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Miami Round Up

Miami, FL, USA

Miami: A neon drenched, half naked, fist pumping, molly-popping, tourist-trap, party destination with over-priced restaurants, ULTRA-loud music, and hairy speedo-clad men...

Well, a lot of that is absolutely true...
However, most of what people don't like about Miami is actually very contained to designated areas. All these generalizations give Miami a very one-dimensional reputation.
There is so much more to this city just Latino Juice-heads and Brazilian Butt-lifts (although if that’s what you’re looking for you’ve come to the right place). Miami is that its actually a melting pot of fantastic cultures, an international artist hub, and one of the most underrated cities I have ever been to-- let alone lived in.

South Beach/ Art Deco District
South Beach, itself, is an experience. It is absolutely a must see if you are in Miami purely for the fascination factor. The main sport on Miami Beach/ South Beach isn't volley ball, its people watching --and boy there are characters to see each and every moment of the day!
While engaging in the sites, take a stroll down the board walk, try-out rollerblading, or even rent a bike for a reasonable price! Trust me, no-one will be watching you lose your balance when there is an abundance of leopard print thongs on every block.



  Things seen on South Beach

For an unexpected great deal have brunch at the Ritz, all you can eat LOBSTER and CHAMPAGNE (I'm in) for $80 per person seems steep but when you see what you're actually getting its a STEAL! You can use their beyond beautiful beach front pool and spas all day and access their pristine private beach. For a luxe Sunday this is quite the option!

The pool at the Ritz Carlton, South Beach

While you’re observing the humans in their natural habitat, make sure to check out the extraordinarily detailed architecture in the Art Deco district right by Miami Beach to feel the full vibe of the 80s classic Miami and take a walk down Espanola Way to find less crowded tiny cafes and cheery shop owners wanting to talk your ear off...

Sites By Espanola Way and Sunset at South Beach

Make sure to check out South Beach by night for all your neon inspiration dreams to be realized! It is so wonderfully stuck in a time warp and just brimming with bizarre places to check out!
That's all I'm going to tell you about night life, the rest you'll have to figure out on your own as this is a family friendly blog and I would not say Miami nightlife is too "family" or "friendly"- but plenty of fun for a certain crown that is for sure!

After you've experienced South Beach in all its glory, prepare for a more relaxing experience at one of the many State parks or nature reserves around the coast. I love Oleta River State Park which is located by North Miami Beach for its quiet bays and abundance of wildlife. They also have really well maintained grounds for grilling or a picnic.

Heron perched at Oleta State Park

South Pointe Park, actually part of South Beach but not nearly as crowded  has a beautiful pier and photogenic jetties which are both great to catch the sunrise...

Sunrise at South Pointe Jetties

 Another favorite is Bill Bags State Park  which is home to a well preserved classic light house you can climb for a fantastic view. Catch the sunrise at South Pointe park which is part of Miami beach but has an amazing pier and is really quiet and clean compared to the rest of the beach. They have really cool jetties lining the walk to go out to the beach which are super photogenic!

 Lighthouse at Bill Bags

Matheson Hammock Park, just south of Coral Gables, is really pretty for the sunset and also is home to a great waterfront restaurant and really cool old ruins you can explore.

Mike Walking In the Shallows of Matheson

Crandon Park on Key Biscayne is also a favorite to experience the ebb and flow of sandbars where you can explore deeper into the ocean and feel like you are walking on water....

 Art Basel:

Art Basel is an AMAZING super underrated event that happens once a year in Miami during the first weekend in December! South Beach and Wynwood host the majority of events and galleries participating in the event but the entire city really plumes its feathers for the thousands flocking to the city for the art... and the parties, lets be real.

A true experience to be had I would really recommend checking it out, but book early, EVERYTHING is sold out or at a much higher price range because of how many people come to the city to be a part of this massive art world gathering.



Wynwood Arts District:
During the other majority of the year when Art Basel is not going on, its home, Wynwood and the Design District still keep the distinct flavor of the event each and every day. Wynwood is without a doubt my favorite part of Miami and the only way I was convinced to live there as my Nordic blood does not fare as well in Florida's humidity... It sold me with its ever changing stretch of public artwork, huge murals, great stores, divine hipster restaurants, and all around attitude. Gallery hop any day or night of the week and always run into something new as painting on the walls here is LEGAL!

