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The city of Miami is the center of a network of bridges, allowing access to infamous beaches, sizzling nightlife, world-class hotels and an endless selection of attractions from water sports to boutique shopping. It is the “Gateway” to South America and the unique Latin influence is felt everywhere from restaurants to fashion. Immortalized in movies, T.V. shows and songs for it’s diversity and ability to make people get a little crazy, Miami stands as a place you don’t want to miss. It is not unusual for those staying on pastel building-lined South Beach to travel to the mainland to dine, shop, or even party. If you are looking for an extravagant place to be pampered and catered to in all aspects of the word—Miami is the place for you.
Wynwood Art District
Located roughly between NW 20th and NW 37th Streets, the Wynwood is the hotspot for galleries and museums in the city of Miami. The wannabe-SoHo district hosts second-Saturday gallery nights that will have you feeling like a local.
Everglades National Park
4000l State Road 9336 (Homestead)
There’s no other place on Earth like this. A short trip from the glimmering lights of Miami’s main-strip exists a beautiful, delicate and very threatened ecosystem. See massive alligators swivel their way through the murky waters of the Everglades. Take an airboat ride through the swamp and witness birds, marine-life and if you’re lucky, an endangered Florida Panther. Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug repellent—the mosquitoes take no prisoners.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
10901 Old Cutler Road (Coral Gables)
Come enjoy a surreal array of plant-life. The park’s namesake and world-famous botanist David Fairchild collected the majority of the floras you will see in years past. It’s a great idea if you're looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Monkey Jungle Park
14805 Southwest 216th Street
Thirty acres of monkeys. What more is there to say? Founded in 1935 by Joseph DuMonds to study the primates that inhabit the grounds, visitors have been welcome since then. The only catch is the monkeys aren’t the ones in cages—they get to run free, while you sit in the cage to watch them. Welcome to the jungle.
The Museum of Contemporary Art
770 NE 125th Street (North Miami)
Appropriately opened less than a decade ago, this museum continues to exhibit the latest in painting, sculpture, and much more. With ever-changing exhibits, it's guaranteed you’ll find something you haven’t seen before and, even better, something you’ll enjoy.
Casa Tua Restaurant
1700 James Ave, Miami Beach
Hidden away at a boutique inn, Casa Tua provides the ambience of a Northern Italian villa right in the heart of South Beach. Eat in the courtyard surrounded by flowers and trees while sampling their delectable Italian fare. Try one of their delicious pasta dishes like Ricotta Cavatelli with Organic Cherry Tomatoes, or a decadent meat dish like their Seared Beef Tenderloin with Foie Gras, toasted hazelnuts and leeks. Finish with a Warm Apple Tortino or the Manjari Bitter Chocolate Delizia. Be sure to get a reservation.
1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Since José Andrés’s famous restaurant the Bazaar arrived in Miami Beach, it has become the most sought after reservation in town. With both indoor and outdoor lounge spaces, this restaurant creates an ambiance of sophistication to match its extraordinary dishes. Fusing traditional Spanish cuisine with his touch of ingenuity, Chef Andrés adds plenty of Latin and local flavors to his dishes as well. Try their Mediterranean Mussels, inspired but Spain's tradition of canning, or the Papas a la Huancaína, a dish of Peruvian potatoes and sea urchin.
1661 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach
Focusing on his native Northern Thailand cuisine, Chef Piyarat Potha Arreeratn has created a new spin on the classic Thai restaurant. No pad thai here, instead have some of the made by hand “boat noodles” served in a soup full of meat and vegetables or the pork belly curry, a dish brought to northern Thailand by Burmese and Indian immigrants.
1545 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
What is genuine Florida cuisine? Find it at Florida Cookery, a restaurant dedicated to the native food and flavors of the state. Naturally they have lots of local seafood, like their spiny lobster braised in dry sherry bisque, but they also have local meat dishes as well such as the Sorrel-Lychee glazed Florida Quail or their grilled Wild Boar chops. Be sure to finish your meal with a slice of Grandma Esther's pie, mango, key lime, or strawberry depending on the season.
