Local Insights: Bal Harbour 2014

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Visitors can discover local art at the Wynwood Art District.
Visitors can discover local art at the Wynwood Art District.
Visitors can discover local art at the Wynwood Art District.

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort’s concierge team shares suggestions for spending a summer under the sun in Miami Beach.

By Karlee Prazak

Warm breezes drift across Biscayne Bay, filling Bal Harbour with endless sun- and sand-filled days and nights. At the height of the summer season, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort’s concierge Tomas Valdes invites guests and residents alike to capitalize on all the Miami area has to offer, with myriad options for indulging the palate, shopping, relaxing outdoors and more.

 

Ocean Breezes

Some of the best beachside experiences can be enjoyed right in Bal Harbour. Valdes suggests sampling some of the freshest seasonal plates in Miami with a specially prepared ST. REGIS PICNIC, which allows visitors to indulge in the resort’s culinary offerings outdoors. “In every case, a picnic basket prepared by the St. Regis expert culinary staff would be a fantastic complement to the outdoor experience,” he says. A popular picnic meal includes a Mediterranean platter, prawn cocktail, a quinoa and sirloin entree, fresh cookies and a lobster salad on the side, with a selection of chilled beverages.

A St. Regis picnic lunch
A St. Regis picnic lunch

Relaxation and indulgence with unparalleled views of the Atlantic doesn’t have to end with lunch. Valdes says an ideal evening could be spent overlooking the rolling waves and dining from one of the outdoor spaces at The ST. REGIS BAL HARBOUR. “Those with less time to spend in Miami can still enjoy the outdoors with a sumptuous evening dinner in either the privacy of an ocean-view room balcony or with a torch-lit supper in one of the St. Regis’ full-size beachfront cabanas.” The specialty cabana dinner for two is served by candlelight and takes diners on a culinary adventure from farm to sea, culminating with a creation from the resort’s pastry chef. (305-993-3300; stregisbalharbour.com)

 

Artistic Alcoves

Miami is quickly becoming a viable hub for modern and contemporary art. For a quick cultural escape, Valdes encourages guests to stop into The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort’s own ROSENBAUM CONTEMPORARY art gallery. The on-site gallery continuously updates the works on display, so even those who have visited before can find new and enthralling works to discover. (305-864-4968; rosenbaumcontemporary.com)

If time isn’t of the essence, Valdes recommends that visitors venture to the WYNWOOD ART DISTRICT to explore all the facets of Miami art. “The Wynwood Art District is home to many of Miami’s contemporary art galleries and the studios of numerous talented local artists,” Valdes says of the more than 70 galleries located throughout the several blocks that make up Wynwood. Reservations are required for guided evening tours of the galleries that take place on the first and third Saturdays of every month. (305-814-9290; wynwoodartwalk.com)

 

Alfresco Enjoyment

Fresh fare at Verde restaurant in the Pérez Art Museum Miami complements the relaxed, open-air environment.
Fresh fare at Verde restaurant in the Pérez Art Museum Miami complements the relaxed, open-air environment.

As the sun slips effortlessly into the horizon, it leaves behind a temperate evening ideal for enjoying a meal in the open air. To embrace such beauty, Valdes recommends visiting a new addition to the local dining scene: VERDE, located in the Pérez Art Museum Miami overlooking Biscayne Bay and the lively Port of Miami. “Verde is a modern, casual restaurant with both indoor and breezy outdoor seating,” Valdes explains. “The menu is locally inspired, featuring dishes prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients, handcrafted specialty cocktails and a select list of food-friendly wines.” For a real taste of Miami’s Latin influences, try the Caribbean red snapper or the warm shrimp salad. (305-375-8282; pamm.org/dining)

Another alfresco option with exceptional waterfront dining is the nearby SEA GRILL. It’s a step in another international cuisine direction—Sea Grill is known for its fine Greek fare—and Valdes says the atmosphere is pleasant and the dishes are even better. Upon arrival, diners are met with a display of fresh fare from the evening’s menu, which includes an extensive raw bar and whole-fish entrees grilled to order. Sea Grill also boasts an array of land-based proteins ranging from lamb youvetsi to the classic filet mignon kebab, as well as many vegetarian-friendly options. (305-945-7555; seagrillmiami.com)

 

Out and About

“Summer is the perfect weather season for outdoor activities,” Valdes says. If an adventure is what a visitor desires, he has a wide range of suggestions for explorers of all abilities. “A visitor to Miami should consider doing at least one—or as many as possible—of the following: a deep-sea fishing trip, an Everglades airboat tour, a speed boat Biscayne Bay tour, a Marlins baseball game or a bike ride down to South Beach.”

Ocean Force Adventures offers private tours of Biscayne Bay.
Ocean Force Adventures offers private tours of Biscayne Bay.

For deep-sea fishing, the KELLEY FISHING FLEET offers chartered trips ranging from half to full days with bait, tackle and license included. To explore Miami from the water, OCEAN FORCE ADVENTURES provides private tours of Biscayne Bay’s notable alcoves, while AIRBOAT IN EVERGLADES offers luxury airboat rides in Florida’s exclusive wet wonderlands. (Kelley Fishing Fleet: 305-945-3801; miamibeachfishing.com)(Ocean Force Adventures: 305-372-3388; oceanforceadventures.com) (Airboat in Everglades: 888-893-4443; airboatineverglades.com)

Finally, for the sports aficionados, look no further than the MIAMI MARLINS at the team’s lively new stadium, which hosts weekly—and sometimes daily—games throughout September, as well as ballpark tours. (Marlins Park: 877-627-5467; miami.marlins.mlb.com)

 

Summer Style

The vibrant vibes exuded by year-round Miami residents only enhance the convivial ambience in the city. “While strolling and shopping in South Beach, absorb some of the local color in the form of wearing bright colorful garments available in the eclectic, one-of-a-kind shops on ESPAÑOLA WAY VILLAGE,” Valdes says. The experience of walking amongst the colorful crowd in the pedestrian-friendly walkways will liven any day—in addition, it is home to many cafes and specialty bars with craft cocktails and brews on tap. (myespanolaway.com)

Men can purchase classic “guayabera” shirts from Cubavera.
Men can purchase classic “guayabera” shirts from Cubavera.

For a breezy, chic style that reflects the tropical locale, Valdes says CUBAVERA encompasses all things iconic about Miami Beach men’s fashion. From the quintessential Latin “guayabera” pleated shirts to loose linen pants, Cubavera has it all. Though the Lincoln Road Mall location has closed, styles for the whole family can still be ordered online. (cubavera.com)