Last updated on July 21st, 2018 at 10:40 am
One of the best parts about living in Miami is the city’s proximity via boat and plane to other countries.
One of the tougher parts about living in Miami is that the city is trapped at the southern tip of a looong state, so we are not privy to the interstate road trips familiar to people who live in other states.
That said, Florida has some incredible destinations that are within a few hours from us via car. Today we’re taking you on our favorite three road trips from Miami. Don’t forget to bring your GPS, your favorite playlist, and your sense of adventure!
Northward Bound: Indialantic, Florida
Only three hours north of Miami, the Town of Indialantic is the perfect place for a weekend seaside escape. The beaches are less crowded and more family-friendly than the beaches in Miami. Plus, everything (read, food, drinks, and hotels) is much more affordable.
We love to stop by The Blueberry Muffin, a local diner with amazing blueberry muffins, for breakfast. At sunset, there is no better place to enjoy a cocktail and beach views than the second floor of biker bar Lou’s Blues.
And, if you’re looking for more late night music and fun, Bunky’s Monkey Bar is open until 2 a.m. and has daily specials.
Pro tip: If you are flexible on dates and/or accomodations, check different websites for great deals on oceanfront hotels. During past visits we have had enjoyable stays at both the Crowne Plaza Melbourne and the Radisson Suite Hotel for under $100 a night.
Southward Bound: Key Largo, Florida
To the untrained eye, Key Largo looks like the type of place you pass by on the way to Key West and the Lower Keys. To Miami-ans, it is the perfect road trip because it is close by but sufficiently removed from the hustle and bustle of city life.
If you enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving, there are plenty of local outlets from which to rent gear or book a trip. Crowd favorite snorkeling and diving spots include the Christ of the Abyss and shallow water reefs of John Pennekamp State Park. After you work up an appetite, stop by Mrs. Macs Kitchen for a superfishwich and homemade key lime pie.
Pro tip: Instead of taking US-1 from the Turnpike, bring $1 in cash so you can take the less urbanized and less crowded Card Sound Road. Make the time to stop just before the tollbooth at Alabama Jacks or just before the road reconnects with US-1 at Shipwreck’s Bar and Grill for fresh seafood, a cold beer, and some quality Florida Keys people watching.
Westward Bound: Everglades City, Florida
Everglades City is located on the southwest end of Florida around Chokoloskee Bay in an area with a rich Native American history. Because of its remote location and its mature mangrove coverage, it also has a history of drug smuggling and crime involving its small resident population.
Nowadays, Everglades City is a quiet place ideal for outdoor explorers because of its proximity to Everglades National Park and the 10,000 Islands. To capture the city’s unique history and charm, visit the Historic Smallwood Store – there is a $5 entry fee – or at Camellia Street Grill, a delicious waterfront eatery.
Pro tip: For a more personalized wilderness experience, book a kayaking trip with top Trip Advisor ranked Shurr Adventures, which offers naturalist-guided kayaking trips for groups of one to six people.
Last updated on February 25th, 2020 at 01:07 pm
You arrive in Miami the day before your cruise and you want to discover the beautiful sub-tropical city outside your hotel door.
Your first move is to pick up your travel guide or do a quick Google search only to be overwhelmed by hundreds of options in dining, sightseeing, and shopping in Miami.
All them sound amazing but how can you possibly fit them all in? The reality is you can’t but, with the right guide, you can make the most out of your short stay.
Enter Miami Culinary Tours, which offers three-hour food tours daily around Miami’s historic neighborhoods of Little Havana, South Beach, and Wynwood. While their tours center on Miami food, they also explore the history and culture behind the dishes, making them the ideal itinerary when you’re in a time crunch. They are also incredibly cost-effective considering Miami prices. One tour costs between $59-$69 per person and includes five food stops.
The only choice you have to make is whether you’re more intrigued by the beach vibes of South Beach, the art of Wynwood, or the Cuban culture of Little Havana. Because we are least familiar with Little Havana, we recently joined Miami Culinary Tours for an excursion around the neighborhood led by native Miami-an, Ralph. The tour was delicious, filling, and extremely educational (did you know the City of Miami has an official “Rooster Removal Team” that takes care of feral roosters?).
