Bella Vida by Letty

South Beach

10 Fun Things to do in South Beach Miami Florida

Best Things to do in South Beach

South Beach is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida.  Located due east of Miami city between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean it is known for being trendy and attracting rich, famous and beautiful people.   This place is always bustling with locals, visitors and things to do.  Sobe is high energy and attracts large crowds especially on holidays.  I would describe it as stylish, extravagant and luxurious.  At night it is the hottest club scene I’ve ever been to.  Fashion and music merge on the beach with influences from Latin and European cultures.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you bumped into a celebrity or two during your visit.

South Beach is also known as the historic Art Deco District.  A trip to Miami is not complete until you visit and experience this area for yourself. You will be transported to another time surrounded by the interesting architecture, which dates back to the 1920’s.  Everywhere you look you will find fancy details from that long ago era.  Today there are over 800 Art Deco Structures lighting up South Beach in a rainbow of neon and pastel.

What is art deco you might ask?  The Miami Design Preservation League defines art deco as:

“Art Deco was a product of new ideas and movements and found its inspirations in many distinct early 20th Century European design styles such as Cubism, French Art Deco, German Bauhaus and Expressionism, Dutch de Stijl and Amsterdam School, Vienna Secession and others.”

They offer a free historic district sites map on their site.  You can take a guided tour or do it yourself.

South Beach Miami Beach Florida

Ocean Drive

When visiting South Beach I highly recommend both driving and walking Ocean Drive.  This street has served as the backdrop of countless movies.  You will see grand hotels, interesting art deco architecture, the gorgeous beach and when the sun sets the famous neon lights come on.  There are plenty of shops, restaurants and places to stay.  Most restaurants offer outdoor seating.  A great way to do some people watching or just enjoy the ambience and beautiful weather.

Be warned shopping here is more expensive than other spots.  A mixed cocktail can easily cost over $20.00.

A few famous places on the strip are Casa Casaurina, also known as the Gianni Versace Mansion, the Clevelander, Park Central, the Tides Hotel, the Cordozo Hotel and the Waldorf Towers.

Be sure to park your car and hit the beach.  Lummus Park Beach is on the list of world’s most beautiful beaches.  On the boardwalk you can skate, bike, run or take a stroll.  There are places for the kids to play as well as places to exercise and work out.  Out on the sand you will see Miami’s iconic colorful lifeguard stands, soft white sand and gorgeous blue and jade waters.

Lincoln Road Mall South Beach

Stroll along Lincoln mall which built in 1912 as a sophisticated retail spot is also one of the county’s first outdoor malls.  Today you will find casual restaurants, fine dining, high end designers, book stores, bars, theater and a Star Bucks on every corner.  There are art galleries and artist studios which open up for tours, movie theaters, street vendors and all types of street performers.  You can spend hours here.  I suggest having a seat, it’s a great spot for people watching.  You never know what rich and famous person you might bump into.

Head to the beach.  It usually rains in the afternoon during Florida summers.  I recommend heading out early.  I was able to beat the rain on Sunday and enjoy some beach time.  This beach has vendors for just about everything including snacks.  Be sure to get a peek of the famous lifeguard stands.  No two are alike.

Walk down Ocean Drive and see many familiar historic art deco hotels.  This street appears in numerous films and television shows.  There are lots of places to pick up souvenirs.

espanola way

Visit Espanola Way an often overlooked bohemian spot for shopping, dining and art galleries.  The area was modeled after the Mediterranean villages of Spain and France and was originally built as a meeting place by Miami Beach’s wealthiest citizens.  It’s very pretty at night it’s lit up by strings of light bulbs.

If you like music check out the New World Symphony schedule.  Some performances are projected on the buildings huge wall facing the park.  On certain nights they present free outdoor movie screenings.

Visit the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater for live entertainment, concerts, comedy tours and private events.

If you love to dance some of Miami’s most famous nightclubs are on Washington Avenue, Collins and Ocean Drive.

Best Things to do in South Florida Sunset

 

My favorite thing to do at South Beach is to try and catch the sunset.  This photo was taken on the beautiful romantic rooftop of the Tudor as the sun was setting.

You can find more things to do, news and deals by reading my specially curated Florida twitter list.

