Miami Beach – Heat, Havana and Hip Hop in the Magic City!

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Take off for plenty of sunshine, swaying palms and balmy 80 degree weather. Miami Beach is really a melting pot of cultures; Cuban, Mexican, South American and more, all beating with a rich, pulsating energy. Walk down the avenues and you’ll hear a million different languages with jazz, Latin, salsa and hip hop spilling out into the streets. Here are just a few of the ways to enjoy the Magic City and South Beach lifestyle.

The Hotel Beacon is a prime example of art deco design. Photo by Mira Temkin

Miami Culinary Tours Let You Taste Authentic Cuisine

Ropa Vieja and fried plantain on the Miami Culinary Tour. Photo by Mira Temkin

I’ve always enjoyed taking a food walking tour of the cities I visit. I get to savor delicious foods and learn more about the area’s history and culture. Miami Culinary Tours goes the extra mile with a collection of walking tours that give you the inside scoop. On the South Beach Tour Food & Art Deco Tour, we stopped at several outstanding restaurants as well as historic sites. We walked through Ocean Drive (yeah, no cars, it’s now pedestrian friendly), Collins and Washington Avenues to learn about art deco history, architecture and famous movie locations. Our tour guide, Robyn, was outstanding, regaling us with legends and lore of South Beach. We started at Bolivar, a Colombian restaurant that served a crunchy empanada and ceviche. Next stop was Havana 1957, which looked like a movie set from the 1950s for a sample of Cuban favorites, Ropa Vieja and fried plantain. Then we stopped at the Naked Taco to try a “clean taco” and ended at Mamma Mia for some Italian gelato. Miami Culinary Tours‘ “Little Havana Food & Cultural Tour” was named “The Top 10 Cultural Experience in The World” by Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice award. Their Design District Food & Art Tour is also excellent.

A “clean” taco at Naked Taco. Photo by Mira Temkin

It’s a Party at Bayside Marketplace!

Bayside Marketplace is a hip, happening place. Photo courtesy of Bayside Marketplace

Head for Bayside Marketplace, Miami’s most popular hot spot. This two-level, open-air festival center features more than 150 unique shops and stores as well as 12 delicious restaurants. Check out the free live music performances and it’s where you hop on the boat rides.

Cruising along Biscayne Bay. Photo courtesy of Island Queen

See Millionaire’s Row Along Scenic Biscayne Bay

One of the amazing homes on Millionaires Row. Photo by Island Queen

Imagine the glamorous homes of the rich and famous or your own dream house? Sit back, relax and enjoy a cocktail while you cruise by the gorgeous mansions of Millionaire’s Row, home to P. Diddy, Shaq, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estevan and more! From Fisher Island to Biscayne Bay, you’ll see sights on this 90-minute narrated sightseeing cruise. Choose from an air-conditioned lower salon or sit on the upper deck to feel the ocean breeze in your hair. You’ll pass by the Port of Miami, the Miami skyline, Miami Beach and see the elegant cruise ships waiting in dock. Miami isn’t known as the Magic City for nothing, and this sightseeing cruise takes you past homes that will take your breath away.

Island Queen Cruises

Just like Miami Vice – Thriller Miami Speedboat

Thriller Speed Boats hit the water. Photo courtesy of Thriller Speed Boats

Get your scrunchies out, you’re going to need them on this lightning-fast, 45-minute speed boat ride on Biscayne Bay. Get more thrills per minute as you speed past the city of Miami Beach, Fisher Island, Star Island and the mansions. The boats operate 7 days a week, 365 days a year. First tour departs at 11:00 am during the week, and 10:00 am during the weekend/holidays. Have your camera ready to snap pictures of you and the beautiful Downtown Miami Skyline.

Have a blast at the Museum of Illusions

Get funky at Museum of Illusions. Photo courtesy of Museum of Illusions
Smash It! Photo courtesy of Museum of Illusions

This is selfie heaven to the max! Museum of Illusions is located on Lincoln Road, South Beach’s most popular pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. When you check in, they give a tripod and show you how to lock your cell phone for the best angles. Then, get ready for fun! Check out all of the cool rooms in the museum and take a selfie shooting hoops, navigating a broken bridge, relaxing on the beach, standing on a ledge and lots more. As a bonus, you can SMASH a plate. What a great way to release your stress as you write a name on the plate and SMASH it into the wall. Afterwards, come stroll along Lincoln Road for the best coffee con leche.

Make plans to hit South Beach soon for a great vacay of cuisine, music and a chance to get out on the water. For more information, check out


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