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Bring your family and still have fun!

August 22, 2014
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Even though most people think of Miami Beach as ‘party central’, there’s plenty to do for families as well. These are just some of the local favorites that are guaranteed to offer family fun and a few gold stars for mom and dad…

Flamingo Park Tot Lot

Even though South Beach’s reputation as an adult playground is deserved, the Flamingo Park Tot Lot offers a great deal of excitement for kids on holiday too. With an upper body fitness center just for kids, a bouncy spring pod, and a freestanding rock wall, there’s plenty to explore. There’s a myriad of colorful ladders, slides, and chutes, and even a historic 1950s wooden train car. The facility is free, provided by the City of Miami Beach.

Flamingo Park Play Pool

According to the countless reviews, most kids agree that this is the best place in Miami Beach for kids that are new to swimming. It is right next door to the adult’s aquatic center, but it is designed around supervised toddlers. There are brightly colored water toys, slides, and a zero to 15-inch deep play zone, enough for the little swimmers to wade safely.

Miami Pirate Duck Tour

Most parents know that lengthy sightseeing tours often leads to bored and fidgety kids. So the 90-mintue Miami Pirate Duck Tour provides everything that kids (and adults) may want to learn about Miami, in a short while. The open-air pirate coach boards near the Lincoln Road Mall and just outside South Beach’s New World Symphony. The vehicle transforms into a motorboat and provides some amazing favorite movie and TV sights, local landmarks, and the homes of the stars. The kids get to travel on an impromptu pirate ship while the adults learn more about the architecture, wildlife, culture, and history of Miami.

Remember that these are obviously not the only places to take the family. No matter where you go in Miami Beach, there are safe, clean places for kids to play. For example, 51st and 64th Streets on Alton Road, 44th & Chase Avenue, Collins Avenue at 46th and 53rd Streets, Ocean Drive at 2nd or 13th Streets, and South Pointe Park.

Love fish? Top seafood restaurants in South Beach

July 27, 2014
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There are few things more disappointing than sitting on a gorgeous oceanfront restaurant, only to find out that the tasteless seafood in front of you has been frozen solid between the moment it was caught and ended up on your plate. There’s no doubt about it, the best seafood is fresh seafood. If you want to enjoy seafood where the chefs know to accentuate the natural flavors of the sea without overwhelming, then check out these excellent seafood restaurants in Miami Beach.

A Fish Called Avalon

The historic Avalon Majestic hotel hasn’t changed a great deal since the architectural resurrection across Miami Beach. The indoor restaurant and tiered dining patio are relaxed and inviting; the use of quality local ingredients really make the dishes here stand out, and while there’s a limited wine list available, there is no doubt that even the more discriminating connoisseur will find a selection or two. For a menu and reservations, go to their official website.

Joe’s Stone Crab

This South Beach restaurant has been an institution since the early 1900s, serving the distinctively sweet claw of the stone crab. While there’s been expansion and renovation, the concept behind Joe’s Stone Crab remains gratifyingly simple. Because no reservations are accepted, it may be a lilttle wait for a table, so come moderately hungry and build your appetite in line. Learn more about Joe’s here.

La Gloutonnerie

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you combine traditional French cuisine with the joie de vivre of modern Miami, visit La Gloutonnerie and find out for yourself. The crabs, shrimps and Oysters are world class, but the homemade croissants also deserve a special mention. You can learn more about the menu or make reservations on the official website.

Poseidon Greek Restaurant & Outdoor Lounge

Just as La Gloutonnerie infuses seafood with traditional French gastronomy, you can enjoy authentic Greek cuisine and wonderfully fresh seafood at Poseidon. With the combination of Greek starters (think pita platters and assorted spreads), Greek music in the background, and an assortment of different seafood options, there is no denying that Poseidon impresses. Make reservations on their site.

AltaMare

Even though the original location was more of an ‘insiders’ secret, the new, more expansive space has given AltaMare the attention it deserves. The main focus is fresh fish, with a spotlight on locally-sourced seasonal produce. With a wide selection of wines and simple yet sophisticated contemporary fare, AltaMare is certainly worth a visit. Their specials and menu are listed online.