 

Have you been to South Beach?  

What was your favorite thing to do here?

 

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The Courtyard Marriott South Beach #FloridaWish #Spons   

Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach

During my many travels I’ve stayed at various Marriott Hotels all throughout Florida and even Georgia.  I continue to patronize this brand of hotels because I can always rely on the cleanliness and great customer service.  As part of the Florida Wish campaign I stayed at the modern and sleek Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach.  South Beach is a trendy vacation spot where the stylish and cultured come to relax on the sand or indulge in fun and entertainment.  This hotel fits right into the South Beach ambiance.  Its decor is modern and artsy using en vogue fabrics and textures.

There is indoor and outdoor seating all along the lobby.  Being into photography I really loved seeing the framed vintage black and white photographs of South Beach history all throughout the hotel.  I thought it was a great way to balance the new while giving a nod to the history and art deco style South Beach is known for.  The lounge offers free wifi and beautiful workspaces next to a cafe style bistro.  There’s a big multi use space for casual or business to work on laptops, plug in various devices or watch television.

You know I am very active while traveling and enjoy lots of walking.  This is the main reason I would recommend this hotel is because it is smack in the middle of everything good.  A short walk east takes you to the beach, one block south takes you to Espanola Way and just north is the world famous Lincoln Street Mall.  You have fine dining, shopping and entertainment literally at its doorstep.

Another great amenity is the hotel valet service for your car.  Parking in South Beach can be tricky and expensive.  In addition there is new construction going on the roadways right now and you have to take all sorts of out of the way detours to arrive at your destination.  You can just leave your car with the hotels valet service and not have to worry.  Anything you want to do is within walking distance.

After settling in the first thing I did was head upstairs to the rooftop pool.  Wow, what a gorgeous view.  The space is designed to be a luxurious retreat for hotel guests.  There’s the pool and balconies with plush comfortable seating.  I spent a rainy afternoon up there catching up with some reading and writing.  It was so relaxing.  It was some much needed me time.

Lincoln Road Mall South Beach

After charging my batteries I was ready to hit the town for some fun.  Here are some suggestions for fun things to do.

South Beach Itinerary

August happens to be when Miami Spice takes place.  Fine restaurants around town offer three course meals featuring signature dishes created by world renowned chefs.  I was in the mood for Mexican food so I headed to Lincoln Road Mall.

Stroll along Lincoln mall which built in 1912 as a sophisticated retail spot is also one of the county’s first outdoor malls.  Today you will find casual restaurants, fine dining, high end designers, book stores, bars, theater and a Star Bucks on every corner.  There are art galleries and artist studios which open up for tours, movie theaters, street vendors and all types of street performers.  You can spend hours here.  I suggest having a seat, it’s a great spot for people watching.  You never know what rich and famous person you might bump into.

Head to the beach.  It usually rains in the afternoon during Florida summers.  I recommend heading out early.  I was able to beat the rain on Sunday and enjoy some beach time.  This beach has vendors for just about everything including snacks.  Be sure to get a peek of the famous lifeguard stands.  No two are alike.

Walk down Ocean Drive and see many familiar historic art deco hotels.  This street appears in numerous films and television shows.  There are lots of places to pick up souvenirs.

espanola way

Visit Espanola Way an often overlooked bohemian spot for shopping, dining and art galleries.  The area was modeled after the Mediterranean villages of Spain and France and was originally built as a meeting place by Miami Beach’s wealthiest citizens.  It’s very pretty at night it’s lit up by strings of light bulbs.

If you like music check out the New World Symphony schedule.  Some performances are projected on the buildings huge wall facing the park.  On certain nights they present free outdoor movie screenings.

Visit the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater for live entertainment, concerts, comedy tours and private events.

If you love to dance some of Miami’s most famous nightclubs are on Washington Avenue, Collins and Ocean Drive.

All of these activities are within walking distance of the Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach.  You can find more things to do, news and deals by reading my specially curated Florida twitter list.

If you are traveling to Florida check out Marriott hotel deal click here.

Enter the promotional code SUM into the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation, or call 1-800-228-9290 in the US and ask for promotional code SUM.  The code is valid until October 5, 2014.

Don’t wait head on over and make your reservations today.

