Known for its diverse culture, beautiful beaches, beachfront resorts, Cuban flair, cultured nightlife, and amazing seafood, Miami is the little piece of paradise that everyone should experience.
I only had about three days in Miami (which I learned is not enough), so I wanted to squeeze in as much as I could. Although Miami is known for the food, nightlife, and beach, there is so much more to see!
Day 1: Little Havana + Calle Ocho
Little Havana is Miami’s Famed Cuban neighborhood with some of the best Cuban food, coffee, and bars. My favorite thing about this neighborhood was the culture. The people were friendly and inviting, there was a lot of history there, and I loved seeing the little markets that sold fresh fruit and juices. I have never been to Cuba, but I felt as if it would look and feel similar to Little Havana.
Ice cream at Azucar Ice Cream Company
Azucar, which means sugar in Spanish, is very well known in Little Havana. They are an all natural ice cream company that uses local fruits and vegetables from local farmer’s markets to make their ice creams. Azucar was inspired by their abuela (grandmother) who traveled throughout South and Central America determined to make ice cream out of every tropical fruit she found along the way. A huge portrait of Celia Cruz was displayed inside. Celia was a Cuban singer of Latin music who has a popular song called “Azucar“. I was impressed with this place – even more after I found out that they had dairy free options!! The watermelon mint sorbet in a waffle cone was delish!
More mature Cubans can be found here sipping coffee, smoking a cigar, and playing dominoes. Domino Park is a thirty-five year tradition and Little Havana landmark. It’s a cute little gem!
Little Havana Cigar Factory
I am not a cigar smoker, but when in Miami you must or at least you must visit a cigar shop. I like the initial smell of cigars, but after so long they start to get a little strong for me. I didn’t buy one to smoke, but it was nice to pop in and see all of the different varieties. The building had some nice graffiti on the side too, which you all know I love.
Dinner at Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe
Deemed as South Florida’s best Italian restaurant for two decades, Perricone’s definitely did not disappoint. The aura alone was enough to impress me. It was absolutely gorgeous and featured low lighting with a tropical rustic feel and lots of greenery. Thursday is the only day that you cannot make reservations, because they offer Pasta Thursdays where select dishes are $10. I ordered the Capellini with Shrimp and it was delish! I was a little nervous, because I have been trying to consume less meat, but this place was worth it! A must while in Miami. Parking is $6 for valet and you can valet with your waiter. *This restaurant is in the Brickell area (not Little Havana) *
Ball + Chain
After dinner, we went back to Little Havana, because I could not miss going to Ball + Chain. I think I got there around 10 ish and they were still doing the salsa lessons. The place was already packed. The bar is smack in the center of the room and on the sides there are tables that are “reservation” only. There is a small stage for live bands as well as the famous pineapple shaped stage in the back for bigger performances. Couples danced beautifully alongside the bar which was very fun to watch. I could watch them all day! I ordered a whiskey shot for me $12 and a tequila shot for my mom $10. The night ended with a guy asking me to dance and teaching me how to salsa, along with a La Pachanga performance.