Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn  [email protected]

Miami Florida is known for many attractions, and it may be difficult which to put on your tourist schedule. Some may be within walking distance of your hotel, especially if you stay in South Beach, and some may be more conveniently visited by taking a package bus tour. And if you find you have half a day free before your flight back home, a half day bus tour is the best use of your time. Bus tours are always
the best and most conveniently way to get a sampling of an area. Of course the bus has a schedule to keep and you may find that you would like to spend more time in one place than another.
One such bus tour can pick you up at your Miami cruise dock and then drop you off at the airport, once the tour is over.
The bus can take you through South Beach, and a glimpse of the art décor architecture, which you may be more than familiar with if you have stayed there. And while in South Beach you could take a walking tour with a guide describing the building styles, by signing up at the Art Deco Museum, there in south beach. I found this humorous as I was staying in one of the Art Deco Hotels, and one day the tour came into my lobby. If you are not a walker and one that does not like to stand, a walking tour may not suit your physical preferences.
Within an easy stroll from South Beach is the Wolfsonian museum, which is a treasure trove of near lost American art and culture. The collection has about 180,000 objects from 1850 – 1950 in a variety of media and its impact can be best expressed by the Wolfsonian mission statement.
“The Wolfsonian uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, political, and technological changes that have transformed our world. It encourages people to see the world in new ways, and to learn from the past as they shape the present and influence the future.”
Also the Wolfsonian hosts a coffee shop and book shop for a pleasant oasis and recuperative space. The Coffee table books and beverages are a tour with in itself. A few doors down is a bake shop where you might get a snack and return with it to the Wolfsonian coffee/gift shop, surrounded in a quiet and congenial atmosphere.
A bus tour, may take you to Little Havana, a Miami hot spot during the days when Cuba was a closed society. Most famous is the domino park in Little Havana, where still today you can see locals and expatriate Cubans playing dominos and socializing. Also in the area are small cafes where you are encouraged to have your lunch break. This allows you to taste authentic cultural foods as well as a chance to chat and get to know your fellow bus tour travelers. Also nearby is a fast food outlet, if the familiar choices are your preference.
Little Havana is replete with many bright colored wall paintings and murals. In fact one stop might be a park and museum replete with a plethora of examples of outdoor indigenous art, and a good restroom stop, at Wynwood Doors.
Away in the Coconut Grove area of South Florida is the Vizcaya mansion, museum and gardens. The house is a example of another more luxurious times when tycoons lived in palaces. The interior is filled with authentic furniture and antiques and the gardens inspirie days gone by. There are bus tours that offer an extended visit or you may book some of their additional experiences. Always improving with preservation upgrades, a repeat visit is always new.
And of course you have to eat an upscale meal. The restaurant at the Versace Mansion is not to be missed, and talked about in previous issues. A Fish Called Avalon, in the South Beach Avalon Hotel does not disappoint with an upscale menu. As with so many South Beach eateries they have an outdoor as well as indoor dining area. You might enjoy the grouper, octopus, snapper, tuna, lobster or wild salmon and if you are inclined, top notch steaks. If this sounds too heavy for you, their salads are mountains of deliciousness. With a common name of Chopped Salad you will be surprised at the over the top presentation. And of course ask about their daily specials.
If the weather is clear and the ocean calm, you should indulge in a tourist cruise in the Miami bay, sightsee lux backyard of celebrities, and a panoramic view of Miami Beach. There are many more treasures you may explore in South Florida beyond the potpourri listed here. Explore !

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association