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Top Things to do on the Beach in Miami

January 12, 2015
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Miami has miles upon miles of sandy beaches where tourists can lounge around and swim, but a vacation wouldn’t be very much of a vacation if you weren’t willing to try out a few activities that can’t be reproduced in your backyard. Whether you’re doing yoga during sunrise or scuba diving offshore, it is possible to find other fun activities to outside of the typical beach tanning. Check out these fun and interesting things to do on the beach in Miami.

 

Go Kayaking

What better way to see Biscayne Bay in Miami than from the water? Although you may not technically be on the beach, you’ll pretty darn close to it when you rent a kayak from one of the many outdoor adventure companies on the water. Oleta River State Park is right by Biscayne Bay and offers a variety of activities within park limits that include kayaking and canoeing. You can go in pairs or captain your own kayak while paddling along the beach in the bay with a killer view of Downtown Miami. -and just think of the calories you could burn before taking on the nightlife in South Beach!

 

Learn to Surf

A lot of people don’t have the opportunity back home to learn how to surf, but South Beach has a great surfing area where beginners and professionals can all enjoy the waves. The South Beach Dive and Surf Center offers surfing lessons complete with equipment rentals, so you can get off the towel and do something where you can experience the power of the tides for yourself while under the watchful eye of an instructor and with the proper equipment. Again, there aren’t many places to do some surfing if you live in a landlocked city, so why not try it out?

 

Yoga on the Beach

Every morning at sunrise and every evening at sunset, 3rd Street Beach is home to a group of yoga enthusiasts who take part in an instructor-led class each day of the week and all year long. 3rd Street Beach Yoga, as it has come to be called, is an amazing class with even more amazing views. It was started over 15 years ago when one woman decided to do yoga on the beach. The story continues to show that the idea snowballed into a class that has been doing quite well. Participation is on a donations only basis too, so you can take part in this activity when you’re on a tight budget.

 

Jet-Skiing

If you want to spend some time zipping around on the water, why not rent a jet-ski? Doctor Jet Ski rents out boats and jet-skis from the inner edge of South Beach and gives people the option of doing a quick hour-long jaunt or renting their watercraft for the day. That means that you can rip around the water and to a marina for lunch before returning later on. Doctor Jet Ski even offers discounts on their rentals, so you save a little too.

 

Spike It!

Those who are especially enthusiastic about athletics will adore playing volleyball or watching one of the tournaments that’s always happening on Miami Beach. Miami Beach Volleyball has options for forming teams, playing a few games with family, or entering competitively into one of their events. They believe in helping people enjoy the sport without having to be an expert, so they’re quite patient if you don’t know the first thing about volleyball but still want to try.

 

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January in Miami – Don’t miss these events!

January 4, 2015
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Christmas and New Year celebrations may be all over, but the sun is still shining in Miami, and if you’re holed up in a snowy northern city, this warm, welcoming corner of Florida may be just what you need to cure those seasonal blues. Here’s what’s happening this month – why not book a flight and join in the fun!

 

Art Deco Weekend – Jan 16-18 

What began as a grassroots festival to bring awareness to South Beach’s movement to preserve its plethora of neglected Art Deco buildings and hotels, has grown into the largest celebration of historical structures from the 20s, 30s and 40s-era. Today, Art Deco Weekend has evolved to include musical performances, fashion shows, walking tours, movie screenings, lecture series and antique cars. Over 400,000 people attend annually and it’s a must-see event for locals and tourists alike. Art Deco Weekend is a uniquely Miami style soiree, and with the road closed to traffic, you can expect to see drag queens, stilt walkers, musicians and other performers on the beachfront and boardwalk. There is a happy vibe that permeates the entire weekend. It’s considered one of the major highlights on South Beach’s annual calendar, and for good reason.

 

Martin Luther King Parade – Jan 19th 

On the third Monday of January every year, Miami joins the rest of the country in saluting MLK jr. The parade takes place along NW 54th Street on a route from NW 12th Avenue to NW 32nd Avenue. It ends with a celebration at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. Parade goers can expect high school marching bands, athletes, and cheerleaders on foot, floats, cars, and fire trucks bearing local politicians, union leaders, and activists—and, for a Caribbean Miami twist, Carnival dancers taking it to the streets in a colorful dance and music performance. Once the parade reaches the park, revelers can enjoy food, activities for kids, and a variety of vendors and entertainment.

