9 Miami Spots To Get Lost In
March 14, 2017
While most people spend an embarrassingly long time sharing their lives with the world on social media, it’s hard to break the habit, put the phone down, and experience something without thousands of eyes to witness it. But that’s what vacations are for, right? What you actually might not be aware of, though, is that Miami is a perfect place to detach yourself and get lost. Twisting and turning throughout every neighborhood are parks, landmarks, and dope shops that you can spend hours in without picking up your device. Here are some of our favorites:
Oleta River State Park
You might actually have seen this magical oasis on some feeds, or as the location for a friend’s Pocahontas homage while kayaking (“Just Around the Riverbeeeeend”), but we love it for the luscious bike trails which are considered some of the best in the country. If you’re not down to make the drive all the way to the Everglades, Florida’s largest urban park is so naturally wild that you’ll feel transported to the National Park instantly.
Midtown Garden Center
On the subject of nature, this little gem is as charming as it is educational in the plant world. Nestled on bustling NE 2nd Avenue bridging Wynwood and Midtown, the Garden Center is a family-owned business that boasts a hand-selected variety of indoor and outdoor plants. A mural by local badass, Jenny Perez, hugs the nursery while Zoom Bloomz makes vibrant arrangements before your eyes. It’s a sweet commune that even houses two fresh food concepts which you wait for your plants to be packaged up.
When a small business stays open for more than a few years, it’s a huge win for the city. Our favorite record store in Miami has been open for 12 now and they’re every bit as awesome as when they first burst onto the scene. Sweat Records is the kind of low-key neighborhood spot that oozes with extensive knowledge and underground cool kid vibes. It’s stacked to the brim with the best musical selection in the city, plus some delicious local cold brew to boot. Have lunch at Fiorito up the street and burn some empanadas off while crate digging the day away.
The Freedom Tower
Designed by the same architecture firm at the Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel, this testament to Miami’s illustrious history was once the tallest building in the city. The Freedom Tower is a historical landmark that housed The Miami News and served as a registry point for Cuban refugees in the 1960s and now hosts cultural institutions like Miami Film Festival and the MDC Museum of Art + Design among its own historical relics on display. Jump across the street to the PAMM post-getting lost and call it a day.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden & Matheson Hammock Park
Many of our best birthday parties took place under the Matheson Hammock gazebos and towering oaks, the smell of fresh BBQ filling the air. Bike lanes weaving in and out of mangrove forests, coral stone castles, and a salt water lagoon can be found at the first county park in Dade. Neighboring the park is one of our absolute favorite place in Miami: the 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a testament to the natural discoveries of Dr. David Fairchild, the man responsible for bringing over 500,000 plant species to the country including D.C.’s picturesque cherry blossoms.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida
On a bright and sunny day (and without a hangover), adventures are bound to happen in the direction of a beach and water. Take a break from South Beach and drive the extra few miles to Key Biscayne for a change of scenery and some quiet ocean hangs. If you trek all the way to the very end of the key, you’ll find yourself at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park where Miami’s oldest building stands tall: Cape Florida Light(house). You can take up a gazebo, laze on the natural beach, grab a cafecito at the Lighthouse Café or Boater’s Grill, and even rent some bikes to sway around the paths.
Books & Books (Original Coral Gables location)
Our Director of Storytelling used to spend her childhood away inside the original Books & Books location, a creaky maze of literary magic that has stayed alive on Aragon in Downtown Coral Gables. Don’t let the small size fool you, this is one of the best independent bookstores in the country, with seven stores and three additional cafés and gift shops. The family-owned small business is quiet, calm, and even has some pretty spectacular live jazz almost every night. Sit back with a glass of wine or peruse the shelves perched tall with literature’s best and brightest.
A Sunset Cocktail at The Standard
Although this one might not be historical or brimming with nature, The Standard Miami Beach is a gem in and of itself. Even with its bayside location, it still surprises us that this place is a treasure unknown to many Miamians. Yes, the spa might bring over the tourists, but the happy hour and sunset views keep you there for hours on end. The vintage hotel is immediately fun the moment you walk in, but the beautifully coiffed courtyard has tons of secret nooks for deep conversations over wine and delicious eats. It’s quietly tucked away on the Venetian Causeway with an unobstructed view of the Bay and we like just as it is.
Fort Lauderdale Shout Out:
Tranquil is definitely a term to be used when talking about one of our favorite Fort Lauderdale coffee shop. The aptly named spot is run by coffee connoisseurs so nice you have the feeling you’ve just been invited over a friend’s house for a good, long chat. Grab The Alchemist‘s famous iced coffee and have a stroll outside along the Eucalyptus Gardens’ colorful hand-painted path that reminds us of the wind chime garden in Harriet The Spy. There’s The Wandershop Airstream slinging sweet gear, a selection of local eateries, and even an antique shop at the end of the road. Now that’s what we call a place to get lost in.