Welcome to A Chica’s World! I’m so happy you’re here with me.
I was tossing around different ideas for my very first post, and thought – hey, why not share with you the secrets of my tropical backyard, South Beach?!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. South Beach is all about tanning, drinking, partying, repeat. And yes, tourists flock here for those very same reasons. It’s an “Instagram-ready” paradise that lives up to its reputation: non-stop sun worshipping, iconic palm trees, water sports galore, and don’t forget those tall mojitos that eventually catch up with you. (Being an American-Dominican Chica, you know that heat and humidity is in my blood…)
But, come closer. Closer. Just a bit closer…
As a local, I can promise you that South Beach has SO much more to offer. ¡De todo, un poco! Introducing visitors to our hidden gems is my specialty, so let’s do this!
There’s only one word to describe South Beach’s unique architecture = enchanting! At every turn, you’ll see beautiful Art Deco design and décor dating back to the 20s. The whimsical, modernist style is found in the curved symmetry of rooflines, tiled mosaic walls, bright neon hotel lights, arched hallways, porthole windows, wrought iron gates, and pastel-colored terrazzo floors. Take a walking tour of the historically preserved district. You’ll thank me later!
Consejito: Slather on the sunscreen. All. The. Time. The sun is beating down, even when you think it’s not, and a sunburn ain’t cute. I can tell you stories…
If you love nature, then you’ll love the oh-so peaceful Miami Beach Botanical Garden. I can lose myself in its serenity. (Kinda reminds me of my grandmother AKA mamá’s garden in Santiago, RD…) Think exotic tropical plants, fragrant flowering trees, blooming orchids, and a majestic Japanese Garden with water lilies. The sounds of birds chirping, and feeding the Koi fish make for a very special treat!
Culture vultures will want to explore our local museums – whether it’s the Jewish Museum of Florida, or the Wolfsonian. And, I dare you to discover the thousands of artifacts found in the World Erotic Art Museum’s collection. Ay Chica… this place will make you blush!
Speaking of arts & culture, South Beach is home to several world-class performance venues that you don’t want to miss. There is nothing more gorgeous than watching an orchestra fill the air with magic, and The New World Symphony hosts musical concerts in an equally gorgeous Frank Gehry-designed building. I can’t forget to mention the historic Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (dating back to the 50s) where you can catch big musical acts. Then there’s the spectacular Miami City Ballet – one of the largest ballet companies in the country by the way – led by Latina Artistic Director, Lourdes Lopez.
Consejito: Rent a bike, and check out the breathtaking water views of Sunset Harbor and the Venetian Islands, not to mention the mega yachts and baller mansions!
If people watching is your thing, la playa is where to be. Whether its Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive, or South Point Pier – meet our colorful cast of characters!
If you’re like me and you can’t sit still very long, play a round of golf at the luxurious landmark Miami Beach Golf Club, or take tennis lessons at the state-of-the-art Flamingo Park Tennis Center. Lace up the ice skates (and don’t forget a warm jacket!) for some fun at the Barbara Medina Ice Rink, or pick a lane at Basement Bowl in the elegant EDITION Hotel. Choices, choices, choices!
By the way, if you want to attend service, South Beach has got you covered. There are several houses of worship: Lighthouse Church, Temple Emanu-El, and the 95 year-old Miami Beach Community Church – my personal favorite. When the 9/11 tragedy happened, I spent the afternoon praying there.
Consejito: Bask in the sunset at the Miami Beach Marina. The cascades of colors brushing the sky are heavenly.
I’m so happy you let me be your South Beach tour guide!
So, did I miss anything? What’s your favorite thing to do on South Beach?
Chicas, I’d love to hear from you!
Mamá decía, “No viajamos para escapar de la vida, viajamos para que la vida no se nos escape.”