Shopping at Miami
Miami is a shopper’s paradise, with a combination of breezy
open-air venues and cool, enclosed malls. Shoppers can choose
from the latest haute couture and prêt-a-porter fashions
to antiques, jewelry, fine art and more. The shopping possibilities
go on and on . . .
401 Biscayne Boulevard
Shopping and sightseeing go hand in hand at open-air Bayside Marketplace, where
you’ll find street performers, live music and even boat tours. Browse more
than 100 specialty shops, including Gap, Victoria ’s Secret and the Disney
Store, or relax in the Hard Rock Cafe or one of the outdoor cafes, bars or restaurants.
Secured self-parking and valet parking are available.
Central Business District
Bounded by I-95, NE 5th Street ,
Biscayne Bay and the Miami River
The Central Business District (CBD) in downtown Miami is home to more than 3,000
retailers, including department stores, unique specialty shops, national chains
and more than 300 restaurants. Metromover serves the CBD.
NE 1st Street,
between NE 1st and Miami Avenues
Downtown Miami is known especially for its electronics, sporting goods,
luggage, shoes, and jewelry. The Jewelry District is a popular destination for
people shopping for the perfect piece. Metered and lot parking are available.
Merchant validation is offered at four municipal garages.
Miami Design District
Between NE 36th and 41st Streets,
N. Miami and NE 2nd Avenues
Designer showrooms share quarters with business offices in this 18-square block
center for home furnishings design. In addition to the showrooms, you’ll
find art galleries, photography studios, antique shops, restaurants, cafes and,
3015 Grand Avenue
Lively CocoWalk combines 38 shops with restaurants, outdoor cafes and a 16-screen
cinema in a Mediterranean-style, open-air complex. Retailers include Victoria ’s
Secret, Gap, Banana Republic, B. Dalton, Express, and Blockbuster Music and Video.
The 3-level center also includes restaurants, clubs and more. Secure, covered
parking is available
Streets of Mayfair
2911 Grand Avenue
In the heart of Coconut Grove, this exciting center includes shops and boutiques,
as well as 9 restaurants and sidewalk cafes, including Iguana Cantina. Streets
of Mayfair also offers the Improv, Oxygen Lounge and other clubs. Metered, self-parking
and valet parking are available.
SW 22nd St. , btwn. Douglas and LeJeune Roads
This charming 4-block stretch showcases galleries and boutiques, accented by
fountains, plazas and archways dotted with bougainvillea. You’ll find moderate
to high-end shops, restaurants and
cafes. Services include florists, hair salons and ATMs. Garage and metered parking
11401 NW 12th Street
Dolphin Mall offers a new world of shopping, dining and entertainment. Located
5 miles from Miami International Airport at the intersection of the Dolphin Expressway
(836) and the Florida Turnpike, this 1.4 million square foot mall offers 8 anchor
stores and more than 150 outlet shops, including OFF 5th – Saks Fifth Avenue,
Mars Music, Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy, and The Athlete’s Foot.
Mall of the Americas
7795 W. Flagler Street
Anchor stores at this value-oriented mall include T. J. Maxx, Linens N’ Things,
Old Navy, Marshalls, and Home Depot, plus more than 100 specialty stores. The
stores are accompanied by an international food court, 14-screen AMC movie theater
and video arcade. Services include an ATM, 2 hair salons, a one-hour photo store,
and a postal service. Free parking is offered.
Miami International Mall
1455 NW 107th Avenue
With a strong cosmopolitan flavor, Miami International Mall lives up to its name.
Most of the merchants are bilingual, and stores run the gamut from European high
fashion to American brand name products. The mall’s 200 specialty stores
are anchored by Burdines, Dillards, JCPenney, and Sears and services include
salons, alterations, a drugstore, an ATM, a full-service restaurant, and an international
food court. Free parking is available.
7535 N. Kendall Drive
Dadeland Mall, on North Kendall Drive , between U.S. 1 and the Palmetto Expressway,
boasts more than 175 stores housed in elegant surroundings. The largest Burdines
in Florida, Saks Fifth Avenue, Limited/Express, Lord & Taylor, and JCPenney
anchor the mall, which also includes a Thomas Kinkade art gallery, one-hour photo
service, ATM, travel agency, hair salon, optometrists, 2 full-service restaurants,
and a food court. Covered parking and valet service are available.