 

Yoga in The Park – Every Wednesday

If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to get fit, then why not ease yourself into it with a gentle Hatha Yoga class, and channel your inner Buddha amid the lush foliage of the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. . The all-ages class combines strengthening, stretching, and relaxation on the terrace. Instructor Terra-Nova begins the class with a mini-meditation and offers new themes each week, many of which revolve around our relationship to nature. Mats are first-come, first-served, so maybe bring your own. All donations given at the class support the garden; suggested donations are $5 for garden members and $10 for nonmembers. The class begins at 12:30 p.m. every Wednesday.

 

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Snap These Sights! The Six Best South Beach Miami Photo Ops

December 22, 2014
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What’s a vacation without the photos?!When you travel to a place as beautiful as South Beach Miami, there’s no excuse not to have a stack of gorgeous photos to post for friends, send to family, and keep for your own private collection. You will, no doubt, point and click seventy times at each location you visit in SoBe, but for some really instagrammable moments, visit these six exquisite sites on South Beach to get the best shots ever.

 

Pretty Sunsets

There is nothing out there quite like the sight of a pink and gold sunset dancing with the reflection of water, and one of the most amazing photos you can bring home from a vacation in a place with such incredible ocean views. Water Sports Miami Beach offers a really unique experience and opportunities to snap that one-of-a-kind picture of a sunset with their 2 hr. Champagne Sunset Sail, which sails right into South Beach waters in the Art Deco area for sunset along with bubbly and a few friends.

 

Sunken Treasure and Tropical Fish

If you’ve got a Go Pro or a waterproof camera, you absolutely have to go on a dive in the waters off of South Beach and capture a few photos of colorful and unique marine life on the coral reefs or living inside one of the wrecks that the South Beach Dive and Surf Center takes tourists to. You don’t have to be an advanced diver either, they offer some amazing snorkeling and diving excursions for beginners and advanced divers alike. Those backdrops will make for some awesome selfies too.

 

The Beach

If you’ve had your fill of aerial, underwater, and sun-centered photos, it’s clearly time to take your shoes off and take a stroll down in the warm sand at the beach itself. You can take a couple shots of the shoreline, the unique lifeguard stations, or do a few closeups of the diverse array of seashells found on the beach for something a little different.

 

The Boardwalk

Nothing is more breathtaking than the scenery of a beach, the ocean, and lush vegetation all at once. The Miami Beach Boardwalk is especially pretty if you visit the northern portion, which has a true wooden boardwalk that runs from 46th Street to 23rd Street and a paved portion further south. You could even sit at a bench and wait for the sun to hit just the right spot in the sky before taking the perfect wallpaper photo.

 

Exotic Flowers

Once you’ve finished taking all of the landscape shots you can handle, try out a few closeup pics of the exotic flowers at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. You can also take great photos of the oddly shaped tropical trees, ponds or fountains, and interesting wildlife that populates the park. Totally out of the ordinary, and very cool.

 

Find the spirit of Christmas in Miami this year

December 8, 2014
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So you’re in Miami for Christmas? Sweet! And we’re guessing you’re searching for something special to do over the holidays, because when you’re looking for that Christmassy spirit – sandy beaches and mojitos don’t always do the trick…!

 

We recommend you wait till the sun goes down and then head to Miami-Dade’s Tropical Park, which has been transformed into a winter wonderland of lights and displays for the holiday season. Santa’s Enchanted Forest boasts a spectacular 90-foot Christmas tree, a traditional ‘meet santa’ experience (maybe leave this one for the kids),  a carnival with 100 rides, a petting zoo, and fun live shows. Food tents offer traditional carnival fair like candy apples and funnel cake as well as international cuisine from Greece, Mexico and Italy. Carnival games give you the chance to win souvenirs to take home or to give your special Christmas someone. Talk about a great night out!

 

Looking for something a little more sophisticated? For a Christmassy hit of culture, why not get dressed up and go see The Nutcracker at the Miami City Ballet? You can’t not get in the spirit when faced with sugar plum fairies, toy soldiers and dancing snowflakes! And if you’re looking for something for the little ones, Miami Children’s Museum hosts theatre performances like “how the Grinch stole Christmas”, “Polar Express Storytime” and the Tropical Christmas Eve event.

 

And for those who are just focused on getting that traditional turkey dinner experience?

Check out opentable.com for advance and last-minute reservations. South beach restaurants are offering something for everyone on the 24th and 25th – you’ll find winter-themed brunches, christmas cocktails, holiday buffets, and even “seasonal sushi”!


Happy holidays!

Art Basel 2014: Where to go, what to see!