Sponsored post opinions mine

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What to Wear to South Beach #DestinationSummer #Sponsored

South Beach

 

South Beach is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida.  Located due east of Miami city between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean it is known for being trendy and attracting rich, famous and beautiful people.   This place is always bustling with locals, visitors and things to do.  Sobe is high energy and attracts large crowds especially on holidays.  I would describe it as stylish, extravagant and luxurious.  At night it is the hottest club scene I’ve ever been to.  Fashion and music merge on the beach with influences from Latin and European cultures.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you bumped into a celebrity or two during your visit.  

South Beach is also known as the historic Art Deco District.  A trip to Miami is not complete until you visit and experience this area for yourself. You will be transported to another time surrounded by the interesting architecture which dates back to the 1920’s.  Everywhere you look you will find fancy details from that long ago era.  Today there are over 800 Art Deco Structures lighting up South Beach in a rainbow of neon and pastel.

What is art deco you might ask?  The Miami Design Preservation League defines art deco as:

“Art Deco was a product of new ideas and movements and found its inspirations in many distinct early 20th Century European design styles such as Cubism, French Art Deco, German Bauhaus and Expressionism, Dutch de Stijl and Amsterdam School, Vienna Secession and others.”

They offer a free historic district sites map on their site.  You can take a guided tour or do it yourself.

Ocean Drive

When visiting South Beach I highly recommend both driving and walking Ocean Drive.  This street has served as the backdrop of countless movies.  You will see grand hotels, interesting art deco architecture, the gorgeous beach and when the sun sets the famous neon lights come on.  There are plenty of shops, restaurants and places to stay.  Most restaurants offer outdoor seating.  A great way to do some people watching or just enjoy the ambience and beautiful weather.

Be warned shopping here is more expensive than other spots.  A mixed cocktail can easily cost over $20.00.

A few famous places on the strip are Casa Casaurina, also known as the Gianni Versace Mansion, the Clevelander, Park Central, the Tides Hotel, the Cordozo Hotel and the Waldorf Towers.

Be sure to park your car and hit the beach.  Lummus Park Beach is on the list of world’s most beautiful beaches.  On the boardwalk you can skate, bike, run or take a stroll.  There are places for the kids to play as well as places to exercise and work out.  Out on the sand you will see Miami’s iconic colorful lifeguard stands, soft white sand and gorgeous blue and jade waters.

I’ve styled some fabulous clothing, shoes, makeup and accessories to give you some ideas on what to wear on your visit to South Beach.

 

SouthBeachStyleBluesGreens

What to wear to iconic South Beach.  Greens and blues.

Soaked Striped Caftan Cover-Up, Croft & Barrow® Fit For You Tummy Slimmer One-Piece Swimsuit – Women’s, SONOMA life + style® Banded Platform Wedge Sandals – Women, Candie’s® Tie-Dyed Backpack, Fantas-Eyes Rimless Aviator Sunglasses, Croft & Barrow® Simulated Crystal & Square Bead Multistrand Necklace & Drop Earring Set

SouthBeachStylePinksYellows

What to wear to iconic South Beach.  Pinks and yellows.

Soaked Tie-Dye Chiffon Sarong Cover-Up – Women’s, California Waves Crochet Monokini Swimsuit – Women’s, Mudd® Crochet Wedge Sandals – Women, La Diva Laced Scoop Shoulder Bag, Croft & Barrow® Silver Tone Bead Stretch Bracelet Set1928® Gold Tone Beaded Multistrand Necklace, Converse Pedal Round Sunglasses, David & Young Straw Striped Edge Floppy Hat

South Beach Style Rocking Studs

What to wear to South Beach rocking the studs.

Journee Collection Taffy Platform High Heels – Women, Jennifer Lopez Embellished Tee, Jennifer Lopez Skinny Ankle Jeans, Everlasting Gold 14k Gold Bead Chandelier Earrings, GS by gemma simone Gold Tone Openwork Dome Stretch Ring, LORAC Breakthrough Performance Lipstick SPF 15 Leading Lady, ELLE Cosmetics Nail Lacquer Crimson Sunset, JLove by Jennifer Lopez Eau de Parfum Spray – 1.7 oz.

 

South Beach Evening Outfit

What to wear to South Beach evening.

