What is Salsa?

While salsa originated in Cuba, it started as an appropriate “sauce” of musical and dance elements introduced by European immigrants and African slaves to Latin America.

Salsa can be traced to the early 19th Century, though it hit a stride of popularity in 1910 when Cubans started to produce actual records.

How did Salsa get here?

When prohibition in the 1920s sent more and more Americans to Havana for booze, salsa’s popularity exploded in the United States and beyond.

Is there more than one style of Salsa?

With salsa’s grand entrance into Latin immigrant-heavy cities like Miami and New York, different styles of the dance started to emerge. At present, there are up to 7 types of salsa dancing.

  1. New York Style: An infusion of Cuban and Puerto Rican elements, along with Jazz, R&B, and dances like Mambo.
  2. L.A. Style: A recent development of the late 1990s/early 2000s. Influenced by tango, swing, Latin Ballroom dance and contemporary hip hop. More theatrical than most.
  3. Casino Style: A Cuban style of salsa that was developed outside of the country itself.
  4. Miami-style Casino: Classic Cuban style with backward diagonal moves that you can’t find in any other salsa style. Obviously the most important of them all!
  5. Colombian (Cali) Style: Showy, sensual, and still popular today in nightclubs.
  6. Rueda de Casino: Emerged in Havana in the 1950s as a group-like approach to dancing, with participants in a circle following the moves called out by the lead dancer.
  7. Ballroom Salsa: A professional, prepared approach to salsa generally performed by a pair for an audience.
Why should I dance Salsa?

Salsa is a great way to move your body and meet new people. Dance concepts also offer excellent nuggets of wisdom that you can carry into your real-life relationships.

Sign me up!

If you’re interested in dancing, check out Salsa Driven Dance Academy for private or group lessons, as well as a schedule of salsa-inspired events around Miami.

It’s the spookiest time of year (according to the calendar, anyway). With Halloween around the corner and a plethora of things to do, you might be wondering where to don your werewolf ensemble. Here is a short list of things to do in Miami for Halloween.

For everyone:

Lincoln Road Halloween Parade
October 31
South Beach
What is it? A people-watching frenzy of children and adults alike in their craziest costumes. As the night goes on, Lincoln Road turns into a party with DJs and plenty of open-container beverages. Get there early to grab a restaurant seat with a view and get ready for the show.
Cost: FREE!

For families:

Hay Maze Miami
October 21 – November 6
Bayfront Park
What is it? An actual 6,000 sq.ft. maze constructed of bales of hay, plus a beer garden, plenty of food stands and a treat-or-treating opportunity on the big night. There will also be goat yoga on October 29, if that’s on your list of Halloween to-do’s.
Cost: Ranges from $35 to $80.

For runners:

Halloween Half-Marathon
October 22
South Beach
What is it? Relatively self-explanatory. If candy is your weakness, grab your sneakers and hit the pavement for Miami Beach’s Half Marathon. Costumes are welcomed. Spaces fill up fast so secure yours today! Not into that whole half-marathon thing? Opt for the Freaky 4-Miler instead.
Cost: Ranges from $40 – $90

For pets [or the people that like them]:

Howl-O-Ween
Pinecrest Gardens
October 29
What is it? We all know pets are the real stars of the show on Halloween. Head to Pinecrest Gardens to see the latest fashion trends sweeping the dog world. Bring your own, in costume. Tricks, treats, food, drinks are readily available, as is live music.
Cost: Ranges from $10 – $12

For partiers:

Haunted W Miami Rooftop Halloween Party
W Hotel, Brickell
What is it? Two DJs, insane views, party favors, gorgeous people letting out their alter-egos. If partying on a rooftop til the wee hours dressed in a sexy version of your favorite superhero sounds like your kind of Halloween celebration, the W Hotel is where it’s at. Get your ticket quick, this party is as popular as they come.
Cost: Ranges from $32 to $1,695

Day trips from Miami are plentiful, and here is one of the best.

If you’ve spent any significant amount of time in Miami, you’ve surely heard about Stiltsville. A mysterious collection of pastel-colored houses that jut out from Biscayne Bay’s flat waterline, Stiltsville is a living relic of bygone era. During Prohibition, this area of the bay was once a hub for booze smuggling. In 1933, the houses we see today were built by “Crawfish Eddy”, a well-known gambling operator.

Stiltsville quickly became an attraction for the wealthy and elite. A string of famous gentlemen’s clubs and exclusive bars popped up. All sorts of debauchery was permitted here, from nude sunbathing to lobster poaching to illegal alcohol sales. The Florida Beverage Commission finally showed up to shut the party down and a series of hurricanes swooped in to finish the job completely.

There were 27 houses that adorned the bay in the 1960’s. By the early 1990’s, there were just 14. Hurricane Andrew reduced that number to 7 in 1992 and today, those 7 remain. These houses are protected by the National Park Service’s Biscayne National Park and can only be seen by boat.

Why not take a morning to check them out? If you have your own boat or a preferred boat captain, you can arrive on your own. If not, or if you’re interested in hearing more about Stiltsville’s fascinating history, book a tour here.

It’s a great way to acquaint yourself with the background and culture of Miami while still having a great day out on the water. Stiltsville is a place every Miamian should visit at least once in a lifetime and is the perfect day trip!

Miami’s food scene ranges drastically from the super fancy (try getting a table at Sexy Fish at the last minute) and casual (who doesn’t know, and LOVE, La Sandwicherie?). There is, however, an undeniable fusion of Latinesque favorites on most menus.

One of the most popular indulgences is the otherworldly empanada.

But what’s the deal? There are so many styles and fillings of empanadas, how does one decipher it all? To crack the code, we’ve put together a list of the finest empanadas, where they come from and their distinguishing factors.

