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Most people know of South Beach‘s sizzling nightlife, but laid-back Mid-Beach (a stone’s throw north) is sounding its own buzz and attracting global travelers who want to experience all that Miami has to offer—with a whole new show of pomp and flash. The revitalization is driven largely by the new Faena District, a six-block project that runs from 32nd to 36th street and includes the 169-room Faena Hotel decked with artwork from Damien Hirst; three new condo buildings; a cultural center; a shopping complex, and more.

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Located between South Beach and Bal Harbor, Mid-Beach stretches along Collins Avenue from 25th to 50th streets. Its central location provides easy access to the eclectic neighborhoods that make up mainland Miami such as Little Havana, Little Haiti, Wynwood, Downtown, Sunset Harbor and more, and is recently home to a variety of affordable boutiquehotels, such as the newly renovated and family owned Circa 39 Hotel.


Photo courtesy of Circa 39 Hotel Miami

Situated off 39th Street on Collins Avenue, Circa 39 is just a few steps away from the beach, but don’t worry about lugging your beach chair—the hotel offers beach service. Just grab a pool towel and head over to the beach where comfy lounge chairs are available to hotel guests. Dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean, work on your tan, or just relax under an umbrella with a good book.If you don’t want to get sandy, lounge chairs and cabanas are available at the Circa 39 Hotel pool, along with poolside cocktail service from WunderBar, which specializes in internationally inspired craft cocktails and bar bites, such as Smashed Sangria and Curry Fried Chickpeas. For the younger set or those on a budget, the chic Freehand Miami hotel and hostel offers plenty of extras such as one of Miami Beach’s best bars, the Broken Shaker, which serves up tasty craft cocktails that you can enjoy poolside, plus critically acclaimed 27 Restaurant and bike rentals.

Before heading out to explore the area, fuel up on global comfort food at Circa 39’s Jules Kitchen, which serves favorites such as The “Floribbean” glazed wings, beef Cubano, Caribbean shrimp mofango and key lime pie. Wiped out frombeing on your feet all day? Curl up in the comfort of a Circa 39 guest room instead. The rooms feature high definition flat screen LCD TVs, mini-fridge, wireless Internet access, and DirecTV service. The solid wood floors, plantation-style shutters and white with teak furniture, accented with tropical lime green and orange décor, give the rooms a laid-back island vibe.

Bike down Ocean Drive

Bike down Ocean Drive

Ready to explore South Beach? Hop on the nearby city bus (#120 Downtown) for only $2.25 and exit at 5th Street. From here it’s only a short walk to South Pointe Park for beautiful views of downtown Miami and the South Beach strip. If a long walk isn’t yourthing, grab a CitiBike from one of the many stands located around town. For six dollars an hour, you can cruise along Ocean Drive to take in the Art Deco architecture, or along the bike path for a scenic look at the ocean (helmets not required). For a unique nightclub experience in South Beach, Drink House Fire & Ice features fire dancers and a small ice lounge made completely out of ice, including the floors, chairs and glasses. Coats and slippers are available.

For a more cultural experience, just a short Uber ride away from Mid-Beach is Little Havana. This neighborhood was established in the 1960s by Cuban immigrants and is a wonderful place to explore the tastes, sights and sounds of Cuba. Miami Culinary Tours offers an amazing two-and-a-half hour food tour of the cultural Calle Ocho (8th Street) neighborhood that includes a variety of Cuban foods such as empanadas, mojitos, medianoche sandwiches, guarapo, pastelito, mantecado ice cream and Cuban coffee. Guests will also be exposed to Cuban art, music and traditions (Domino Park, Cuban cigar factory). Afterward, don’t forget to stop at the Little Havana Market Place souvenir shop to grab a fedora or handmade jewelry. If a self-guided tour is more your pace, stop for lunch at the Ball & Chain restaurant for an authentic Cuban experience.

Be enthralled at the Wynwood Arts District

Be enthralled at the Wynwood Arts District | Flickr CC: T.Tseng

If art is more your interest, check out the colorful Wynwood Walls Urban Graffiti ArtMuseum located in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. Using warehouse buildings as canvases, street artists have transformed this industrial neighborhood into an art mecca. Since its inception in 2009 by renowned community revitalizer and placemaker, the late Tony Goldman, the Wynwood Walls program has seen more than 50 artists representing 16 countries and has covered over 80,000 square feet of walls. It’s a great place for selfies!

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After filling your mind with art, fill your belly with an amazing lunch at the rustic Wynwood Diner where the chef uses only fresh and natural ingredients in his creations, such as the tomato melon salad with red onion, parsley, aged feta and cucumber, or brisket sliders with cheddar and caramelized onions. If you’re visiting Wynwood after dark, check out Wynwood Yard where specialty food trucks serve up top-notch cuisine while live bands entertain the outdoor crowd. Want to take some art home? Nomad Tribe shop on Washington Avenue is all about “creating a positive social impact while making beautiful fashion statements.”


Photo courtesy of Palms Hotel and Spa

To relax after a long day of site seeing, stroll down Collins Avenue to the Palms Hotel & Spa where a pampering treatment awaits. Choose from treatments such as Chakra Balancing Massage, Shirodhara Warm Oil Treatment, Botanical Skin Resurfacing, Sea Science Purifying Body Masque, or for the ultimate indulgence, a 30-Minute Aqua Salt Glow Treatment in a state-of-the-art HydroCapsule that combines aroma-steam, Vichy-shower and hydro-color lighting therapy. The spa area includes a coed relaxation room with outdoor waterfall, steam room, ice fountain and light snacks. Spa guests enjoy full use of the property, which includes a poolside Tiki Bar and Tiki Cabanas, direct access to Miami Beach’s four-mile boardwalk, and dining at Essensia Restaurant, featuring an intimate indoor dining room, a large Caribbean-style covered terrace and a breezy poolside terrace.

Mid-Beach is the perfect home base to see all the wonders that the Magic City has to offer.


Tagged: Florida

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Sharael Kolberg |
​Sharael, founder of Family Travel Channel (, has been writing about travel since 1995. Her work has appeared in Sunset magazine, Outside magazine,,, and many others. Follow her on Twitter @FamTravChannel, FB and Instagram @FamilyTravelChannel. See more of her work at
Sharael Kolberg |


Where to stay, where to eat, and what to do once you arrive. Follow me on Instagram @familytravelchannel. #familytravel #travelblogger #influencer
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