1. Get a taste for modern American cuisine
There's more to American food than 24-hour diners and burgers. Here, local food is fresh, delicious and different. In the South Beach area, Barton G serves fabulous dishes in theatrical ways. Their popcorn shrimp and grilled sea bass comes in a brown paper bag, superb Caesar salad comes complete with a cheesegrater, and for the grand finale a plume of cotton candy reminiscent of Dame Edna's wig is served. For those who prefer a light meal, the hip hangout Segafredo is a great option. Here, you can eat tasty sandwiches, salads, carpaccios and desserts while lounging on comfy upholstered chairs and listening to a soundtrack of cool lounge music all day long.
2. Experience the life of the party at Carnaval Miami
Miami needs no excuse to party; from the traditional to the tacky, the city is fast on its feet when it comes to celebrations. For ten days each spring (in early March), Latino Miami struts its stuff with a vibrant array of beauty pageants, sports, concerts and international foods at Carnaval Miami. There are culinary competitions, galas and an upscale Latin jazz festival. The grand finale is Calle Ocho, a 23-block street festival in Little Havana, which is the largest block party in the world. Over a million people watch live entertainment on 30 stages featuring salsa, merengue and Caribbean music.
3. Dive into a corner of Europe at the Venetian Pool
This large outdoor swimming pool may just be the most beautiful in the world. A former quarry, the site went from pit to porticos when developers decided to convert it into a mock-Italian villa in the 1920s. The ornate results—all waterfalls and twee loggias—may seem kitsch to those who've actually been to Venice, but there's no denying the glamor of the place (except when it's overrun by screaming toddlers and middle-aged aerobics enthusiasts). In its century of service to overheated Miamians, the pool has played host to orchestras, dance troupes and even Hollywood stars.
4. Go green at Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Established over 50 years ago and given an impressive $1.2 million makeover in 2011 (designed by the appropriately named landscape architect Raymond Jungles), Miami's Botanical Gardens offer free access to 2.6 acres of glorious horticulture and calm. The weekly farmers' market offers a lovely way to support local traders, and lunchtime yoga classes provide another excuse to spend your day relaxing under a well-kept palm tree. Should this give you a taste for Miami's favourite fitness regime, join the area's huge spiritual community at a multi-level class in one of the many yoga studios.
SOURCE: TIME OUT MIAMI
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