270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami
Make sure you book ahead to get a table at this trendy downtown Miami hotspot. Serving modern izakaya-inspired dishes, this restaurant offers a fun and glamorous atmosphere filled with Miami's young, hip, and beautiful. Select from a wide range of tempura, sushi, sashimi, and grilled skewered meats to be shared at your table, or try one of their signature dishes like the Black Cod Marinated in Miso.
335 S. Biscayne Blvd, Miami
Find classic Italian elegance at this beautiful restaurant in downtown Miami. With an outdoor terrace on the water, its the perfect location for a classy lunch in the sun or a romantic evening watching the lights of the Miami skyline. The food is exquisite as well with an impressive wine list too. Try the Ravioli Stuffed with Porcini Mushrooms or the Veal Scallopini with Prosciutto and Mozzarella.
Pascal's on Ponce
2611 Pone de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables
Pascal Oudin has create a New French fare masterpiece with his Pascal's on Ponce. The small unassuming atmosphere is home to some of the best creative dishes you'll find in the greater Miami area. For starters, try the Country Duck Terrine with Foie Gras, Pickled Vegetables and Date Compote. The main dishes are all equally as exquisite such as the Diver Sea Scallops Topped with Beef Short Rib, Young Fennel, Carrot Vichy, and Fava Bean. Truly original and delicious.
661 Bricknell Key Drive, Miami
Looking for some of the best Japanese food in the country...or anywhere? Then try and get a reservation at one of Naoe eight chairs for the evening. Providing a multicourse omakase dining experience for a fixed price of $85, you will be treated to chef Kevin Cory's meticulously prepared daily selections. Some things that might appear on the menu for the evening are mushroom-squid dumpling soup, a decadent bento box, and lots of unique nigirizushi, like the sake-simmered live abalone.
6927 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
Focusing on French and New American comfort food, Chef Michelle Bernstein has created a unique atmosphere to enjoy her unique dishes. They offer a great selection of appetizers such as Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads and Seared Foi Gras 'n Waffles while main dishes consist of delicious pasta, like the Sauteed Prawns and Handkerchief Pasta, and seafood like Whole Yellowtail Snapper with Malaysian Curry or the Three Fish Bouillabaisse made with Florida caught clams and mussels. Most of her dishes come in half or full portions, so you can try a number of her delicious creations.
4441 Collins Avenue (Fontainnebleau Hotel)
Even New Yorkers are a bit jealous that London's famed Hakkasan open in Miami Beach. Here you'll have superb ambiance and amazing Chinese food. (Not inexpensive! Think of it as going to the theatre and dining at the same time)
1014 Lincoln Road (South Beach)
This upscale Italian (think Ciprini south) restaurant gets the "Euro" crowd and also an interesting after dinner buzz at the cathedral-like bar. It closes at 1:30AM so it's a good place to get a head start on the evening or end one.
1801 Purdy Avenue (South Beach)
This south beach neighborhood Italian is just a good unpretentious place with great food. It's a great place to see locals (yes, they do exist).
Michaels Genuine Food & Drink
130 N.E. 40th Street
This whimisical New American bistro is great fun! Just about everything is made in house. Be sure to have the thick cut potato chips with pan fried onions dip. For desert have the home made pop-tarts!
Nobu Miami Beach
The Shore Club (South Beach)
1901 Collins Avenue (18th Street)
You must eat Japanese and you miss your friends in New York, London, Tokyo, Beverly Hills and even Aspen. Executive chef Thomas Buckley interprets sushi master Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s inspirational fare with aplomb. Special dishes include rock shrimp tempura with piquant cream sauce, arctic char with crispy baby spinach, and the signature black cod with miso. Main dishes run from Peruvian-style rib-eye steak to beef tenderloin with wasabi-pepper sauce, but don’t even think of dining here without at least sampling the town’s best sashimi and sushi rolls.
3470 North Miami Avenue
This no reservation dining spot is one of Miami's hot spots. Executive chef Charles Lutka is assisted by five sous chefs and 20 more young cooks. The Asian influenced menu is served in an all glass, concrete and blond wood setting. Try the pork dishes!
