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BEST IN TOWN BY PAUL DRECQ
 

TO HAVE A BREAKFAST

Greenstreet café in Coconut Grove
Greenstreet touts itself as "Coconut Grove's most iconic outdoor lounge and restaurant." For more than 20 years, it has been the place to find many locals for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  The restaurant offers oversized red sofas - outside on the sidewalk - for a late night with friends as well as happy hour twice a day, seven days a week. Some of their most popular breakfast dishes are red velvet pancakes, Nutella stuffed French toast and Scrambled eggs with caviar MMMmmmmmmm.


TO SHOP
Lincoln Road Mall
Lincoln Road Mall offers a fabulous open-air shopping experience, including everything from haute boutiques to top fashion stores, not to mention cozy sidewalk cafes, art galleries, and BooksandBooks, a fabulous independent bookstore.  Lincoln Road showcases some of my favorite stores like Ferrari, Base, LACOSTE, Apple and the soon-to-open Zara store.


TO HAVE LUNCH
BLT at the Betsy

Weekend Brunch at The Betsy is always bustling with an eclectic mix of people and an amazing menu featuring Laurent Tourondel's classic brunch items and signature dishes. My must-haves include the BLT Popover - classic Eggs Benedict, served with poached eggs, spinach, ham, bacon, Béchamel and Gruyère cheeses. Another favorite of mine is the Almond Brioche French Toast with caramelized bananas or the old-fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes with blueberries and orange blossom water syrup. Those are two signature dishes not to be missed.


TO GET CULTURED
PAMM | Pérez Art Museum

Breathtaking location interesting art exhibits Also a happening new place to have lunch or dinner. One of my favorite exhibits internationally acclaimed contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has reinterpreted the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan (Old Summer Palace), an imperial retreat outside Beijing. Ai Weiwei created this body of work, the "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads," in two sizes: the Bronze monumental series (mainly for outdoor display) and the Gold collector series (for indoor display). The "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze" is the artist's first major public sculpture project.


TO ENJOY THE SUN
A day at Bill Baggs state park key Biscayne.

Visitors come to the park to sunbathe, swim and picnic on more than one mile of sandy Atlantic beachfront, currently ranked #10 on the list of "Top 10 Beaches in America" by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka 'Dr. Beach.' Biking and kayaking are popular activities. Anglers can throw in their lines from the seawall along Biscayne Bay for some of the best shoreline fishing in the region. Guided tours of the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper´s cottage are given twice daily, Thursdays through Mondays. Two restaurants, Lighthouse Café and Boater's Grill, offer authentic Cuban cuisine, or picnickers can reserve a pavilion and fire up their own grill. Bicycles, beach chairs, and umbrellas can be rented. Overnight boat camping is allowed in No Name Harbor; a primitive campsite is available for organized youth groups.

TO RELAX
Spa at The Standard
They have one of the most beautiful pool in Miami with views of beautiful Biscayne bay, and they have one of the best spa facilities in all of Miami.


TO HAVE A DRINK
The Biltmore hotel at the pool

The historic pool holds a whopping 600,000 gallons of water, and staff flaunts it as the largest hotel pool in the continental United States. Once there you ill find a beautiful towered building with an incredible pool, amazing lobby with a soaring vaulted painted ceiling, many nice restaurants, and grounds with attractive fountains, golf, tennis, and ample parking. The staff is universally friendly and will give you an orientation when you arrive. Hallways are decorated with large 1930s vintage photos of famous golfers and others during the Biltmore's heyday.


TO HAVE A DINNER
Ola

Executive Chef Horacio Rivadero oversees the production of the restaurant's signature ceviches and a small-plate tapas style menu in addition to his responsibilities at the Coral Gables Steak & Tapas location. Perhaps the best approach to the menu is to sample a few varieties of raw fish marinated in a lime infusion spiked with chili or cooled with avocado and topped with the traditional crunchy corn nuts favored in Ecuador. If you are not a fan of sushi or sashimi, this may not be your best dining option. Consider instead a culinary happy hour - trying a range of bright, tropical small plates and a cocktail at sunset. Entrees from Hudson Valley duck breast to sumptuous crispy pork served with yuca will satisfy the meat eaters in your party. Just remember to leave room for the deconstructed Key Lime Pie afterward.


TO HAVE FUN
Boating with friends.

The Miami skyline is exquisite.  I also enjoy swimming at Monument island and cruising around Miami waterways.
 

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS
Deep-sea fishing

If you have a day to spend on the ocean, I recommend heading out on the water with a deep-sea fishing excursion.  This is one of many exciting outdoor activities offered in Miami  and is hands down, my personal favorite.   A few hours on the water, and you're almost guaranteed to catch something; many restaurants near the docks will even clean and cook your catch making it the freshest seafood you'll ever enjoy!