A perfect day in Miami

The city of Miami thrives on attention, from its much-photographed Art Deco architecture to its celebrated beaches, glitzy clubs and hotels where the lobbies are more like catwalks. But there’s also a more refined side to this multicultural metropolis, which boasts an art and design scene the equal of any in the world. Where you’re an arty type or a party type, Miami is one unforgettable 24 hours.zgnjmtdzgjn

Morning:

Rise early in Miami Beach – the island community south-west of Miami proper — to join the outgoing tide of joggers as they meet the incoming swell of dishevelled club-goers along the ocean boardwalk, which runs from 21st Street to 46th Street. The scene in tacky-glamorous South Beach (considered by its detractors to be Vegas without the gambling) is high-octane enough that you might want to skip that second espresso at The News Stand Cafe (800 Ocean Drive), a 24-hour South Beach fixture. Settle in with one of the myriad newspapers from all over the globe — an increasingly quaint notion in the age of iPads.

This neighbourhood is home to some remarkable examples of Art

Top 5 day trips from Miami

Just a short hop away from Miami are some of Florida’s most alluring, charismatic and well-known attractions. So, if you’re tired of clubbing and celebrity-watching, take a break and head for the some of the most exciting sights that lie around the city.jxyhkmhgxu,l

1. Everglades National Park

An easy day trip from Miami, the Everglades provides the perfect excuse to escape from the rat race and reconnect with nature.  Here, you’ll be able to witness alligators’ backs breaking the water, anhingas flexing their wings before breaking into a corkscrew dive or the slow, dinosaur flap of a great blue heron gliding over its domain.

The Glades should be approached with the same silence and gentle persuasion it shows its inhabitants. Come by car and canoe, bike, kayak or walk around the park. To understand the way a nutrient-rich patch of water produces a mosquito that feeds a frog, who becomes lunch for a ‘gator, who snaps up a fish that gets speared by an anhinga under these long, low marsh winds, you need to be still. In the quiet spaces, you realize that the

Tips For Planning a Trip Abroad

You may be going on a well deserved vacation with your family or planning a honeymoon trip to an exotic locale. While discovering a new destination may seem exciting, keep in a mind a little bit of preparation can make your getaway all the more special.gdnjmfgzkm

Here are some travel tips that can minimize any unpleasant circumstances that may arise when you are not familiar with the country you are travelling to.

Be familiar with the culture and traditions of your destination

East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. Rudyard Kipling’s views may not seem entirely true with the world becoming a global village. There are, however, still differences that must be taken into consideration.

It is better to be acquainted with the culture and traditions of the country you are visiting. For example, you may be travelling to Bali, a country equally well-known for its beautiful landscapes and temples as it is for its warm people. However, keep in mind that you must be suitably dressed to enter a temple. If you go wearing shorts, you may not be

Deciding on a Honeymoon Spot in Europe

You’re having a wedding and you can’t wait to take your husband or wife on the honeymoon vacation in Europe. You intend to surprise them with this trip and are now researching honeymoons in Europe. With so many destinations to select from, how can you tell what are the best honeymoons in Europe and also which trip they will most take pleasure in? There are specific regions individuals opt for time and again that you may wish to consider as you choose. Santorini is still a favorite because it provides magnificent surroundings and lots of outdoors pursuits for individuals who take pleasure in the backwoods. Others opt to go to Greece to benefit from the mountain trekking and delightful shorelines. You are able to accomplish numerous things while visiting the region plus the food cannot be beat. Venice is perfect for those who love the water and would like to travel by means of gondola. This city supplies a good deal in excess of this though and you need to bear this in mind when you make your decision. Sicily is yet another fantastic location as it offers the casual atmosphere quite a few want right after the pressure

Multiculti Miami

The best thing about Miami is how close it is to the rest of the USA. That’s only a slightly facetious statement. OK – Miami is obviously of America. But it’s of America, as in the entire Western Hemisphere, rather than just the USA. Immigrants from all of Latin America and the Caribbean call this home. Head south into South Florida and cultural values, use of space, colours, music, everything starts to shift until – well, you’re somewhere else.