Downtown South Miami
Between Sunset and
More than 250 businesses, including antique stores, art galleries, boutiques
and specialty shops, bookstores, markets, and bakeries, are located in this pleasant
community. Popular shopping streets are SW 72nd and 73rd streets, SW 57th Avenue
and Dixie Highway .
The Falls Shopping Center
8888 SW 136th Street
The Falls Shopping Center is home to Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and more
than 100 shops, a 12-screen movie theater, cafes, and restaurants set in a magnificent
waterscape with tropical foliage. A bank and an ATM are also nearby. Free parking
The Shops at Sunset Place
5701 Sunset Drive
This upscale retail and entertainment complex is located
at U.S. 1 and Red Road . Offerings include Barnes & Noble,
Virgin Megastore, GameWorks, an IMAX theater, Nike Town ,
Z Gallerie, a 24-screen AMC Theatre, and an array of specialty
shops and restaurants. Garage and valet parking are available.
Town & Country Center
8505 Mills Drive
This shopping facility occupies 75 acres that include a 6-acre lake. More than
100 shops and stores are divided between an enclosed mall and a half mile long
strip mall. Town & Country is a value-oriented shopping center anchored by
Ross Dress For Less, Sears and Linens N’ Things. Nine full-service restaurants
and a food court offer international dining. A pharmacy, dry cleaning service,
10-screen theater, indoor carousel, and ATMs are also onsite. Free parking is
Between Collins and West Avenues
An oddity in auto-oriented Miami,
this pedestrian mall at the north
end of South Beach has a trendy
charm, with an eclectic mix of
art galleries and studios, antique
and interior design shops, apparel,
gifts, electronics, bookshops,
cafes, restaurants, coffeehouses
and theaters. Services include
banks, salons, markets, postal
and printing services, florists,
opticians and more. Enclosed parking
Bounded by Fifth and
Alton Road and Ocean Drive
The trendiest spot in
Miami , South Beach is the heart of Miami’s
historic Art Deco District. Best known for its colorful
art deco hotels, nightclubs and great dining, this
is the place to go for cutting edge fashion, jewelry,
home furnishings, gifts, collectibles, beachwear
and more. Major shopping streets are Collins and
19501 Biscayne Boulevard
This shopping center includes more than 200 shops and boutiques, restaurants,
a 24-screen cinema, and other services. Anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s,
Lord & Taylor, JCPenney, Sears, and Burdines, the mall is also home to Cheesecake
Factory, Paramount Grill and Johnny Rockets. Free motorcoach service to and from
Downtown and Miami Beach hotels is offered 5 days a week. Parking garages and
valet parking are available.
Loehmann’s Fashion Island
18711 NE Biscayne Boulevard
At Biscayne Boulevard and NE 187th Street , this unique open-air shopping and
entertainment center features specialty items not available anywhere else. Among
its offerings are elegant boutiques, fine restaurants, charming outdoor cafes,
and a 16-screen AMC cinema. Free parking is also available.
Bal Harbour Shops
9700 Collins Avenue .
Elegance is key to Bal Harbour Shops. It is home to Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth
Avenue and many famous European and American designer shops, including Chanel
and Gucci. Discover continental cafes in tropical garden settings, artwork by
modern masters at Bal Harbour Gallery, plus beauty salons and a travel agency.
Enclosed parking is available onsite.
Main Street Miami Lakes
Main Street, between
67th and 68th Avenues
This European style shopping village comprises 2 blocks of specialty stores,
3 full-service restaurants, the Don Shula Hotel & Golf Resort, plus a 10-screen
theater complex. Onsite services include a dry cleaner, hair salons, postal service,
and travel agency. Banks and ATMs are also located nearby. Street parking is
available and free parking is located behind the stores.
Miami's creative hothouse environment allows its amazing fine art museums and
galleries to flourish, from the avant-garde contemporary to the renowned
Art of Religion
Museum of Florida ( 301
Washington Avenue ,; 305-672-5044)
tells the story of more than 250
years of the Florida Jewish experience.
