Martin’s All-American Road Trip; Stop #6 – Miami, FL
Welcome to the “Sunshine State!” This week on our Virtual Road Trip, we are vacationing in Miami, Florida! There is plenty to see on the beaches and surrounding areas – from fascinating art and architecture, to wildlife, to unique food and culture!
Florida is surrounded on three sides by water – so there are plenty of “cool” activities to take part in. You can find a leisurely cruise, head to a nearby water park, or make a visit to the “seaquarium!” There are also dozens of beaches to choose from to fit you and your family’s needs. You can go snorkeling, kayaking, or even swim with dolphins! Also make sure to check out Bizcayne National Park for more aquatic adventures.
The city of Miami Beach is widely recognized for its “art deco” style of architecture, which was popularized in the 20s and 30s. Art deco is typically characterized by decorative embellishments, geometry, symmetry, and bright colors. The most prominent example of this architecture in Miami is in the appropriately named “Art Deco District” (or “Architectural District”) of South Beach.
The architecture in this district has been revitalized and preserved by the Miami Design Preservation League and can be admired by walking down streets like Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. These streets, among others are full of boutique hotels built in this style – with a few nautical twists (sometimes described as “Tropical Deco.” Be on the lookout for pastel-colored buildings, zig-zag lines, geometric symmetry, and tropical-inspired embellishments.
To experience the designs and learn about the history of Miami Beach, you can participate in the Centennial Walking Tour Of Miami Beach on June 8, 2015! “In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the city of Miami Beach, the Miami Design Preservation League is presenting a Centennial Walking Tour, focusing on the history of the city” (http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/). To learn more about the Art Deco Region of Miami, visit www.miamiandbeaches.com/featured-articles/art-deco-architecture-and-boutique-hotels.
Miami has a very diverse demographic makeup. It is greatly influenced by Latin American and Caribbean cultures largely due to the immense number of Cuban immigrants who have settled there in the past decades. In addition, there are other Latin and non-Latin influences intertwined in the culture, including Haitian, Dominican, African, and Portuguese.
The greatest example of Miami’s Cuban culture can be seen in Little Havana, specifically named after the capital of Cuba. Take a walk along Calle Ocho (Southwest Eighth Street) for a great multicultural experience. Here you will find authentic Cuban coffee and classic Latin American dishes like rice and beans, plantains, and empanadas.
For devoted foodies, you can experience even more of Miami’s flavors by taking a culinary tour such as the South Beach Food Tour, or by heading to the Taste Of The Caribbean culinary competition from June 12-14. Taste and learn about the famous “Floribbean” cuisine. You can also take advantage of Coral Gables Restaurant Week while you are here, or even find a cooking class to take part in!
One of the most well-known sandwiches of this region is the Cuban Sandwich, or Cubano. Check out the below recipe for a Cuban Sandwich spin-off on Martin’s Hoagie Rolls!
Cuban Reuben by Chef David Bonom
While you’re down in Florida, make sure to visit a BurgerFi restaurant! The fast-casual burger chain originated about an hour north of Miami, in Fort Lauderdale, FL! Stop by one of the Florida locations for a delicious burger on Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls!
While in Miami, make a trip to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens for a wonderful adventure. The 50-acre property includes a fascinating villa and gardens. The building was designed as James Deering’s winter home and modelled in the style of an old Italian villa. Today, it holds many European antiques and has been transformed into a museum where travelers can visit and see the European-inspired architecture, gardens, and art collections.
From entrances about an hour outside of Miami, you can explore the 1.5 million acre subtropical wetlands of the Everglades. This unique and fragile ecosystem has been conserved and protected by the Everglades National Park and consists of many different types of habitats and wildlife. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore the park by hiking, biking, camping, or kayaking. Whichever method you choose, you’ll get a chance to experience the wonder and beauty of the area. See how many different animals you can spot – from tropical fish and birds, to alligators and crocodiles, to turtles and manatees!
If you visit any of these places, make sure to upload a picture to our Road Trip Map or share it with us on social media using the hashtag #MartinsRoadTrip!
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