There’s so much more to Miami than its infamous nightlife scene
Whenever I think of Miami, Florida, my mind automatically jaunts to: strobe light-filled night clubs, bikini models and skittle-coloured Lamborghinis. But after spending some time exploring Greater Miami and the Beaches, my stereotypical thoughts were quickly shut down with health-conscious vibes. From farm-to-table cuisine, a tranquil spa sanctuary and sunset yoga, to touring one of the largest outdoor graffiti museums in the world, it’s no wonder Miami is ranked the healthiest city in the United States. Read on to find out what this wellness-centric metropolis has to offer.
It’s easy to become one with nature if you’re staying at The Palms Hotel & Spa in the heart of Miami Beach. Hit up the hotel’s Vinyasa yoga class on Sunday mornings amid their serene tropical gardens, or Thursday evenings at the beach as you overlook the ocean at sunset. Especially for those who don’t mind a more auditory experience, the beach class has it all: birds chipping overhead, distant conversations and hypnotizing waves crashing. But as the class nears its end, and you lay in Shavasana with your body grounded to the earth and hands lightly-pressed against the sand, remember to take a moment and gaze back at the luminous moon hovering above you. It’s magical.
While you’re at The Palms, make sure to dine at their signature restaurant, Essensia. Inspired by nature, this farm-to-table experience brings fresh seasonal ingredients straight from chef Ilde Ferrer’s on-site garden to your plate and serves up hand-crafted cocktails. But it’s not only the versatile nature-inspired dishes that make this restaurant a hit for all diets alike, it’s the atmosphere — especially at night. Just sit out on their Caribbean-style terrance for a peaceful candle-lit experience and a wave of serenity is sure to flood your entire body.
Heading downtown Miami? Stagionale, a vegan restaurant known for its vibrant plant-based cuisine and greenhouse-like garden decor at Brickell City Center’s La Centrale Italian Food Hall, is definitely one to add to your itinerary. While there, try their Florida Jackfruit Tacos (for a light starter) and Lasagne Bolognese (for a hearty dish). This restaurant also makes for a great Insta-worthy meal. Don’t miss these 8 other ways to do Florida for the ‘Gram.
Explore Miami’s South Beach with a Bike and Roll tour. Bike down Ocean Drive (the city’s most iconic street), through Flamingo Park where you’ll witness the outdoor gym culture of its local residents, and then to South Pointe Park for a leisurely stroll down the pier where you’ll be rewarded with an endless ocean-view.
Home to roughly 6, 000 residents, Surfside is the beachside town to visit if you’re looking to be active outdoors, yet avoid the hustle and bustle of Miami Beach. Stop at the luxe Grand Beach Hotel to participate in one of their monthly Thursday evening Bootcamp & Brews for a full-body beachfront workout, led by some of the best trainers in the biz. The best part? Reward your hard work with a frosty local brew afterwards at the hotel’s rooftop bar. And trust, you won’t want to miss out on their epic skyline view.
Historic and culinary stroll
Journey around Miami’s South Beach with Miami Culinary Tours for a food and art deco tour that’ll enlighten your taste-buds and your historical knowledge of the city. From a hidden Columbian eatery that specializes in traditional empanadas, to tasting all-natural Italian focaccia bread, to learning a detailed background of the most iconic buildings on Ocean Drive, i.e., The Villa Casa Casuarina (formerly known as Versace Mansion) and the Colony Hotel, this walking tour has many treasures you’re sure to remember. And if you’re lucky enough to get Gina as your guide, she’s a treasure in itself.
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Built in 1926, The Biltmore Hotel is an iconic landmark in Coral Gables, a city located in close proximity to Miami Beach and downtown Miami. Spread across 150 acres of tropical land, the hotel’s European architectural flare seeps out of its very pores. Once inside its 50-ft. tall pillar lobby that encircles a breathtaking ceiling mural, retro sofa sitting area, antique chandeliers, and two ginormous Finch-filled birdcages, prepare to stand in wonder. A stay at this property means you get to enjoy a sunrise and/or sunset meal in a courtyard restaurant, have a sweat sesh in a state-of-the-art fitness facility, take a relaxing dip in a 23, 000 square-ft. pool, and replenish with a rejuvenating massage.
Finding serenity is always key after a booze-filled night out, and the Biltmore Hotel’s spa is a promised slice of heaven. Located on the seventh floor, this sanctuary offers a variety of hair, nail and body treatments, facials, and massages. Their signature? The Chardonnay Massage, which uses Swedish techniques and French Chardonnay grape seed oil to induce you into a deep state of relaxation. Quick tip: go early for your appointment and spend time in their Himalayan salt sauna, then grab a chilled glass of coconut water and laze in their relaxation room beforehand. (The sounds of water running down the room’s marble water fountain and faded tranquil meditation music are pure bliss.)
When your vacay comes to an end, make sure to read up on these skincare tips from some of Canada’s top spa experts.
Art in action
To experience the real deal when it comes to graffiti and street art, visit the colourful neighbourhood of Wynwood and explore its breathtaking walls with Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide. Led passionately by local artists Ryan the Wheelbarrow and Jose Mertz, you’ll be guided through unforgettable pieces done by some of today’s most notable and up-and-coming artists from around the globe. Prepare to be educated, inspired and seriously mind-blown — oh, and to take a bunch of selfies!
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Happy 3 year anniversary to #MiamisBestGraffitiGuide the ONLY artist owned and operated tour company in #Wynwood and #Miami. BIG thank you to all of our friends, customers and partners… and our employees and art assistants. * * * #art #graffiti #miamigraffiti #murals #tours #fineart #streetart #murals #streetart #viptours * * * 🙏🏽 @sandroabate @osornoart @_manuela.montano_ @___trist @wynwoodbuggies @dirty.projects @wynwoodwallsofficial @manawynwood @swarm_eventagency @inkedpro @miamisignshop @004connec @dadewear @ryanwheelbarrow @pedro_amos_
To discover more of what Miami has to offer, visit miamiandbeaches.com.
After Miami, check out Turkey for your next self-care getaway.