The Opium Group has spent the past few months on a renovation spree worthy of its own HGTV show. First was Mansion, which received an impressive and much-needed face-lift that turned it into a 360-degree theater of debauchery. Then, earlier this year, the nightlife conglomerate announced that its ultra-lounge, Set, would be the next property to go under the knife. When it returned in time for Miami Music Week 2013, it had a fresh, new look, including a Zevs-inspired logo, that emphasized the nightclub's strongest attribute: VIP bottle service. Before you write it off as another elitist lounge, though, read on. Set was never really a dance club — there is no dance floor — and the awkward positioning of the DJ booth toward the front of the house was always a bit off-putting. But the redesign moved the booth toward the back and installed an impressive LED backdrop. Geometric designs jut from the walls, while graphic illustrations of half-naked women tower above the room. The new design gives the room a more "punk" feel without losing its opulence. The space also feels smaller, creating a more intimate bottle-service ambiance, which means unless you're seated at a table, you won't enjoy the full Set experience. For that, the Opium Group seems to be making no excuses. And unlike other South Beach megaclubs where table service and dance floors awkwardly coexist, the new Set is dead-set on providing a VIP experience like no other. Did it succeed? The large bill and subsequent hangover say yes.

Miami is the land of 10,000 titty bars. But G5ive Gentlemen's Club isn't just another full-nudity bump 'n' grind joint. With "over 100 beautiful women every night," models with bottles, pro ballers, and famous hosts such as 305 rapper Ice Billion Berg, ATL dope boy Lil Scrappy, and retired exotic-dancing diva Tip Drill, this North Miami Beach strip club has become the preferred nudie spot for bosses and wannabes with a taste for big booties, party rap, premium liquor, private lap dances, and Southern cookin'. Watch silver-G-stringed asses drop from the ceiling like it's New Year's Eve. Snatch up the mike and shout down the fakes. Guzzle Hennessy in the VIP with a lady on each leg. Scrub yourself while sudsy babes perform a rub-a-dub show in G5ive's indoor shower. Order breakfast for two (fried chicken and Belgian waffles with a side of vanilla ice cream) at the bar. Go hard. Go wild. Go broke. Get G5ive'd.

There's no disputing that Wynwood's Second Saturday Art Walk has grown beyond its organizers' wildest expectations by attracting thousands to the bustling arts district every month. Attendees flock to the graffiti-stained blocks for displays ranging from blue-chip, museum-quality masterpieces to cutting-edge experimental works. Lately, though, parking after 7 p.m. seems impossible, and you have to throw elbows like Dikembe Mutombo to fight your way through the throngs outside the best shows. So forget that. Most of the galleries are now open beginning at noon, when parking is plentiful, crowds are comfortable, and the art is just as good. Plus, you can actually talk to the dealers about their programs and chat up exhibiting artists about their visionary works. When you've had your fill, you'll have plenty of time to hit up the food trucks corralled on the corner of NW 23 Street and Second Avenue before the grilled-cheese lines resemble a tribute to Soviet Russia.

Miami street artist Trek6's artistic career began at age 6, when his Puerto Rican grandmother gave him some paint from her art supply store. She was probably just trying to keep the kid entertained. Now, three decades later, it's blossomed into a talent that's created some of mural-happy Miami's most recognizable walls. His Bob Marley mural in Wynwood draws a pilgrimage of art fans, music lovers, and photographers. And last year, in collaboration with artist Chor Boogie from San Francisco, he brought back the famous boombox mural at NW Sixth Ave and 23rd Street. Whether you're judging by quantity (Trek6 boasts about 27 walls in Miami since he started tagging them in the '80s, seven of which are still on view) or by quality, Trek6 is a Miami mural legend. And he's hustling to bring the 305 to the rest of the world. Earlier this year, he participated in Pow Wow Hawaii, a gathering of street artists from around the world designed to create connections and inspiration. The event made collaborations such as those behind the boombox and Marley murals possible. He's also taking his skills to the canvas and beyond by exporting his unique, Miami-grown talent to fans across the country. And he's working on a children's book. This is not your average street artist. Trek6 is making Miami beautiful one wall at a time.

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum
Florida International University

What makes a great museum? Glad you asked! Begin with a jaw-dropping facility, fill it with a consistently enthralling permanent collection, and then spice things up with a consistent mix of programming and special shows. Few local museums have perfected that formula quite like the Frost. The building is first-class — a gleaming, 46,000-square-foot, Yann Weymouth-designed home with a soaring atrium and several expansive galleries awash in natural light beaming through overhead skylights, not to mention a stairwell rising from the lobby that appears to float in thin air. Around each bend, you might discover works celebrating the 500th anniversary of Ponce de León's arrival in Florida or ancient bronze sculptures from Southeast Asia and Benin from the museum's vast holdings. And the touring exhibits are the cinnamon atop the latte. Last year's lineup of memorable shows included the traveling "Ursula von Rydingsvard: Sculpture," featuring the artist's monumental cedar works, and "To Beauty: A Tribute to Mike Kelley — Selected Works From Private Collections," showcasing the late talent's genre-busting, iconic works. If all of that isn't enough, step outside, where you'll find the Frost's world-class sculpture garden. Like everything else on tap at the museum, admission is always free.

