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Miami celebs tell you where to go

By Jim Kavanagh, CNN
"One thing not to be missed in Miami is the Cuban food," celebrity blogger Perez Hilton says.
"One thing not to be missed in Miami is the Cuban food," celebrity blogger Perez Hilton says.
  • Perez Hilton: Miami's Cuban food is a must have
  • Helio Castroneves recommends Seaquarium and a pricey dinner
  • Tony Kanaan suggests people watching on the beach
  • Rick Sanchez says head to the racetrack

(CNN) -- When in Miami -- say, for the Super Bowl this weekend -- do as the celebrities do. You know they know how to have a good time.

Several famous Miami, Florida-area residents shared their tips on which sights and experiences visitors to Florida's cultural capital should be sure not to miss (besides the football game). Here's what they told us:

"The one thing not to be missed in Miami is the Cuban food," celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton said. "There is no other city in America where you can get Cuban food like you can in Miami. My two favorite restaurants to recommend are La Carreta and Versailles. Those two are authentic and super yummy."

La Carreta has eight Miami locations, including one at the airport and the flagship eatery at 3632 S.W. Eighth Street in Little Havana. Versailles is right up the street at 3555 S.W. Eighth Street, also known as Calle Ocho. It has a walk-up coffee window and is open until 4:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and "Dancing with the Stars" champion Helio Castroneves recommends visiting the Seaquarium on Key Biscayne, followed by a night out at Casa Tua.

"It is a nice lounge and restaurant, and it's right on the beach, so it's a great place to hang out," said Castroneves, who lives in Coral Gables.

Be warned that Casa Tua is pricey, with entrees starting at $50. If you can afford it, you can find it on James Avenue near 17th Street in Miami Beach.

For a cheaper thrill, fellow race car driver Tony Kanaan recommends stopping by Lincoln Road in South Beach.

"It's great for people watching," the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion said. "If you are a girl, you look at the guys. If you're a guy, you look at the girls."

His favorite local beach is Miami Beach between First and Second avenues.

"I'm always there on the weekends that I have off. The ocean is pretty and the people are very warm."

Kanaan, a resident of Key Biscayne, also suggests an inexpensive Italian dinner at Tutto Pasta on Third Avenue in the Coral Way restaurant district.

"The food is awesome. They make their own pasta. If I want to change anything, they do it for me."

If you're into history, horse racing, bird watching and/or architecture, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez strongly recommends you make your way to Hialeah Park racetrack.

"Did you know this? Amelia Earhart said her farewell to the continental U.S. from Hialeah before her ill-fated flight around the world in 1937," said Sanchez, who grew up in a working class neighborhood nearby.

"Opened in 1925, Hialeah Park's architecture will take your breath away. You'll see where Seabiscuit raced and where gangsters like Al Capone, Meyer Lansky and John Dillinger cut deals and decided who to 'rub out.' In fact, I just watched Johnny Depp as Dillinger in 'Public Enemy,' and guess where he's seen cutting his deal? Hialeah. How cool is that?

"It really is the world's most beautiful racetrack," Sanchez said. "And it holds the distinction of being an Audubon Society Bird Sanctuary and being listed on the National Register of Historic Places."

Hialeah Park is on Fourth Avenue in Hialeah, north of Miami International Airport.

One final celebrity tip comes from humorist Dave Barry:

"You definitely should not miss watching the cruise ships return to the Port of Miami, where dockworkers use cranes to unload cruise passengers who have expanded to the size of UPS trucks from eating as many as eight buffet meals per day at sea."