It’s fun traversing a few continents while driving around Miami. We mentioned the Western Hemisphere above, but we’d like to start somewhere unexpected – the Old World shetls of Eastern Europe. In Mid Miami Beach, there’s an Orthodox Jewish Community based between 21st and 46th streets. Here you’ll see the usual flashes of Miami glitter and flair, SUVs and fake tans and condo canyons, but you’ll also spy thick bearded men in gabardine coats and head-scarved babushkas wandering around like lost extras from Fiddler on the Roof.

The toned and tanned children of Miami’s Mid-Beach Jewish enclaves are also decked out in conservative Jewish garment, but they flash blinged-out cell phones while grabbing latkes and pastrami sandwiches in places like Sam’s Deli.

A guide to nightlife in Miami

Miami’s nightlife scene is hot. A Spanish flair for all-night fun, warm weather, big beaches, skimpy clothing, perfect mojitos – yep, this isn’t the place for those with Catholic guilt complexes.

On the other hand, it can also feel like it isn’t a place for normal human beings. Yes, yes, those are real people going into the club, even though they look like they’ve been freshly pampered for a magazine shoot.

But don’t be intimidated. You don’t need to be uberwealthy or ultra-attractive to get past the red rope here, just confident. Besides, who cares about the rope? Miami’s got kick-ass rock bars, hipstersgone-wild lounges and the best Latin music scene in America. If you want to bump and grind and look for celebrities who aren’t there, you can have it, but Miami will love you just as much if you want to rock out with a Budweiser on a sweaty South Florida evening.

If you’re going to go out in Miami, ask yourself what you want: Do I want to dance? Hear good tunes? See celebrities? If you answered yes to the first two questions, the Downtown/Wynwood scene might be to your liking (which isn’t to say the beautiful people don’t

Hotel Croydon in Miami

Rates

From $138.

Basics

Swanky the Hotel Croydon is not. The décor is much too eclectic, the elevators climb at a woefully slow pace, and the gym has a did-it-myself ethos. The property opened last August to much buzz. It is in the same general area as the Fontainebleau and the Miami Beach Edition, but it seeks to be more affordable. Art Deco design details, like the sputnik ceiling lights and quirky tiles (some with images of dragonflies and fish, others with trompe l’oeil designs), are fun to check out, even if they’re not exactly coherent as a whole. Two selling points are the outdoor spaces: the pool on the ground floor and the spacious roof deck, which offers views of the ocean and the surrounding city.

Location

A block from the ocean and a less-than-10-minute ride from the shopping and dining hubs around Lincoln Road, Hotel Croydon is both close to the action and removed enough to give guests breathing room. The Fontainebleau and its upscale club Liv are just a short walk away, as are Jean-Georges

In Miami the Brainy Side of the Beach

On the kind of balmy February evening that draws snowbirds by the flocks to South Florida, I split from the flip-flop crowd clogging Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach and veered one block north to the New World Center. The Frank Gehry-designed glass and steel symphony hall opened in 2011, and at once established South Beach as a cultural destination. A cluster of patrons formed a white-haired clot in front of the box office where I learned that the evening’s program, a recital by a third-year horn fellow with the center’s New World Symphony, was sold out. True, it was a free event, but it required reservations and Dominic Rotella, the musician, was apparently the hottest ticket in town.

“Get in line,” a reedy patron said, indicating the informal queue of unfortunates around him. “You’re number seven.”

If a sellout at a musical fellow’s concert is any indication, Miami craves culture. Now, thanks to a robust economy and a legacy bestowed by Art Basel — the immensely popular art event established in 2002 that returns Dec. 3 to 6 this year — Miami has accrued a critical mass of cultural attractions. From the Pérez Art Museum Miami to the thriving muralist district

Lord Balfour in Miami Beach

Rates

Doubles start at $299 in high season; $199 in low season.

