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The Hidden Gems Of Miami Beach, Floridas

By Expert Author: Stam Bett

If you're planning a visit to the city of Miami Beach, you're probably already familiar with the biggest tourist destinations like South Beach and the Art Deco District. While these destinations are certainly worth your time, you might want to spend your vacation exploring some of the hidden gems of Miami Beach, Florida, from delicious and small restaurants to uncrowded shopping areas.

Grab a Great Meal
You may not think of Miami Beach as a great destination for vegetarian fare, but you'd be wrong! There are plenty of little gems throughout the city, such as Tap Tap, a Haitian restaurant on 5th near Meridian that is open only for dinner with a huge selection of vegetarian meals. Some of their classics include stewed vegetables, which are similar to an Indian curry, served with a side of spinach in coconut milk. You may also want to stop by Icebox on Michigan Avenue. This small place has only one rotating vegetarian meal but their selection of food is hard to beat.

Hit the Road
While Lincoln Road is one of the most popular tourist destinations for shopping in Miami Beach, Florida, you might want to head to Espanola Way if you want to ditch the crowd. This pedestrian-only street is just off Washington near 14th street and it features beautiful architecture that will remind you of Old Europe with plenty of art galleries, cafes and smaller shops to enjoy.

The Secret Hotels of Miami Beach
The city of Miami Beach has no shortage of luxury hotels and big name resorts, but you might enjoy staying somewhere with a bit more warmth. This 1.7-square-mile stretch in the city of Miami Beach has seen more than 125 hotels, many of which are Art Deco-style buildings constructed in the 1920's through the 1930's. Consider staying at one of these historic buildings during your vacation.

One example is Villa Paradiso, which was purchased by a couple in the early 1990's and eventually updated to be a home away from home. The cost for a room is only $99 during the low season, and the couple also owns another nearby hotel called The Loft Hotel, which sits in the middle of Collins Avenue. If you feel like splurging, you may even want to head to the Hotel Impala, with a gated entrance on Collins to an Italian stone path that leads through a huge garden into the lobby itself. You'll feel like you're taking in a private retreat right in the middle of South Beach.

Greatest Relatively Secret Beaches of Miami
Finally, you might want to spend some time exploring beaches in the area that aren't packed with people, spending hours hunting for a parking spot. While there are no truly unknown beaches of Miami and Miami Beach, there are some relatively secret areas where you won't find a crowd.

One great beach is the North Shore Open Space Park, which is run by the city of Miami and fees truly spacious and untouched with Seagrape trees surrounding you rather than skyscrapers. You might even want to drive to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach, which is past Sir Pizza on the very tip of The Key. You'll enjoy a very quiet day at the beach with a great view of a lighthouse, which is the oldest standing building in the entire county.

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