on June 24, 2011
Bayside Marketplace is next to the marina where the Island Queen cruise around Biscayne Bay leaves from. It can be explored either before or after the cruise, depending on timings. It is an open air marketplace with everything from chain stores to local trinket and shell shops. You can souvenir hunt while enjoying the waterfront view. The complex wraps around the banks of Biscayne Bay. It opened in 1987 and was frequently featured on Miami Vice.When we were there, there was a band playing on the main stage. Apparently this is not always the case, but there are always plenty of street performers. It is also nice to just sit by the water and watch the boats go by.There are over 100 shops and 30 bars and restaurants plus lots of souvenir stands. We had a drink in Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company, quite a nicely themed and fun place, especially if you are a fan of the movie Forrest Gump. Our son loved sitting on the bench outside the restaurant, with Forrest's shoes on and the box of chocolates next to him. Be sure to check out the amazing banyan tree right outside the restaurant as well. The roots of the tree grow down from the brances and it is absolutely huge.There are plenty of open-air restaurants overlooking the harbour where you can grab lunch or dinner. We ate in a Cuban place, which had a gorgeous view. We ate Cuban sandwiches and drank Cuban beer and relaxed in the wonderful Miami sunshine.There is an area with lots of market type stalls - quite touristy, but our son loved browsing around all the stuff on sale here and managed to buy several Miami souvenirs.Art by God is a quirky and unusual shop - devoted to artifacts of nature including lots of fossils. Not a great place to bring children though, as they are too tempted to touch and this is discouraged. There is also a shop which is good to bring them which sells glow in the dark merchandise.We also enjoyed shopping in the Christmas shop. Again this was very touristy, but they had Miami style Christmas baubles which could be personalised - unusual and different souvenirs.We enjoyed browsing around Bayside Marketplace, however unless you have an hour or so to spare before or after a Biscayne Bay cruise, I would probably not bother to make a special effort to come here. There are far too many other places much more interesting in Miami to spend time.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009