Miami Beach

Growing up in Miami Beach, I’ve gotten plenty of surprised looks when I meet new faces and tell people about my hometown. “You mean people actually live in Miami Beach? I thought it was only for tourists!”

Yes, I’m a Miami Beach local, and as vibrant and bustling of a beach town as it may seem, I know firsthand that there are still plenty of places in South Beach where you can find a quiet retreat or quaint cultural escape.

There’s nothing I love more than sharing my favorite places and pastimes with visitors (or even other local friends looking to re-discover parts of our city). Usually, these tips don’t involve the typical late nights and neon lights, so I hope you’ll indulge me as I share a few secrets to spending your summer like a local.

Española Way

Credit: GMCVB – MiamiandBeaches.com

Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive might be our most popular South Beach dining and entertainment destinations, but don’t miss out on the most charming: Española Way. Located between 14th and 15th Streets, the historic Mediterranean-inspired hideaway comes alive with dining and dancing, thanks to free nightly entertainment you can enjoy along our favorite pedestrian corridor. Española’s pastel pink streets are lined with European restaurants and sidewalk cafes, and on any given night you can sit back and watch a different style of cultural performance as you dine al fresco — from opera on Wednesdays to salsa dancing on Thursdays, flamenco on Fridays, and samba on Saturdays.

Sunset Harbour

Stiltsville Fish Bar

Credit: Facebook/Stiltsville Fish Bar

While you might catch some cool performances on Española, locals know the best spot for truly quality eats is Sunset Harbour, known for boasting some of the best restaurants in South Beach — if not all of Miami. The waterfront enclave borders Biscayne Bay and is teeming with Miami’s most buzzed-about restaurants. Repeatedly dubbed Miami’s best dining neighborhood, choices include signature staples like Lucali, famed for some of the best pizza in Miami, and Pubbelly Noodlebar, an Asian-fusion small plates spot; as well as newcomers Stiltsville Fish Bar and vegan gastropub Soul Tavern.

Miami Spa Month

Summer is the best time to take advantage of tempting citywide specials like Miami Spa Month, which is when luxury resorts and day spas offer signature spa treatments starting at only $109. Let me repeat that for you: 60 minutes (or more) of pure relaxation, plus a full day to spend soaking up the amenities at any of the city’s most lavish retreats, for basically no more than a Benjamin. I’m in. At our South Beach location of exhale Spa, you can enjoy a massage, facial, body scrub or even acupuncture, combined with a free fitness class, which is a great way to try one of exhale’s popular yoga, barre or cardio workouts and keep up with your fitness routine in between all of your gourmet meals and gallivanting around South Beach.

Beach Runs

Photo courtesy of GMCVB – MiamiandBeaches.com

South Pointe Park | Credit: GMCVB – MiamiandBeaches.com

Speaking of fitness tips… On weekends, we locals like to start our morning with a jog on the beach. Follow the beach down to South Pointe Park — where the tip of Miami Beach meets the ocean, all the way down on 1st Street. Take in the sound of the waves and the sights of the pier, and then run back to reward yourself with a worthy South Beach snack — be it street tacos from Taquiza, authentic Cuban comida at Puerto Sagua, or over-flowing sandwiches from La Sandwicherie’s counter.

Pro Tip: Loews Miami Beach guests can pick up a Jogging Map for the best running routes along the beach, and we also offer a Rejuvenation Station with complimentary fruit and water

Museums and more

New World Center SoundScape Park | Credit: GMCVB – MiamiandBeaches.com

Where do we go when it’s too hot and need some A/C? We soak up some culture instead of the sun, at museums like The Wolfsonian; Jewish Museum of Florida; or contemporary art haven The Bass, which was revamped this past year. But don’t miss out on all of the outdoor spots, either, like the tropical oasis that is the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens or the beautiful urban green space outside of the New World Symphony Center.

Lyssa