Despite living in Orlando for over 10 years, I don’t make it down to Miami all that often. My knowledge of the city is fairly slim; basically all I had ever really heard about it before was that we “must visit Little Havana and South Beach.” I took one quick day trip to the city about eight years ago for a show, but have not been back since and barely spent any time in Miami. For Labor Day weekend this year, we decided to take a road trip down south to explore Miami for the weekend and see what we’re missing.
- The culture! There is art everywhere, whether it’s the beautiful graffiti/street art of Wynwood Walls, the live music in Little Havana, or the art deco style of South Beach.
2. The food. We hit a couple of Cuban restaurants (La Camaronera in Little Havana and La Carreta in Doral) that were absolutely amazing. I would go back just for the food alone.
3. The beach! We couldn’t have a post about Miami without mentioning the beach, right? South Beach was perfect for lying out in the sun. It was a bit crowded so one must be prepared to sit close to some strangers, but the sand was nice and flat, which made it very easy to walk or lie on (unless it’s wet sand, and then your feet just sink right in.) Just be prepared for the rain – it rains early and often in Miami during certain times of the year, so get out to the beach early if you want to spend some time in the sun.
4. …the furniture stores? Okay, so we didn’t actually go furniture shopping while we were there, but we passed way more furniture stores than I expected one city to have. We’re talking inordinate amounts of furniture stores. It seemed like an entire section of the greater metropolitan area was nothing but furniture stores. How often do people replace furniture down there???
5. Vizcaya Museum Gardens in Coconut Grove. These gardens are spectacular. I’m not normally a garden person, but Melissa checked it out online ahead of time and it had amazing reviews. The reviews – they were all true. The gardens are spectacular and very well-maintained, even with part of them shut down for construction. And while I’m not a garden person, I am, however, a history person, and this fulfills that love as well with gorgeous 100+ year old house with an Italian renaissance theme. Sadly, they don’t allow pictures inside the house, so you’ll have to be satisfied with pictures of the outside and my promise that it’s worth the trip for the history geeks reading this.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend (and all too short to see the entire city.) Before this trip, I had visited the city once for a show and felt no real reason to return. Now, I feel like I have had just a small taste of what all Miami has to offer. I can’t wait for my next trip!