Best Tourist Trap - 2007
Little Havana To Go
For South Florida visitors seeking retail therapy after being sardined on a tour bus with a bunch of strangers they can't understand, Little Havana to Go offers a welcome respite. Located smack next to Calle Ocho's famous Domino Park, this shop isn't your average carved-coconut and strung-shell souvenir joint. Each week dozens of buses ferrying tourists from the nation's hinterlands, South America, and Europe descend on the colorful shop specializing in Cuba-theme gifts. It strictly caters to those bitten by the nostalgia bug or wishing to take a reminder of Miami's exotic neighborhood home. Customers are usually greeted with the sweet sounds of a bolero twittering on outdoor speakers and a shot of cafecito compliments of the house. Walls offer a riot of tropical-theme art from local talent and shelves brim with CDs of classic Latin favorites, T-shirts, guayaberas, coffee mugs, panama hats, maracas, and domino sets. Most of the memorabilia is emblazoned with the Cuban flag and sold in every price range. During a recent visit we were amazed at how many tourists were having their pics snapped in front of the store, surreally posing as if they were in front of a bona fide landmark.