The Basics

Arthur James Balfour, a British prime minister, published philosopher and aristocrat, is mainly remembered for the controversial Balfour Declaration, which expressed Britain’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. But as a sophisticate and a wit, he would probably be pleased with the atmosphere in the latest incarnation of the South Beach hotel bearing his name. Known years ago as the Lord Balfour, the hotel became the Wave Hotel from 2000 to 2011. After a total renovation, the 64-room hotel reopened last July in its 1940 Art Deco building. The old moniker has returned, but the aesthetic is all new. The hotel eschews trite English décor — club chairs, wood paneling — for brash, colorful, contemporary spaces enlivened by playful details. The lobby sets the tone. Extending from one wall are 24 sculptural hands, each holding a retro-style hand mirror so visitors can admire themselves. The ceiling is lined with glowing cursive words spelling out quips credited to Lord Balfour (e.g. “History does not repeat itself. Historians repeat each other.”).

 

Above Fifth Street, fashionable Ocean Drive quickly becomes intolerable Ocean Drive, with cheesy bars and incessant come-ons for $9.95 lunch

Ensuring Safe Travel

Pre-requisites of a travel

Before departing from your home, ensure that you collect all your letters from the letter box, cancel all the home deliveries, make out to that you lock valuables like, jewellery and important documents in a secure place. Also make your room reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons. It would be better, you inform only to trusted neighbors and relatives alone regarding your departure. Recheck, whether you have taken all your necessary documents, belongings, credit and debit cards and medication. In case of destination abroad, do not forget to change your currency to the local currency, of the country you are leaving for, at the foreign exchange.

Be prepared to countenance the climatic condition of your destination, as few of you may find it difficult to adjust to the new climatic conditions. Always, have with you some medication for cough, cold etc in your medicine kit, and also have the phone numbers of your family doctor. While on travel, make certain that you take care of your health. Increase the intake of your water and do not let your system dehydrated. Just have light meals and stay away from any kind of junk food. Wear only the costumes

Tips on Finding The Best Travel Insurance Deal

Sometimes, finding the best travel insurance deal can be as difficult as it seems. You have to make sure what it covers and what you have to pay too. When you are touring around, you have to be careful about certain unwanted things that could happen to you when you are on a trip. In simple words, travel insurance is a legal contract, which you should spend good time reading and understanding so that you know what all is being covered.

Travel insurance usually covers these few things: –

Medical emergencies – In case you are facing a medical problem during your trip once you reach the destination or at the airport, your insurance will cover it. You cannot predict when you could face a hazard.

Loss of personal items or baggage – If you misplace your wallet, personal belongings, baggage or passport, then your travel insurance company will help you with the process.

Cancellation of trip – There could be tons of reasons why the trip got canned. If the plane tickets, tour packages, hotel room, cruise fare are cancelled, you will be able to reimburse the refundable expenses.

Other than this, travel insurance could also cover – Overseas funeral expenses, In case you miss connecting fights

Exploring South Beach

Miami can feel at times like a never-ending feast for the senses. Glamour is part of everyday life here – celebrities, mansions, and public displays of consumption and wealth are the order of the day – and nowhere is this exhibited more than in South Beach, the most iconic neighborhood of the Greater Miami area.

From the classic swooping facades and meticulous neon of the city’s signature deco designs to its nonstop beach life and vibrant party scenes, South Beach exemplifies a unique brand of Floridian oceanside chic. What’s more, the best of this nook of Miami can be enjoyed without a car – to get around quickly, utilize the excellent DecoBike sharing program, or your own two feet.

A pastel history preserved

South Beach, also known as ‘SoBe,’ is perhaps known best for its sunny take on art deco architecture. Only in South Beach does this smooth Modernist style take on a particular hybrid of pastel palettes and sleek curves, buttresses and contours, meant to evoke early 20th century train and ocean travel.

A good starting point for anyone interested in this style is the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL), whose excellent walking tours are a

Miami Everglades Airboat Adventure with Biscayne Bay Cruise

Tour description provided by Viator

Visit the Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay Boat Tour all in one day!