November 30, 2014
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Art’s winter playground, Art Basel Miami Beach, starts today! And if you’re in Miami this week you should definitely get in on the action. This is the place to be for the international artworld, and Miami’s glittering nightlife gets turned up a notch with artists, curators and dealers in town for exclusive showings, openings, and exhibitions. The great news? Not all activities are for the rich and famous. There are a number of cool events happening this week that are either open to the public, or open via RSVP – and lucky for you, we’ve gathered all the info below. Now get out there and start schmoozing!!

 

POP-UP STREET ART AT MIAMI MARINE STADIUM – OPENING RECEPTION: Monday, December 1, 6 – 10 pm

The interactive space of Pop-Up Street Art will spotlight the work of world renowned artists and raise funds for the restoration of one of Miami’s most iconic buildings. Hosted by the Art |History Mural Project Exhibition, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, families are encouraged to attend as children will be invited to assist in the creation of large-scale murals. Show Dates/Hours: December 1-7, 10am-10pm. Free and open to the general public. Opening reception by invitation only, RSVP to rsvp@arthistory2014.com.

Miami Marine Stadium, 5 NW 36th Street, at North Miami Avenue, Midtown Miami, http://www.arthistory2014.com

 

MIAMI PHOTO SALON FESTIVAL – VIP PREVIEW : Monday, December 1, 6:30 – 10 pm

The first yearly Miami Photo Salon is an encounter to celebrate photography. Open to everyone, the Festival will take celebrate the work of artists, professional and students in a 4,000 square-foot exhibition hall. Exhibit Dates/Hours: December 2-4, 11am-9pm / December 5, 9:30am-9pm. Tickets: $6-$75

Kaplan Hall / Wolfson Auditorium, Temple Israel of Greater Miami,137 NE 19th Street, Miami, 786-360-9333 miamiphotosalon@gmail.com

 

BAZAAR@ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH – BREAKFAST | COCKTAILS | DAY OF BEAUTY
Breakfast – Tuesday, December 2, 9 – 10:30 am
Cocktails & Shopping – Wednesday, December 3
Day of Beauty – Thursday, December 4

Harper’s BAZAAR returns to Miami for the third year with both public and private programming featuring fashion and international beauty brands. The Day of Beauty returns with enhanced interactive programming to present a curated collection of brands and experiences. Show Dates/Hours: December 3-5, 11am-6pm. Open to the public with RSVP.

Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Avenue, 8th floor, Miami Beach, http://Sohobeachhouse.com

 

AQUA ART MIAMI – VIP PREVIEW: Wednesday, December 3, 3 – 10 pm

Aqua Art 2014 features 46 exhibitors from North and South America, Europe and Asia with a dynamic range of high-quality art in all media from painting, photography and works on paper to design, sculpture, installation, video and multimedia art. Innovative interdisciplinary programming, multimedia installations and other happenings will create an immersive experience for fair goers. Show Dates/Hours: Dec 4,12-9pm / Dec 5-6, 11am-9pm / Dec 7, 11am-6pm. Tickets: $10- $75

Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, www.aquaartmiami.com

 

SPECTRUM MIAMI & CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – OPENING PREVIEW & PREVIEW PERFORMANCES
Opening Preview – Wednesday, December 3, 6 – 9 pm
Sneak Peak Preview Performance – Saturday, December 6, 2 pm and 5:30 pm

SPECTRUM Miami, a juried, contemporary art fair, features an international slate of top galleries and artists along with live performances, curated Art Lab projects and late night parties. Cirque du Soleil will present two sneak peak previews of Amaluna, one of its newest touring shows, in front of SPECTRUM. Special surprise performances will also take place inside the SPECTRUM tent at 6, 7 and 8 pm. Show Dates/Hours: Dec 4-6, 1-9pm / Dec 7, 12-6pm. Tickets: $7.50 – $25, Children under 15 free.

3011 NE 1st Avenue at NE 30th Street, Wynwood, http://www.spectrum-miami.com

 

DISARONNO TERRACE : Thursday, December 4, 7 – 10 pm

The Disaronno Terrace will feature a live performance by a surprise DJ while guests sip signature Disaronno cocktails including the popular Disaronno Sparkling Sour. Visit website for attendance information.

Gale Hotel Rooftop, 1690 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach http://www.disaronno.com

Get to know…. Miami Design District

November 20, 2014
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Done with the beach? Ready to explore a little? Well, why not pencil in a date with the design district? It’s perfect for when you need a little retail therapy (or, ok, window shopping) and want to explore a little outside of South Beach. As a bonus, from Dec 3-7 this year, the district is hosting an Art Basel satellite event, ‘Design Miami’, where Designers, collectors, dealers and curators from around the world will participate in lectures, exhibits and design installations.

