Miami, FL: My First 72 Hours (Summer)

Ahhh. . . Miami, a city of many things (I’m sure South Beach comes to mind, yes?) and many different types of people. As mentioned, when you think of Miami you most likely think of South Beach and maybe some unusual or wild types of people that Miami sometimes tends to cater towards. Unfortunately, that image sometimes sort of lets us (the rest of the world) forget about some of Miami’s many treasures.

Did you know that the specific Art Deco-style architecture, still preserved today, is what put this vibrant city on the map back in the 1920s? Did you know there were other really cool neighborhoods in the city outside of South Beach? Well, now you know, and more so with a quick 72 hours of photos and details below.

First, let me get South Beach out of the way. The palms are breezy, the sun is sweltering, but the water is crystal blue and as refreshing as you’d imagine. There are plenty of places to lounge on the beach in the white sand. However, it might be a little too crowded for some at certain points of the day (and year, depending). An almost-evening time walk isn’t too shabby to enjoy here. There’s also plenty of Citibike stations laid out along the way if you’re up for that — you can view the large Art Deco-style hotels and buildings and not worry about parking and traffic. Not to mention, the breeze generated by the bike can be refreshing compared to just walking…plus all the ground you’ll cover. Don’t forget water though! Emphasis: Do not. Forget. Water.

Inside Under The Mango Tree – Miami, FL

Moving on. You’ll want to follow your time spent in the sweltering heat by an ICE cold smoothie from Under The Mango Tree. Holy moly. Certain times this place can have a line because it’s a small kitchen with two girls at a time making smoothies for everyone. But, it’s worth it. I love ice cream, I love smoothies, I love iced coffees — this place is the queenie waheenie of delicious smoothies and juices. 18 or 22 ounces of fresh ingredients — chilled and served in a glass jar.

Follow up your smoothie with a trip to The Wolfsonian — FIU. This museum is a gem, a dime a dozen, and I’m thankful for its existence. This museum does a wonderful job of pulling from the roots that put Miami on the world map. A design lover’s haven, an architectural genius’s playground, an everyday person’s glimpse into a world forgotten. This museum is dedicated to propaganda, postcards, posters, video-clips, recordings and so much more between 1885 and 1945 (Height of the Industrial Revolution and end of the Second World War). There are a lot of good museums in the world, and this is one of them.

Vintage Postcard & Hemingway from Book and Books – Miami, FL

Day 2! Get lost in the many rooms of Books and Books. Vintage postcards, section upon sections of books, and a cafe halfway through to take a break before you embark on exploring the second half of books. The book possibilities here are endless and it seems like they always have something going on. Every good city has a good bookstore — The Strand in New York City, City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and now, here we are with Books and Books in Miami.

Inside the Marlins Stadium – Miami, FL

I hope the bookstore took up enough time before the Marlins game. If you’re in town and the Marlins are playing, get some tickets. It isn’t hard and they’re CHEAP. I mean, the Marlins aren’t the best team in the league. . . by far, but the stadium is new and clean and maybe you’re down with the challenger. At the price of these tickets, for the niceness of the stadium, it’s a fun experience, and they’re usually giving away tickets for the next game as a bonus if you’re in town for two. Beat the heat, have a classic baseball dog and beer and enjoy your friends.

Biscayne National Park Lighthouse – Miami, FL

Wake up extra early on Day 3 and take a drive down to Biscayne National Park. This can be a drive through and check out the lighthouse and the beach for a little adventure, or it could be an all-day thing. Since we have a few other things planned, it can be a check out the lighthouse adventure. This is a beautiful park, excuse me I mean National Park, that’s just far enough away from the city to feel like you’re somewhere else in Miami nature.

And then there was Wynwood. This ever-growing section of town is magical. The artists and the entrepreneurs and the creative thinkers have really fed into this part of town. Art galleries for miles, art outside of the galleries, small-time business owners bringing their creations to life. Grab a pie or quiche at Fireman Derek’s Famous Pies or an iced coffee at Panther Coffee. Again, Wynwood is somewhere you could spend all day, especially if you start going into each of the galleries and shops. However, if you have time…

Outside the Knight Concert Hall – Miami, FL

Maybe someone good is playing at the Knight Concert Hall. This is a unique building with a great view of the city from the top floor windows and balcony. You don’t have to add it to your agenda, but they also do Broadway shows. Still no pressure, just worth a look at their calendar while you’re in town.

Now that you have some unique treasures on your Miami list, I say keep your eyes peeled. There’s so much more culture to this city than meets the eye, and I can only hope it becomes more and more visible.

Trip Summary
Favorite Sights/Activities:
 Hanging out in Wynwood.
Favorite Food/Drinks: Fireman Derek’s Famous Pies, Under the Mango Tree, Panther Coffee
Car, Walking, Biking
Secret Suggestions:
When you’re walking around Wynwood make sure you pop in and out of all the art galleries, they’re free and have some pretty amazing pieces. Wynwood has a lot of hip places to eat, but if you’re into something more cultural venture to the Cuban section of town for some amazing juices and Cuban food — Versailles comes to mind for an authentic Cuban sandwich.
Travel Tips:  There’s more than meets the eye in Miami! Make sure to venture out beyond South Beach, there are actually lots of other great beaches in the area if you have a car. Wynwood is an absolute must. Art and culture in this city are vibrant and waiting to be discovered.

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