While Miami attracts millions of visitors each year to experience its warm beaches, music festivals, historical sites and alluring art scenes, many locals avoid coinciding with tourists. No, not everyone greets tourists like Will Smith’s song ♫ “Welcome to Miami…Bienvenidos a Miami” ♫. Hanging out in popular areas usually means more crowds, more traffic and less space. As a result, many Miamians miss out on gems that exist in their own backyard.
However, here are three fun activities you can enjoy without the tourist bombardment.
1. Watch a Heat Game
The Miami Heat is a three-time national champion basketball team. Aside from witnessing world-renowned players, going to a Heat game is an experience within itself. The American Airlines Arena is usually “whited out” for home games, meaning fans wear white clothing or accessories to flaunt their support. Traffic isn’t the greatest by downtown, that’s why many choose to park away from the arena and take the free Metro Mover. The game begins with an impressive introduction accompanied with flames and a head-bopping beat. Crowds of people grow louder and louder as players are announced, especially for the Big Three: Lebron James (#6), D. Wade (#3) and Chris Bosh (#1). As the game progresses, the commenter gives updates prompting fans to cheer or make some noise. Of course, it being Miami and all, there are cultural games where Heat players sport “El Heat” jerseys and half-time breaks include trivia in Spanglish. Not to mention, fans already know to chant with the announcer as he counts down two minutes on the clock and then repeats it again in Spanish, “2 minutos!” And, what’s a sporting event without food? The American Airlines Arena is equipped with a plethora of food selections ranging from Mexican to vegetarian to Korean to Italian.
2. Take a dip in the Venetian Pool
The Venetian Pool is located in Coral Gables, a scenic and historic neighborhood. Of course, this isn’t any ordinary pool; just like most architecture in the Gables, it maintains a rustic look with original coral and antique rocks framing the body of water. Not to mention, rich waterfalls dress the deep end with adventure and excitement. At the entrance you pay a fee and are given a locker to store your valuable items. There are shallow areas for children and deeper sections for experienced swimmers, making this a good family-friendly activity. For those who enjoy sitting back and sunbathing, there are chairs settled on white sand overlooking the cave-like grottos. When you’re hungry, you can either purchase food or eat your packed lunch on the picnic tables away from the pool.
3. Try a natural smoothie at El Palacio de los Jugos
Have you ever had a Miami mango? One of the best parts of living in a tropical area is enjoying access to natural fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. While some fruits are locally grown during select seasons, el Palacio de los Jugos takes pride in selling fresh food and juices year-round. This Cuban eatery offers natural juices and smoothies from mamey to papaya to sugar cane and carrots. You can buy a smoothie and then check out some of the tasty traditional Cuban meals such as ropa vieja, bistec de palomilla, rabo encendido, among others. This place isn’t just about selling food, but sharing culture with all customers. You can check out which location is closest to you on their website: http://www.elpalaciodelosjugos.com/