Discovering South Florida

A Building in Downtown Miami

I came to live in Miami in 1997 and I lived there until 2004, 6 years. I now live in a neighboring city in the connecting Broward County. My home is approximately 5 minutes away by car from the Miami-Dade County line. So I am still very close to Miami and I have been living where I am now for the pass 15 years and it’s a shame to admit that I don’t know much about where I live, apart from the local stores and the malls and gas stations. I haven’t really explored.

I am a bit of a homebody and in addition to that I am an introvert. That said, sometimes I don’t do things because there is no one to go with, cash is low or I don’t want to do it alone. Over the years I have been trying to break out of the whole if I don’t have anyone to go with I am not going to go mentality.

There were times when I would get bored and I would say I need to go find things to do and go out more. I would go online and find out about things to do and places to go in my neighborhood and surroundings and I would get hyped up about it and still end up not going.

It’s amazing that people from other states and countries can come and discover more about where we live than we do. Therefore, I decided to start this Discovering South Florida Project to delve into more of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and some of West Palm Beach, to find out places to go and things to do and as I make these discoveries I want to share them with you.

I recently visited the Vizcaya Museum and Garden in Miami, a place that I found out about years ago and never took the time to go, and after planning it for almost 2 weeks I almost ended up cancelling because at the last minute I received a call to make a wedding cake for a wedding that was to take place that Sunday. Plans were already made and I was looking forward to it, so I decided that I was still going to go. I went the Saturday and yes I was still able to complete the wedding cake in time for the wedding on Sunday.

Click here to read my post on Vizcaya Museum and Garden.

Vizcaya Museum was 1 of the first things on my discovering South Florida Project. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a few things that I can already tell you about that happens in Miami or where to go and hang out if you are ever in town and looking for somewhere to go.

Like there is the county fair that takes place every year starting at about mid-March to early April. At the fair there are a lot of rides and foods. There is also livestock and agricultural competitions, as well as exhibits.  If I don’t go to the fair for anything else I go for the food. My favorites are roast corn on the cob and curly fries with cheeeeese, and I don’t know why but I love frozen drinks, whether it’s frozen lemonade or a daiquiri or pina colada give it to me. The fair covers a wide area so comfortable walking shoes are required.

The Broward County Fair is normally around November and is not as big as the Miami-Dade fair, so if you are not into the big crowd scene this is definitely for you.

Then there is the Miami Jazz in the Gardens Festival that happens every March. There is always a great line up of musicians, and in addition to the music, you can find vendors displaying great buys and a delicious selection of some good Caribbean food.

The Month of October is Carnival month in South Florida. There is the Junior Carnival, Panorama, J’ouvert in Fort Lauderdale and then the parade in Miami. During Carnival weekend there is normally a lot of other events surrounding it, such as soca nights at some dance clubs.

Also there is Santa’s Enchanted Forest that opens up around November just in time for Thanksgiving and then closes in January. Santa’s Enchanted Forest is decorated with lots of Christmas lights and offers a lot of rides and foods similar to the fair. Kids can also spend time with Santa, sitting on his lap and taking pictures.

For party goers, South Beach offers a variety of clubs and eateries. I have hanged out there a few times while going to college. It is usually packed during spring-break. The beach is just across the street from the main strip and it is a lovely place to hang out during the hot days.

On Sundays a nice place to go is the Bayside Market Place just off Biscayne boulevard in downtown Miami. If you are looking to just have a nice meal, there are a lot of great restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating so you can enjoy the cool sea breeze as you eat. Or if you are just looking to chill and shop there are a quite a few brand name stores like Guess, Victoria’s Secret, Express and then there are vendors with kiosk and small boutiques.

Bayside Market Place

After shopping or eating you can hang out in-front of the stage where the band plays and dance to some salsa music or just sit down and watch other’s do it. And when you are ready there are a few outdoor bars that offers cocktails and daiquiris, as well as carts that sell popcorn and ice-cream. And how can I forget the party boats. You can book rides on any one of the sightseeing boats for an hour out on the water. If you hop on one of the party boats in the day time, it takes you sightseeing famous people’s homes and at night it takes you into the middle of somewhere and then brings you back to dock. The Market Place is open everyday of the week, but Sundays seems to be the liveliest.

Right Next to the Bayside Market Place is the Bayfront park, it’s the perfect place for the hopelessly romantics or for families to just be out and enjoy the day. On certain days you can stand inside the park and watch the cruise ships as they leave the Miami port sailing away to their destinations. Bayfront park has been the venue for many concerts over the years.

Bayfront Park

The view at Bayfront Park

Stay tuned for more on my Discovering South Florida Project. Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to stay in the loop.

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