Miami, considered one of the sexiest cities in the US, is a
product of its enviable location. While a major North American city, it
has close ties with Central and South America, making it a melting pot for
Latin-infused culture as well as an international tourism hub.
From Cuban to Brazilian and Mexican, culture hybrids are
found everywhere from food to music and even lifestyle. But, outside of
the cultural fusion, Miami is also home to some of the best beaches in the US,
blessed with tropical weather that lasts year round.
In case you only have a day to enjoy this fabulous city,
here are a few recommendations that will help you get the most of Miami in this
short period of time.
Since the Florida Keys are too far to do in a day, the next
best thing to them is Key Biscayne. Located just 6 km from Miami, it will
give you a taste of the Keys relaxed lifestyle. Have breakfast there and
walk around to soak up this paradisiacal island.
If you’d like to get up close to dolphins and killer whales,
you should head to Miami Seaquarium. This is home to the famous Flipper
the dolphin and Lolita the killer whale. You can see them both in action
in their respective shows, and if you’d like to interact with them, there’s a
program that allows you to get in the water and have an unforgettable up close
Have lunch along Ocean Drive and then put on your bathing
suit to dip in South Beach, one of the best city beaches in the US. This
long, wide man-made beach is bathed with warm waters and filled with white fine
sand – some of the characteristics that make the best tropical beaches. It
is quite popular, but even on the busiest weekends you can find a good spot to
enjoy the beach.
It is common to see topless sunbathers and ultra small
bikinis so don’t be shocked to see more flesh than the usual.
Later in the afternoon, head to Lincoln Road to enjoy an
active afternoon in this open air pedestrian street mall. It stretches
several city blocks, showcasing restaurants, stores, boutiques, and bars on
both sides of the street. In the 80’s this place used to be an
under-the-radar artists’ hangout, full of galleries and studios, but as the
years passed, it grew in popularity and slowly became one of the most visited
streets in Miami. Still, you can find lots of charming spots and artsy
moments that still speak of the old days of Lincoln Road.
Alternatively, you could see the cultural side of Miami by
visiting the Wolfsonian FIU, which holds an intriguing collection of European
and American decorative art produced between 1885 and 1945; the Adrienne Arsht
Center located in downtown, considered the second biggest performing arts venue
in the US; and/or The Villa by Barton G, the 1930s former home of the fashion
designer Gianni Versace and the place where he was gunned down in 1997, which
now serves as a high-end boutique hotel and museum.
Get your Caribbean flavors and rhythms out, as well as your
romantic side, by walking along Española Way to immerse yourself in a variety
of authentic Spanish, Italian, Mexican, Cuban, and other international
Alternatively, you could spend a family-friendly evening at
Bayside Marketplace, the waterfront open-air mall close to downtown where you
have a good selection of restaurants and shopping, very Miami style.
Later you could walk along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue in
South Beach to enjoy the Art Deco architecture that has made Miami such a
unique destination for architecture enthusiasts. From the pastel colors, the
neon signs, the bold letters, the stucco, and the clean round lines; Miami is
your place to enjoy all shapes and forms of this 20th century school of design.
Time to go out and party! Miami, especially the South Beach
area, has no shortage of places to go dance the night away. This area is
famous for its more upscale lounge partying in hotels like Delano, Sagamore,
and Shore Club, or famous clubs like Mansion Nightclub. Many of these hotels
and clubs have their interiors designed by Philippe Stark, the architect and
industrial designer known for his minimalist, ultra modern, and exploratory
designs. But if you’re looking for different vibes, just walk around and
you’ll find a wide selection of bars and clubs open until 5am. Usually,
there’s a cover charge of $10 to $25.
This city has so much to offer that it is just too hard to
accommodate everything in one day, but this itinerary recommendation gives you
the highlights of what makes Miami, Miami. Can you handle this power
charged day in Miami?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
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