Miami Journals

SoBe It

Best of IgoUgo

A July 2003 trip to Miami by araby

Greenview Hotel Photo, Miami Beach, Florida More Photos
Quote: Decadent, boozy, and loaded with eye-candy, Miami is one hot--in every sense of the word--getaway. Its combination of Art Deco architecture, white-sand beaches, Cuban influences, and high-glam lifestyle means there’s something to tantilize just about anyone who can afford this posh town--fortunately, I got my first taste at a discount!

SoBe It

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

South Beach Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
Pretending to be guests at The Hotel, designer Todd Oldham’s South Beach offering. You could easily spend the better part of an afternoon, as we did, drinking vodka tonics at the rooftop pool bar, listening to deep house over the sound system, and admiring the ocean view--you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one. I even took a dip in the pool--oh so coooooold. Being stereotypical tourists and cruising the streets in a rented convertible (see Getting Around, below, for rental details), with the proverbial top down (never mind the sunstroke). Checking out the city’s fantastic architecture, from SoBe’s Art Deco stylings—even Walgreens and Burger King are ...Read More

Greenview Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Greenview Hotel Photo, Miami Beach, Florida
Quote:
We wound up at this terrific budget hotel thanks to our site59.com package deal and recommend it highly to anyone seeking budget accommodation in the heart of South Beach—and not just because of the price. Housed in a little Art Deco gem tucked behind well-groomed hedges just steps from sceney Lincoln Mall, this charming five-floor hotel hasn’t scrimped on details just to make ends meet. In fact, it has probably the nicest lobby of any budget hotel I’ve ever stayed (see photo, below). This is where you’ll find a Continental breakfast (included in the price) laid out every morning, including tiny croissants, pains au chocolat, and various Danish pastries. You c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 27, 2003

Greenview Hotel
1671 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
(305) 531-6588

Titanic Brewing Company

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Titanic Brewing Company Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
This off-the-beaten-path Coral Gables brewpub is a terrific place to hit after taking a dip in the nearby Venetian Pools. It doesn't look like much when compared with South Beach's stylin', over-the-top décor--inside finds a wood-finished bar, gleaming copper-sided beer-brewing vats, and televised sports, while the exterior could double as the entrance to a small town Lion’s Club. That said, this pub has a downright local appeal altogether absent from most SoBe spots. Indeed, this brewpub has a lot to offer, especially if you’re looking to escape the South Beach scene for a day (or night). Its University of Miami-area location translates into a younger, more down-to-earth cr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 27, 2003

Titanic Brewing Company
5813 Ponce de Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, Florida 33145
+1 305 667 2537

The Healthy House

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Healthy House"

Quote:
We discovered this unpretentious mostly-vegetarian (it does serve chicken and fish) restaurant while looking for picnicky food to take to the beach. What a find! Tucked behind a small storefront window on Washington Avenue (it’s quite easy to miss), this counter-service spot uses only organic and natural ingredients to create its fine offerings; it's a treat, on the freshness scale, when compared with many more-upscale SoBe restaurants, where produce seems to err on the tired side; and is downright cheap considering the tasty and ample portions you get. They packed up our delicious "Avocado Delight" (avocado-, cucumber-, alfalfa-, and mushroom-filled pita with a side salad; $...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2003

The Healthy House
1346 Washington Ave.
Miami, Florida 33139
(305) 604-3466

Grillfish

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Grillfish Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
Don’t let the underwhelming exterior of this popular SoBe seafood restaurant fool you into thinking the inside is just as drab--it couldn’t be less so. This corner eatery’s two dining rooms are sufficiently out-of-sync to make you think the designer had an identity crisis while putting the lot together. The first one you’ll see, on entering, boasts a Grecianesque wall fresco, a slew of ‘weathered’ Corinthian columns, and candles dripping with month-old wax for an overall feel that’s part Gothic, part rococo. The second, through an ersatz archway off the first, is dotted with antique cooking pots, fusty fencing swords, and heavy chandeliers--a look best described as "early 20th-century ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 28, 2003

Grillfish
1444 Collins Ave
Miami, Florida 33139
(305) 538-9908

Big Pink

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
It's hard not to love a restaurant with a name like Big Pink, and this ultra-kitschy South Beach diner doesn't disappoint. The 'big' is for the size of the portions (trust me, they're humongous!), and the place prizes itself on offering "real food for real people . . . really!" (With a slogan like that, it seems tailor-made to IgoUgo travelers!) Nestled in the up-and-coming South Pointe area of South Beach, across the street from its sister-restaurant Nemo (a much fancier affair), Big Pink achieves a near-impossible feat on the Miami restaurant scene: it appeals to positively everyone (couples, singles, groups, scenesters, and families alike). Partly it's the set-up that make...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2003

Big Pink
157 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
(305) 532-4700

Little Havana

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Little Havana Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
Miami’s proximity to Cuba has long had an influence on the city’s soul, its food, and, more recently, its politics, thanks to the Elián Gonzáles controversy, which made a visit to this much-talked-about neighborhood a priority for me on this trip. Thank God we went by car: it’s not easy to get to via local transportaion, and, after putzing around for an hour or so, we were happy to get moving. Which isn’t to say that the neighborhood isn’t worth visiting--quite the opposite--but rather, that you needn’t budget much time unless there’s a special event going on. The main draws can be seen in less than 15 minutes, but are definitely worth sussing out, at least for the novelty of ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 27, 2003

Little Havana
Miami River, Sw 11th Street, Sw 22nd Ave. And I-95
Miami, Florida

The Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

The Hotel Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
Voted best poolside bar in the Miami New Times's Best of Miami 2003 roundup (check the website here for more>, this hotel bar easily ranks as our hands-down favorite. Located on the top floor of The Hotel, this is the spot to hit for a sunset cocktail, when the view of the Atlantic Ocean, with a smidgeon of beach in the foreground and a purple-streaked sky above it, is quite possibly the best around. Bar management obviously knows this too, since they’ve set up a series of comfy loungers directly facing the water. Even without its star attraction, this poolside bar is one sweet hideout. We liked it so much, we went back to sp...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 27, 2003

The Hotel
801 Collins Ave.
Miami, Florida 33139
(800) 573-6351

Blue

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
The only thing blue about this narrow slip of a SoBe lounge is its color scheme--you guessed it, the place is decked out in the shade. We made it our last stop on a Saturday night out and were thrilled to discover a rare jewel in the local nightlife scene. This is one club/lounge that doesn’t charge a cover, give attitude, or do the velvet-rope routine. That’s right: I didn’t have to stand in line, get the once-over by picky bouncers, and then pay for the honor of getting in. What a welcome change! In fact, the only froufrou I noticed at this quality hangout was the bathroom lady selling glow-in-the-dark lighters and various bonbons (she was not at all the type to expect tips just for ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 28, 2003

Blue
222 Española Way
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
+1 305 534 1009

Coral Gables

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Coral Gables Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
There’s more to Miami than South Beach, as this tony neighborhood certainly proves. And what a contrast it is to SoBe’s sun-baked streets. Coral Gables is dominated by leafy avenues, coral-hued haciendas, and elegant architecture--all of it the brainchild of George Merrick, the area’s founder and urban planner. In fact, this area is so distinct from the rest of the city that it actually constitutes its own town, with civic council and residential regulations to match. Since we were there on a weekend in low-season (the summer) the neighborhood’s two main attractions, the Venetian Pools and the Coral Gables Merrick House, were closed. But that didn’t stop us from gazing con...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2003

Coral Gables
450 Bird Rd
Miami, Florida 33146
(305) 476-8793