Make the most out of a quick escapade south or a business trip that runs over the weekend. Impress family and friends back home, and show off your Latino colors in just ten quick pit stops.
1. Zumba with Beto Perez
Si eres una zumbera empedernida, or just trying to get motivated to sweat to some good beats, B2 Studio Boutique, just in Brickell, now offers classes with Zumba founder himself, Beto Perez. After learning the million dollar moves from the Wii and instructors in New York, Chicago and Miami, and seeing him perform on TV at anything from infomercials to award shows, I was a little bit nervous to do a class with the actual, real, carne y hueso Beto. The space is spacious and full of light, and usually with a live band performing everything you like to sing to. Beto improvises and gives direction to the musicians, and, I must not lie, shaking my butt to a live beat is pretty awesome. All in, I burned 650 calories, which got me ready to unlimited mimosas and a 2-hour nap that was more than well-deserved. Insider’s tip? Put some make-up on and let your hair lose! It’s supposed to be fun and sexy, and you spend 60 minutes looking at yourself in the mirror! (Thanks to Malu, Zumba Inspirator pictured below, for dragging me along into this awesome Zumba adventure, right in my backyard! Let’s do more.)
2. Drink Cuban Coffee
Un cafecito is not only traditional for Miami, but almost mandatory. Like no other place in the country, you can walk and order café cubano through little walk-thru windows at most restaurants. All Cuban coffee is strong and loaded with sugar, but delicious. Pair it up with a pastelito de guava and you are set to go onto the next adventure. Places to try: Tinta y Cafe, Versailles, Sergio’s and La Carreta.
3. Feast on Chinese on Calle 8
Only known for locals, it’s small and hidden away in the plethora of Latin options at Little Havanna. Mr. Yum is delicious Asian cuisine at very affordable prices. Go for the pad thai, or the Ño Roll – the latter being a tribute to the coño expression (which is used for anything and everything).
4. Watch A Mean Game of Dominoes
Take a stroll down Domino Park or Maximo Gomez Park (if you are yelping it!) and find yourself in Little Havana watching some strategic moves by the abuelas y abuelos. But beware! These guys are talkers, so go in only if you are ready for some amazing stories of old Cuba and the making of Miami (yes please!).
5. Check Out a Game of Jai alai, the fastest sport in the world
Jai alai has been coined the “fastest sport in the world” because of the speed that the ball reaches (up to 188 mph for the world record). It is one of those things you only want to do once, and then talk about it or take cool pictures for Facebook of it. Dania Jai alai is about 34 minutes from Miami, and admission is free!
6. Feel like a Rey at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens on the Biscayne Bay is a European-style palace turned wonderland for the tourists. Built by industrialist James Deering in the early 20th century. If you are tired (or sunburned) from the beach, take a stroll down memory lane and see how the “modern” lived back then. It’s packed full of European antiques, and it’s a popular destination amongst wedding parties looking for sandless glamour.
7. Mingle amongst the Beautiful and Bold
Lincoln Road is the popular and almost iconic outdoor mall on South Beach. Here, the rich and enhanced elbow with the teenagers shopping at Forever 21 and H&M, while kids beeline it to Dylan’s Candy Bar. There’s something and someone for everyone to watch. The beautiful: celebrities, models and firm and tan bodies. The bold: the bikinis and Big Foot boots, the fish net shorts, and the extremely old guys with extremely young girlfriends and wives!
8. Relive Cult Movies and TV Series
According to Time Out magazine – The nightlife of Miami Beach has appeared in the likes of 1964 Bond outing ‘Goldfinger’, and its gangsta-rapping features in Brian De Palma’s remake of ‘Scarface’. A hair-raising scene from ‘There’s Something About Mary’ is played out at the Cardozo hotel, and there’s a big starring role for the Carlyle Hotel as a gay club on the flamboyant South Beach in ‘The Birdcage’.
9. Bike and Roll Miami Segway Tours
Check out the sunset tour segway tour around South Pointe, in Miami Beach. Here you will find some of the amazing real estate, sandy beaches, high-end restaurants and tons of Art Deco architecture. This is a great idea for a romantic date, and if you are into cool photography with your smartphone.
10. Get your Art on at Wynwood
My favorite spot is the Wynwood Walls. You know some walls are cool when they get their own website (here). The Wynwood Walls was conceived by the renowned community revitalizer and placemaker, the late Tony Goldman in 2009. He was looking for something big to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood, and he arrived at a simple idea: “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” Starting with the 25th–26th Street complex of six separate buildings, his goal was to create a center where people could gravitate to and explore, and to develop the area’s pedestrian potential.