As more Canadians look for flights to escape the ever daunting cold weather, there’s one destination that should be on your radar: Miami, Florida.
It seems like summer never left the beautiful and sunny city of Miami. As a first-timer, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was here to explore and be blown away.
One thing is for certain, Miami beaches are gorgeous and oh-so-blue. And they stay that way thanks to the city’s efforts to promote a clean and healthy environment.
Those who share the same values will have no issue staying at The Palms Hotel & Spa located on Miami Beach. It’s an award-winning independent resort where wellness and green practices are at the forefront.
According to the hotel, its “inspired by nature program” sets standards and guidelines to ensure it’s as eco-friendly as possible, minimizing its impact on the environment and creating awareness of local environmental issues. The program has been active since 2010.
It truly feels like a tropical getaway. And if you’re able to score an oceanic view, you’ll be left speechless.
Not only are its beaches absolutely stunning, but Miami’s greenery is just as amazing and something worth exploring. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden offers an outdoor garden experience where guests can explore the huge rare butterfly exhibit and stem lab. Make sure to stop by at the Glasshouse Café for some much-needed food and drinks – the Miami sun doesn’t play.
Whether you head out exploring Deering Estate for some fun-in-the-sun kayaking, posing for pics at the Museum of Illusions on Lincoln Road or looking for a relaxing day at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, there will never be a dull moment. And when it comes to the ‘gators at the Everglades Alligator Farm, “dull” is not part of their vocabulary.
For a more city-led adventure, AC Hotel Brickell by Marriott brings Miami’s nightlife, style, and culture to the forefront. Shopping destinations and delicious dining spots are just steps away.
There’s always something to do in Brickell, and this spot is in the middle of it all.
Miami is rich in culture, entertainment, endless shopping destinations and, of course, restaurants.
If you’re in search of authentic Italian cuisine, look no further than Osteria Morini.
Located right on the corner of Alton Road and Dade Boulevard, Osteria Morini is situated in the perfect location just a few blocks away from the shopping destination Lincoln Road. Guests have the option to dine indoors and on their patio, which, with the beautiful Miami weather, isn’t such a bad idea.
Sit on their patio in the evening and watch as the sun sets – it’s a beautiful view and a perfect photo op.
If you decide to head indoors, check out its stunning interior – a rustic yet modern design with exposed brick along the walls. It sets the mood for a harmonious Italian dining experience.
The Bianco Morini is on the sweeter side compared to the classic Negroni. It’s composed of Junipero gin, gran classico bitters, Cocchi americano and orange peel for garnish.
As for food, we recommend the Gnocchtti – Sardinian gnocchi made with black kale pesto and tomato conserva smoked ricotta salata. It’s a beautiful dish that absolutely melts in your mouth.
For dessert, try their tiramisu, torta di formaggio and/or Ciocolatto – they’re small enough for you to try more than just one.
This fairly new spot blew us away. Zitz Sum is a contemporary Asian-inspired hybrid dining destination that specializes in dumplings and small plates. The restaurant is a family-owned establishment operated by Chef Pablo Zitzmann and Natalia Restrepo. They describe themselves as an “ingredient-focused, Japanese and Chinese inspired menu with a Miami perspective.”
For out-of-towners, finding the restaurant might be a bit of an adventure as it’s tucked away in a large bank building, out of sight except for its outdoor patio. It’s worth the search; however, Zitz Sum provides a tranquil, intimate dining experience for all, whether you’re out for drinks with friends or out on a date.
Although the setting will almost always stay the same, the menu changes daily, so you have the chance to try something new every time you go. When you check out Zitz Sum, make sure to try a few items from the Izakaya menu like the hamachi crudo, Korean-style steak tartare and spring salad.
A fan of Dim Sum? Place an order for their Sheng Jian Bao, composed of mushroom, yuzu hoisin, pickles and sesame. It’s a pretty big portion!
For a larger meal, place an order of their shrimp noodles. It’s a soupy dish made with Calabrian chilli, curry, Thai basil, lime and breadcrumbs. Trust us when we say this will fill you right up.
After sunbathing in Miami Beach and exploring the beauty of the MiMo district during a guided art deco walking tour by the Miami Beach Welcome Center, you might find yourself a bit hungry. So take a break and check out Time Out Market.
The spot opened back in 2019 after its success in Portugal years prior. It was the world’s first food and cultural market and the first market experience put together with editorial curation, thanks to editors of Time Out Lisbon. It is so popular that they’ve opened locations in New York, Boston, Chicago and Montreal.
Yu Me (Inside Time Out Market)
This izakaya restaurant offers a delicious take on Japanese comfort food, serving chicken or beef yakitori, chicken or pork katsu, yakiniku steak and omurice.
We recommend trying the Curry rice with chicken katsu.
Azucar (Inside Time Out Market)
Traditional ice cream is a thing of the past! Azucar serves scoopfuls of Cuban-inspired ice cream flavours that will leave you drooling.
Try the Abuela Maria, a combination of vanilla ice cream, Maria cookies, guava and cream cheese.
Ask for the cafe con leche too, a mix of Cuban coffee and Oreos.
After spending your afternoon at the Bayside Marketplace, stop by La Cañita, a new and exciting restaurant that celebrates Caribbean and pan-Latin flavours. Whether it be the sounds of Latin music that catch your attention or the enticing scents of their cuisine, La Cañita is sure to provide an attentive experience as soon as you step indoors.
The restaurant offers cuisine inspired by destinations like Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica, including Central and South American influences.
As you make your way into the restaurant, it’s hard not to notice the intimate environment, dim lighting and homey design. Its interior design is meant to make diners feel as though they’re in the tropics of the Caribbean.
Take a seat and start with a drink. Their drink menu features about 20 different cocktails, including five Mojito flavours such as strawberry, guava, passion fruit, mango and coconut.
Once you’ve settled with your drink, try some appetizers. You can never go wrong with Empanadas – fillings include beef, spinach and chicken. These are the perfect option if you’re looking for something small yet filling.
Their must-haves are shrimp ceviche, Plantain & Coconut Crusted Shrimp, Conch Fritters, Ropa Vieja and their Lechón.
La Cañita is located on the second floor in the north building of Bayside Marketplace at 401 Biscayne Boulevard.
Pink, pink and more pink. Within the Selina Hotel, you’ll find Casa Florida. This aesthetically appealing hotel and dining spots are covered head to toe in pink.
Its vibe takes you away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami and transports you to another world. The way they describe it, “a hidden Florida Keys-meets-Tulum gem.”
After unwinding poolside, grab a drink at the bar and sit down for dinner. Make sure to try their highly recommended Coconut Mojito. You might find yourself ordering one or two more.
Pair that with some delicious chicken and beef empanadas to start. As your night goes on, order a round of oysters – they’re great and add a Cuban pork roll for a full-fledged meal.
Selina Hotel is located at 437 SW 2nd Street in Miami, Florida.
For someone who hasn’t travelled post-pandemic, it was hard to leave the beautiful city of Miami and left me itching to go back.
Hasta luego, Miami!
The author of this article was hosted by Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.