The Magic City; gloriously good-looking, opulently sensational and a majestic heavenly getaway is nonetheless Miami. With its undeniable charm and grace, it’s a city that feels like none other. Glamourous vintage hotels forming the accustomed Miami art deco buildings and iconic pastel shades create a cinematic backdrop to traverse through the streets of Miami. This idyllic beachy image remains in our heads forever. On the other hand, plush nightclubs enrich the roads with their blaring music and enticing ambiance, truly the city is never short of its idiosyncratic style. The pristine blue waters and year-round sunshine make Florida the absolute tropical escape for any holiday occasion, just like summers for me. Being at the southernmost part of the USA, a taste of rich cultures and audacious experiences keep tourists wanting to come back for more. The sultry aura of the ocean was imminent from the moment I landed in Miami and the breeze instantly apprised me that I’m on a holiday to enjoy boat-life and water culture.
While there is ample to do in this Little Cuba, a few of my favoured are:
South Beach- ‘The American Riviera’ famed for its Cuban prominence, lively nightclubs, scrumptious seafood, beachside resorts and the vibrant art deco houses around town is Miami’s highlight. The white sandy beach lapped by crystalled teal waters is perfect for sunrise strolls and swimming in the waters gazing at the sun set amidst the sky full of scintillating array of colours is an experience to never forget. Ocean Drive, the place you’ve seen on every Miami Postcard, is the hot spot for everything from fine dining to casual beachside cuisine and south beach is incomplete without it.
Lincoln Mall (on South Beach)– Lincoln Road is where Miami comes together to shop, to eat and to relax. With over 200 designer boutiques and fine restaurants, this pedestrian street has plenty to offer. The Lincoln Mall is the largest in Miami; from Forever 21, H&M and Banana Republic to Ross, Ted Baker and Macy’s, these high end stores will force you to spend a penny. These shops are open from 10am to 11pm throughout the week.
Little Havana- The vibrant neighbourhood of Hispanic culture is riddled with Latin cafes, restaurants and markets that extract colours and history from Cuban lifestyle and display it on the streets of Miami. Little Havana, just west of Downtown Miami is more than being a place to only find incredible Cuban restaurants; it has places to discover art and knock back a few cocktails at several famed bars. It’s one of the most buzzing tourist locations in the city, but its charm and trendy eateries make it irresistible to frequent visitors as well.
Bal Harbour- Bal Harbour Village in Miami oozes contemporary and modern style (completely opposite of Little Havana) with deluxe oceanfront hotels, resorts, houses, top notch shopping and an impeccable selection of dining options. Being a destination famous between hollywood actors, it consists of only luxury shops and five star hotels encouraging a luxurious lifestyle, however it still remains a natural bliss with white sand beaches and tranquility. Carpaccio, Atlantikos and Hillstone are the few top-rated restaurants in Bal Harbour.
Everglades- Everglades National Park, the largest swamp in America is located on the outskirts of Miami. From its large mangroves and giant alligators, to its small bays, remote keys and towering sawgrass, the Everglades bring out the explorer in every tourist. I recommend to take the airboat tours provided to see the alligators during evening when the weather is pleasant and not too hot or humid.
A few of my favourite restaurants:
Nikki Beach- At the top of my favourites, Nikki Beach is a hidden jewel of South Beach, located at One Ocean Drive. Situated along the prepossessing Atlantic Ocean and composed of swaying palms trees and warm sunny wind, Nikki Beach has marked itself as the ultimate venue for private parties, large celebrations and a hangout spot. It is fondly known as the South Beach Miami party playground for celebrities and VIPs. The food ranges from burning oven pizzas, salads, unique sushi rolls, seafood entrees and fresh lobster.
On Ocean7 Cafe- This restaurant is situated on the buzzing sidewalk of Ocean Drive. Surrounded by palm trees, the main part of south beach and amusing music playing in nightclubs, the restaurant sets the mood for a perfect dinner. Even though breakfast and lunch is served here, I suggest dinner to experience the customary Miami nightlife alongside your meal.
Social at Miami Beach- This Mexican restaurant on Ocean Drive is known for its Happy Hour, however the food is great too just for brunch or dinner. The service is exemplary and attendants are quite welcoming, enhancing the atmosphere around the restaurant.
Yardbird Restaurant- A rustic outpost with innovative farm-to-table Southern food, really the best you can have in Miami. Yardbird’s perfect execution of Southern staples make the restaurant idealistic for everyone wanting to indulge in yummy food. The fried chicken, mac n cheese and donut tree are a few dishes I really recommend.
Chalking it up to Miami’s diverse culture, or perhaps its love of always being cutting edge. Whatever the reason, this city is actually one-off. This mecca of nightlife along not also gets you foot-tapping in its hyped clubs like LIV but can also get you cruising towards the Caribbean. Just the way you can never have too much of the beach, you cannot have too much of Miami. Falling in love with the city wasn’t hard, bidding a goodbye was; but I promised to come back!