Cheer with the locals! Sports to catch in Miami

March 27, 2014
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We know that most of you are heading to Miami for the sun, sea, and sand (oh, and your sweet MyStudioMiami apartment rental) – but if you’re in the city at the same time as a big game, you’d be crazy not to check it out, as pro sports are major league in Florida. Here are our top picks for an ultimate sports experience, no need to learn the rules – just grab a beer and a hot dog and cheer!

Football: No city in the U.S. has crowned more Super Bowl champions than Miami, so if you want to be able to talk football with, basically, any local, you should get to the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, If you’re lucky you’ll catch a Miami Dolphins (that’s the NFL team) game, but we also recommend the University of Miami Hurricanes football team. The stadium is home to the annual Orange Bowl, an electric annual college football game.

Basketball: Even those who have never picked up a basketball in their lives have probably heard of the Miami Heat. They play their home games at the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami, and you can generally catch them from October to April.

Baseball: If you’re in the mood for a day at the ballpark then the Miami Marlins will be happy to keep you entertained. They play at the Marlins Park in Little Havana, about two miles west of downtown. The University of Miami hurricanes are also hugely popular, but if you’re looking for something a little more local, wander by any small ball park on a weekend and grab a shady spot in the bleachers.

 

Your guide to getting around South Beach

March 6, 2014
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No car? No problem! The rest of the U.S. may have an aversion to walking and a slightly sketchy public transport system, but Miami is a paradise for those who don’t want to spend their vacation behind the wheel.

You’ve got a whole host of options available as soon as you slip into your flip flops and step out of the airport. A taxi will take you to South Beach for a flat rate of $32, or the Super Shuttle vans will get you to your awesome South Beach studio (you booked with us, right?!) for just $20. On a serious budget? The Airport Flyer is an express bus that runs every 30 minutes and will take you to Miami Beach for just $2.35 (6am-11pm).

Now that you’ve arrived and unpacked, it’s time to hit the beach – which you can stroll on over to, because our studios are just a few minutes from the sand and surf. Areas like Collins and Washington Avenues are great streets to check out on foot too, as is Lincoln Road, a street mall stretching ten blocks and specifically designed for pedestrians, with great shops, cafes, nightclubs and restaurants.

If you want to experience the wind in your hair as you cruise down Ocean Drive, you can grab a DecoBike – the self-service bike rental system with over 100 stations around the city for picking up and dropping off bikes!

 

If you’re going a little farther or need to get out of the sun, you can jump on the ‘Local’ bus service. Busses stop every few blocks with service every 10 minutes or so, and have heavenly air conditioning. Drivers are super helpful and a ride on the South Beach loop costs just a quarter (route map here). If you’re going to leave South Beach and explore the rest of the city, it’s a good idea to get the $26 pass for the Metrorail and MetroBus, which will last you for a week.

And for sightseeing, there’s always the Miami Hop-on Hop-off bus, which will give you a nice overview of Downtown, Miami Beach, the Design District, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and more for $39.

There you have it – more options than you can shake a beach towel at. Now get out there and start exploring!

 

Cool Miami Neighborhoods to Explore

February 12, 2014
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We’ve all heard of South Beach and Ocean Drive, but there are so many awesome pockets of Miami that are buzzing with culture, history, art, and ethnic cuisine. So when you’ve unpacked your bags at your perfect Miami studio apartment, spend a day wandering around these great neighborhoods:

Key Biscane: Just south of Miami Beach, this secluded island is where you’ll spot the million-dollar homes with sweeping water views. Key Biscayne also offers great public beaches and a selection of high-class restaurants. Hobie Beach is the city’s hot spot for windsurfing, sailboarding, and jet-skiing. On the island’s southern tip, Bill Baggs State Park has great beaches, bike paths, and forests for picnicking and partying.

Wynwood: One of Miami’s hippest, still burgeoning areas. Just north of downtown, Wynwood includes the Miami Design District, and has a thriving arts scene that acts as the hub of Art Basel Miami Beach. Best for checking out the galleries and studio spaces inhabited by up-and-coming artists – you’ll find art, furniture, home design stores, as well as great cafes and restaurants.

Coral Gables: This peaceful residential neighborhood is where you’ll find Mediterranean-style houses with Spanish-tiled roofs along lush, tree-lined streets that open onto beautifully carved plazas, many with centrepiece fountains. The area also has some great golfing, up-scale shopping, and some of the city’s best restaurants, headed by renowned chefs.

