Returns to Miami Beach: The Ultimate Guide to Attending

Art Basel Miami Beach 2014
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An attendee views art from the Gavlak Gallery during Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 - VIP Preview at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Dec. 3, 2014 in Miami Beach, Fla.

For nearly half a century, Art Basel has connected the international art community by way of visual and sonic treats. The premier show, which has since expanded its reach past Basel to both Hong Kong and Miami, will occupy Miami Beach from Dec. 1-4. Aside from the various galleries and exhibits to see, a performance from Kendrick Lamar and the debut of a Pusha T and Adidas shoe line will also take place. To make the most of this year’s Art Basel, Billboard has scoped out the best places to stay, dine, and enjoy any down time in between the show’s many offerings.

Nobody curates a stay in Miami like famed hotelier Ian Schrager. Since its launch two years ago, his centrally located Miami Beach Edition Hotel has become a sort of Grand Central for Basel. Their series of VIP events this week include the "Pink Party," hosted by LA's Haas Brothers with Thugf***er, Doc Martin, Nicolas Matar and Ahmed Hashim, and a fish fry with Kehinde Wiley and Lauryn Hill.  Don’t mope past the art-filled halls of this gem if you don’t get into the exclusive parties though -- go to their bowling lanes, favored by Leonardo DiCaprio and Rihanna, and knock down some pins with specially designed Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley or Olivia Steele bowling balls. (Rooms start at $480/night, 2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach).

Wynwood, Miami’s one-time warehouse district, now covered in murals painted by world class graffiti artists, is filled with fun bars and restaurants, but none as chill as Wynwood Yard. Food trucks that serve culinary masterpieces frame a fully stocked bar which anchors the open-air, year-round playground for Miami’s creative class. For Basel, The Dream Lab activation @ We are Miami:Wynwood will be presenting an evening of spoken poetry, workshops and installations before Miamian Sol Ruiz Tribu takes the stage with her special mix of traditional jazz, blues and Cuban salsa. It’s a perfect way to creatively ease into a hectic week. (Tuesday November 29th 4-11pm. 82 NW 29TH St.).

The RUBELL Family Collection pioneered the Miami art scene with their brilliant collection and relentless prescient instinct for the artists that are making great contemporary art. This year they have three distinct exhibits: "High Anxiety," featuring new acquisitions from Kathryn Andrews, Secundino Hernandez and John Waters among others. ”New Shamans/Novos Xamas" which brings together emerging and mid-career artists from Brazil. And "Video Art in Latin America,” a preview of the upcoming Getty Research Institute's massive show "Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA"  which will will tour more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. A visit to the Rubell is the best way to stay ahead of the curve. (November 30, the exhibitions at RFC are open to the public admission fee is $10.95 NW 29th Street).

Your glam art fair isn’t half as fun when you’re hangry.  Located in the heart of South Beach underneath the HI Miami Beach Hostel building, locals will be stopping at Taquiza on Collins for the perfect carnitas tacos made with the specialized house heirloom blue corn nixtamalized tortillas. Make sure to grab a la endulzada sweet iced espresso to keep you cool on on your way to the next event. (1506 Collins Ave, Miami Beach).

Food & Wine Best New Chef 2016 and James Beard Semifinalist Bradley Kilgore will feed you Miami at Alter. Using only the finest locally sourced seafood and meats along with seasonal fruits and vegetables, he casually creates one perfect dish after another in his unassuming Wynwood spot. Along with his meticulously diverse wine list that has everything from stellar classics to artisanal growers, reservations are a must, otherwise frequent guest, Taylor Swift, might get your table. (Serving the 5 & 7 course tasting menus only during AB/MB 223 NW 23 St. Reserve here).

Miami nightlife veterans have teamed together to create the ultimate nightclub experience in ORA. Opening especially for Basel, ORA will be hosting a weeklong set of events in its luxurious and artful space in South Beach. Sip vintage champagnes among the Banksys and Murakamis that decorate the walls. On Saturday December 3rd, ORA hosts Treats Magazine and Hwood Group’s Blind Dragon pop-up, featuring an art pop-up curated by Powerhouse and Phillipe Guggenheim, with a live performance by D.R.A.M. Entry with RSVP here. (2000 Collins Avenue).