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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!

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!

 

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.

Five awesome watersports you can do in South Beach Miami

October 17, 2014
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The golden beaches and glistening waters of South Beach Miami beckon you to spend your days in the surf and sea and whether you like a gentle swim or something more adventurous in the water, then SoBe will not disappoint. Here are five watersports you should try your hand at while you’re here.

Fishing

Fish are plentiful around Miami and you can catch Spanish mackerel, grouper and sailfish without too much effort. The well-established finishing culture in this coastal town makes it easy to get yourself sorted and ready to fish. You can charter a boat or head to a pier (Bal Harbor or Government Cut are good options) depending on how much you want to spend. The benefit of a charter is that they take you to the spots almost guaranteed to get fish and they supply all your gear and usually at least one meal. If you want to fish from a jetty or pier but don’t have the equipment, you might have to buy something inexpensive at somewhere like Kmart as not many places rent it without an organized charter or excursion. There are plenty of Five awesome watersports you can do in South Beach Miami

places around the jetties and beaches that sell bait though.

Diving

Because of its position and climate, Miami is home to the only tropical coral reef in the USA. Combine this spectacular natural phenomenon with incredible dedication to an artificial reef program and you get some fabulous dive spots.

The natural Emerald Reef is considered the most beautiful dive spot in Miami. Half Moon and Wreck Trek are sunken vessels that attract schooling fish, with Half Moon being a particularly good spot for beginners. Use the services of one of the many dive companies to help you arrange your trip and all your equipment.

Snorkeling

If diving is just a little too much but you still want to get up close and personal with the marine life in SoBe, then snorkeling is a great alternative. The third largest barrier reef in the world is just waiting for you just under the waters of the Atlantic. Renting equipment is relatively cheap and you don’t need any special skills or training. If you want to take it up a notch, then consider booking a full day excursion to the coral reef inside the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. South Beach Divers can arrange the entire day for you. Alternatively, Jose Cuervo Reef is an artificial reef easily accessible via a swim from the Second Street lifeguard station of Miami Beach.

Kayaking and Canoeing

See Miami by water and paddle in a kayak or canoe. Whether you go it solo and rent your own equipment or use a guided tour, this is an incredible way to see a Miami sunset. Try Matheson Hammock Park where Adventure Sports Miami will rent you kayaks and paddleboards so you can venture out to get a view of the Miami skyline from the Gables waterways.

Boating and Sailing

Of course you will never be short of options here when it comes to boating and sailing and it’s a great way to take full advantage of the beautiful scenery of Biscayne Bay. If you’re new to boating, try Shake-A-Leg in Coconut Grove whose sailing program will get you certified and provide a chartered boat. If you want something bigger or just want to pretend to be a millionaire for a day, then rent a Catamaran. Boat charter is a great idea if you have larger groups or need an activity for a corporate event or party. Many companies cater for these occasions so it pays to ask to see what they offer.

If none of these options float your chartered boat, then there are still the marinas, the ports, dinner cruises, gaming cruises, chartered yachts…the list is endless and you are guaranteed to find your perfect way to enjoy South Beach on land and at sea.

 

What’s your style? Clothes shopping in Miami

October 10, 2014
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Set against the glistening backdrop of the Atlantic, a holiday in Miami gives you sun-drenched beaches, a heady nightlife and a whole lot of glamour.  Looking good is basically a way of life here, so it’s no surprise that you will find a fantastic selection of shops between the beaches and cafes. And it’s not just beachwear on offer either.  No matter what your personal style –  formal, designer, vintage or little bit bohemian –  you are sure to find something suitably fabulous at one of the many stores or outlets. Here is a selection of some of the best shopping Miami has to offer.

 

High End Designer Stores

The fashion divas amongst us will find plenty of shiny designer stores lining the streets of Miami just beckoning to them to come in and spend up big.

Bal Harbour – the exclusive neighbourhood of Bal Harbour offers everything a fasionista with champagne tastes could want. Think Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Tiffany’s & Co, Chanel, YSL Neiman Marcus. And that’s just before lunch.

La Época (East Flagler Street), – direct from Cuba, this department store offers designer clothing for the whole family.

absolutely suitable, Collins Avenue – offering designer swim and beachwear (Lisa Curran and D&G are amongst the brands sold), absolutely suitable has absolutely high prices for exquisite items you would probably never want to get wet!

 

Bargains and Outlets

Designer clothes don’t always have to come at designer prices. Grab yourself a holiday bargain (or two or three…) at these outlet stores.

Sawgrass Mills , (West Sunrise Blvd) – with over 400 branded discount shops, this mall is a mecca for bargain hunting tourists and locals alike. It’s a bit further out of town, but well worth the trip. Shoppers agree that Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue, the Ralph Lauren Factory Store and the Nieman Marcus Clearance Center are the best places to bag a bargain.

H&M (Lincoln Road)–  selling everything from swimwear to baby clothes H&M offers “disposable fashion” – fashionable clothes to wear for right now until you move on to something better. It’s a cheap way to get your fashion fix and keep your wardrobe current.

Marshalls ,( Collins Av)– this popular discount shop specializes in discount designer clothes.

 

Boutique and Vintage Stores

Miami offers the shopper more than just designer duds, with a range of smaller boutique stores providing something a little different to the norm.

Palm Produce Resortwear (Lincoln Rd) – shop here for unusual beach accessories, like sequined beach totes. Not sure how you’d get sand out of that one…

Funky Sexy (Lincoln Road) – shop here for distinctive clothing designed by the Dutch owner. Funky Sexy also offers lamps, bikinis and belly dancing outfits too.

Fly Boutique (Lincoln Road) – offers vintage clothing and second hand designer wear. Expect to find the big brands here.

 

Chain Stores

Along Lincoln Road you will find all the standard chain store wares. Think Zara, GAP, Forever 21, American Apparel and French Connection to name a few. Check here for the full list.