Updated: Dec 9, 2020
At Miami Airport three years ago, I stumbled into a sign with the words “ Peace and Love” built from flowers in it's design written in large letters across the airport wall. Written across the piece of artwork include the words rather poetically “Flowers become words; words become desire, and together, and expression of better things to come.”
Living in the world we live in today, we can only hope that the flowers that we build can combat illness and give us a certain calibre of strength for better things to come. During the COVID-19 pandemic, those are lofty goals to dream about, but humankind has always been resilient to challenges in the sense that the human race always seeks to improve itself. Long before Miami was known as the city of sand, dreams and wonders, it was an Paleo-Indian settlement. Today, it is known to be magical, colourful and exotic in every sense harnessing international cuisine with a latin vibe. From the beaches of Miami beach to the Wynwood district, the districts of Miami all bring their distinctive flair, harnessing a fusion of latin vibes and international flavour. One of my my favourite things to do in Miami was just to walk along the beaches especially South Beach and take in the different artworks of different districts while absorbing the atmosphere that was so different from life on the West Coast. While walking on the waterfront at the Bayside Marketplace, one lady motioned to me and I thought she was a fortune- teller. She said : "You have a unique charm." I look back at that moment quite surprisingly with glee and curious reflection because I think when we travel, we present our best selves to other people and that reflects where we go.
Miami for several thousand years was governed by Paleo-Indians and various Native American tribes. After World War 2, it became a military town and was known for its navy operations. This was the time tourism came to Miami, as it became known as city full of sand, sun and dreams where millions would flock to the beaches of South Beach to claim their own fame ad glory. After Fidel Castros reign ended, millions of Cubans fled Cuba to the shores of Florida and Miami, giving Miami it's distinctive latin flair. Today Miami is a mix of cultural influences, including Little Havana and others because of not only immigrants from Cuba, but from many other countries as well. Today it is also known as an international port for global industries in finance, fashion and various other enterprises.
Top Places to Go
The Vizcaya Gardens are a top attraction for national and international visitors alike because they present a world that is no longer there. The former villa and estate of architect James Deering located in Coconut Grove, the gardens contain Italian Renaissance gardens surrounded by lush planting of trees and contain various art collections inside the museum stemming from renaissance artists in Europe. Built in the early 1900s, it employed over 10% of the population of Miami of the time and is an architectural marvel that still stands today. Today it is a great place for wedding photos and photoshoots because of the delicacy of it's design that harbours the environment.The gardens and museum are open all year round and admission tickets can be purchased at the gate in normal circumstances.
The Wynwood murals are an collection of graffiti and art featured in an outdoor museum that is located in the Wynwood district of Miami.You can take a tour of the different types of artwork in a small shaped golf cart for free as the location is quite big to see all the murals. The murals have a interesting collection of quotes that ring true to the political and social circumstances in which they were written. For example, one quote on a painting writes “People do not grow old no matter how long we live: We never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery in which we were born.” I believe this quote is meant to communicate to us that people do grow up physically, but their mind can stay young, and that is how the human spirit stays immortal.
3. South Beach
No trip to Miami would be complete without visiting South Beach, the surrounding Art Deco District, it’s many open-air dining restaurants and bars and the atmosphere along Ocean Drive. Come here just for the people- watching and tour the various photo-taking opportunities near the beach. Just people-watching is already a great attraction for many people.
Bayside Marketplace is recommended as one of the top attractions in Miami for it’s open air space and festive atmosphere while browsing the shopping and dinning attractions alongside the marina. Come here for a late night stroll or simply take in the atmosphere of Miami and the marina surrounding Biscayne Bay.
The Miami Zoo is the only subtropical zoo in the continental US and offers bicycle tours that you can rent to explore the expansive zoo by yourself. Come here for sights of the flamingos and elephants and explore diverse regions in a span of minutes on your bicycle. This is fun for the whole family and adults alike.
This mall is located in Sweetwater and is Miami’s largest outlet mall combined with outdoor and indoor dining options. There is a wide entrance often with performances and many sitting spots.
Miami is famous for it’s nightlife and lively atmosphere. From the beach clubs at Nikki Beach to the large hotel clubs such as LIV in the Fontainebleau hotel and dance bars such as the Coco Bango, there is entertainment for everyone’s taste in Miami. With a latin flare and exciting charm, Miami is known as one of the world’s party destinations because of world-renowned DJs and artists.
3.Venetian Pool in Coral Gables
The Venetian Pool is a historic swimming pool constructed from coral rock quarry and has 2 lookout towers. Be sure to check the hours of the Venetian Pool as it is usually closed in the winter. The Coral Gables area is known for it’s tree-lined boulevards, ivy-covers mansions and 1920s Venetian Pool, along with many shopping and dining options.
The Eden Rock Hotel is located near the Fontainebleau Hotel located on the Oceanfront in Miami Beach and is a great place to stay, along with the Fontainebleau, to experience Miami Beach at it’s finest. Be sure to check out the famous Nobu restaurant at Eden Rock for a special dining experience offering world famous Japanese food with views of Miami Beach.
Chelsea Reviews: 4/5
Miami is definitely not a cheap city by any means, but it does pride itself on luxury and modernism. From the beach resorts at Eden Rock and Fontainebleau,to Vizcaya Gardens and the Art Deco district, we can see a city immersed in the art of the world and wanting to capture the beauty in everything. When in Miami, don’t forget to relax and take in atmosphere: the shopping, the beaches, the dining, the culture and most importantly: the people.