Set inside a 1936 art deco style
former synagogue now listed on the National
Register of Historic Places,
the museum offers films and historical
items that put the past and the present
culture and folk life of Florida
and the Caribbean are the focus of
the Historical Museum of
Southern Florida (101 W.
Flagler Street, 305-375-1492). Exhibits
cover everything from Southeast Florida
in the late 19th century and Miami
Beach in the 1920’s to a collection
of prints of Florida birds by John
James Audubon. Call for a complete
schedule of exhibitions.
a giant quartz crystal and fossil remains
of primordial creatures at the Grace
Museum of Archaeology and Natural History (481
S. Federal Highway, Dania Beach, 954-925-7770),
which houses archaeological and prehistoric
secrets of early Floridians, ancient
Egyptians, Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs.
Art Museum (101 W. Flagler
St.; 305-375-3000), also known
as MAM, features superbly curated
shows that often spotlight politically
controversial artists and issues.
Upcoming special exhibits include "Museums
for a New Millennium" (October
3-January 4, 2004), "New Work:
Cildo Meireles" (through October
19) and "Visual Poetics: Art and
the World" (through November 16).
Other programs include artist lectures
and JAM at MAM, a Thursday music
series complete with gallery tours
and gourmet snacks. On the second
Saturday of each month, free for
families, teachers lead kids of
all ages in creating artwork inspired
by current exhibitions.
opened in 2003, the Miami Children's
Museum (Watson Island; 305-373-5437)
is dedicated to enriching children's
lives by fostering a love of learning
and appreciation of their own unique
talents. Visitors are encouraged
to play together, learn, imagine
and create. The museum features interactive
exhibitions, learning materials,
programs and more.
Art Museum (University of Miami,
1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables;
305-284-3535) is high on the list
of destinations for art lovers
in South Florida. Exhibits include "Rebecca
Hutchinson: Connected" (September
20-November 9), "Red Grooms: Selections
from the Graphic Work" (November
22-January 18, 2004), "Manhattan
Stories: Enduring Legacy" (through
December 7), "Wild Beasts, Wise
Men" (through January 11, 2004)
and "Ink, Water, Brush, Hand and
Heart: Painting from the Chinese
Collection" (through July 5, 2004).
High and Low
an interest in trains should make
their way to the Gold Coast
Railroad Museum (12450 S.W.
152nd Street, 305-253-0063), located
next to the Metro Zoo entrance. A
collection of historic railroad cars
and memorabilia includes the presidential
Pullman car, Ferdinand Magellan,
used by Presidents Roosevelt, Truman,
Eisenhower, Reagan, and Bush. Weekend
train rides on authentic diesel or
steam locomotives make this a must-see.
More than 140
hands-on exhibits are guaranteed
to wow patrons of all ages at the Miami
Museum of Science and Space Transit
Planetarium (3280 S. Miami
Avenue 305-646-4200). "Space
Toys," "The Robot Zoo," " Newton
's Notions" and "Smithsonian
Expeditions: Exploring Latin America & the
Caribbean " are among the favorites.
Those interested in creature features
will want to check out the Wildlife
Center with more than 150 live animal
residents. Open daily, the planetarium
features occasional lectures, laser-light
shows and star shows.
Florida (800, 810 and
924 Lincoln Road , 305-674-8278)
provides work and exhibition space
for more than 81 visual artists
through its juried artists' program.
ArtStudies in various media and
artistic levels is available for
all ages. Special exhibits include "Resemblance
-- Works by Luisa Basnuevo, Betty
Fleisher, Carol Prusa" (through
October 19) and "Works from
the Neiman Marcus Collection" (October
25-November 30). Galleries and
studios are free to the public.
International University (1001
Washington Avenue, 305-531-1001),
housed in an art deco era gem of
a building, oversees more than
70,000 American and European objects
relating to decorative arts, design
and architecture from the late
19th to the mid-20th centuries.
