It's So Miami  

People & Places

What better way to discover Miami, than with tips from Miami natives? Get suggestions from locals, and discover what makes each of our neighborhoods so special and so worth a visit.

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Diego eats, lives, loves, and breathes Aventura. Run into him in Aventura Mall’s Art of Shaving and you’ll agree. One minute he’s touting the cocktails at Grand Luxe, next he’s recounting a date at Turnberry Isle’s Bourbon Steak Restaurant. And if you are craving for the ultimate in high-end shopping adventures, Diego can certainly spare a few tips. An advocate of all things Aventura, just ask him and he’ll point you toward the best pools, spas, and maybe even how to find yourself adrift on a lazy river.

Bal Harbour

If you fancy fashion, shopping is your sport, and you love the luxe life, you must meet Shayne, owner of the independent boutique Oxygene at Bal Harbour Shops. Beyond the poshness of her neighborhood’s St. Regis and the Ritz-Carlton, beyond the spectacular beaches and perfect boating waterways, she’s right to claim that Bal Harbour Shops is the epitome of luxury shopping. Often called the most beautiful shopping center in the world, there’s no better way to spend the day rubbing shoulders with the truly well-heeled.

Coconut Grove

If you’re not laid back on arrival, you will be soon. Meet local musician Ominé and she’ll tell you Miami’s oldest neighborhood has been carving its own free-thinking path since the Bahamians arrived in the late 1800s. She’ll have you believing quirky and bohemian are normal, and introduce you to our resident peacocks, parrots, and artists. Of course, if you prefer to wander aimlessly through the galleries, banyan-shaded bistros, waterfront parks, and unique-to-us boutiques, we’re cool with that – we’ll be doing the same thing.

Coconut Grove

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Coral Gables

Whether you’re top-down-cruising Coral Way or Miracle Mile, wandering Mitchell Kaplan’s independent Books & Books, or exploring the timeless Biltmore Hotel, you’ll find Coral Gables has surpassed founder George Merrick’s vision of becoming a truly vibrant arts community. It is home to beautiful international neighborhoods, historic Mediterranean architecture, the unique Venetian Pool, spectacularly shaded avenues, and dozens upon dozens of one-of- a-kind restaurants, boutiques, and hidden treasures.


Hop on the free trolley and it’s a cinch to explore all of Doral. Near MIA, hotels, and two outstanding shopping malls, Doral is very popular among Latin Americans. In particular, Venezuelans love local restaurant El Arepazo. However, if you ask Ignacio, a longtime local teacher, musician, and boot camp leader, he’ll direct you to his favorite haunt – Shorty’s BBQ. Of course, if you’re ready for some top-tier luxury with a side of humility, he’ll point you to Trump National Doral Miami, home to an annual PGA event, as well as six golf courses, including the aptly named Blue Monster.

Downtown Miami

Don’t bother driving, unless it’s a boat—that’s Kyle’s rule. Walk fast and you might catch this local proving, between legs and cruising around downtown in our Metromover. Here we don’t need cars. This arts aficionado and man about downtown will point you toward the new Pérez Art Museum Miami or the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Their offerings alone provide serious competition to the stellar views of Biscayne Bay. If more convincing is in order, wait until he introduces you to his favorite local mixologists.

Downtown Miami

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Less than an hour south of Miami, the Everglades is an entirely different world, a river of grass. As Ranger Bob proudly shares, it is a wide open sawgrass prairie, a vast subtropical wilderness, and home to three parks, each one remarkable in its own right: Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Biscayne National Park. These national treasures are home to wildlife, world-famous photographer Clyde Butcher, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, and countless unforgettable adventures.

Historic Overtown

Today, this vibrant corner of Greater Miami displays its cultural and civic pride with colorful murals of African-American heroes, its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade and the historic Lyric Theater. The Lyric Theater was the anchor of the area once known as "Little Broadway" and hosted performances by such big names as Count Basie, Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin. The Lyric Theater thrived between 1913 and the 1960s, but the facility went through a lull after that. Today, the Lyric Theater is reopened, renovated and working to reclaim its former glory.

The neighborhood is also home to local's favorites like the beloved People's Bar-B-Que, non-profit music projects, arts festivals, farmers markets and more.

