My holiday in Miami finally came around this Autumn. I spent the summer working, I had days off at the end of October.
The annual break was a holiday in Miami Florida. The temperatures in the last week of October looked good and Hurricane season was almost over. Unusually I didn´t do research about the trip before leaving.
Holiday in Miami
So when I arrived the attractions in Miami were a complete surprise. I had read a few blog posts about Miami but most of them covered the Art Deco scene. Miami´s South beach has the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world.
Art Deco Miami
I discovered that there was more to Miami than it´s Art Deco area. Ocean drive is where most of the Art deco buildings are and it´s known for it´s Beachfront scene. On one side of the road you have the glorious South beach. This walkway is lined with palm trees and has the sparkling turquoise ocean as a backdrop. The other side of Ocean Drive is packed with shops, hotels, bars and restaurants. It is loud, busy and very lively. Some of the buildings have their original Art Deco frontages and to contrast the outdoor tables are covered in goldfish bowl sized mojitos.
The loud music alongside the quaint Art Deco pastel façades make quite an impression. Collins Avenue is parallel to Ocean Drive and also has Art Deco buildings, many are shops along this road as well as hotels.
North Beach Miami
My accomodation was not in the South beach area, but in the North beach. This area was less crowded and a more residential area. I got the feeling that is where the locals have their holiday homes. It was perfect for a relaxing break.
The beach was peaceful and vast. It was just a few steps away from my door. Just a few people were on each stretch of sand, although it was low season, there is so much coastline in this area, space is not a problem. It was almost like having a private beach just for me.
Florida Road Trip
Our plan was to spend a day in Miami and the surroundings and alternate with day trips around Florida. In the end we visited quite a lot of the state. The Keys, the shopping outlet in Sawgrass Mills, the Everglades, Disney´s Epcot Center….. Our Florida Road trip was a memorable holiday.
Famous Homes in Miami
One of the fun activities I enjoyed was a boat ride around the Port of Miami. The port is a working port and known as the Cruise Capital of the World. There are cruise ships, container ships and pleasure craft all negotiating their way around the port. It did take our Tour boat some time to get out of the traffic and into the bay.
Once we were cruising along the waves, we saw a panoramic view of Miami´s skyline.
You can also book a Speedboat Ride when you visit Miami if you prefer to have a private tour.
A stunning photo from the back of out boat. Further ahead of us were several islands in the huge bay. On these islands are some exclusive residences. Hibiscus Island, Star Island and Palm Island are homes to stars such as Paulina Rubio, Gloria Estefan, Oprah Winfrey and Shakira.
Shopping in Miami
When I travel I love to shop. My holiday in Miami was going to be a great excuse for some early Christmas shopping. The USA is probably one of the best destinations for shopping. Lots of variety and good dollar prices. On this trip I visited three or four different places. High end option was Aventura Mall. This large complex has 300 different designer and luxury stores. It is close to Bal Harbour, North of Miami and it even has a Macy´s. Coco Walk in Coconut Grove was another shopping mall we visited.
This laid back outdoor mall had a dozen good restaurants and a small selection of high Street shops such as GAP and Victorias Secret. Lunch at BICE Italian restaurant was a relaxed affair, perfect for the last day of the holiday. The highlight of all the shopping was the collosal Sawgrass Mills. A 45 minute drive from Miami this outlet had 350 huge outlet stores on the site. If you decide to go make sure you have a plan of attack. Comfy trainers, an empty trolley suitcase and a charged up mobile phone ; )
Coconut Grove, Miami
So after all that shopping, it was time for a some culture. The Vizcaya Museum is a large house and gardens in the Coconut Grove area of Miami, not far from Coral Gables. This grand home was built between 1914 and 1922. The setting looking out over Biscayne Bay is spectacular.
The interior of the house and gardens were clearly influenced by European style.
One detail that caught my eye was the breakwater which was directly outside the front of the house.
This was built representing a galleon ship. The waves have eroded some of the detail over the years but the statues aboard were still clear to see. This was an unexpected find in Miami but worth a visit if you are ever out that way.
Holiday in Miami
Miami was a great base for the holiday. A lively city and beach resort but also good to visit other areas of Florida. Oh, I just remembered… while in Miami I discovered that being bilingual Spanish and English wasn´t anything special at all. There it is just the norm! Although the Spanish there is quite different than Spanish spoken in Spain.
I especially enjoyed our days out to the Everglades with the alligators. I still can´t quiet believe that I actually held one! Other fabulous memories from this trip were the beaches along the Florida Keys.
Miami is also a good location for family holidays. Check out this tips for Miami with kids
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