Yeah, we know. You don’t want to go to South Beach. We feel that way sometimes, too.
But look. It’s got a beach. It has a rich and vibrant history and pretty Art Deco buildings. And you don’t necessarily have to go to Ocean Drive, which may or may not be a raging dumpster fire, to experience it. Besides, even Ocean Drive has a few spots you should visit before you ascend to that great Wet Willie’s in the sky.
So be brave. Cross that causeway (which will inevitably be down to one lane). Because there is a South Beach bucket list, and you need to start crossing things off.
Here’s what you should do:
Watch cruise ships depart from the pier
Wave to the passengers and be glad you’re not one of them.
Eat at Joe’s Stone Crab
Joe’s is a Miami Beach institution, and stone crab season - aka the most wonderful time of the year - runs from Oct. 15 through May 15. But who says you have to get stone crabs? You can try the locals’ secret: fried chicken for $6.95 that will make you forget all those fast food sandwiches.
11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Watch a Wallcast at the New World Center
On certain Saturdays, bring a picnic and a blanket and watch the New World Symphony on the big screen in Soundscape Park. You’re not supposed to bring adult beverages, but we won’t tell if you do.
500 17th St., Miami Beach
Bowl at the Edition
You don’t have to be a guest at the Edition Miami Beach to hit Basement Bowl. You just need to reserve a lane.
2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Dance on the bar at Mango’s Tropical Cafe
Yeah, we know you want to act like to act like you’ve never been. But you know your relatives from the Midwest love it.
900 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
Get a closer look at the former Versace mansion
You can accomplish this in a couple of ways. You can eat at Gianni’s or try the omakase sushi experience upstairs at Sushi by Bou. We love the sushi experience best, but at Gianni’s - which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner - you get a view of the million mosaic pool.
1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
Work out or perv out at Muscle Beach in Lummus Park
No judgment, whichever you choose.
873 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
Experience drag brunch at The Palace
The Palace brunch is a Miami Beach rite of passage. Don’t be surprised if one of these performers does a split right on Ocean Drive.
1052 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
Day drink at Nikki Beach
This brand is celebrating 20 years of day drinking, day lounging and eating at the buffet until you can’t move at Miami Beach’s best address, 1 Ocean Drive.
1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
See great modern theater
Under artistic director Michel Hausmann, Miami New Drama produces some of the best theater in South Florida, all with a distinct Miami flair. Previous shows include “Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy” by Aurin Squire and Billy Corben and a version of “Our Town” in English, Spanish and Creole. Shows are at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road.
1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
Pasta Thursdays at Macchialina
On Thursdays, all the homemade pasta is $10 at this Alton Road gem. Our advice? Make a reservation and wear stretch pants.
820 Alton Rd., Miami Beach
Eat at Time Out Market
The food hall to conquer all food halls highlights some of Miami’s best chefs, including Jeremy Ford, Giorgio Rapicavoli and Michael Beltran.
1601 Drexel Ave., Miami
Witness the spectacle of Art Basel
In Miami, “Basel” is a verb. Example: “I’m Baseling tomorrow even though it’s going to take me two hours to cross the causeway.” It’s an annual rite of passage, and you’ve got to do it at least once. Brave insane traffic, then cram yourself into the Miami Beach Convention Center to look at art you can’t possibly afford. Ever. Art Basel runs Dec. 5-8 in 2019.