Editor’s Note: This story, and several others on Miami, complement the CNNGo TV series. See more of the show here: www.cnn.com/gotravel.
From the shores of South Beach to Little Havana to the graffiti filled alleyways of the Wynwood District, the experiences Miami offers are as varied as the individuals that call Miami home.
Cuban born TV personality Ismael Cala walks CNN through the zen gardens of Villa Vizcaya and reminisces about his childhood over a plate of the Cuban staple, picadillo.
Chef Lorena Garcia shows us around the ever-changing Design District and tastes the fusion of Latin American flavors at her favorite Miami restaurant.
We end our journey with Jorge Gomez, a member of the Grammy-nominated band Tiempo Libre, to find out where he goes to get the best Cuban cigars and mojitos in town.
Here is just a glimpse of where we’ve been:
Owned by a Venezuelan family from Portugal, this little bakery with an unassuming storefront in Miami Beach is filled with shelves of delicious snacks and desserts from all across South America.
Miami locals stop in to pick up everything from traditional Venezuelan cheese sticks called tequenos to the decadent cuatro leches cake.
It serves some of the best empanadas in town. Stuffed with cumin seasoned ground beef flecked with raisins and olives, they’re best eaten with a cup of cafe con leche.
Moises Bakery, 7310 Collins Ave., Miami; +1 305 868 0548
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Anyone looking for an escape from the city of Miami could visit the relaxing greenery of the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Built in the early 1900s as a winter home for American business mogul, James Deering, the estate was modeled after a centuries-old Italian villa.
Walking through the home is like walking back in time – every room is complete with original furnishings from that era.
The biggest draw, though, comes from the accompanying gardens – a carefully cultivated subtropical paradise.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, 3251 South Miami Ave., Miami; +1 305 250 9133
Wynwood Arts District
This funky and eclectic neighborhood has quickly become one of the hottest spots in town to hang out.
In 2009, the Wynwood Arts District Association began taking abandoned warehouses and converting them into art complexes.
The area now has one of the largest art communities in the United States.
It’s not hard to find creative expression in this part of the city. Every inch of wall space and even pavement is used as a canvas for artists from all over Miami.
El Palacio de Los Jugos
It’s a grocery store that brings the sights, smells, and sounds of street markets from all over the world to the heart of Miami.
Steaming trays of Cuban staples entice hungry shoppers while a man cracks coconuts open for thirsty patrons.
Local families incorporate this place into their routine, grabbing seats on the massive patio to have a meal.
Our favorite was the simple but delicious chicharrones, tender pieces of pork belly fried to salty perfection.
El Palacio de Los Jugos, 5721, W Flagler St., Miami; +1 305 264 8662
Ball & Chain
Ball & Chain is a watering hole whose roots go back to the Depression-era 1930s.
While most hit South Beach for their evening entertainment, the nightclub has been a go-to for decades amongst musicians and locals alike.
On any given night, the venue is hosting live performances on two stages, one trending towards salsa and the other towards jazz.
If you’re a fan of discovering local artists – and great mojito – while traveling, Ball & Chain offers some of the best music the city has to offer.
Ball & Chain, 1513 SW 8th St., Little Havana, Miami
Lorena Garcia, chef
Ismael Cala, journalist
Jorge Gomez, musician, Tiempo Libre
“Big City Bright Lights”
“Find a Way”
“Keep It Flowing”
“De Cara al Sol”
“Stop For Nothing”
“Somebody to Love”
“Dime Que No”