What is it about August that strikes a distinct anxiety in us? Maybe it's because it's so hard to shake off the magic feeling that the months of summer has always held for us since adolescence. Maybe it's because fall is around the corner.
Either way, if these days have you crippled with that familiar summertime-is-almost-over sadness, have no fear. We’ve made the ultimate to-do list for you to make every waning day count.
Here are ten things you need to do before summer 2016 ends:
10. Try out Food Trucks Tuesdays at Haulover Park
Every Tuesday, Haulover Park hosts a massive food truck rally on the Bill Bird Marina. Family and friends are invited to taste globally inspired food while enjoying music and a wide assortment of entertainment. Put on an inflatable orb and play bubble soccer, or ride down a giant moon bounce slide. With 177 acres and a 1.4-mile long beach at your disposal, you’re sure to find plenty of ways to turn up on a Tuesday.
9. Eat gelato at Vixi Gelateria
The word "vixi" translates to “I have lived” in Latin. And that’s precisely because you haven’t lived until you’ve tried Vixi Gelateria in Coral Gables. Founder Melissa Rodriguez Stam prides herself on creating delectable desserts while maintaining an adherence to healthy eating. Stam studied her craft under master gelataios in Italy and is eager to share all that she’s learned — both her production process and all-natural ingredients are on display for her customers. Flavors range from traditional chocolate and vanilla to fascinating Italian concoctions such as zabaione and ricotta-orange zest. Tasting one of these sweets on a hot Miami day will make you say, “That’s amore!” Servings start at $4.50 for small, $5.50 for medium, and $6.50 for large. Or you can go big and take home a 16-ounce for $18 and 32-ounce for $28.
8. Visit Coral Castle
Almost a century ago, a tiny man named Edward Leedskalnin began his giant tour de force: building a castle made of 1,100 tons of coral rock. Entirely alone and in secret, Leedskalnin was never seen creating his ode to a lost love. Coral Castle is now considered one of the greatest architectural mysteries of the world. Call it the Stonehenge of South Florida, and visiting it during the summer has been a tradition of sorts for many Miamians. Tours are offered daily and cost $15 for adults and $7 for children.
7. Get custom-made iced tea at Tea & Poets
Nestled inside the Shops at Sunset Place is a refreshing marketplace that brings together art, music, and knickknacks, complemented by the perpetual aroma of freshly brewed tea. Take a seat at the tea counter, tell the barista your troubles, and he’ll hand you just what you need. Selected from an abundance of tea leaf varieties, each cup is designed specially for the customer. More energy? Check. Immunity boost? Got it. Hangover detox? You betcha. Get your heavenly nectar poured over ice and browse the rest of the store. Carrying a range of products, from designer clothes and lamps to handmade soaps and books, Tea & Poets has everything you could imagine to indulge your mental and physical revitalization.
6. Visit the lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Built in 1825, the Bill Baggs lighthouse is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. So old, it was attacked by Native Americans. The park itself was part of a route in the Underground Railroad for slaves making their way to the Bahamas. Snag a piece of the history by attending a lighthouse tour, held Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. When you’re done with the tour, hang out on the sandy beach for swimming, biking, fishing, or a picnic. You can walk your dog along the seawall and on the hiking trails, but park rules state only nice puppies are allowed. There are also two restaurants serving authentic Cuban dishes.
5. Kayak around Stiltsville
Jump into a kayak next to the Bill Baggs lighthouse, and in just one mile, you’ll find yourself in a mysterious village of homes on stilts. In the 1930s, Stiltsville became a prime destination for Miami's denizens to eat, drink, and be merry during Prohibition. Bars with personalities as colorful as their customers began popping up, such as the Bikini Club, offering free drinks to girls dressed in — you guessed it — bikinis, as well as the invitation-only Quarterdeck Club, gaining notoriety as the hot spot for dancing, boozing, and (allegedly) secret gambling. After years of police busts and destructive hurricanes, the original 27 homes have dwindled to seven. If you’re new to kayaking, consider joining one of the popular Stiltsville Meetups to get your sea legs and make some friends along the way.
4. Go to a Miami Marlins game
There’s nothing more American than going to a ballgame in the height of summer. Why not share some love for your home team and watch the Marlins defend their season and maybe make a run at a wildcard berth. Cheer in the stands while downing peanuts, hot dogs, and one too many beers. The end of August is your perfect chance to catch a home game against the Royals or the Padres. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a foul ball as a souvenir or watch Giancarlo Stanton crush a homer.
3. Check out an art flick
Looking to spice up your summer with something out of the mainstream? Luckily, Miami is full of cinemas specializing in art, independent, and foreign films to help you get your culture fix. No matter where you are, there’s sure to be a cool movie theater nearby. Coral Gables Art Cinema has lined up classics such as Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing August 20 and George Lucas’ American Graffiti August 26. If you’re in the mood for something squirmy, O Cinema in Wynwood is on a horror streak with screenings like Luciano Onetti’s Francesca August 15 and Jackson Stewart’s Beyond the Gates August 18. Tower Theater in Little Havana shares an eclectic variety of films, including Giacomo Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, the first spaghetti-western opera, screening August 22, and Dream: An American Story, about the life of undocumented immigrant and Miami Dade College grad Juan Gomez, showing August 29 and followed by a reception and panel discussion.
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2. Spend Saturday at the Coconut Grove Organic Market
Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Glaser Organic Farms opens its market in Coconut Grove for foodies, yogis, and locals alike. The selection is wide and impressive, from fruits and veggies to breads and honey. You can even grab premade vegan dishes prepared at Glaser Farms. If you’ve finished your shopping but want to stick around for the fun, try some hand-churned vegan ice cream and get a massage. Check out the organic market at 3300 Grand Ave. You can call Glaser Farms at 305-238-7747 for more info.
1. Go for a swim at the Shore Club
Two pools, a luxury lounge, fine cuisine delivered to your lounge chair, and the sands of South Beach just steps away. It’s not a fantasy. This is the dream-come-true Shore Club, a boutique hotel on Collins Avenue. When you’re finished doing leisurely laps in either of the crystal-blue infinity pools, grab a cocktail made with your choice of 75 rums at the Rumbar and unload onto a patio bed, plush with hand-painted throw pillows. Need a bite? Indulge in some tapas-style dishes, and call it a summer day well spent.