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There’s a ton to see and do in Miami. I’ve been three times, exploring different parts of Miami each time. I’d break it up into a day for each place: Miami proper, Key Biscayne to be outdoorsy, and Miami Beach for the scene!
Miami is the best place in the US to enjoy some Latin-American food. While we were there, we ate Columbian and Cuban, arepas and tamales. There is SO much good food in Miami!
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens are a sprawling estate located in Coconut Grove. The mansion is the former home of James Deering, and is designed in the Mediterranean Revival architecture style. It’s a grounds are perfect to walk through on a nice day, and you’ll often see bridal portraits or other special day photography happening.
Since we were living on the Miami River, we saw manatees all the time!
I gather that either manatee sighting are not all that common, or they are like dolphins in Galveston Bay; we see them fairly often, but it never gets old or less exciting!
For my birthday I received a spa day at the Viceroy Hotel. I had a wonderful facial and then a pedicure.
The view from the pedicure was fantastic – 15 floors up and overlooking the cruise ship terminal, the entrance to the Miami River, and Mark Cuban’s boat, Fountainhead.
As soon as I settled into the chair, I noticed people at the boardwalk across the way gathering to look at something in the water – a manatee! My nail technician was even more excited than I was! We watched for a while, and one manatee turned into two moving together, and then they disappeared from the surface.
The Viceroy Hotel is beautiful and I got to enjoy a sauna and steam room, as well as walking by the pools and enjoying the view from the pool area. I should have brought a bathing suit to take a dip! I also stopped in the nearby bar for a cocktail and an appetizer.
This 83-acre botanical garden is in Coral Gables. At the time of our visit, they had an amazing Chihuly exhibit as well as a permanent collection. I think the traveling exhibit was one we had seen before in Dallas, but it was still nice to see it in a new setting.
In Miami Beach, once you get there, you can rent bikes from Deco Bike. They have bike racks with automatic payment machines. There are probably 50 racks all over Miami Beach. You can’t miss them, and it saved us a lot of walking.
We walked along the beach for a while to enjoy the view (aka people-watching), then rented bikes to get to South Pointe Park to watch the boats coming in and out and enjoy the sunset.
Key Biscayne is an island just off of Miami over the Rickenbacker Causeway, south of Miami Beach. There’s a town of the same name in the middle of the island, but also two large parks.
No Name Harbor is a small bay with a well-protected anchorage where boaters come for the night. There’s also a restaurant called Boater’s Grill. We had a great seafood lunch overlooking the beautiful, sheltered harbor, and all the boats nearby.
My friend Michelle and her toddler Zachary went to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park with me. We had a picnic lunch and a walk to the lighthouse. It was a beautiful day!
However, our picnic was invaded by very persistent raccoons.
I absolutely love a good home tour. I often attended the one in Galveston, another beach-side town. Six homes on the island were open to tour, most of them original Mackle homes. All of them were beautiful, and I would describe them as contemporary beach, with lots of light and open views. The tour ended with a food tasting at the local park. It was great!