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One City, Five Hours: Miami

SoBe it

Author Jesús Huarte Illustration Oliver Jeffers

1 First stop: coffee. Strong, Cuban coffee in a demitasse cup from Versailles Restaurant (3555 SW Eighth St.), a landmark eatery on Calle Ocho in Miami’s Little Havana. When you get to South Beach—SoBe for short—a vibrant strip of sand where retirement community meets party town, you’ll be glad for the boost. (0:20)

2 Driving to the beach, enjoy the view on Julia Tuttle Causeway, a four-mile bridge over Biscayne Bay. If it’s sunny—and it’s always sunny—stop at Wells Fargo (750 Arthur Godfrey Rd.) to discover one of the city’s best-kept secrets: dozens of enormous iguanas lying in the parking lot. (1:00)

3 Once on the South Beach strip, you’re feeling a bit Hollywood, so you stop by Love Hate Tattoo Studio (1360 Washington Ave.; www.lovehatetatoos.com)—the home of TLC’s Miami Ink. You’re just browsing, of course; the dragon for your shoulder will have to wait for another day. (1:40)

4 For something you can take with you, head to The Webster Miami (1220 Collins Ave.; www.thewebstermiami.com), a three-story boutique housed in a stellar example of South Beach’s famous Art Deco architecture. It features the best labels—women’s and men’s—along with accessories and photography exhibitions. (2:15)

5 Stick with the Deco theme as you head to The Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave.; www.wolfsonian.org). This very SoBe museum showcases a permanent collection of industrial art, political propaganda and architectural models created from 1885 to 1945. (3:15)

6 Given the climate, an occasional beverage is key. Good thing Larios on the Beach (820 Ocean Dr.; www.bongoscubancafe.com) is only a couple of blocks away. Try one of their mojitos; they were voted the best in town by Miami Herald readers. (4:10)

7 Before returning to the airport, find your way to Smith & Wollensky (1 Washington Ave.; www.smithandwollensky.com) in the spectacular South Pointe Park, which recently underwent a $22 million renovation. You’ll have a front-row seat to watch cruise ships come in and out of the port, the perfect complement to a shellfish bouquet. (5:00)

2 Responses to “One City, Five Hours: Miami”

  1. Russell Says:
    September 21st, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I went to the Wells Fargo (which is actually a Wachovia now) today at noon and there were definitely no enormous iguanas! I scoured the parking lot, looking up and down the trees too. Nothing. Stayed there for 30 min. What’s a good time to go? It was definitely sunny.

    I travel a ton and fly United all the time so I was really excited to see this Miami piece while on my way here this week. Thanks! Except gimme some help!

  2. Alexis Says:
    July 5th, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Four years too late in responding, but here goes. Many iguanas died in the extended freeze four or five years ago. They are proliferating again but you can see some almost anywhere and a lot in areas such as all along red road heading out to where parrot jungle used to be and the parks and beaches all throughout key biscayne.

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