There is more to Miami than sand and surf, but what exactly does Miami Beach possess that keeps people coming back?
It may be difficult to define exactly, but there’s an air of excitement about Miami Beach — there’s art and music, plenty of museums and galleries, concerts and street fairs; there’s beautiful architecture and big boats, lively entertainment and quaint, hidden parks; there are luxury hotels and first class restaurants. In addition to ballet and symphony, there is Cuban street food, incredible seafood, loud beach bars and authentic delis, street fairs and free music.
Miami Beach is actually a grand assortment of individual neighborhoods, from the fun of trendy South Beach with its impressive Art Deco buildings and non-stop nightlife, to the iconic shops of Bal Harbour, Aventura and Coconut Grove, and the quieter atmosphere of North Beach.
No doubt about it, Miami Beach is a storied place, but you don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy looking at the good things that money can buy. There is plenty to see: You might start with a stroll down Ocean Drive just to marvel at the old buildings, the gleaming hotels, the glittering night-time clubs and the “beautiful people” at any (and all) times.
You can spend your days lounging on the beach with no cash in your pockets and no cares on your mind. In addition, there are scores of free events, from neighborhood bike tours and art walks, to free movies shown on the Soundscape Screen at the Exo Stage.
Look for museum and gallery specials: History Miami, the Arscht Center in Downtown and Freedom Tower’s Museum of Art + Design, the Perez Art Museum Miami, and many more host free days. You can partake of free yoga lessons at Bayfront Park; and don’t forget to visit Little Havana for Cultural Fridays if you’re in town at the right time, as well as Big Night in Little Haiti, a monthly street festival.
You’ll want to eat of course, but rather than opting for a chain choice, seek out an out-of-the-way eatery where you can sample some fresh fish or get a taste of island cuisine. You won’t be disappointed.
Of course, you can also find a vantage point to watch private yachts travel the Intracoastal Waterway; secure a comfortable table at a convenient restaurant or marina to while away an afternoon with the surf and sea air, or visit a local golf course. Miami has it all.