Florida is an Oasis this time of year!

As I walked over the intracoastal and headed towards the beach I was thinking about my family and friends up north. As my feet came in contact with the sand and I looked out at the ocean and all the tourists I thanked my lucky stars to live in such a beautiful place. I looked on Facebook and all the post of my family and friends up in Montreal, Canada showed endless mountains of snow and from their descriptions it was bitter cold outside.
My view as I cross the intracoastal.

Love the feeling of sand between my toes and warm air on my skin. #solucky

Anyways if you're looking to come down and get away from the cold I recommend reading info on Sunny.org

Here are a list of some of my favorite places in south florida (and no I do not get paid anything from these businesses or people)

Hotels, Restaurants and Nightlife: 
Westin Diplomat (a little bias here since I use to work here many year ago)
The Clevelander in South Beach is the perfect place to party (I haven't stayed overnight at the hotel, but their bar is awesome). Outside bar with pool and various crazy contests going on or live music.

Good place to have brunch in south beach is The Front Porch at Penguin Hotel
Hotel website is: www.penguinhotel.com
No need for shirt or shoes this local hangout is primarily popular through word of mouth. The Front Porch serves a great breakfast and is a cozy art deco eatery. Ask for a table outside and people watch. It's worth the wait. Okay pricing.

Loews Miami Beach Hotel is a good family hotel
Hotel website: www.loewshotels.com
Although South Beach is not the perfect place for kids this hotel offers spacious rooms and has a kids program.

If you want to stay at an art deco Hotel then The Tides is for you
Hotel website: www.thetideshotel.com
The Tides was built during the Depression and offers fabulous ocean views from it's suites. Great place to check out.

Miami Seaquarium
Website: www.miamiseaquarium.com
Covers 38 acres, boasts Lolita the Killer Whale and the Flipper, plus all the shows, see scores of tropical fish, sea creatures and scary sharks.

Villa Vizcaya
Website: www.vizcayamuseum.org
An Italian Renaissance-style villa built for industrialist James Deering in the early 1900s. This Home and huge gardens are designated a National Historic Landmark and are now open to the public. Visitors can tour the historic house museum plus more than 10 acres of formal gardens and a historic European landscape adapted to Miami's climate.

Best Shopping Outlets
Sawgrass Mills Mall is the largest Outlet and retail shopping mall in the United States. Make sure to put on some extremely comfortable shopping shoes because it will take you many hours to make the rounds of this mall.

Hot Tin Roof
Ocean Key Resort & Spa
Duval St.
Key West, FL 33040

The Dining Room at Little Palm Island
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
28500 Overseas Hwy
Little Torch Key, FL 33042

Red Fish Grill
Matheson Hammocks State Park
9610 Old Cutler Rd.
Coral Gables, FL 33156
( RED FISH GRILL has open bay with a panoramic view unparalleled in the city)
Scarpetta (Contemporary Italian food is arguably some of the best in town)
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
4441 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33140

Smith & Wollensky( my favorite)Reserve a window table or one in the outdoor café for the best view of cruise ships steaming by)
1 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139 
3030 Ocean (Enjoy seafood and ocean views at this restaurant)
Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
3030 Holiday Dr.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Best Nightclub: LIV at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach but it's difficult to get it so your best bet is to buy tickets which usually sell from $75 to $140 per person here at Want tickets
Another fun place with lots of choices as far as bars, restaurants and nightclubs is The Seminole Hard Rock and Casino in Hollywood.

©2013 PaulaSantos all photos and posts.

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