Speechless Sequin Chiffon Dress, Exchange by Charles David Octavia Peep-Toe Platform High Heel, Sterling Silver Black & White Diamond Pendant, Ring & Drop Earring Set, Bulova Stainless Steel Crystal Watch, Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock Origami Flap Clutch, CARGO Eye Shadow Color: Babylon, essie Encrusted Treasures Nail Polish

I’ve styled these four fabulous looks as part of Kohl’s #DestinationSummer campaign.  Which did you like best?

Have you been to South Beach?  What’s your favorite South Beach spot?

 

This is a sponsored post. Opinions mine.

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Miami Culinary and Cocktail Tours

Culinary travel is the pursuit of unique and memorable experiences of all kinds.  It is making the food and drink an essential part of your travel.  When people make their travel plans they usually focus on the destinations without realizing how food and drink can immerse you in the local culture.  It doesn’t mean visiting only five star restaurants but it does mean local and interesting.   It connects you to the people which are the heart of the place you are visiting.  Learning about the food and how it’s prepared not only teaches, it connects you with the destinations history.

Miami Culinary Tours

Last weekend I took a South Beach happy hour cocktail tour which walked us through Miami Beach’s historic art deco district.  The tour involves visiting five hot spots and trying out a different specialty drink at each stop.  South Beach is known for being glam, gaudy and expensive.  For some it might even be intimidating which is why tours are such a great choice since you are personally guided to the hottest spots in South Beach by local experts.

Our Miami Culinary tour guide Richie was charismatic, entertaining and informative.  I’ve been on tours where the guide nearly put me to sleep but this was not the case with the Miami culinary tour.  Richie started the tour at a Colombian spot on Washington Avenue called Bolivar.  Since this was a cocktail tour he wanted to make sure to we had something to eat since drinking on an empty stomach will ensure it will go straight to your head.  We were served tasty Colombian style corn empanadas stuffed with potatoes and meat as well as patacon topped with deliciously seasoned chicken.  The food was authentic and very good.  Richie gave the group Spanish lessons while we ate and sipped on refajos.

Colombian Refajo

Refajo is a typical Colombian drink made with beer and cola.  I’m from Puerto Rico so I could taste the sweetness of the cola champaign immediately.  I’m not a beer drinker but this was a nice twist.  Before we left Richie wanted us to try Colombia’s national drink.  Aguardiente is a very strong alcoholic beverage made from anise and sugar cane.  The translation is fire water and is pretty accurate.  The drink has a licorice flavor and packs a punch so watch out.

Continuing on through South Beach’s colorful neon scenic backdrop we learned more about the city through Richie’s colorful anecdotes and tidbits of facts and history.  He shared many interesting facts about local icons, characters and actors.  By the end of the night the group really had a feel for Miami Beach culture and what life here is like.

Tudor South Beach

The tour went on and we got to try great mojitos at the newly renovated Larios, one of Gloria and Emilio Estefan restaurants.  My favorite part of the tour was drinking a sunset on the beautiful romantic rooftop of the Tudor as the sun was setting.  I do like vodka drinks and the combination of vodka and pineapple was divine.  Our bartender, Jason, surprised the group with a shot of coconut flavored vodka with pineapple juice.  It was delicious and had the group feeling fine.  The tour ended at the iconic Tides hotel with a fruity mango tequila drink which was very good especially if you like tequila.  As a Floridian I really enjoy learning new things and having new experiences.  It was fun meeting new people and adding new flavors to my travels.

5 Reasons to Take a Culinary Tour

  •  Get to know the local hot spots.
  • Learn about local celebrities and history.
  • Try new cuisine and cocktails.
  • Learn how to make them yourself.
  • Have fun meeting new people or take your friends on a private tour.

mct Collage

I was invited to join this tour in exchange for my honest review and am very happy to report the tour delivered on their promise of good food and drinks and an all around good time.  I recommend joining a tour to really get to know the history and even local gossip of the place you’re visiting.  It’s a great way to get intimate with the Miami Beach community and get a true taste and feel of the local culture as told by local experts.  You can check Miami Culinary Tours website as they have a variety of styles of tours to meet different foodie types.  I plan on trying the other tours in the near future.

 Have you taken a culinary tour?  What did you think?

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