Explore The Hidden Side of Miami

Miami has a luxurious haven for holidaymakers from all around the country and across the globe since the late 19th century. Originally known for its picturesque beaches and ubiquitous sunshine, it’s now best known for flaunting its glitz, glamour and celebrity aficionados for all the world to see. While we all know about the opulent excess of Miami beach and the star-studded artificial island known as star island, these popular tourist traps are really just the tip of the iceberg. To get to know the ‘real’ Miami, it doesn’t take a great deal of effort or knowhow, just take a slight detour away from the sun drenched coastline and you’ll find a series of vibrant and culturally rich neighborhoods that are alive with the Latin influence that permeates much of Florida.

Image credit

Miami is a place so distinctive, a master perfumer tried to bottle its scent in the early 2000s. Its streets are rich with a musky scent made up of orange blossoms, sea salt and tobacco, that can’t help but carry with it feelings of adventure and discovery.

As much fun as you can have with beachfront cocktails and boat rentals Miami is a city of contrasts. Scratch the glitzy surface and you’ll find a real sense of community and celebrated diversity in Miami. The ancestry of each neighborhood resonates richly in its architecture, its art and its culinary prowess, with each neighborhood wearing its influence very much on its sleeve. For example, Little Havana is home to the city’s Cuban population whereas West Indians made their home in Little Haiti, while the district of Wynwood has always been a haven for the artistically inclined. In this post we’ll look at some of the ways in which you can avoid the expensive tourist traps and enjoy the food, architecture and culture of Miami like a local.

The Food

Whatever your taste, you’ll find food to fall in love with in Miami. Though, understandably Miami is associated with some of the best seafood in the world, you can still eat like royalty even if you’re vegetarian, vegan… or just plain don’t like fish.

The southern states are synonymous with soul food, and you’ll find some of the best in the world in Miami. In historic Overtown you’ll find a taste of southern tradition with a host of barbecue joints and soul food restaurants serving up fried catfish, barbecued ribs and split sausages grilled to crispy perfection.

If you’re one of a growing proportion of people who choose not to eat meat, seafood or dairy for health or ethical reasons, you’ll still be able to sample Miami’s multicultural delights through your palette with a range of vegan and vegetarian restaurants to suit all tastes. Indeed, the iron rich soil makes Florida home to some of the most delicious tropical fruits anywhere in the world, which is used in many cakes and desserts throughout Miami. Full Bloom near the beach is a great place to find Latin and Mexican inspired vegan cuisine and a range of delicious tropical fruit based desserts while if your taste buds favor the French inspired, Eden in Eden is a cafe that offers a range of French influenced foods such as dairy free crepes and gluten free quiches as well as nutritious juices and smoothies.

Image credit

The Feel

Like many magical spots, Miami has a certain feel to it that’s partly the smell of the sea air combined with the food smells wafting on the breeze and  partly the myriad design elements and architecture that reflect the city’s diverse cultural lineage.

There’s a striking interplay between the man made and the natural throughout Miami with the city’s designs complementing and in some cases incorporating the flourishes of the surrounding plant life from palms to the fetching sea grape trees with leaves so huge and distinctive that locals refer to them as ‘postcard leaves’.

Check out the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden which is not only a masterpiece of modern design but home to some of the areas most naturally beautiful flora. If art deco is right up your street then check out the Art Deco District near south beach where you’ll find some striking examples of the 20th century style resplendent in sweeping balconies and nautical affectations including the odd port hole here and there.

Culture vultures owe it to themselves to spend some time in The Miami Design District, a hub not only of creative endeavor but high end retail where you can sample the myriad artistic triumphs of the district’s two free- access contemporary art museums before some retail therapy in some of the area’s swanky boutique stores.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , , ,

Essential Things to See and Do in Utah

With its vast expanses of desert and mountains, Utah probably isn’t the first place you’d think of when you want to go on a family holiday, but there are plenty of fantastic things to see and do if you’re passing by or if you’re looking for places to add to your great American roadtrip. If you’re planning on travelling to or through Utah at some point, then make sure you reserve a day or two to visit some of these attractions.

asphalt, bus, desert

[Photo courtesy of Snapwire/pexels.com]

Ogden

Ogden houses hundreds of miles of beautiful hiking trails that can be challenged by both foot or bike, making it a fantastic location for families and groups. The rivers offer countless fishing opportunities, and you can even take a tip in the cool clear waters if you want to. If you prefer to travel across the waters, then there are boating tours available for a relaxing afternoon. Let’s not forget that you can also have fun skiing in Ogden, and all of this is only 15 minutes away from Comfort Suites Ogden, making it the perfect hotel to book a room at if you want to explore this winter wonderland. Ogden is the number one spot in Utah for winter sports. With three world-class ski resorts and plenty of powdery snow to play with, this will be an adventure of a lifetime.

bryce canyon, canyon, cliff

[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

Utah’s National Parks

The Mighty 5 is the name given to five of Utah’s national parks. These famous locations draw in millions of visitors every year and have become some of Utah’s most prized attractions. Whether you want to adventure, relax or do a spot of stargazing, these parks have everything you could want and more. The Mighty 5 consists of Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. There is plenty of fun to be had and countless destinations to explore within The Mighty 5. Whether it’s walking, biking, picnicking, stargazing or hiking, you’ll find something enjoyable here.

Salt Lake City

Of course, we also can’t forget the urban heart of Utah: Salt Lake City. As the gateway to the rest of Utah, Salt Lake City continues to impress visitors with its metropolitan vibes and robust transit hub that extends all over the state. There are countless places to eat, shop and explore. With a bustling food scene that is famous for unique American cuisine and plenty of bakeries and cafes to indulge in, it’ll be hard to pull yourself away from this cosy and modern city. It’s easy to reach Salt Lake City and with the numerous museums, libraries, parks and complexes to explore, you’ll want to spend at least a couple of days here to soak in all of the sights and sounds. It’s also a fantastic place to start your adventure in Utah, considering all of the convenient transport links that reach out of Salt Lake City and the numerous hotels that are spread throughout the city.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , , , ,

Saving Up In New York Staying In Affordable Hotels

New York is one of the cities in the world that frequently gets visitors. Not only because it is the center of business and fashion but it also houses the John F. Kennedy International Airport; known for being the 17th busiest airports in the world.

One day visit is for sure not enough but don’t worry because you would be scheduling up another visit anytime soon. Bear in mind that in order to fully explore its beauty, make sure you know how to budget your time and most importantly your money.

New York, Skyline, New York City, City, Manhattan

[Photo courtesy of mpewny/pixabay.com]

Staying in New York might be costly but if you just know where to look, they also have several affordable hotels located near major establishments. Staying here would also mean learning to reach some of the destinations on your feet. Full-blooded New Yorkers know how to do the subway and can walk from several minutes without losing their poise.

Another way of keeping your New York visit at a lower cost would be booking your flights few months before your planned visit. It would also include booking at the affordable hotels in advance because in New York anytime can get busy thus anytime can become a peak season and you might end up having a hard time to look for a place to stay.

Since you’ve already saved up on staying in affordable hotels and booking your flights in advance, you will have enough budget to try out their sumptuous dishes. The city is known to be the melting pot of various international cuisines and this is something that you shouldn’t miss. Invest on their food and don’t forget to take pictures.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , , , ,