By Brian Raymond, Out Destinations
There are so many things to see and do in Miami, with one of the top just lying on the beach, relaxing to rhythmic sounds of the waves rolling in while people watching. But starting in late May 2017, things will heat up as Miami hosts the next World OutGames with an expected crowd of 40,000 participants and spectators from around the world. While the 30 sports with 455 events will keep you busy, you know you’ll want to explore the riches Miami has to offer.
One of the first stops has to be South Beach— quintessential Miami although it is not part of the city of Miami. Walk along Ocean Drive and view the sherbet-colored iconic art deco buildings restored into trendy hotels, bistros and the hottest clubs and roof top bars. Start at the iconic News Café and just walk to the former Versace mansion.
South Beach has the largest number of art deco buildings in the world but it was a major battle to protect them from developers’ wrecking balls. If you’re looking to shop, visit the open-air mall on Lincoln Road. If you want to experience a slice of Europe with reasonably priced cafes, bars and bou- tiques, walk down Espanola Way.
Miami doesn’t have to be expensive as it offers lots of free activities, including the farmer’s market, outdoor movie screenings, concerts and a variety of festivals, all served with amazing balmy weather. Getting around downtown Miami and the top tourist spots for shopping and dining is easy with the free Metromover.
History and architect buffs should visit the Vizcaya Museum, the former winter estate of James Deering which sits on 28 acres featuring a 34-room Italian Renaissance-style villa built in 1916. Filled with furnishings from the 15-19 centuries, this is one of Miami’s top treasures.
Of course no visit to Miami would be complete without a visit to Little Havana, rich with the history, art and cuisine of its Cuban immigrants. Stroll through the streets, look at the beautiful murals and of course, try authentic Cuban food. Ver- sailles on Calle Ocho is one of Little Havana’s best known and top-rated restaurants.
Most of the gay nightlife can be found in South Beach and downtown Miami, including the Palace Bar & Grill on Ocean Drive in the heart of the art deco district. It is across the street from the gay beach. Another experience is the multi-level themed “Twist” complex just a few blocks away.
With sun, ocean breezes, beaches and an international mix of cultures, Miami offers something for everyone.
To visit Miami or for help in planning your own or group travel, you can contact Brian Raymond at [email protected] or 866-217-2341.