 

Not quite as trendy or well-known as Wyndham, but better looking and more interesting than downtown Miami, this northern corner of midtown boasts over 100 galleries and showrooms (who open their doors for popular art nights two nights a month) as well as antiques dealers, creative spaces, and upscale design and fashion retailers like Luminaire Lab, Ligne Roset, Christian Louboutin and Louis Vuitton. Think of it as a lesser-known (for now) Lincoln Road.

 

If your wallet doesn’t stretch to a prada purse, then you can while away a few hours at home excellent restaurants like Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (try the passion fruit caipirinha) and the open-air Mandolin Aegean Bistro, where traditional Turkish and Greek house specialties will transport you to a balmy seaside café no matter what the weather.

 

When you’ve had your fill of gallery browsing and window shopping, head south to Wynwood, north to explore Little Haiti and the historic 1920s Buena Vista neighborhood, or take a peek at the wealthy Upper East Side neighborhoods to the east.

 

December in the Sun: What’s happening next month in Miami

November 14, 2014
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We’re coming up to high season in South Beach but don’t let the crowds deter you from flying South – there’s so much to see and do in Miami’s party capital that you’ll want to come back every year as soon as temperatures start dropping in the Northern Hemisphere! Here are three to whet your appetite:

 

The White Party: If you’re in Miami on December 1st, you’ll be just on time to catch the closing festivities of The White Party – an LGBTQ fundraising event for HIV/AIDS, which has turned into a huge, week-long event that mixes sexy pool parties with dance-until-morning raves. Don’t forget to wear your finest whites!

 

Art Basel: Famous around the globe as the place to be in December for collectors, dealers, connoisseurs, and general party people, Miami Art Week is happening from Dec 2-7 this year, and under its umbrella, Art Basel,  in the Wynwood Arts District, is the place to spot everyone from contemporary artists to actors, musicians, and yes, even reality stars. Opening nights are often restricted, but you can definitely check out many of the great art fairs, exhibitions, and even some of the luxury brand parties happening all week.

 

Christmas Magic: This one’s for the young at heart! All through the month of December, Miami’s Tropical Park is transformed into a winter wonderland full of rides, games, shows and attractions each evening. It has both classic fair foods and fancier cuisine representing cultures from around the globe. It also boasts South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree, millions of glistening holiday lights and some dazzling and daring live entertainment performed by people, sea lions, alligators and tigers. So, ok, not your usual christmas animals, but even more reasons to check it out!

 

South beach’s craziest cocktails – have you tried them?

November 10, 2014
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The South Beach strip has a reputation for fun under the sun, and it takes this reputation seriously. Case in point – the drinks. Everywhere you go, you’ll find huge drinks, slushy drinks, brightly coloured drinks, drinks inside other drinks, drinks in buckets,

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La Baguette: Be warned: you are not going here for wonderful service or gourmet food – you’re here for sheer, mindblowing size.  On Ocean Drive right across from the beach, you’ll be tempted in by the 2-for-1 cocktails during happy hour, shocked that they’re $60, but happy and too drunk to worry about it by the time you’ve made your way to the bottom of the fishtank-sized glass. When you think about the fact that it’s really 4 drinks in one, the price doesn’t seem so bad! (The Champagne mojito comes with 2 mini bottles of champagne tipped upside down in the glass) If you’re not on a budget, opt for the seafood paella to soak up some of that alcohol.

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Katsuya: This modern, chic Japanese spot has some excellent food, but if you like fiery flavours, you should go just for the Burning Mandarin cocktail. A mix of absolut mandarin vodka, fresh lemon and orange juice and a splash of cranberry, finished with some hand-crushed serrano chili – your mouth won’t know what hit it! Cool off with some ceviche, or the famous crispy rice.

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Living Room: Although this bar is located in the lobby of the W Hotel on South Beach, Living Room has actually got a great cozy feel, and it’s shelves are packed full of delicious ingredients like fruits, herbs, & edible flowers. Their cocktail menu is divided into categories like Infundo (infused) and Laboratorium (molecular mixology). You should start with an innovative concoction like the Lividus, with organic raspberries and fresh Japanese yuzu citrus soaked in lavender-infused gin and then follow that up with Electric Watermelon, which features rosemary honey, peach bitters, and bourbon topped honeydew juice that’s been gelled into little balls, just like caviar!

