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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Miami Like a Local or Five Things To Do In Miami in April

Ok, I'm going to pull the old "fourth generation Miamian" cred to mention some cool stuff that you can do in April when Miami's weather is at its most glorious.  Here are some great things you can do which can be off the beaten track but well worth the effort. 
And it exceeds expectations....except maybe for the art. 
1. Visit the new Art Museum: controversies aside, and that Miami only gets second billing in the name, it's still pretty great.  Whatever you think about its art collection, there is no doubt that the building built by Herzog & de Meuron is fantastic. It is truly Miami's new front porch. Chillax on the best and biggest veranda in town. Not since Schuckers collapsed have we had a nice sit down view of our beautiful Biscayne Bay. 


2. Ride your bike out to the old secret Aerojet military base in the Everglades.  A testing ground for rockets to be launched to moon, it's amazingly, eerily cool. Old bunkers and hangers abound festooned with some the best graffiti murals south of Wynwood.  It's a five mile hike in and out and it's perfect for a casual bike ride. The road in is in very good shape. Very little shade, get out there now before the bugs take over in the summer. Check out Robert Is Here fruitstand  on your way home.

Tastes like chicken

3. Shark Valley is always a fun bike ride. Yeah, it's not exactly "seeing Miami like a local" but there are a lot fewer tourists at this North entrance of the Everglades than down in Flamingo.  A great 15 mile loop with a tower at the half-way mark.  Great views of gators, glades and birds.  Get there early on your own bike and take the loop to see the amazing varieties of birds. Locals know not to get too close to gators resting on the roadway. 

4. Kayak Biscayne bay, whether its a quick nature jaunt through Oleta State Park's mangroves or gawk at the Venetian Islands' mansions. A full moon kayak will let you watch how the 1% wander through their waterfront homes unbeknownst that voyeurs are drifting just yards away. Check out the spill islands along the channels and paddle up to the sandbars around Haulover to see boat to boat hi-jinks.

5. Go to South Point Park different times a day. There's a terrific dog park at one end that's always busy. The beaches, watching the cruise ships come in, and there seems to be plenty of parking. The light columns at night are mesmerizing as they change colors. Truly one of America's great urban waterfront parks. It's everything Miami's Bayfront Park should be but isn't. 

So there you go.....enjoy your Miami "Spring". Which means good weather and fewer bugs.