Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our game plan for enjoying this sunny city
without breaking the bank.
Miami is not generally considered an inexpensive vacation
destination, but to see the city like locals do—with its mix of funky
cultural enclaves, cheap ethnic restaurants, and public art—can be
surprisingly affordable.
Even in Miami, the best things in life are sort of
free. Saturday: Little Havana and Wynwood Start off the day in Little
Havana with the $4.75 breakfast at El Exquisito, a hearty eye-opener with
everything from Cuban toast to eggs to café con leche.
Then, wander down to
the Little Havana Cigar Factory to watch cigars being made: there's nothing
quite so Miami as the bracing aroma of a cigar factory.
From Little Havana, it's a short drive to Wynwood, which has emerged as a
shopping destination with thoughtful retail operations: Wynwood Letterpress,
for example, carries elegant stationary, and the hybrid shop and café Made in
Italy offers an assortment of Italian cheeses and cured meats.
For lunch or
early dinner, head to the echoes-of-the-Caribbean B&M Market (219 NE 79th
St.; 305-757-2889), which has a small restaurant, is owned by natives of
Guyana, and was featured on the Miami edition of Anthony Bourdain's "Parts
Unknown." The restaurant is known for Roti, and a curry goat roti ($8) goes
well with a Jamaican grapefruit-flavored Ting soda ($1.50).
Afterwards, head back to Little Havana for a little down time at CubaOcho
Art Center.
With food, drinks, murals, and caricatures of Cuban stars, the
place is like stepping into old Havana.
The neighborhood also has two fun
dance palaces, Hoy Como Ayer and Ball & Chain, a historic (and
inexpensive) bar that features acts like the Spam Allstars, Nil Lara, and
Palo! For a nightcap, sip yet another café con leche at the venerable
restaurant Versailles, the center of nocturnal Little Havana and heated Cuban
exile political discussions. Sunday: Art All Around Miami is emerging
as a contemporary art center, and art—free art—is everywhere.
Serge
Toussaint's surreal street murals, which span from images of President Obama
to the Miami Heat, are all around Little Haiti.
In Wynwood, visit the
"Wynwood Walls," a park with curated street murals launched in 2009 by the
late developer Tony Goldman.
Don't miss the large-scale works by Shepard
Fairey, Kenny Scharf, and Ron English.
For lunch, stop by the nearby S&S
Diner, known for classic All-American diner fare: a cup of chili costs $4.95
and will satiate the fiercest appetite.
Afterwards, work off lunch with a visit to the Perez Art Museum Miami for
the exhibition "No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract
Painting," on view through January.
The show is drawn from the collection of
Debra and Dennis Scholl.
In 2016, the Scholls are mounting a new exhibition of
Aboriginal Australian Contemporary art, entirely focused on female Aboriginal
Australian artists.
(Adult admission to PAMM is $16, though admission is free
on the second Saturdays of the month and the first Thursday of the month.)
At sunset, take a whimsy-fueled stroll on the beach along Miami Beach, from
South Pointe Park to 86th Street.
Miami Beach's lifeguard outposts were once
featured in the book South Beach Lifeguard Stations, and have embraced themes
that include The Jetsons and surfing.
The lifeguard stations are the happiest
public art imaginable, a fitting prelude to another multi-cultural culinary
infusion on Miami Beach, El Rey Del Chivito.
The Uruguayan institution
features a Classic Chivito sandwich for two, with ham, beef, and a fried egg
for $12.90.
It's the perfect, hearty end to an equally substantial Miami
day.
Tom Austin is based in Miami and covers the Florida beat for Travel +
Leisure.
Follow him on Twitter at @TomAustin__.
Miami isn't typically considered an inexpensive vacation
destination, but we've got a plan for a budget weekend that won't break
the bank.
Read on for details.

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