Immortalised in song by Will Smith, Miami is renowned for its pristine beaches, rambunctious nightlife and as a springboard into Florida’s glorious national parks and keys. I spent 10 days in Miami in February to escape the winter blues.
Wynwood is renowned for it’s Wynwood Walls, a collection of colourful murals that re-charge an area formerly known only for its auto shops and warehouses. As such the area has a very artistic, creative flair and has become a haven for hipsters who want to indulge in their favourite pastimes. There are endless restaurants and bars in the area as well as outdoor markets to explore. There is also plenty of Cuban influence, although some restaurants are less hospitable than others.
For me, Miami’s nightclub culture is very synthetic, and I am not into the scene but for those that are, Ocean Drive provides a long sprawl of bars and clubs in which to indulge your desire for a cocktail. Other prime spots include Brickell, Little Havanna, Little Haiti, Downtown, South Beach and Wynwood which all have a night scene of their own.
My one foray into any kind of club scene took me to Sugar in East Miami, a rooftop bar with pricey drinks. If you order a drink at the bar, don’t think you can sit down. You need to take a table first and order from that table if you wish to keep it! Sugar is notoriously bougie, a word introduced to me on this voyage!
When people think of Miami, Ocean Drive often springs to mind. Most recognise Ocean Drive as a movie mecca due to the countless movies that have been filmed here. The perfect place to people watch, Ocean Drive attracts endless tourists who flock for its bars, restaurants and of course for the beach. Roughly 1.3 miles long, there is plenty to explore and take in.
Bill Baggs Cape
The defining feature of Bill Baggs Cape is the momentous lighthouse built in 1825. From atop the lighthouse, there are shimmering views of both Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean as well as lines of elegant palm trees. For animal lovers, there are plenty of racoons (or trash pandas) as the Americans often refer to them, but be cautious about being over-zealous in feeding them! You may also spot some iguanas lounging in the grass.
Forever obsessed with anything Ventian, the Venetian Pools, a famous and historic swimming pool located in Coral Gables naturally appealed. The cost for an out of town adult is $12. We were advised that the pools were heated but this did not turn out to be the case and on a cold, rainy day in February, the beauty of the pools was all that kept me going as I slinked into the water. The neighbourhood of Coral Gables itself looks like something straight out of Jumanji.
Once owned by Gianni Versace, the Versace Mansion, now the villa operates as a hotel/restaurant making it difficult to get in without a reservation! Here’s the outside view:
Everglades National Park
Who could come to Miami without visiting the Everglades? Unfortunately at present, the majority of this subtropical wonder is closed due to the government shutdown. Keep an eye on the website for regular updates.
Here are some further pictures from my trip:
All my love