Check out the photos below to see what you can expect when you go.
Our tour group gathered outside a local art gallery to learn about West African influences in Cuban culture.
At El Pub, our first stop, where we filled up on tostones rellenos de picadillo (shown above) and chicken empanadas.
A tour of Miami would not be complete without a stop at a ventanita, or window, through which Cuban coffee and sandwiches are served.
The tour only traversed half a mile, but we staved off exhaustion with a shot of colada, Cuban-style espresso.
We stopped by the famous Ball and Chain Bar on Calle Ocho to learn about its role in music history and taste a traditional mojito.
Our tour ended at homemade Cuban ice cream pioneer Azúcar where we enjoyed a scoop of delicious Abuela Maria ice cream while Suzy Batlle shared the story of how
the men at Domino Park helped her perfect her mantecado (Spanish for shortbread) ice cream recipe.
Last updated on January 20th, 2020 at 01:54 pm
Miami can seem like an overwhelming destination if you have less than 24 hours to enjoy it. With so much to see, do, and eat, it can be difficult to get to know the city during a short stay. However, if you know where to go, it is possible to get a quick taste of the Miami experience. These three spots are where you can make that happen:
1. Little Havana
Miami’s cultural epicenter is undergoing a period of revitalization. Since you are in a time crunch, stick to SW 8th Street or Calle Ocho between SW 13th Avenue and SW 17th Avenue. You will find most of the must-see sights on this stretch, including Domino Park, the “Walkway of the Stars”, and the Tower Theater. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to stop at the historic Ball and Chain for Cuban-inspired bites and cocktails or at Azúcar Ice Cream Company for homemade Cuban ice cream.
2. South Beach
Ocean Drive is in every guidebook for a reason. Between the Art Deco architecture, the salty ocean breeze, and the rows of palm trees, there is nothing more satisfyingly Miami than an early morning or late night walk down Ocean Drive. Do stop to take photos and absorb the ambiance. Do not stop to eat at any of the restaurants – the food is not worth their hefty price tag. If you are in the mood for Latin American cuisine, go to Chalan on the Beach, Ola, or Puerto Sagua.
This arts district is cultivating Miami’s future amidst its many blocks of colorful murals. The neighborhood launched and is home to numerous local businesses like our local purveyors of craft beer, Wynwood Brewing Company, and of specialty coffee, Panther Coffee. Both are within walking distance of the Wynwood Walls, a plaza between six warehouse buildings that has been transformed into an outdoor art gallery. Hungry? Check out Coyo Taco, Kush, or Wynwood Kitchen and Bar.
Last updated on June 29th, 2020 at 05:03 am
A Local’s Introduction to “The Cruise Capital of the World”
Everybody wants a slice of paradise. Last year alone Miami welcomed over 4 million cruise passengers and 40.5 million airline passengers (PortMiami 2013, Miami Airport 2013). Our population had skyrocketed to 2.6 million as of the last census. Even as local rents quickly rise, locals have doubled down on our leases.
Beyond its allure as a tropical destination, Miami is in high demand because we offer it all. We have well-recognized hotel brands and boutique hotels, nightclubs and dive bars, a big city feel and a small town charm. Our attractions are both bachelor and family friendly. Our only downfall? An abundance of must-do’s that are tough to
whittle down into a realistic vacation itinerary.
Enter me, your personal Miami insider. Nice to meet you – my name is Margarita. I am a local living in the hustle-and-bustle of Miami’s South Beach neighborhood and a travel aficionado with a chronic state of wanderlust. Since I moved to Miami, I have been 100-percent in love with this city and have explored it inside and out.
As a Miami connoisseur, I look forward to sharing the best of what Miami has to offer in food, shopping, attractions, and nightlife so you can make the most of every visit. Whether you are staying one night or extending your vacation off-seas, you can count on me to guide or refine your Miami itinerary. Mi casa es tu casa.