What to do in Miami
My daughter Lauren and I traveled to Miami for the Blogher Food conference a little over a year ago. It was a whirlwind trip with not nearly enough time to explore this fascinating city. Miami is one of the most Latin of all cities in the U.S. You hear Spanish spoken as frequently as you hear English. In fact, Spanish speakers now exceed English speakers in Miami. Between the warm weather, the vibrant Latin food and the preponderance of Spanish speakers you almost feel like you have traveled abroad.
If you are headed to Miami here are two stops I consider a must.
Wynwood walls was the brain-child of Tony Goldman who envisioned transforming this decrepit warehouse neighborhood into a pedestrian friendly outdoor destination to promote street artists from around the world. He has succeeded in spades. Since they opened in 2009 over 50 artists from 16 countries have painted over 80,000 square feet of walls both inside and outside the original Wynwood walls.
We had the great fortune to visit Wynwood after an enormous downpour. The result was the ground water on the asphalt became a reflecting pool that took the artwork to another plane, often it making it difficult to determine where the art ended and the reflection began.
We were joined by our friend, Casey, who was living in Miami at the time. Casey is an emerging travel photographer. You can follow her on Facebook at Happy Places Happy Faces. Amazingly, Casey takes all her photos with an Iphone!
Great restaurants in and around Wynwood walls
We finished our tour of Wynwood Walls at the Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, an indoor-outdoor Latin-influenced restaurant that specializes in tapas-style global cuisine. Another interesting restaurant in the area is Sugar Cane Raw Bar and Grill.
As a side note, this concept of using external warehouse walls to showcase street art has now taken off outside Miami. Next time you are in Honolulu, check out the street art in Kakaako. I'd love to see more cities embrace this model for exhibiting art.
I am a big believer in what I call eating indigenously and trying local food, so we headed to Cafe Versailles, an unofficial gathering place for Cuban exiles since 1971. This old-school restaurant is a must stop to sample a Cafe Cubano and try their famous Cuban sandwich. Cafe Cubano is made with cortadito coffee, or espresso that is is brewed with demerara sugar.
I ordered cafe con leche.
But Lauren's favorite was Cafe Versailles' fresh guava juice.