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Three Guys From Miami: Miami/Little Havana Travel, Miami Restaurants, Cuban Culture and Food

Cuban Culture | Miami Attractions | Recipes

Must-See Miami Attractions

(Including some places the guidebooks neglected to tell you about)

Many non-Cuban Americans tell us that they're planning a trip to some Mexican border town, like Tijuana. They want their kids to experience a foreign culture and practice their high school Spanish at the same time.

But why travel "south of the border" when south Florida offers all of that and more? Traveling to Miami is like going to another country – without ever leaving the good old USA. We have a rich and diverse Cuban and Latin American-influenced culture with many people speaking Spanish as their primary language.

Miamians have their own customs and way of life, traditions brought here from Cuba and a dozen other Latin American countries. And you don't have to worry about drinking the water in Miami!

What to do in Miami? For most people there are only three answers to this question: the beach, the beach, and the beach! But hey, how much sun can a body take? We'd like to encourage you, the intrepid Miami traveler, to get off the beach and experience the true Latin culture of Miami!

You've seen the standard guidebooks, now take a look at our "Three Guys Guide to the Best of Miami."

Use any of the photo or headline links below:

South Beach by Day or Night

You can't come to Miami without enjoying the beach. We realize that the beaches are probably Miami's number one attraction. Miami Beach, and in particular South Beach, offers a unique combination of swimming, sunbathing, entertainment, dining, exercise, and people watching. Come during the day for swimming and sunbathing. Come at night for restaurants, clubs, and more people watching...

Want to combine great shopping with your beach experience? We rarely make a trip to South Beach without stopping at the Lincoln Road Mall. Not the big box you're thinking of, but a beautiful tree-lined street about 10 blocks long with numerous outdoor cafés, boutiques and art galleries. It's full of the art deco architecture that has made Miami famous...

Coral Gables: The City Beautiful

Coming to Miami but you don't want to spend all of your time at the beach? Get away from all of the hustle and bustle of South Beach in Coral Gables. This urban oasis features beautiful tree-lined streets, historic homes, an historic hotel, and three golf courses in the middle of a large metropolis. After the craziness of Bird Road, you'll be amazed at this peaceful neighborhood...

Miami's Master of the Mural: Tony Mendoza

It's just not a trip to Miami without passing by the Sentir Cubano store on SW 8th Street and having your picture taken in front of the Tony Mendoza-crafted murals that line the outside walls.

The murals have become a real tourist attraction and thousands of people have taken a few shots of the wife and kids in front of this colorful artwork.

Passing Through Miami on a Cruise?

The best way to combine a cruise with a visit to Miami is to add a few days onto the beginning or end of your trip. When that's not possible, you still may have time to selectively experience Miami on your layover. Our experience with cruise schedules is that your 10-hour layover can dwindle down to eight hours or less, so it's best to focus on one or two activities...

Viscaya Mansion

There are many great mansions in Miami: Gloria Estefan, the Bee Gees, Rosie O'Donnell, Julio Iglesias, and Madonna -- just to name a few -- have beautiful ocean side estates. There are several tour boats that can take you past these beautiful homes. However, there aren't any tours that let you go inside them. So you can only imagine what's happening inside. However, there is a place where you can tour the inside of a great Miami mansion...

Cool Off on a Hot Summer Day

Everybody enjoys the beach in summer. But the water is so warm -- like bath water! You just don't feel refreshed. There is a great place to cool off in Miami, there's a great pool where the water is served well chilled. We're not talking about some boring hotel pool. No this one was created from a huge rock quarry and is fed by a natural spring. Got your interest yet? Read on...

Tropical Parks

They say that everyone has a green thumb in Miami. Stick just about anything in the ground and in a week or two you have a giant leafy green thing growing in the backyard. Miami has a wide variety of tropical and semi-tropical plants. If you don't know a Mangifera indica (mango) from a Hevea brasiliensis (rubber tree), why not visit a place where they have people who can set you straight? In no time, you too can be a tropical plant expert.

Key Biscayne Beach Guide

Want a great beach experience without the frenetic pace of Miami Beach? Nearby Key Biscayne offers some great beach experiences with plenty of sun, sand, and warm water. There are informal beaches along the Causeway and two big parks for a perfect all-day beach experience.

