I have lived in Miami for 15 years of my young life. When I moved up to Orlando, you better believe that I missed that “rachetera” more than anything. There is nothing better than waking up on a Sunday morning to your kitchen smelling of croquetas and pastelitos de guayaba y queso. But for those who come to visit Miami without staying at a fancy hotel on South Beach, I promise you that there is more to this city than revving the engines of rented Lamborghinis on Ocean Drive. But I guess that would be nice, too.
Many times I have had friends visit Miami and never truly enjoy it because of a certain bad experience. I get it, Miami isn’t the best place for your wallet, but here is how to visit Miami and enjoy it like a local.
Learn to Love Pitbull
Yes, we actually do listen to Pitbull. Anyone who lives in Miami and says they dislike him is lying, I promise. We know every lyric to every song and all secretly wish to attend his New Year’s Eve party. Don’t forget your chancletas; we’re going to live it up with Mr. World Wide.
Unless Your Budget Allows It, Don’t Go to South Beach
South Beach is what every non-Miamian thinks of when someone says they’re from Miami. “Do you live next to the beach?” “Do you party every night?” Absolutely not. Of course, we enjoy a good beach day or a good night out, and sometimes we just put the two together and call for a “pachanga.” For a good time, Brickell is the place to go. There are bars, good food, and, unlike downtown, not many sketchy areas.
Watch the Sunset at the Beach
Admittedly, this is not something I can say many people actually do. But the sun rises in the east so why not take a trip to the beach and watch the sky turn to gold. Take a blanket and a bae for a perfect start to your day.
Eat at Nice Restaurants But Don’t Leave Out the Average Ones
Miami is a top city in the U.S. so of course, many chefs have their famous restaurants here. Go on a girl’s night out to one of them but definitely do not forget to stop at the local spots. Miami has Sergios, Finka, Pincho Factory, and basically every food from every nationality you can think of. Warning: you will fall in love with croquetas, so eat as many as you can.
Get the Lingo
Yea, no. No, yea. Two very different meanings. You don’t have to learn Spanish when you come to visit—we can switch from Spanish to English en un segundo. But many times our slang comes directly from Spanish phrases and we don’t even realize it until a foreigner has to ask what we mean by “pero, like.”
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