Updated: A trip to Florida promises awesome adventures whether you crave the great outdoors or a rack filled with fashionable bargains, Miami Beach is the right place to be. The weather is warm, the people are friendly (mostly) and our beaches span miles of coastline offering quiet spots to unwind.
With your travel happiness in mind, we’ve scoured the streets and waterways of South Florida to compile a list of the TEN THINGS you definitely want to do during your visit. From Celebrity Spotting to Stone Crabs to Salsa, there’s a lot to do in the Sunshine State, and even if you don’t have time to do it all, we want you to know what’s available. So pack your bags, your snorkel and your sunscreen and follow us…
10 Things We Love About Miami Beach - Part One
1. Celebrity Spotting
Celebrities flock to South Beach for the sun, the sand, and the Super Star treatment they receive at hotels and nightclubs. Rock gods like U2 enjoy the posh private recording studios stashed atop some exclusive SoBe resorts and young Hollywood starlets bare it all poolside at the Delano. Clever valet parking guys keep the local paparazzi on speed-dial so they will not miss a shot of Madonna visiting the Kaballah Center or Shaq shooting hoops at a local gym. A folded fifty sure beats a five-buck tip for parking cars! The bigger the celebrity, the higher the bounty for a well-placed photograph in People Magazine.
Stars are big business in Miami, and that might explain why a nightclub promoter would drop a $100,000 check into Paris Hilton’s tiny handbag just so she’ll shimmy around on a Saturday night. Image is everything! The cache of a celebrity sighting brings weeks of buzz to restaurants and bars all over town. In addition to the hushed commercial ventures between promoters and It-Girls, many big names in music, sports and movies own palatial mansions and million dollar penthouses here too.
Star Island in Miami
If you’re a fan of reality television, you watched Hulk Hogan and his crazy kids spend a season in South Beach. The Hulkster liked to pump iron at an Alton Road gym and then pop across the street to Lime Mexican Grill for a post-workout burrito! Once the season ended, the wrestler’s family moved upstate, selling their ultra-modern cement block fortress to mega-director Michael Bay for $19 million dollars! No doubt Bay fell in love with the city (and made serious bank) while filming Bad Boys 2 here. Few know he also has a screen credit as a goon in the original Miami Vice TV show. It turns out stars love Miami as much as Miami loves stars! We’ve even got the perfect place for them to live – Star Island! Pop by one afternoon to check out Rosie O’Donnell’s house or the big digs of super star Shaquille O’Neil.
Multi-Million dollar real estate transactions take place all over town as Miami is home to Matt Damon, Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz and Jennifer Lopez too. While most of these VIPs are not expecting visitors, we do want to help our readers get a wee bit closer to the Big Stars, so we’re providing a comprehensive map to the stars’ homes just for you. Paste this link into your browser, print the map and go stalk someone you love… Our number one tip for making the most of your trip to South Florida is to Spot the Celebrities!
If you have no rental car and still want a peek at the glamorous mansions, take a Duck Tour (www.ducktoursmiami.com) or contact the folks at Jet Ski Miami (www.jetskitoursofmiami.com) to get an up close look at the waterfront estates of all the stars. If you actually want to rub elbows with the big dogs, a Saturday night table at Prime 112 or Joe’s Stone Crab offers a pretty good chance to spot pro athletes, big name fashion designers and even a few superstar chefs. Just recently, Bill Clinton hosted a dinner for 20 at Prime 112 when quarterback Tom Brady and super-model Giselle arrived. Clinton introduced Brady to his table as, “the best quarterback in the world…” Who can say how he would have honored Giselle?!
To get the most updated information on the whereabouts of your favorite celebrities, log onto www.miamitodaynews.com and click the link for Filming in Miami. The site provides updated information on all permits issued for filming and photo shoots around the city including telenovella “Dame Chocolate” and major motion picture and television productions.
Have fun Star Gazing!
For some, the thrill of the hook-up hunt is an essential element to a successful vacation. Chapter two of our ten part series will help you fulfill all of your Florida fantasies…don’t miss it!