 

 

 

 

Halloween 2014 in Miami!

October 31, 2014
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So you’ve got your costume and your scary face on – now where to go for the hottest South Beach spookfest? Here are three great parties happening tonight (and right on into tomorrow morning!)

 

For Freaky Fashionistas

If your idea of halloween is much more “risky sexy” than ghoulish, you should not miss the Cavalli Miami party at the famous fashion designer’s restaurant and lounge. Jungle Themed Halloween Bash, which will be hosted by Roberto Cavalli himself, will transform the luxurious space into a luscious kingdom that will sprawl through the main dining room and the upstairs lounge. The theme is “hunter” and “prey”, so look out for lustful “beasts” handling exotic live serpents and body painted beauties handing out bags filled with sweet treats.

If you’re not on a budget, there’s a $150 palatial feast (with champagne) downstairs from 9.00pm to 12.00am but you can skip the food and just pay $50 for gentlemen and $30 for ladies.

 

For the ambitious undead

Mansion – one of the most famous nightclubs in the neighborhood – is going all out with their Halloween themed night, with claims that it’s going to be South Beach’s darkest, most haunting Halloween party. Dead butlers will serve the cocktails, as fog engulfs the dancefloor, with “tricks, treats and spookiness galore” promised for the entire night. And if you think your costume is a winner, then this is the spot for you – Mansion is giving away $2,500 to the best costume of the night, so give it your best (from 11pm, $30 cover)

 

For the the young at heart

Nightmare on the beach” at Lummus Park is the perfect place to go if you just want to have some good clean fun this Halloween, and donate to a good case at the same time. There’ll be a life-sized Space Invaders game, a futuristic photo booth, premium open bar, cuisine from Miami’s top restaurants, and live performance from DJ Lee Kalt. The fun starts at 8pm and stretches ‘till 1am, and the $150 entrance fee will benefit the Light Lighthouse Foundation who support struggling families in South Florida.

Gay South Beach – Your guide to the hottest vacation

October 24, 2014
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As the home of both the biggest gay beach party in North America, it is little wonder that South Beach Miami has been premiere holiday destination for gay men for the last thirty years. With endless sunny beaches and the hottest clubs and bars packed with beautiful people from all around the world, this holiday destination hasn’t missed a beat since its heyday in the 1980s. In South Beach, posing, people watching and partying is a way of life.

Where to Stay

The majority of the gay bars and clubs are located between 12th Street on Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road Mall, so within this district is probably your best bet for accommodation. Although you can stay anywhere, some hotels have a particular reputation for being “gay friendly”. Hotel Beacon South Beach on Ocean Drive (right near the Gay Beach) is one of the most well-known and offers “gay pride” packages and discounts for the LGTB traveller. Both ZOcean Hotel and Hotel Nash are other good options in the area, but let’s face it, between lazing all day on the beach and partying at night, who has time for hanging around the hotel anyway? If you’re looking for a little more privacy, plus free services like WiFi, kitchen, and in, suite laundry however, check out our awesome South Beach apartments.

Sun and Surf

You can’t really miss the giant rainbow flag that announces that you have arrived at the Gay Beach on 12th Street/Ocean Drive. It’s mostly populated by men but you will find lesbians and some straight folk here too. Rent a beach chair and soak up some serious rays on the sugary white sand or spend the day joining in the party atmosphere. Be warned – the no nudity rule does not preclude some of the skimpiest swimming costumes seen since Brazil.

If you just can’t deal with those pesky tan lines after a day of sun worship, then head over to Haulover Beach where clothing is optional and those most comfortable exhibiting their body probably shouldn’t be. It’s on Collins Street, so it’s bit further out than the conveniently located Gay Beach on 12th Street, but surely that’s a small price to pay for the world’s best tan?

Clubs and Bars

Make your nights as hot as your days with these popular South Beach clubs and bars.

Twist – the saying goes “if you haven’t gotten into trouble at Twist then you haven’t visited the real South Beach”. With seven different party areas, including strippers at the back and a cabana, there is something to cater for every taste at Twist. It’s busiest after 1am.

Palace Bar and Grill – located opposite the gay beach, this Miami institution is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is more a bar/restaurant than a club. Tourists and locals alike gather in the evenings to watch Palace drag queens do cartwheels in the streets while harassing passing tourists.

Score a South Beach favourite, Score has been part of the South Beach gay scene for more than ten years. Score offers modern lounges to chat with friends, frozen drinks for hot nights, state of the art lights and music and some of the hottest DJs playing.