Leave Miami behind, head to the Everglades in your air-conditioned bus, and start the day with your Everglades Airboat Adventure. A trip to Miami is not complete without touring the Florida Everglades by airboat – it’s nature at its best. Your 30-minute airboat ride through the Everglade wilderness includes full narration from your airboat captain-guide. In the unique ecosystem of the Everglades, you’ll see breathtaking panoramic views, lush vegetation and enjoy complete tranquility. After the airboat ride, you’ll spend over 2 hours in the Everglades National Park to visit the alligator wildlife show with plenty of time to take a wander along the jungle walking trail filled with crocodilian exhibits. The Everglades airboat tour is truly a memorable and exhilarating adventure! Return to Miami for the second part of your day and step aboard your Biscayne Bay Cruise. The cruise is an unforgettable way to see Miami from the tropical waters of Biscayne Bay. During this 90-minute cruise, you’ll see the city skyline, Fisher Island, Miami Beach and the port of Miami’s cruise ship and cargo districts. You’ll also see

Florida gets fresh

Behind the palm-fringed beaches and the dazzling draw of Disney, a food revolution is quietly taking root in Florida’s backyards.

Locavores are infiltrating suburban neighborhoods, planting vegetable patches in schools and advocating passionately for sustainable agriculture. With each farm-to-fork bite the message is spreading: slow food is more convivial than fast; local is more friendly than global; and fresh, organic ingredients simply taste better than the rest.

With Florida’s food industry contributing $100 billion to the state’s economy, it comes as a surprise that Florida placed in the bottom 11 states of the 2014 Locavore Index. This despite being the country’s biggest producer of citrus and harvesting the majority of the continent’s winter vegetables. But what’s the reason?

At the turn of the 20th century one in three Americans worked on a farm and ate locally grown food. Now only 2% do and those that left for the cities also left behind the food that they ate and the culture it was embedded in. Reconnecting with this fresh food culture is the focus of a new generation of farmers, fishermen and chefs who are determined to get Florida produce back on local plates. Take a mouthful of sea and sunshine with this round-up of some

Dining beyond Disney

Everyone knows that Walt Disney World is the happiest place on earth, but until recently it was hardly the healthiest. Dining out in the theme parks of Florida will usually mean fast food and chain restaurants that leave as much of a processed taste in your mouth as an unfair dent in your wallet. Look outside Cinders’ back yard in Orlando, however, and there is a burgeoning locavore food movement going on, with farm-to-table dining, gourmet farmers markets and supper clubs putting the ‘art’ into artisan.  Here are 10 places leading the charge.

East End Market

The epicenter of the locavore movement in Orlando is this two-storey food hall where small-scale producers and inspiring food entrepreneurs come face-to-face with locals and tourists. Behind the mounds of arugula, escarole and turnips you’ll find farmers, fishermen and chefs selling direct to the public.  There’s a full working market garden in the grounds, and inside, the first floor hosts 10 independently owned businesses. You can get roasted craft coffee from Lineage, artisan cheese from La Femme du Fromage, and vegetables, meat and raw honey straight from the farm at Local Roots. You can even dine on-site at Txokos, a restaurant based on the Spanish Basque

Hemingway Days Festival

Location: 201 Duval St, Key West, Florida, USA

Level of participation: 3 – try to keep up with the swashbuckling Papas

Storms are not unknown in subtropical Key West, the southernmost island in the Florida Keys chain, but this week it experiences a surreal deluge of white beards. The Hemingway Look-Alike Contest attracts 150 hopefuls, complete with beards, barrel chests and booming voices, to Sloppy Joe’s Bar, where ‘Papa’ spent most of the 1930s slamming back daiquiris.

Fans of Men Without Women and Hemingway’s other macho masterpieces have come from as far afield as Kazakhstan. The contestant in question, one Vladimir Malikov, sold property to fund the trip and became an audience favourite in 2004.

Other activities include the ‘Running of the Bulls’ (the animals are fake cousins of the beasts at Hemingway’s beloved Fiesta de San Fermin) and a competition devoted to his favourite sport in Key West. The blue marlin tournament sees catches that weigh in at 160kg and cash prizes total more than $250,000. On a more serious note, there’s a one-man play about Papa, tours of his home and writing studio, a short story competition…and a wrestling contest.

Essentials: bring a knowledge of Hemingway’s greatest hits – most of which he penned in Key West – and

Eight great outdoor adventures in Boston

Let’s go outside and play! Everybody knows that Boston puts on a good art show and gives an excellent history lesson. But this compact city is also blessed with beaches and bike trails, islands and ice rinks, rivers and running routes, not to mention one vast, blue beautiful harbor.

So when you’re ready to see Boston from a different point of view – with the sun in your eyes and the wind in your face – here are some ways to do it.