Exhibitions include " Tokyo
: The Imperial Capital" (November
22- May 2, 2004 ) and "Weapons
of Mass Dissemination: The Propaganda
of War" (through March 21,
James Deering's winter home, Vizcaya (
3251 S. Miami Avenue , 305-250-9133)
is a tribute to Italian Renaissance
architecture and art. Built in 1916,
the house features rooms that are adorned
with decor and furnishings that span
500 years. Now a museum with acres
of gardens, the villa recalls a quieter
Established in 1996,
North Miami 's Museum of Contemporary
Art ( 770 N.E. 125th Street
, 305-893-6211) houses works that demonstrate
a fresh approach to the art of our
time. The permanent collection includes
more than 350 artworks by artists such
as John Baldessari, Dan Flavin, Dennis
Oppenheim, Alex Katz, Louise Nevelson,
Gabriel Orozco, Julian Schnabel, Zoe
Leonard, Uta Barth, Teresita Fernandez,
Jorge Pardo, Garry Simmons, Mathew
Ritchie, and Jose Bedia. Current exhibits
include "Roberto Juarez: A Sense
of Place" (through November 16), "American
Short Stories: Saul Steinberg/Raymond
Pettibon" (through November 16), "William
Cordova: Project" (November 29-February
8, 2004), "Richard Artschwager: ‘Painting'
Then and Now" (December 3-February
15, 2004), "Laura Owens" (March
6-May 9, 2004), and "Jean-Michel
Othoniel" (May 28-August 31, 2004).
the Force Be With You
Beyond the doors
of the American Police Hall
of Fame and Museum ( 6350
Horizon Drive , Titusville , 321-264-0911)
is an interesting and comprehensive
look at the history of law enforcement.
The story of the American police force
unfolds with spotlights on heroes,
recountings of pivotal events and exhibits
of police equipment throughout several
centuries. Visitors can view a memorial
to more than 6,000 police officers,
see unusual police vehicles, sit in
a mock electric chair, enter a re-created
gas chamber, experience a jail cell
Grove Playhouse ( 3500 Main
Hwy. ; 305-442-4000) offers a schedule
full of great new shows and fine
classics. Upcoming performances include “The
Tale of the Allergist's Wife” (November
4-30), “Fully Committed” (November
18-January 25, 2004), “Two
Pianos, Four Hands” (December
9-January 4, 2004), Theodore Bikel
in “The Chosen” (January
13-February 8, 2004), “Jolson & Company” (February
17-March 7, 2004), and “Stones
in His Pockets” (March 16-April
Hotel & Suites South Beach and
Fairwind Hotel & Suites South Beach is located in the city
Beach, which is a crossroads, a magnet for northerners
seeking the sun and southerners seeking the sunnier side
of life. Sometimes the mix is magic; sometimes it's oil
and water. Visitors
will find the standard white sand and blue surf, it’s
the unique neighborhoods and communities in the Magic City
that leave you talking about your trip for years to come,
then planning a return engagement just to experience it
Both the sun
and the moon shine brightly today
over the playground called Miami
Beach. The round-the-clock excitement
is reflected on the covers of national
and international glamour and travel
magazines where the trendy South
Beach district -- or SoBe -- is
displayed like a model newly emerged
from a makeover. Not far from the
truth… It's the revitalizing
of this area's definitive art deco
architecture that has put Miami
Beach on the map.
Encompassing 17 islands in Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach has enchanted visitors
with its incomparable beaches and social scene since the 1920’s. It was
during the boom time of the ‘20’s and ‘30’s that the
scores of small art deco hotels were built to accommodate pleasure-loving hordes
from colder climates. Beginning in the late 1950’s these modest tourist
digs gave way to grand resort complexes (like the fabulous Fontainebleau).
It is in SoBe’s Art Deco District where today's action is -- from Ocean
Drive's magnetic stretch of restaurants, clubs and lovingly renovated art deco
hotels to the trendy shops, restaurants and cafes on Washington Avenue, to
the cultural nexus taking shape on Lincoln Road. Art Deco Weekend (January
16-18, 2004) is the big beach blowout, but there's almost always something
special going on.