**See my larger than life mural an Ode to Frida Kahlo when you're there and send me a photo!**

Art Walk:
Explore it with hoards of other Miami locals and tourists alike on the first Thursday of every month for Art Walk! There is a massive tent full of exhibitors selling their arts and crafts next to an entire parking lot filled with every gourmet food truck you could ever think of! Live music and open galleries are just some of the things you can enjoy (if you can find a parking spot...) Its so fun and the crowds are totally worth it!


 Public Art in Wynwood and Design District

Where to Stay:

If you're in Miami stay on South Beach:
*Redbury (nice lounge) 

** Dream: South Beach (great drinks on the rooftop) 

*** Gale Hotel (amazing rooftop pool)

**** The Standard: South Beach (awesome pool by the water) 

*****The Delano (gorgeous decor) 

Another great option is always Airbnb
(You can always find something affordable and different at every price point!) 

The pool at The Standard

Rooftop at the Gale Hotel 

Where to Eat:

*Andiamo Pizza: Little River 

*Moshi Moshi: Little River 
Divine Sushi at a really reasonable price and open super late

**Kush: Wynwood 
BEST Burgers EVER 

** Salsa Fiesta: Design District
Outrageously amazing Americanized Mexican food: the taco salad is life 

*** Mmm: Wynwood
Amazing decor and patio, great coffee and overpriced delicious gelato

***Wynwood Diner: South Beach 
Great vibe and amazing comfort food

****Wynwood Kitchen: Wynwood
Great decor, drinks, and location

*****Rooftop at The Epic: Downtown
Insanely gorgeous view and out of this world food but VERY pricey

******(Oh, and have a Macaroon for me at Lauduree)******

What to See:

Perez Art Museum
Amazing hanging gardens, great hangout outdoor space, ever changing installations

The Bass Museum
Intimate space with really interesting conceptual pieces, awesome outdoor sculpture area 

The Museum of Fashion 
One of a kind museum dedicated to collaborations by designers like Givenchy and Chanel with artist like Pollok and Warhol, a very cool experience with an eccentric super knowledgeable owner and collector - Note its by appointment/ Special Hours, located in Wynwood 

All of these are on it and can give you more info like hours, parking, and ticketing! 

From part of the "Gold" exhibit at The Bass Museum


Check out a Heat Game at the American Airlines Arena
See a show at the Adrienne Arts Center
Walk around the Park by the Port of Miami
Visit Little Havana and learn how to roll a Cuban Cigar
See the Versace Family Mansion on South Beach
Visit the beautiful Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Take a boat or a speed boat tour

While you're near South Beach, walk by the Holocaust Memorial, a really beautiful and moving landmark you can walk right up to and experience for yourself... Find out more about it here. 

The Holocaust Memorial, South Beach

Take a drive up to Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Palm Beach...
 We loved window shopping, hitting the beach and seeing the beautiful architecture in Miami's sisters to the North! 


The Keys: If you have the time, take a little drive to one of the closer Keys, Key Largo about an hour south for gorgeous white sand beaches and affordable water sports like sea kayaking and snorkeling! A crowd pleaser is always Key West if drinking is your sport please handle yourself responsibly! Know this key is a FIVE hour or more drive from Miami so be warned! 
There is also amazing diving in the Keys but I haven't personally gone there so can not attest (to the diving or Key West)- butI hear great things! 

Key Largo Beaches and Kayak rentals


GATOR PARK: My best friend, Becca, came to visit me in Miami and we decided to have a "Gator Day," mostly inspired by Gator Boys and took a day trip to the Everglades. We were/are fascinated by the fact that Gator wrestling does in fact exist and the sport is alive and well in charming South Florida. We had to see for ourselves... After putting on our most appropriate gator wrestling outfits and packing Lunchables for the road we headed towards the Everglades to a place actually called Gatorland and had 5 stars on Yelp so you know its good.... 

Gator day started with a wild airboat ride across the wetlands and we were literally screaming the whole time... We then got to watch a very jolly Floridian man actually physically wrestle an adult Gator. He then showed us some other creatures like a scorpion and some smaller gators... We LOVED it and would highly recommend it for anyone and everyone. 


Thank you guys for checking out my South Florida recommendations! As always, if you have any questions contact me, I'm always happy to help in any way I can!
Happy Traveling!