No doubt you will find a wealth of shopping in the hippest city in the Sunshine State, but these are a few interesting shops you won’t find anywhere else:
Art Deco Welcome Center
1001 Ocean Drive
Run by the Miami Design Preservation League, the Art Deco Welcome Center is located on Ocean Drive across the street from the Clevelander and the Edison Hotels. Look for fascinating books and gifts reflecting the world-famous Art Deco District.
1575 SW First Street
José Orlando Padrón wanted to continue a grand ancestral tradition of making puros when he uprooted his family from Cuba two years after the revolution. By his shop’s 40th year, he had sold nearly 150 million hand-rolled cigars. And these are fine cigars: two-dozen lines highly ranked by Cigar Aficionado magazine and other industry experts. The entire process occurs in Nicaragua and Honduras, from the growing to the rolling to the shipping. The "vertical integration" system keeps prices reasonable ($2 to $25).
1800 West Avenue Miami Beach
The chicest shop in Miami Beach. Located in a 1930s Addison Mizner-style building, there are ten rooms offering men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, books, fine art, home furnishings, tea and fragrances.
Gotham Dream Cars
605 SE 1st Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33444
Tel. 561.992.8700 / 877.2.GOTHAM
Exotic Car Rental Miami: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, and Ford GT rentals in Miami / South Florida. Serving Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Tampa, Naples and beyond...
Tropical Tanning Salon
11547 SW 88th Street
Arrived in the land of sun looking a bit pasty? Not to worry. Here you can bronze yourself with UVA/UVB tanning in horizontal beds or sunlamp standup chambers offered in 20- and 15-minute sessions. After all, you don’t want to leave the beach looking like the lobster you had for dinner, so get a base tan before you go.
Click on the ‘hashgachos’ link to get a list of the fine Miami restaurants, bakeries and stores under strict kosher supervision. Three Guys from Miami www.3guysfrommiami.com Ever enjoyed a guarapo? Ever had platanos on your pizza? Three Cubans encourage you to jump out of your culinary rut and explore Cuban food. What would a visit to Miami be without it? Check out the informal Web site of these three guys and consider buying their recipe books.
1445 Washington Avenue
Five distinctively designed bars housed in a two story historic art deco theater. If your're not in the mood for a crowd then head to the seperate entrance of their smaller club which is on the mezznine level. It's called Vice and the name says it all! www.vicesouthbeach.com
This serious nightspot does not have a dance floor. That does not, however, stop anyone from dancing. Redbull and vodka before you arrive!
235 23rd Street (off Collins Avenue)
This lounge and tasting room (small meals served) is stylish and is one of "the" places to hang. Music is geared to eclectic partygoers with Rock 'n Roll, Hip Hop and house. Beautifully decorated, it is the place to see and be seen while enjoying bottle service, of course. Get here early or on less popular Sunday's.
1437 Washington Avenue
Rock n’ Roll is here to stay. All locals, models and celebrities are told to check the attitude at the door. Tattooed bartenders pour serious drinks. Monday night party "Back Door Bamby" is not for novices!
1439 Washington Avenue
This is the sister club to Snatch and caters to a VIP crowd including but not limited to visiting Hollywood beauties who come to South Beach to really let their hair down.
Condal & Penamil House
741 Lincoln Road (Miami Beach)
A high-end cigar bar with two-for-one happy hours, ladies nights (in other words, free champagne) and a delicious pitcher of Sangria. There are a few umbrella-covered tables out front for people watchers and patrons with a low second-hand smoke tolerance.
28 NE 40th Street
Trendy, downtown restaurant, dance club and lounge with outdoor patio. Dress to impress, as the Miami starlets and impresarios frequent this chic establishment.
Onda South Beach
1248 Washington Avenue (Miami Beach)
This South Beach hotspot is a cool, comfortable, upscale New York style bar and lounge. Onda, meaning wave in Italian, features the blue and beige palette of the nearby beaches, with an LED light system creating gentle color waves. With its retro South Beach feel and futuristic, state of the art sound and light system, Onda attracts locals, visitors and celebrities.