To all my dear readers, sorry I haven’t been posting new adventures lately. I have been swamped with new work and being so busy with wedding stuff. So looking back at my travel photos has become one of my little breaks from all the busy insanity in my life at the moment. Today I just wanted to share some beautiful photos I took from Vizcaya Museum and Gardens a couple months ago. Why did I choose to share these? Because it’s one of the most popular venues in South Florida for weddings, shows, and events. It’s so romantic that it has become a popular spot for engagement and wedding photos. While I’m preparing my wedding in Mexico I feel the need to write a post of another popular place for weddings in the states.
Vizcaya Museum and Garden was built in 1914 overlooking the Biscayne Bay in Miami. It was built to look like the James Deering’s Italian Renaissance Villa. There’s so much to see and explore at this place. I wandered around the gardens, enjoyed the beauty and felt like the moment was frozen in time. Its history and the architectural beauty is so breath-taking. It’s a definite must to visit this stunningly beautiful estate when you go to Miami next time.
Miami beach offers the best in beaches, shopping, culture and dining. It’s also known for its famous Art Deco district. Here I want to learn about the Art Deco architecture and feast on the exquisite cuisines. As far as dining goes, South Beach offers everything from fine Italian food to authentic ethnic dishes. This area is filled with dozens of restaurants and bars for visitors and locals to enjoy. So what’s the best way for me to take it all in from an architectural point of view to fine dining experiences? A guided food tour, of course.
Luckily South Beach Cultural Food Tour from Viator offered exactly what I was looking for. It’s a guided historical and culinary walking tour of the legendary Art Deco district. It gives me a feel of the local culture as well as stopping along the way to sample some of the best culinary delights – Peruvian, Columbian, Italian and more.
I was really excited about the tour and I met up with the guide at 6:00PM by a Colombian restaurant La Ventana on Washington Avenue. The tour guide Mirka was very interesting and enthusiastic. She connected with all of the attendees immediately. As we walked to our first stop Mirka gave a great introduction to the history of South Beach by telling the story of Julia Tuttle, the original pioneer of Miami.
We made 7 different stops during our dinner tour. Our first food stop was a Columbian restaurant, Bolivar on Washington Avenue. I sampled a patacones and an empanada; the empanada was the best I’ve ever had. Then we walked to Goyo El Pollo, a Peruvian restaurant. I sampled ceviche made of fresh diced fish and seafood cooked with lime juice. I also had their classic Peruvian Pollo, which is marinated chicken. They are both unique and so very delicious.
Next stop we headed to the Breakwater hotel on Ocean Drive. I had some delicious lobster ravioli which was followed by a sip of cortadito at David’s cafe. Cortadito is a type of Cuban expresso shot which is very strong and a must have when visiting Miami. After the Cuban expresso we walked over to Ocean Drive for some architectural history. We learned about the different styles of the Art Deco buildings and how South Beach has developed over the years. The tour ended at Milani Gelateria on Espanola way. I was given a sample taste of the gelato and wow, what a delicacy!
I really enjoyed the South Beach Cultural Food Tour from Viator. It provided an excellent blend of sightseeing, history and culinary delights. Whether you’re a local or simply a visiting traveler, you get the experience to explore the neighborhood by visiting some of the most prominent Art Deco building alongs with getting a taste of its ethnic cuisines. It’s a genuine South Beach experience worth experiencing and I highly recommend it!
Miami is known for having beautiful beaches and exceptional climate but what many people might not know about Miami is that it has many vibrant and contrasting neighborhoods to explore. From tropical beach and original Art Deco to great parks and historic sites, Miami has it all for everyone.
I feel that Miami and New York City are similar in a way. There are so many neighborhoods to see. Each of the neighborhoods offered completely different scenery from appearance to diverse cultural influences. Since I can’t drive, one of my concerns was the expense of taxis and I didn’t want to miss any opportunity to see Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, or even Little Havana. Well, I came across a perfect solution that allowed me to plan my own perfect Miami sightseeing itinerary.
The Hop on Hop Off bus tour from Gray Line Miami was a terrific way to see the different neighborhoods and sights of Miami. I can get on and off at different locations throughout Miami. The best thing about this bus is that it enables me to create my own itinerary and get off at the stop I find most interesting.
This bus tour covers all the highlights of Miami in two different routes, from City Loop to Beach Loop. I had the 24 Hour Pass with unlimited Hop on, Hop Off privileges (You can choose from the 24, 48 or 72 hour tour packages, each with different pricing). The live tour guides on the bus were enthusiastic and informative. They explain the sights and answer questions from the tourists. That’s something you don’t get from taking a taxi.
There was a stop in front of Fontainebleau Miami Beach which is our hotel. We hopped on the beach loop route bus in front of our hotel and started our tour. The beach loop has daily departures every 30 minutes. We pass by Miami beach, Lincoln Road, and Art Deco Welcome Center. We get off in front of the Art Deco Welcome Center to explore the Art Deco Distract, featuring protected architecture of the 1920s and 1930s. We found many whimsical boutique hotels in their original Art Deco Style on Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue.
After we finished exploring, we caught the bus and headed to Bayside Marketplace where we changed for the city loop bus. The city loop takes us to Downtown Miami, The Vizcaya Musuem, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and Little Havana. We got off at the iconic Vizcaya Musuem & Garden in Coconut Grove, an Italian Renaissance Villa with world class arts and a beautiful garden. The view there is amazing. It overlooked Miami’s Biscayne Bay, a great inspiration that takes you back to the past before Miami was born.
Afterward we boarded the bus and toured around rest of the city loop, getting off where we wanted to spent more time, then hopping back on to continue our tour. I highly recommend this tour if this is your first visit to Miami. It is excellent value for your money and a fun and leisurely way to see the city. This was a great tour and it made our trip to Miami more memorable.