Historic Overtown

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Take a bite of America’s fruit basket in Homestead. Just southwest of Miami, it’s where the country’s tropical fruit is grown. It’s also home to the antique-filled Redlands Hotel, Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery, the confounding Coral Castle. Explore wiht Insider Megan, as she recommends her favorite childhood haunt – Monkey Jungle. Or go wilder and visit the toothy amphibians at Alligator Farm, or the animals at Zoo Miami.

Key Biscayne

Claudia lives and works just 10 minutes from Miami, on the island of Key Biscayne. Once a coconut plantation and now a village, Key Biscayne is home to spectacular views of the Miami skyline, the classic Rusty Pelican, and the family-friendly entertainment of Miami Seaquarium. And for the sporting set, there’s some of the toughest golf anywhere at Crandon Park, next door to the world-famous tennis center, the Ritz-Carlton, as well as unmatched views from the lighthouse on Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Little Haiti

The Miami neighborhood known as Little Haiti is the cultural heart for the Haitian Diaspora. The area boasts art galleries, Haitian book and music stores and the Little Haiti Cultural Center, which hosts dance and theater performances and is increasingly becoming a burgeoning center of small independent businesses.

Little Havana

Grab a guayabera, let Jose guide you down Calle Ocho, and you’ll get more than a taste of Cuba. Between the rhythms of the neighborhood and Jose’s favorite haunts, he’ll have you dancing down the sidewalk, getting wired on afternoon cafecitos, watching the domino players in Domino Park, maybe even lighting up a hand-rolled cigar. Of course, knowing Jose, he’ll also introduce you to a frutería, and you can count on this, he’ll have you loving black beans, rice, and plantain – a tradition as Cuban as a Havana itself.

Little Havana

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North Beach

Head north – that’s what DJ Laura says. Follow this local radio show producer’s lead and you’ll find it is different here. Sure, wide open beaches, spectacular turquoise waters, and waving palms are almost a given on our coastline, but ours are less crowded, more perfect. Our pace is more casual, our vibe more mellow. As Laura will attest, it’s soothing, restorative, and thanks to the bow ties and cheese holes of MiMo (Miami Modern) architecture, blessed with just the right amount of funk.

South Beach

Every day Morgan heads to his office, aboard a paddleboard, where he teaches newbies to follow suit. It’s an enviable gig. Run into ‘mister mellow’ and he’ll point his paddle in the right direction; he’s cool that way. Want romantic charm? Española Way, no doubt. See and be seen? Ocean Drive. Take-it-easy day of shopping, sidewalk cafes, and one- more-round? It’s Lincoln Road. And late but never least, if night is your time, if neon skies, rooftop lounges, and spinning DJs are your tune – well, you’ve found your playground.

Sunny Isles

A truly international melting pot and a beach paradise, Sunny Isles Beach is also home to lifelong resident Justin. Son of a hotelier, Justin is a one-time cabana boy (bet he’s got some stories) and is now supervising the local lifeguards. If you don’t spot him patrolling the beach, chances are he’s spearfishing for his dinner, kayaking nearby Oleta River State Park, or exploring organic fusion cuisine at his favorite hangout – Basil Park.


Now that Jessica has opened her truly primo ice cream shop, called Serendipity, Jessica is spot-on when she says Surfside has it all, and it’s all within walking distance of the beach. Home to a genuine small community vibe, Surfside is an ideal blend of old and new. Timeless barbershops and nouveau cuisine, alongside restaurants that have been here so long they double as permanent landmarks. Surfside is also uniquely known for its sea turtles. Just ask the Ranger Bill – it’s really something special to watch the hatchlings make their way ocean-ward, even if they sometimes need a little guidance.


For more artists than you can imagine, their muse is this neighborhood. Ask Mali, a local gallery owner. She’ll educate you – Wynwood was just drab industrial warehouses and empty walls. But somehow, now it’s a living breathing museum of the streets. Street art is everywhere. Mirroring that brave put-it-out-there spirit, equally artistic chefs, restaurateurs, hairstylists, brewers, and well, put it together and you just have to see it to understand – when it comes to art, this neighborhood is more than the muse, it’s the canvas.