Coral Way Antiques is home to the Museo Histórico Cubano, a quaint collection of license plates, casino memorabilia, old coins, military uniforms, matchbook covers – anything and everything representative of daily life in Cuba.

Sure, it is a great place to party and for most tourists, Key West is all about Piña coladas and Jimmy Buffet. After a hot day in the sun in Key West, the cool evening brings the nightly sunset festival on Mallory pier and a mile-long block party along historic Duval Street. With sun, sand, and fishing in the daytime and a lively party scene at night, it is easy to forget the great Cuban heritage of Key West. Cubans have been living in Key West for more than 150 years.

"Drive-by" Shopping at Farm Stores Express

Miami has some great places to pick up milk, soda, beer, or snacks. The best thing is, you never have to leave your car! Just drive up, roll down the window, and tell them what you want. Cubans call them "La Vaquita" -- the little cow. You'll find them all over Miami. Many are open 24 hours a day. As far as we know, these stores are only located in Florida...

Have a Cuban Beach Picnic

Although Cubans could never find a beach in Miami that even came close to the white sugar sands and blue waters of the famous Varadero Beach in Cuba, local beach outings have always been a big part of the Miami lifestyle.

Miami Carwashes

OK snow birds, you've just driven the family sedan 1,800 miles from somewhere in the middle of Iowa. Your vehicle is covered with road salt, mud, and a few clumps of good old Iowa manure. In short, your ride looks like hell. Well never fear, once you get to Miami your troubles are over. Don't make the mistake of looking for a large, mechanized car wash like they have back home. And forget about those self-service places. We have exactly what you need...

Get Your Cool On with a Great Cuban Shirt!

Want to look like a native? Why not pick up a cool shirt to wear as you tour Miami? There is one shirt that is worn by everyone from rock stars to presidents -- the guayabera. It's a shirt that is both formal and casual at the same time. And it's appropriate for all occasions. If you want the best guayabera in Miami, there is only one place to go...

Shopping without Leaving Your Car

Don't be alarmed if you stop at a traffic light and someone lumbers up to your car window carrying something vaguely suspicious looking in their hands. At least don't be alarmed if this happens to you during the day. If you see someone approaching your car -- during the day, when there are other cars around -- roll down the window and see what they have. Otherwise, you'll miss out on one of Miami's best bargains...

Cuban Grocery Stores

There are many small Cuban markets sprinkled throughout Miami. A good Cuban grocery is an eating adventure! You'll have a great time exploring wonderful new foods and products you've probably never seen before. Whether you have a taste for Cuban crackers, or meringues, Cuban spices or a delicious flan, this place has it all...

There is a quaint section of Dade County known as the Redland District. Here you'll find several interesting sites worth a visit, from a tropical fruit winery, to a historic village, to an orchid ranch. Once you get to Homestead and nearby Florida City, you'll discover Mexican restaurants and a huge Mexican flea market.

The area, both formerly and currently home to many warehouses, started attracting artists and later galleries in the 1980s. By 2000, the concentration of artistic pursuits led to the area's official designation by Dade County. Recently, the District has been working to create a higher profile for the Miami artists who call this area home.

If you ask most people in Miami to take you to the Bird Road Art District (See above), about nine in ten will just give you a puzzled look, shrug their shoulders, and walk on. That one person who knows about the District will probably take you to a collection of what look like oversized storage units only they now house stores selling everything from antiques to wicker furniture. That guy is going to tell you: "This is it. The Bird Road Art District!"

It's not. However, Lakeshore Industrial Park is still a fun place to visit!

The Travel Channel's Mark DeCarlo visited us in Miami to tape a couple of segments for his series, "Taste of America." The show, which premiered in 2005, took viewers on a culinary tour of the United States.

Each episode featured a different city and highlighted several local foods. In Boston, it's chowder; in New York, it's cheesecake. For Miami, the show's producers wanted to feature tamales, and somehow they thought of us...

This new Kindle version contains all of the recipes and editorial copy from the original print edition. As a bonus, the new Kindle edition includes 24 new photos of the prepared dishes.



This new Kindle version contains all of the recipes and editorial copy from the original print edition. As a bonus, the new Kindle edition includes 14 new photos of the prepared dishes.


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