Frizzy hair, fried skin, and sweat stains galore. Summer in Miami is a double-edged sword. While tourists travel from around the world to vacation on our luscious beaches, we residents stick to the pavement — going about our everyday lives while enduring Sahara-like temperatures. One man’s vacation is another man’s inferno.
Break-time takes on a whole new meaning in the summertime. Beat the heat with these nine ultracool hangouts.
9. The Drinkhouse Ice Bar
The Drinkhouse is Miami’s first ice bar and fire lounge. The handmade cocktails and exquisite interior design make for a sultry ambiance that takes indulging your imagination (and tastebuds) to the next level. Of course in this August heat, your prime destination will be the Ice Vodka Bar. Say hello to 100,000 pounds of frozen water, the temperature set to 23 degrees Fahrenheit, and artwork by award-winning ice sculptor David Berman. You will be provided a faux-fur coat, gloves, and slippers to wear while you sip premium vodka from ice glassware. Visits are limited to 45 minutes for comfort and safety. Children are welcome with adult supervision before 7 p.m. Bookings to take in the full ice-bar experience and use the coats and gloves start at $17.
8. The Arctic Plunge Pool at the Standard
The Standard Hotel holds a firm belief in the health benefits of bathing. Inspired by the historic cultures of Russia, Greece, Japan, and Turkey, the Standard offers myriad ways to take a dip and get a spiritual lift. Your best bet for the ultimate cool-down? The Arctic Plunge Pool. Chilled to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, this small circular water hole will cause natural muscle contractions, detoxing your system and energizing your senses.
7. Venetian Pool
Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is a unique cross between a historic landmark and a family-friendly water park. In 1924, it was known as the Venetian Casino, a popular hangout for sophisticated Miamians and even some celebrities. The pool is filled with 820,000 gallons of spring water pumped from an underground aquifer. With two waterfalls, two lookout towers, and cavelike grottos, Venetian Pool is the ideal setting for an Instagram-worthy summer day.
6. McAllister Spa for a Summer Sun Facial
After weeks of pool-hopping and beach-bumming, you notice the sun has wreaked havoc on your skin. But that’s no reason to stop the fun. Reverse the damage with McAllister Spa’s luxurious Dermalogica Après-Sun skin treatment. A paramedical aesthetician will analyze your face to choose the best products for targeting problem areas while also soothing irritation. Natural ingredients such as lavender, yuca, chamomile, and cucumber are sure to revive your radiance, the way Mother Nature intended it. Exfoliate, cleanse, and rejuvenate your skin for a face that says, “I just descended from Heaven!” rather than, “I just fell asleep on my lawn chair.” Packages start at $30.
5. The New Slide at Miami Springs Swimming Pool
After a long summer of suspense, the Miami Springs swimming pool has finally unveiled its $5 million remodeling. The decades-old aquatic playground was torn down in 2015, and after several construction delays, it has now undergone a major makeover, which includes an activity room, a concession stand, water activities, and the coveted twisting slide. A day visit costs only $5 per adult and $3 per child.
4. Mr. Bing at the Wynwood Yard for Shaved Ice
Feast your eyes on the strangest yet most beautiful frozen dessert in Miami. It’s ice cream you eat with a fork! Inspired by a Taiwan delicacy, Mr. Bing's unique treat is peddled from a state-of-the-art food truck that produces thinly shaved ice cream that looks more like folded tissue paper. Flavors come in original or chocolate and your choice of toppings. Keep it classic with rainbow sprinkles and crushed Oreos, or beat your friends in a game of sweet-tooth creativity by adding Pocky Sticks and caramel popcorn.
3. Panther Coffee for Cold Brew
You need coffee, and you need it now. But you don’t plan to sweat through your clothes for it. Don’t submit yourself to the old hot-drip-coffee-over-ice you’ve endured too many times. That watered-down disaster left you with a headache worse than the one brewing before you had the caffeine. Instead, treat yourself to the genius of cold brew. Cold-brewed coffee comes from the process of steeping coffee grounds for an extended period of time rather than using heat. The result is a sweeter and more highly caffeinated cup of joe. Grab your own at Panther Coffee and go about your day, energized and sweat-stain-free.
2. Parrot Cove at Jungle Island
Overlooking Biscayne Bay, Jungle Island is a unique theme park that combines South Florida's native fauna and flora with plants and animals from all over the world. One of the park's most appealing attractions is Parrot Cove, Miami’s only private beach. Sporting stunning views of downtown, Parrot Cove features the Rainforest Riptide water playground, which includes balance beam obstacles, trampolines, slides, swings, and even a climbing wall. Park admission starts at $32.95, but you'll have to book a reservation in advance to access Parrot Cove, which is free with paid admission to Jungle Island.
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1. The Lazy River at Grapeland Water Park
Embrace your inner child by grabbing an inflatable tube and floating along the Buccaneer River Ride. When you’re ready to crank up the action, head to Pirate’s Plunge — a series of slides complete with water cannons and splash fountains for all ages. Miami-Dade County residents even receive discounted entry. And don’t miss your last two chances to attend Dive-In Movies. The last Friday of every month during the summer, jump into the pool and enjoy a kid-friendly blockbuster. The Peanuts Movie will screen August 26, and Inside Out will show September 30. Admission starts at $7 for ages 2 to 13 and $12 for Miami-Dade residents ages 14 or older.