Summer in Miami is an exercise in sweat. Unlike most other cities, our liquid-laden air and tropical rays mean overheating is to be expected. So how the hell are you supposed to keep cool when even the ocean is 85 degrees?
Drinking, of course. And there's nothing better to cool that core temperature than a frozen concoction or two. Here are our top ten places to get your slushy on.
10. The Standard Spa
After a vigorous rubdown, a dip in a mineral tub, or a jaunt in the steam room, what could be better than a frozen peach bellini and a bayfront view? Yeah, nothing. It won't come cheap, but the best diversions never do.
Sidle up to this sleek poolside bar at the swanky Fontainebleau and sip a banana-coconut Funky Monkey ($14), a lemon-blueberry Firefly ($14), or a Mango Creamsicle ($14). See how the other half lives, lounging lazily in their Prada sunglasses and La Perla swimsuits. At least you can afford to drink like them. Well, one drink, anyway.
Seat yourself at a tall wooden table at this waterfront spot and sip sweet, icy favorites such as bushwhackers ($9), rum runners ($8), and Miami Vices ($8). Get a buzz while you survey rows of gorgeous watercraft you'll never be able to afford. But not to worry -- you can still feel like a baller during happy hour, when drinks are half-price.
Frozen drinks were made for poolside afternoons, and there's no better place to lounge like it's your job than this low-key spot. Pick a hammock and drink your fill of chi chis ($10), mahalos ($10), and mudslides ($10). It's almost like you've escaped to a Polynesian paradise, only there aren't nearly enough hot Pacific Islanders around.
Perched conveniently atop the pedestrian paradise that is CocoWalk, this Fat Tuesday locale is perfect for people-watching and escaping the blazing rays. Snag a seat by the rail and watch folks come and go in the charming alcove of Coconut Grove. For $10, you can score a 16-ounce reusable sports bottle filled with your choice of 190 Octane (orange, strong), piña colada, strawberry, or a host of other frozen flavors.
If you're missing the carefree days of college spring break, you can relive 'em anytime at Ocean Drive's infamous Clevelander -- for a much heftier price tag, of course. Here, the party is always popping, and the Clevelander is known for its killer frozen concoctions dispensed from a whopping 15 machines. Snag one and watch the endless parade of crazies getting their vacation on, South Beach-style.
4. Mango's Cafe
This is an Ocean Drive experience like no other. Scantily clad dancers shimmying atop tables, wild tropical colors, and potent concoctions make for a hell of a good time for tourists and locals alike. Try a coconut mudslide ($11.50), a banana cabana ($11.50), or a frozen watermelon rum runner ($11.50).
We don't get out to Key Biscayne often enough. Any of us. So make a trek to Whiskey Joe's, which feels like a little piece of island bliss. Sip a frozen mojito, a piña colada, a rum runner -- or pretty much any other frozen combo you can dream up ($7 to $9). In the words of the world's happiest cliché: It's 5 o'clock somewhere.
The reigning king of South Beach's frozen-drink scene is Ocean Drive's Wet Willie's. Mobbed by noon on any weekend day, this spot serves libations such as the Bahama Mama, the Dreamsicle, and the always-wicked Call a Cab (take that advice seriously). A large runs $12 -- and trust us, you'll need a large to cope with sweltering temps out on the beach.
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While Bayfront is a tourist trap that rivals the Vegas strip, it's still a pleasant place to spend a sunny summer afternoon. And a banana, strawberry, or lime daiquiri will make everything even better. At $11 for 20 ounces., it's like fruity A/C, and well worth it. Sip yours while strolling along the water. Play out-of-towner for a while.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.