Today, the art deco-fueled renewal is certainly packing them in, but it's a
diversity of attractions that keeps the crowds happy. Of course there are the
fabulous beaches, and all the recreation that goes along with them, but, increasingly,
there are also world-class cultural draws, such as the New World Symphony (305-673-3331),
Miami City Ballet (305-929-7000), the Art Center South Florida (305-674-8278),
and a visible community of dancers, actors, artists and designers.
This cultural side of South Beach is a prominent part of what Lincoln Road
has to offer. Once one of the most elegant shopping streets in the country,
Lincoln Road was redesigned in the 1960’s by legendary architect Morris
Lapidus as America's first pedestrian mall. Now it is envisioned as the center
of the new Miami Beach -- a kind of link between South Beach and the mainline
attractions, such as the Miami Beach Convention Center (305-673-7311), the
Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (305-673-7300) and the Bass Museum
of Art (305-673-7530) among others.
less than two square miles on the
southern tip of Miami Beach, South
Beach's subtropical sandbar has
an identity all its own as the
American Riviera. Here, life is
celebrated as one chic, 24/7 street
party in an art deco playground.
Beach 's beautiful architecture
makes it a favored location for
films, music and television shows,
as well as a backdrop for fashion
shoots. The Art Deco District boasts
the largest concentration of 1920’s and
1930’s architecture in the
world, earning a listing in the National
Register of Historic Places. –It
is also globally recognized as one
of Miami 's unique attractions.
Beach sightseers will want to start
out at South Pointe Park for a
close-up view of ships heading
through the deep-water channel,
known as "Government Cut",
to the Port of Miami . Across the
channel are the Mediterranean-style
buildings of Fisher Island , accessible
only by ferry.
check out Lummus Park , a green
expanse bordering the wide beach.
Once there, note how the pastel
pinks, bright aquas and canary
yellows of Ocean Drive ’s
hotels fight for space on the South
Beach skyline. Visitors can join
a walking tour or check out South
Beach 's other attractions, including
the Wolfsonian/FIU collection, the
Botanical Gardens and the Holocaust
is also a key stop for shoppers
with an eclectic mix of intriguing
boutiques, bookstores, art galleries,
and home design shops. Don’t
miss the Spanish-style Espanola
Way featuring stores that sell
New Age and retro items.
Food is another
big draw in SoBe with dozens of restaurants
lining the streets creating a culinary
meca of sorts for so many different
types of cuisine. And in a town that
never sleeps, the restaurants are
always busy until the wee hours of
Beach also stays alive late into
the night as visitors and locals
dress up or down to hit South Beach’s
trendy clubs, pubs and daiquiri
bars. No matter your style, a visit
to South Beach will redefine how
you look at style!
of Miami would be complete without
spending some time downtown. There's
plenty of shopping here, but you'll
also find the center of county
government, a wealth of cultural
opportunities and some of the city's
most famous architecture. Nearby
is Biscayne Bay , with Bayfront
Park, Bayside Marketplace, a marina,
and views of the Port of Miami
, which is the world's largest
this is the oldest area of Miami
. In the 16th century, a Spanish
mission was established near the
mouth of the Miami River . It was
succeeded by an army outpost built
in the 1840’s
to protect settlers.Development later
fanned out from this point. This
is obvious from city maps: The intersection
of Flagler Street and Miami Avenue
downtown marks the convergence of
the city's N.E., N.W., S.E. and S.W.
quadrants. Not very interesting,
but crucial to knowing where you
are in Greater Miami. From this point,
numbering begins for streets (running
east/west) and avenues (running north/south).
For shopping, the
action centers on the Central Business
District (CBD), the core of which
is bounded by N.E. First Avenue,
N.E. Fifth Street, Biscayne Bay and
the Miami River . More than 3,000
retailers are located here, from
department stores to specialty shops
to 300-plus restaurants. Busy Flagler
Street is a logical place to start,
but don't miss the Jewelry District,
on N.E. First Street between N.E.
