I’ve been to Miami
several times – and loved every single one of them. Miami and the surrounding area has so much to offer: Ocean Drive, Coconut Grove, Key West, the Everglades… the list goes on.
The first time I went there as a student on a spring break – just a kid on a classic American road trip in a crowded van, escaping frosty Pennsylvania for the warmth of the southern sun. As you can imagine, the long journey itself was quite an adventure and it made reaching a Miami tent camp feel like arriving in the promised land. In fact, Miami very much felt like some kind of foreign land full of what at the time were very exotic items to the young me raised up north: palm trees, alligators, ever-present salsa beat, and arroz con frijoles negros =)
My subsequent trips thankfully involved more civilized modes of transportation – and more sophisticated lodging and food choices. In fact, I was just there last week (unfortunately just for one night while in transit), enjoying amazing ceviche and mahi mahi tacos at my favorite Coconut Grove restaurant, Jaguar. I’m always ready to go back and explore more. That’s why I was excited to see that FlipKey picked Miami Beach as the location for one of its inaugural virtual tours, a new feature to enhance pre-trip research. Read the rest of this entry →
Coconut Grove hibiscus
If Miami had an old town, it would be Coconut Grove, its oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood. It was originally settled in late 1800s and annexed by Miami in 1925. And even though little of the frontier character remains, Coconut Grove still has its unique village-like feel (if you can tune out high rise hotels). Fortunately, it’s easy to find places where the past comes alive.
One of them is the Barnacle Historic State Park with the oldest house in Miami still in its original location having survived several murderous hurricanes. Just like a barnacle clinging to a sea rock, the house has stuck to the edge of the Biscayne Bay since 1891. It was built by Ralph Middleton Munroe, originally from New York, who bought bayfront property among the wilderness of Florida hammock (tropical hardwood forest) for… $400. Ok, it was quite a bit of money back then! Read the rest of this entry →