Surfside:Just after North Beach you’ll come to Surfside; a family-friendly, old-style beach town with a secluded beach, paths through the dunes and casual bistros that welcome kids. Stroll down Collins Avenue for a good selection of restaurants and stores.

Little Havana: It’s easy to believe you’ve landed in Cuba when you take in the tastes, and rhythms of this small Miami neighborhood – even street signs are in Spanish and English! Check out the Cuban coffee shops and inexpensive restaurants line Calle Ocho, and dance the night away to salsa and merengue beats in the bars and clubs that come alive after dark.

Awesome Miami Activities You Never Considered

January 15, 2014
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When people think about Miami they normally default to the sun, sea and sand vision of this popular southern destination – and if you’re staying in one of our apartments in South Beach, then you know how exciting this part of the city can be. But there is so much more to this little corner of Florida, with something to satisfy everyone from art lover to surfer chick. Here are some activities you never knew Miami was great for:

Hiking: With it’s tropical flora and plentiful wildlife, Miami is perfect for nature-lovers and hiking enthusiasts alike. Check out Ash Creek Park, the site of a Tequesta Indian village between 500 B.C. and 1300 A.D., or the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades National Park, where you’ll have no trouble spotting alligators sunning themselves by the waterfront.

Food: You may be aware of the myriad of incredible restaurants in Miami – but there’s only so many times a day one can eat out. Fill in the gaps with food tours and cooking classes. The highly rated excursions at Miami Culinary Tours include tastings and trivia for lots of different neighborhoods, while Ayesha’s Kitchen offers up something a little different – Indian cooking classes guaranteed to get your tastebuds tingling.

Adventure Sports: Ever heard of a flyboard? Well, it’s a jetpack that goes on your feet – think snowboarding on air – and you can do it right here in Miami! With training from a skilled instructor and a little practice, you can surf the sky or go underwater – all with the exhilarating propulsion of your own personal jetpack.

Boating: Could there be a more romantic way to see Miami than from a sailboat at sunset? Join one of the Biscayne Bay tours which stop at exotic islands and beautiful bird sanctuaries, or splash out and charter a boat for a luxury getaway to the Florida Keys.

History: Miami was a hot destination long before the Kardashians went shopping there. Join one of History Miami’s walking tours and learn all about the art deco architecture of South Beach, the cuban influence in Little Havana, and the botanical gardens by the Collins Canal.

 

Your perfect Miami Vacation – Top 5 Beaches

January 12, 2014
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So, you’ve rocked up to your awesome accommodation, and now you’re ready to hit the golden sands – but Miami has so many beaches it can be impossible to choose! Here are a few great suggestions for everyone from sun-worshippers to surfers – just don’t forget the sunscreen!

South Beach: Officially Lummus Park Beach, this stretch of sand runs along Ocean Drive from about 6th to 14th streets (super close to your MyStudioMiami accommodation). This is the place to be and be seen – if you love tanning (topless is legal here), people watching, and full-service bars nearby, then this is the party beach for you. There are paths for bikers and skaters, and volleyball nets for the more active beachgoers. Water is clear and the surf is gentle.

85th Street Beach: Running along Collins Avenue, this is a great place for swimmers who want a little space. Fewer crowds and no beachfront condos or hotels, this is a peaceful beach for when you want to get away from it all and enjoy Miami’s blue skies and clear waters.

Haulover Beach: Whether you’re a surfer or just want to admire them from the shore, this stretch of beach just over the causeway from Bal Harbour gets Miami’s biggest swells (and flattest abs). Talented locals are out early in the mornings,  and the southern tip is where they hang out when not catching waves. Wander to the north end of this stretch of coastline and you’ll find yourself in Florida’s most well-known nudist beach!

North Shore Park Beach: Often overlooked but definitely worth a visit. The long stretches of sand are luxurious, and it’s got great amenities and picnic areas. The outdoor amphitheatre is a great place to catch a show or dance festival on a balmy summer evening.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: If you’re looking for nature, history and wilderness, you’ll find it here. A mile of beautiful beach at the end of Key Biscayne, Bill baggs is home to the famous Cape Florida lighthouse, picturesque nature trails, fishing, bike rentals, BBQ grills and two restaurants. Perfect for a day-long escape.