First and Miami Avenues. Bayside
Marketplace, a shopping, dining and
strolling mecca, takes full advantage
of its site on the bay. The waterside
ambience and many fine diversions
make this the most visited attraction
in South Florida .
plenty of cultural interest, from the
Gusman Center for the Performing Arts
(305-374-2444) to the James L. Knight
Center (305-284-5137) and the Miami
Arena (305-530-4400). The Metro-Dade
Cultural Center with its inviting central
plaza is the setting for the Miami
Art Museum , the Historical Museum
of Southern Florida and the art-filled
Miami-Dade Public Library. Here, also,
is the mammoth sculpture “Dropped
Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peels”,
perhaps Miami 's most famous public
artwork. South of the CBD, across the
Miami River , is the Brickell Avenue
area sometimes called "the Wall
Street of the South" for its concentration
of national and international banks.
Appropriately named the "City
Beautiful" by its designer, George Merrick, Coral
Gables is an utterly charming community of gracious
Mediterranean architecture, monumental gateways, streets
shaded by huge banyans and ficus trees, plazas, fountains,
and miles of waterways and canals. Merrick grew up
here, in a gabled plantation house built of coral rock
and pine, which is now open to the public. Call (305)
460-5361 for information. In the 1920’s, he spent
more than $100 million to create this dream city on
some twelve square miles of former Florida scrub and
citrus groves, 4 miles south of Downtown Miami.
also included "international
villages" styled Normandy , Colonial, French Country
and City, Dutch South African, Chinese, and Italian.
These pockets of thematic architecture punctuate the
city like quirky comments on their traditional surroundings.
One of the grander attractions in Coral
Gables is the Venetian Pool (305-460-5356). Formerly
a quarry from which oolitic limestone (coral rock) was
taken for architectural uses, the huge municipal pool
is a fantasy of caves, waterfalls, arched bridges, and
On the natural side, there's Matheson
Hammock County Park (305-665-5475), a mangrove forest
fronting Biscayne Bay , edged with beaches and a boat
harbor, and just south is Fairchild Tropical Garden (305-667-1651),
a lush hothouse of tropical plantings.
Today, Downtown Coral Gables is a thriving
business community, especially along the major shopping
thoroughfare known as Miracle Mile ( Coral Way , between
S.W. 42nd Avenue and Douglas Road ). Home to more than
130 multinational corporations, plus eleven consulates
and foreign trade commissions. Coral Gables also offers
some of the top chefs in the city, with more than 120
restaurants the choices are rich and varied.
you'll need a map to explore Coral Gables . The curving
streets can be confusing and the street signs are small.
Drop by City Hall (305-446-6800), which is the imposing
Spanish Colonial building complete with a tower and
colonnade, for maps and information.
If any neighborhood in urban
Miami could be termed a "village" it has
to be Coconut Grove. On Biscayne Bay , south of Downtown
and east of Coral Gables , the Grove has been a diverse
community since its settlement in the late 19th century.
Sailing yacht designer Ralph Munroe, originally from
New York , and the Peacock brothers, from England ,
settled the area along with the families of Bahamian
seamen who salvaged treasure from wrecked vessels offshore
along the Great Florida Reef. Munroe's unusual 1891
home, called The Barnacle (305-448-9445) for its conical
shape, is a wonderfully preserved slice of old Florida
On the other end of the architectural
spectrum, but built just a decade later, is Vizcaya (305-250-9133),
the Italian Renaissance-style estate of millionaire industrialist
James Deering. This opulent 70-room palace on Biscayne
Bay is the jewel in the city's crown, with its art treasures,
formal gardens and preserved natural setting.
what comes to mind most often for Miamians when they
think of the Grove is shopping, entertainment, good
food, and fun. Locals come from all over to dine at
the many restaurants, from sidewalk eateries to candlelit
dining rooms – all featuring a culturally
diverse selection of food. The Grove is also a favorite
haunt for locals when it comes to its art galleries,
interesting shops and clubs – all of which you
will find at CocoWalk, a one-stop entertainment complex
in the heart of the Grove. Visitors will also find a
wide selection of street artists and entertainers at
It's never more
obvious that the Grove is among the happening spots
in the city than during one of the many festivals.
