Sure, your out-of-town family misses you. But it's no coincidence that they pick this time of year to drop in for a visit to Miami's sunny shores. It's, like, zero degrees up north, and they're sick of shoveling snow.
That said, the pressure is on you to do more than de-frost your guests on our city's beautiful beaches. While they're in town, why not treat them to a locals-approved experience of Miami. And to help get you started on your mission to impress, we've compiled a diverse list of destinations guaranteed to do the trick.
1. The Pérez Art Museum Miami
At the newly opened PAMM, the contemporary works vie for your attention with the building's stunning design by Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron. Before catching an exhibit, indulge in a gourmet bite at Verde, while taking in views of Biscayne Bay and the museum's unique hanging gardens. The second Saturday of every month is free and includes interactive activities for kids and adults alike, while every third Thursday things get a little rowdier with happy hour featuring artist performances and musical guests.
Open Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Thursday 6-9 p.m. Call 305-375-3000 or visit pamm.org.
2. Pubbelly Restaurants
When Pubbelly appeared on the scene in 2010, it was a game changer in this town. Not only did Andreas Schreiner, Jose Mendin and Sergio Navarro open the city's first Asian inspired gastropub, but they filled a need Miami didn't even know it had for a New York-style neighborhood tavern where the food takes center stage. The trio's commitment to using Asian ingredients, European techniques and American cuisine to create inventive dishes (think pork belly in butterscotch miso), at reasonable prices, soon led to the birth of four more restaurants. Next came Pubbelly Sushi, followed by the Catalan bistro Barceloneta, a rustic Italian joint, Macchialina (recently separated from the group), and finally, PB Steak. Deciding what to feed your visitors just got exponentially easier.
3. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Your fam already knows all about Miami's crowded beaches. So why not show off its wide-open, lush gardens? Regardless of age, they'll certainly appreciate the expansive array and beauty of botanical life on display at Fairchild in Coral Gables. Explore the premises via foot or tram, and let experts on horticulture and conservation science help you get better acquainted with the plethora of local and exotic birds, butterflies, and plants on exhibit.
Open Monday-Sunday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Visit fairchildgarden.org.
4. Wynwood Walls
A conversation about Miami's transformation into a destination for art cognoscenti across the globe isn't complete without a shout out to the Wynwood Walls. In 2009, developer Tony Goldman realized his vision of turning Wynwood's derelict warehouse buildings into large canvases for renowned graffiti and street artists. Today, the neighborhood serves as an open-air museum and is replete with rad art galleries, quirky shops, and quality bars and restaurants.
5. Knaus Berry Farm
If you haven't already gone, you owe it to yourself - and your visitors - to make at least one pilgrimage out to Knaus Berry Farm before it closes for the season in April. What begun as a humble family-owned strawberry stand, Knaus has been spoiling Miami taste buds for over 50 years now. And it's not just the strawberries - their baked goods, especially the cinnamon rolls, are the stuff of legend. Strawberry picking season is slated to start early January, but regardless of how they're acquired, it's almost certain any first-timer will became a lifelong addict.
Open Monday - Saturday 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Call 305-247-0668 or visit knausberryfarm.com.
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