Ah, Fall Break. That sweet blip of time where everything comes to a standstill so us overworked students can take a breath of fresh air and revel in the beauty of life.
Okay, let’s be real. It’s one day off. But hey! That shouldn’t stop you from getting the most out of it! Take the day to explore the nooks and crannies of this diverse city on the cheap. There are no excuses for lackadaisically lounging around your dorm room; we’ve put together a nifty little list of places to go!
The Pinecrest Wayside Market: a.k.a. The Fruit Stand. A.k.a. where Soccer Moms and Hipsters coexist in peace and harmony. This hidden gem, located right off of Red Road by 104th Street, has pretty much anything delicious you could possibly want. Fresh fruits and veggies, scrumptious baked goods like apple pies and banana bread, creamy smoothies and milkshakes, prepared gourmet pastas and sandwiches – you name it, it’s there. Located about twenty minutes from campus by bike, indulging in a mango smoothie and sweet roll for under $10 is the perfect way to release some midterm steam.
Address: 10070 S.W. 57th Avenue,
Miami, FL 33156
Website: Check out the Fruit Stand’s Yelp Page here.
The front entrance to Pinecrest Wayside Market, a.k.a. The Fruit Stand. [Photo Courtesy Yelp].
Zoo Miami: While some may argue that our school’s party scene may resemble something like a zoo, there’s sure nothing like the real thing! Venture to Africa and Asia to see elephants and rhinos, explore the Asian Aviary for some serious beautiful colors and chirps, voyage to the Amazon to face down a jaguar and even get the opportunity to feed a giraffe (it’s only $2!). Entrance is about $16, but if you take advantage of the Miami Attractions Month Buy One Get One coupon, you’ll be one with nature for a fraction of the cost!
Address: 1 Zoo Boulevard
12400 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL 33177
Website: Zoo Miami’s Official Website.
The adorable Golden Lion Tamarin. [Photo Courtesy Zoo Miami].
Lincoln Road: While we can’t all be jet-setting international socialites, we can rub elbows with them (and apologize profusely thereafter!) at Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road outdoor shopping mall. Browse the fancy winter collections at French Connection and BCBG, dine at Van Dyke’s or Nexxt, catch a flick at the Regal Cinema, or partake in some highly yummy cappuccinos at Nescafe. People-watching is a must. Lunch and a movie might put you back about $20-$25, but after browsing the Swarovski store, that’s chump change.
Van Dyke’s Cafe, a classic piece of Lincoln Road real estate. [Photo Courtesy Lincoln Road].
Scotty’s Landing: Folks, if the thought a no-frills beer and classic cheeseburger overlooking a sweeping marina sounds too good to be true, that’s only because you haven’t been to Scotty’s Landing yet. Try the Conch Fritters, Cajun Dolphin Strips, Stone Crabs or the Chesapeake Crab Cakes. We hear the fish is so fresh that they were a-swimmin’ this morning.
Address: 3381 Pan American Drive
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Website: Dive in to view their menu.
Scotty’s Landing has casual dining along the marina. [Photo Courtesy Scotty's Landing].
Versailles: The unofficial Holy Land for Cuban-Americans, Versailles is as much of a palace as its namesake except with, you know, less gold and more croquetas. Versailles is the kind of place where you could walk in for a quick Medianoche and walk out with an overwhelming sense of Cuban pride. Meals are $10-$15 or so but are bang for your buck since most are more than enough to share. Versailles is the Overbearing-Grandmother-Who-Loves-To-Spoil-You of restaurants. “Are you hungry? No? Here, have some Vaca Frita, you’ll get hungry when you eat it.” And you know she’s always right.
Address: 3555 S.W. 8th Street
Miami, FL 33135
Website: Read about La Ventanita and other Versailles staples.
Versailles Restaurant’s front entrance, a little piece of Miami treasure. [Photo Courtesy Versailles Restaurant].
Virginia Key Beach: One of the oldest and most historic beaches in the Southeast US, Virginia Key Beach is not only a great alternative to the hectic South Beach vibe but also a beautiful reminder of how delicate this city and ecosystem really is. Get swept up in its beauty and quiet charm.
Address: 4020 Virginia Beach Drive
Miami, Florida 33149
Website: Get the historic park’s history here.
The gorgeous view from Virginia Key Beach. [Photo Courtesy Virginia Key Beach].
Coral Castle Museum: Step into a mysterious garden with some of the most unusual and amazing architecture a single human has ever accomplished. Coral Castle is unlike anywhere you’ve ever been; a garden carved entirely from limestone, surrounded by vivid tropical flowers. Ed Leedskalnin carved it in the 1936s and it was documented that he had no help, causing speculation that Leedskalnin used supernatural abilities to move the hundreds of tons of limestone. For a cool $15, you can draw your own conclusions. So come on, Alice; your Wonderland awaits.
Address: 28655 South Dixie Highway
Miami, FL 33033
Website: View the majestic creation here.