A few include, “A Taste
of the Grove” (January), the “Coconut Grove
Arts Festival” ( February 14-16, 2004 ), the “Italian
Renaissance Festival” ( March 19-21, 2004 ) at
Vizcaya, the “Goombay Festival” ( June 5-6,
2004 ), a celebration of Bahamian heritage, and the “King
Mango Strut” (December 28), which is a spoof on
Miami 's Orange Bowl extravaganza.
Many of these events take place
outdoors in Coconut Grove's lovely Peacock Park (305-416-1300),
but any day of the year is good for enjoying the views
of the bay and the marinas from one of the area’s
waterfront parks. Bicycling, roller-blading, jogging,
picnicking, tennis and more are all here on the water.
When you tire of walking the Grove’s tree-lined
streets, hop in your car and admire the area’s
architectural points of interest -- from old houses
of coral rock and gracious homes with expansive grounds
to cottages and historic churches.
Just across the Rickenbacker
Causeway, 2 miles south of downtown Miami (yet a world
away, according to residents), is Key Biscayne. This
7 mile long and 2 mile wide barrier island is known
for its spectacular beaches and many other recreational
opportunities, as well as its relaxed, small-town lifestyle.
The Village of Key Biscayne is little
more than a square mile of the island, which includes
1,800 acres of natural parkland. On the southern end
of Key Biscayne is Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation
Area, home of the 95-foot-tall Cape Florida Lighthouse.
On the east
side of the Key is Crandon Park (305-365-2300). It’s
3.5 mile white sand beach has been rated one of the
10 most beautiful in the United States by CondÈ Nast
There are two outstanding sports sites here: Crandon
Park Golf Course (305-361-9129) and the Tennis Center
. Crandon Park Golf Course, with its lush tropical setting
and great views of the Miami skyline, hosts the annual
Royal Caribbean Classic (February), kickoff to the U.S.
Senior PGA Tour. Not to be outdone, the Tennis Center
hosts the annual NASDAQ-100 Open (March 24-April 4, 2004).
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center (305-361-6767)
with a marina, bike paths, concessions and more, round
out the many family offerings in Crandon Park .
Key Biscayne is fabulously situated
for water sports. Windsurfing is especially popular from
Hobie Island , just 200 feet off the mainland. Scuba
diving into offshore reefs and wrecks is also possible,
along with sport fishing, snorkeling, jet skiing, and
Nearby Virginia Key is home to the
Miami Seaquarium (305-361-5705), a center for research
and conservation, housing some 10,000 creatures of the
deep, and the University of Miami 's Rosenstiel School
of Marine and Atmospheric Science (305-361-4000), a leader
in oceanographic research. After a visit to these hospitable
islands, so close to the bustle of urban Miami , you
too will find yourself in the swim.
The official name of this area
is Southwest Eighth Street , but everyone knows it
as "Calle Ocho."
Cubans who fled
from Cuba in the 1960’s
recreated their community west of Brickell Avenue , imbuing
it with nostalgia for their homeland. This vibrant neighborhood,
home to many residents from Central and South America
as well, has a distinct Latin flavor. Everything is authentic,
from the fruit stands and cigar factories to the eat-at
windows of the cafeterias where patrons drink Cuban coffee
and passionately discuss politics.
You'll want to visit the area's quaint
shops, where you'll find embroidered guayabera shirts,
hand-rolled cigars and Latin music, or explore gift shops
offering unique items and Cuban memorabilia. And at Little
Havana to Go (305-381-7884), you'll find regional crafts,
souvenirs, art and more.
Cultural activities are blossoming
here, along with art galleries, studios and theaters.
Cultural Fridays take place on the last Friday of every
month along Calle Ocho and feature dance, music, poetry,
visual arts, and theater. The historic Tower Theater
is alive with performances, cultural and educational
programs, and multi-cultural films, while Teatro Ocho
is home to theater productions in Spanish.
Last, but not least is the food.
Little Havana is one of the best places to experience
Latin cuisine. Latin flavor takes center stage during
Carnaval Miami, a week-long celebration of Hispanic
culture culminating with Calle Ocho (a street festival
that's often referred to as "the world's largest
block party"), which attracts more than a million
people each year.
After becoming a city in 1995,
Aventura, located at the northern end of Miami-Dade
County , has established its niche as an enclave of
tropical landscaping and water, surrounding sleek high-rises
and luxurious single-family homes.
