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After spending so much time at home, many of us are more than ready to start planning a beach day or two, or five or seven. And as Florida starts to slowly reopen, exploring Miami is a great way get your spirits back up, thanks to its sunny stretches of beach, all night party scene and lively Latin influences. But there’s even more to Magic City that may have escaped your attention until now. Check out this list of unforgettable beyond-the-beach Miami-area experiences that will give you so much to look forward to as soon as the time is right.

RELATED: Which Florida Key is for you? A key-by-key guide

The Hotel Julia for SMS Lodging. Designer Stephen Busto

1. Stay in a 1930s Art Deco hotel in South Beach

Once hotels are ready to welcome guests again, the Magic City’s world-class hotels will again for the perfect staycation. Specifically, Miami Beach’s Art Deco hotels are an iconic part of the city’s streetscape and The Julia, an Orbitz Rewards VIP Access property, is a fine example. The 29-room adults-only boutique hotel in the trendy SoFi (South of Fifth) neighborhood features a traditional Art Deco ambiance reminiscent of the original structure from the 1930s, blended with modern updates and beautiful art installations from local artists. Unwind on the outdoor patio with a complimentary wine and cheese happy hour plus, as a VIP Access property, the Julia offers Gold and Platinum Orbitz Rewards members a complimentary bottle of wine during their stay. Not sure how to become an Orbitz Rewards member? It’s easy to join—and it’s free!

2. Taste your way through Little Havana

Independent restaurants need patrons support now more than ever and Calle 8 (or 8th Street), located in the Little Havana district, is the place to go for the best Cuban food—and culture—outside of Cuba. Once restaurants have fully opened again, wander down the street and stop into La Carreta for classic Cuban dishes such as picadillo, fried plantains and yuca con mojo.

3. Admire graffiti art transforming 80,000-square feet of walls

Wynwood Walls, located in the now vibrant warehouse district of Wynwood, entices renown street artists from around the globe to showcase their murals in this outdoor museum. A great selfie spot!

Image courtesy of vineveramiami.com

4. Swim in an 820,000-gallon historic pool made from a coral rock quarry

The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, included on the National Register of Historical Places, is a public pool filled with natural spring water. The Mediterranean style swimming hole is adorned with a waterfall, bridge, palm trees and two lookout towers. While the pool is normally open February through November, it was recently closed due to COVID-19, so be sure to call ahead and, if it is open, plan on getting there early–entrance is limited.

ALSO: Earn rewards while you soak up that Miami sunshine—join Orbitz Rewards today!

5. Sip a mojito along the bank of the historic Miami River

The Wharf is the perfect outdoor setting to taste dishes from the latest popular Miami food trucks, indulge in a hand-crafted cocktail and listen to a local band. Chill in the comfortable lounge chairs or, if you’re so lucky, pull your boat up to the dock for a beer and a bite to eat.

6. Standup paddleboard among manatees and million dollar mansions

Join Kayak South Beach for a SUP or kayak tour around Sunset Island with lavish celebrity-owned estates and views of the Miami skyline. Keep your eyes open for manatees, dolphins and swimming iguanas. Continue on past the Venetian Islands to Flagler Memorial Island to take a dip in the warm water.

Image courtesy Miami Design District

7. Celebrate design in fashion, art, and architecture—all in one place

The master planned Miami Design District appeals to those looking for high-end shopping, culinary masterpieces, free weekly concerts, and a multitude of cultural events. Attend a fashion show, go to an art opening, enjoy live music or meet local artisans in this once neglected neighborhood.

8. Bike from SoFi to South Point

The SoFi neighborhood has become a burgeoning hotspot for restaurants, bars and art galleries. Rent a Citi Bike on Washington Ave and 3rd Street for $6.50 an hour, stop in at Big Pink for some brioche French toast topped with Kit Kat bars, and end at South Point Park Pier to enjoy the city and ocean views.

Image courtesy of Cibo Wine Bar

9. Have a wine fairy deliver your glass of vino

Upscale Cibo Wine Bar in South Beach is a beautifully designed bar and restaurant serving up homemade Italian dishes and has a massive 3,500-bottle wall of wine from which a “wine fairy” will deliver your favorite drink to pair with your meal. After dinner, head to the sizeable and swanky rooftop bar for a nightcap.

10. Get doused in gold—and other high-tech spa treatments

Miami is a mecca for hotel spas that combine luxury and technology, including the Acqualina Spa by ESPA at the Acqualina Resort & Spa On the Beach, an Orbitz VIP Access hotel that treats Orbitz Rewards Gold and Platinum members to a $25 food and beverage credit (become an Orbitz Rewards member for free here). There’s also Remede Spa at St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort and, for an ultimate indulgence, head to the The Spa at the Miami Beach Edition for treatments that include Nobel-prize winning products made with diamonds and gold. Had a late night? Try the “power nap” that uses biotic wave technology to make a thirty minute nap feel like you got four hours of sleep.

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Tagged: Florida, Miami

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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

@famtravchannel

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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