Harnessing the wind

Feel the wind in your sails and admire Boston’s magnificent skyline from the water. Experienced sailors can rent a three- or four-seater sailing boat for a jaunt around the Boston Harbor (Courageous Sailing) or the Charles River Basin (Community Boating). If you prefer to leave the hard work to the professionals, book a trip on the Liberty Fleet, classic 125-ft schooners that take passengers cruising around the harbor.

Cycling along the Charles River

The best way to see Boston is from the seat of a bike. Nowadays there are painted and protected bicycle lanes along many popular cycling routes, though it can still be tricky for novice riders to navigate the crowded city streets.

Who’s your papa? The Hemingway Days Festival

Got a love of literature? Think you can simulate a stocky, white-bearded man? Then pull up a bar stool and get into Key West’s annual celebration of Ernest Hemingway.

Where? 201 Duval St, Key West, Florida, USA

When? Every July

Storms are not unknown in subtropical Key West, the southernmost island in the Florida Keys chain, but for one week each July it experiences a surreal deluge of white beards. The Hemingway Look-Alike Contest attracts 150 hopefuls, complete with beards, barrel chests and booming voices, to Sloppy Joe’s Bar, where ‘Papa’ spent most of the 1930s slamming back daiquiris (althoughCaptain Tony’s Saloonis also a watering hole of Hemingway significance).

Fans of Men Without Women and Hemingway’s other macho masterpieces havecome from as far afield as Kazakhstan. The contestant in question, one Vladimir Malikov, sold property to fund the trip and became an audience favourite in 2004.

Other activities include the ‘Running of the Bulls’ (the animals are fake cousins of the beasts at Hemingway’s beloved Fiesta de San Fermin) and a competition devoted to his favourite sport in Key West. The blue marlin tournament sees catches weigh in at 160kg and cash prizes total more than $250,000. On a more serious note, there’s a one-man

Fantasy Fest

Location: Duval St, Key West, Florida, USA

Dates: ten days ending on the last Sunday in October

Level of participation: 5 – indulge your wildest fantasies

One of the most outrageous parties in the lead-up to Halloween is this camp blowout in subtropical Florida. Started in 1979 as a ploy to liven up a quiet period for the local tourist industry, Fantasy Fest is a mind-bending series of fancy dress parties and parades. We’re not just talking about obvious dos like the Pimp and Ho Party (with its $700 Mr Pimp and Ms Ho contest). Some of the themes would make a costume designer scratch their head. There’s the Dungeons & Dragons leather fetish bash, the Party in Plaid and a homemade bikini contest. The Monster’s Ball is overrun with serpents, mermaids and other creatures that should probably remain submerged deep in the subconscious.

The venues doll themselves up as imaginatively as their clients. Sloppy Joe’s Bar, which also hosts the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, throws a huge toga party. Bed sheets and laurel wreaths are de rigueur and those not getting into the Roman spirit have, on occasion, been stripped. The fun begins with a Caribbean-style street party and climaxes

Hemingway Days Festival

Location: 201 Duval St, Key West, Florida, USA

Level of participation: 3 – try to keep up with the swashbuckling Papas

Storms are not unknown in subtropical Key West, the southernmost island in the Florida Keys chain, but this week it experiences a surreal deluge of white beards. The Hemingway Look-Alike Contest attracts 150 hopefuls, complete with beards, barrel chests and booming voices, to Sloppy Joe’s Bar, where ‘Papa’ spent most of the 1930s slamming back daiquiris.

Fans of Men Without Women and Hemingway’s other macho masterpieces have come from as far afield as Kazakhstan. The contestant in question, one Vladimir Malikov, sold property to fund the trip and became an audience favourite in 2004.

Other activities include the ‘Running of the Bulls’ (the animals are fake cousins of the beasts at Hemingway’s beloved Fiesta de San Fermin) and a competition devoted to his favourite sport in Key West. The blue marlin tournament sees catches that weigh in at 160kg and cash prizes total more than $250,000. On a more serious note, there’s a one-man play about Papa, tours of his home and writing studio, a short story competition…and a wrestling contest.

Essentials: bring a knowledge of Hemingway’s greatest hits – most of which he penned in Key West – and