Majestic palms and shade trees line
the roadways, and colorful flowers cover the medians
of Aventura Boulevard and Country Club Drive , which
sweeps around the golf course in the heart of the city.
Park , located in the center of the city, features
a bayside path, tennis courts, a children's playground
and a multi-purpose athletic field. Nearby you’ll
find the 4.3-mile long Don Soffer Aventura Fitness
Trail, a popular spot for walkers, runners, cyclists,
Aventura is also synonymous
with world-class shopping. The Aventura Mall, set among
lush landscaping, includes an interesting array of
shops and restaurants, as well as a large movie theater
inside. The nearby Waterways replicate a village set
around the marina. You can wander around the shopping
areas, boutiques and galleries, meander down to the
lighthouse, and then enjoy a meal in one of the area’s
distinctive restaurants. With a selection of cuisine
ranging from sophisticated to casual, Aventura will
definitely entice you.
This may be one of the smallest
municipalities in Miami-Dade County , but it is also
one of the best known. Covering a third of a square
mile, the village has long been a favored hideaway
of the rich and famous where celebrity spotting is
easy. Here the main street, Collins Avenue , becomes
a wide boulevard graced by stately palm trees and greenery.
To the east, against a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean
, you'll find the village's 2 luxury resorts and gleaming
condominium towers set amid flowers and fountains.
On the west side of Collins Avenue , low-rise apartment
buildings stand next to the gated entrance to Bal Harbour
's single-family homes. Heading north out of this tiny
oceanside city, the road rises to a crest over the
Haulover Bridge . On the other side you’ll find
Haulover Park where you can enjoy the beach, water,
picnic area and more.
Bal Harbour shops are the village's
crown jewel. The upscale mall is open to the sky, but
designed to protect shoppers from the elements in a tropical
garden setting, swathed in scarlet and purple bougainvillea.
Here you can browse the collection of internationally
renowned boutiques and stores that evoke style centers
in New York , Paris , Milan , and London . The latest
designer fashions and accessories, precious gems and
fine, decorative objects may be found here.
When it comes to dining, you can choose
from an array of elegant cuisines -- continental, international,
Italian, Latin, seafood, steaks, sushi, and New Miami
World cuisine served by the restaurants or the village's
two resorts. But whether you dine indoors or outdoors,
in a cafe or bistro, or on a terrace overlooking the
Atlantic Ocean , you'll savor the ambience of Bal Harbour.
The scene is changing in this
lively resort area, as funky 1950’s motels and
small beachfront hotels give way to luxury apartment
towers and hotels. But little has changed on the Newport
Fishing Pier, where you can drop a line and fish from
For the thrill
of deep-sea fishing, just head south to the charter
boats docked on the Intracoastal Highway at Haulover
Beach Park – a park split down
the middle by the main road, Collins Avenue. (THIS SHOULD
BE ONE COMPLETE PARAGRAPH W/THE NEXT PARAGRAPH.) On one
side, bordering the Intracoastal Waterway, ocean breezes
cool the 9-hole, par-3 golf course and the tennis courts,
making the park a perfect spot for kite flying. Across
Collins Avenue, a one-mile long stretch of pristine beach
gives you the obvious surf and sand choices, plus shaded
picnic areas where you can enjoy a day of fun or a quick
oceanside lunch or dinner.
One of the attractions of this
quiet, family-oriented town is the wide, secluded beach
that is bordered by a path through the dunes.
hotels and luxury high-rise condominiums are changing
the style of Collins Avenue , but Harding Avenue retains
the feel of an old-style main street with small shops,
a 1950’s corner drugstore
and a soda fountain.
Small bistros welcome strollers for
a casual meal, while the oceanfront Surfside Community
Center and Tot-Lotpresent various shows and events year
round in an art deco-style outdoor stage that is reminiscent
of a miniature Hollywood Bowl.
Just south of surfside, the North Shore
State Recreation Area offers an unspoiled beachfront
nature preserve and picnic area that also caters to families.
Discount Hotel Links
Hotels (Central Hotel Reservations)
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