World Erotic Art Museum
World Erotic Art Museum

There aren't many places on Earth — outside the darkest dungeons of the Playboy Mansion or maybe Gene Simmons' garage — where you can find a bed carved with Kama Sutra positions and four phallic posts sitting next to a giant gold wang that would put John Holmes to shame. Lucky for us, one of those centers of sybaritic excess is right in the heart of South Beach. It's the World Erotic Art Museum (WEAM), the only museum of its kind in the United States that spans styles and centuries of erotic all-stars, from Adam and Eve (the original exhibitionists) to contemporary pinups. Entry is typically $15 for adults and $13.50 for students with ID, but if you want to just snag a bit of erotica to spice up your life, head to the museum shop, which stocks an array of jewelry, games, and reproductions. Take your time while appreciating the beautiful flesh on display — WEAM is open until at least 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Fact: No Locust Projects, no Wynwood Arts District. OK, OK, it might be tough to prove that hypothetical. But when Locust was founded in 1998, it became the first artist-run space in the area and quickly began drawing crowds seeking an alternative to stale local gallery scenes. Since then, Locust has been an alt-haven where artists have been able to take risks early in their careers. Locust has presented work from nearly 250 local, national, and international names and mounted more than 125 exhibits. The nonprofit has become the largest experimental contemporary arts organization in the Southeast. It's not unusual now for shows that start at Locust to rocket to bigger and bigger platforms. Consider Theaster Gates, whose "Soul Manufacturing Corporation" debuted at Locust this past November and drew droves of Art Basel cognoscenti to the gallery. It went on to earn slots in Philadelphia's Fabric Workshop & Museum and London's Whitechapel Gallery. Locust's Out of the Box public art initiative has also made contemporary art accessible to the masses by installing site-specific artworks on billboards and bus shelters across the county. Even if Wynwood would have happened without Locust, no one can claim it hasn't been the engine powering the neighborhood to relevance.

There's a tropical oasis in the middle of Wynwood. The grass there is typically patchy and gravelly. The neighboring buildings look stark and boxy. But gaze upon the east-facing wall of a warehouse just one block from the heart of the Second Saturday Art Walk, and you're transported to a sci-fi version of a lush, mountainous island an entire continent away. The Universal Aloha Wall, created by Hawaiian artists Estria and Prime, with an assist by local street artist Trek6, was completed during Art Basel 2012 as part of Heineken's Open Your World Mural Project. But it quickly became one of the most widely viewed walls in Wynwood — a big honor in a neighborhood slathered in graffiti murals. That's partly owing to Heineken's promotional efforts, hosting a pop-up party at the site on the busiest Second Saturday of the year. It's partly owing to Fabolous' music video "Life Is So Exciting," a love letter to Art Basel in Miami that shows the rapper hanging out with an entourage of sexy ladies in front of the mural. But it's also owing to the trippy design of the mural itself. Estria and Prime painted a Hawaiian landscape, sure — but they also included a colorful blue-and-orange lava spill on one side and a giant burning sun that looks like an eyeball on the other. The sky undulates from a sparkling, purple-tinged nighttime scene to a clear, blue, sunny day and back again as your eyes scan from left to right. And on top of it all, imperceptible up close but obvious when observing the wall from across NW Third Street, there's an outline of the word aloha overlaid across the entire width of the piece. It's not a traditional Miami welcome, but it's still a welcome sight.

During Art Basel, spectacles are a dime a dozen. Think of pink snails, artist-designed carnivals, sex-themed roller coasters, and controversially sourced Banksy exhibits. More rare is art that's arresting purely for its artistic merit. That's just what Baselgoers discovered at Miami Project Art Fair, which quietly set up shop in the ever-expanding cluster of midtown art-fair tents for its Basel debut in 2012. The newbie fair filled its 65,000-square-foot space with works from 65 galleries. Among them, artist Alejandro Cartagena showed his Car Poolers series, poignant photographs captured from a highway overpass documenting Mexican day laborers transported to and from work in pickup truck flatbeds. Nina Katchadourian's Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style, which are exactly what they sound like — pictures taken in airplane bathrooms showing the artist dressed in Dutch-period garments made of tissue paper — added a bit of tongue-in-cheek modernity to Renaissance-era portraiture. And Miami native Jen Stark returned from L.A. with her trademark colorful paper sculptures. Miami Project did get away with a few stunts: Karen Finley spent the fair's run painting canvases inspired by "sext" messages, and Joe Zane displayed a taxidermied Chihuahua dressed as a princess. Still, of all the fairs during Art Basel in 2012, this one most gracefully straddled the line between respectability and entertainment. Is classy restraint the next hot Art Basel trend? Doubtful. But at least you'll know where to find it in 2013 — Miami Project will return during Art Basel this year.

Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)

The first thing most visitors to CIFO notice is a sweeping exterior mural of tropical foliage composed of more than a million one-inch glass tiles. It's dazzling, but miss out on Johnny Robles' massive, block-size freestyle piece on an adjacent wall at your own risk. Created in partnership between CIFO and Primary Flights in 2011, Robles' wall-swallowing opus on NW Tenth Street depicts the tremulous balance between urban development and South Florida's vibrant environment. Robles employs a luminous tropical palette to create abstract imagery of children playing in mangroves amid flamingos, porpoises, and tortoises. The painting appears to defy gravity as the images melt beneath a baking sun and flow toward the earth below to "begin a new cycle of life," Robles says. The artist found inspiration for his painting from childhood memories of playing outdoors in the Sunshine State, unlike a new generation of urban kids hypnotized by technology. If you can't put down your iPhone and head for the Glades, at least check out Robles' work.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®