You’ll be an expert in no time.

  • Cuban: Cuban empanadas have a variety of fillings. Shredded chicken, spinach and cheese, guava and cheese and, of course, the traditional “carne” or beef empanada. The beef comes ground, cooked with bell pepper, onion, garlic and tomato. Expect a sweet undertone of cumin, and a green olive here and there. The outer shell is made of flour or wheat and deep fried to perfection.
    Where to find them: Little Havana
  • Venezuelan: Also deep fried but this time with a white corn shell. Fillings are somewhat similar, though one of the more popular empanadas that you can find in the country itself is generally not available in the US. Empanadas de cazon are stuffed with the meat of a small shark that is found off the coast of Venezuela.
    Where to find them: Doral
  • Colombian: Similar to Venezuelan empanadas but with a yellow corn shell. The fillings most coveted by Colombians tend to have shredded beef or pork and potatoes. The potatoes are cooked in a special tomato sauce that mixes onions, garlic, spices and cilantro.
    Where to find them: Downtown/Brickell
  • Nicaraguan: Usually cheesy and on the sweeter side, a Nicaraguan empanada has an outer shell commonly made of sweet plantains, fried, and served hot. Other stuffings include, as you may have guessed, meat or chicken.
    Where to find them: East Little Havana
  • Argentinian: Empanadas from Argentina, in their most classic style, have a bolder shell of wheat or flour and are baked. The most traditional empanada from Argentina will be filled with beef and slices of hard boiled egg.
    Where to find them: Key Biscayne/North Beach
  • Mexican: While there are several savory Mexican empanadas, the one that steals the show is of course the sweet one. Empanadas from Mexico are a variety of “pan dulce”, a collection of nearly 2,000 sweet pastries that are common for breakfast. Empanadas have a thin, flour shell and can be filled with marmalades, notably of pineapple.
    Where to find them: Homestead/West Little Havana

And there you have it! Now it’s your turn to enjoy an empanada scavenger hunt around all the neighborhoods of Miami!

What started as a wild wedding party between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen changed the course of beer’s history forever.

It’s the year 1810 and the location is Munich, Germany. The Royal Wedding is set to take place and the citizens are invited. Well, not to the ceremony itself, but to the FIVE DAY afterparty! Locals arrive to the city gates to enjoy nearly a week of food, music, parades and of course, beer. To culminate the party, a horse race around town took place. Even though the horse race was eventually dropped, the beer celebration was not.Today the surprisingly family-friendly party lasts up to 18 days!

Sounds fun, right? But October is so far away, and so is Germany.

If you’re like the rest of us and unable to sit still another two months to partake in this unforgettable, world-famous celebration of beer, no need to fret. We’ve got you covered in the Magic City. Did you expect any less?

The great news is that Miami has its own version of Octoberfest and it takes place in September. For 3 glorious days, Samuel Adams will host its 12th annual block party in Wynwood Marketplace. Aside from the obvious beer hall and pumpkin-themed decor, there will be activities for both humans and dogs alike. Expect games, freebies and a photo booth to prove to the Instagram world that you’ve made the commitment. Live music will abound, as will those beer competitions you thought you left behind in college.

With your Festive Party Pack ticket, should you choose to purchase, comes 1 free beer, a stein, and more Bavarian treats and goodies from Sam Adams.

Sign up here.

If spending a few days in Miami Beach’s fanciest hotel, watching beautiful people strut the most fabulous of swimwear sounds good to you, then you are in luck. Starting July 14, Art Heats Fashion & faena forum will host the official Swim Week 2022. Designers from all over the world showcase their coolest, trendiest swimwear for both men and women. Enjoy parties, runway shows & art exhibits. Miami Swim Week draws a fun & fashionable crowd. Tickets range from $65 – 3,300 on Eventbrite.

There are free options to Spinoffs of the “official” swim week show as well. At 2100 Collins Avenue, Paraiso Miami Beach will host Espacio VOGUE, a pop up of Latin American and Mexican design & beauty products. Expect fashion shows & cocktail parties. La Plage will showcase high-end European swimwear and resort brands in a 4 day Trade Show right next door 2000 Collins Avenue. Chotto Matte on Lincoln Road is partnering with Aguaclara, a Peruvian swimwear brand to display its latest trends.

Whether you’re in the market for a new suit or not, Miami Swim Week events are bright and vibrant alternatives to help you beat the heat!

The ever-burning question for all recent Miami transplants. How necessary is Spanish, really? Well, let’s answer that as simply as possible. Do you need it? No, you don’t need it. Would it make life a heck of a lot easier? Absolutely. Just as sipping a cafecito in the morning will make you feel more “Miami”, speaking some level of Spanish will assist in your integration into the Magic City.

According to Miami Dade Matters, 66% of the city’s population speaks Spanish at home. This language domination is an integral part of the tapestry that makes up modern Miami. The Cuban Revolution in 1959 served as its catalyst. The Spanish language seed was planted at this time and has flourished ever since. Miami is a city which offers the bureaucratic comforts of living in the USA with the spice of living in Latin America. Learning Spanish, or at least a basic knowledge of it, will only serve to enhance your experience here. Even Miami New Times agrees. (It might even help your dating life, too!)

Convinced? Hope so. Now it’s time for some real Spanish language lessons.

Here’s just a few of MANY places where you can learn a bit more than “Buenos Dias”:

  • The Spanish Hangout: Miami Beach
    Learn how to speak right away. Isn’t that why you’re here? The Spanish Hangout focuses on conversational Spanish instead of textbook learning. Privates, in person, virtual and small group options available.
  • Gaviria Academy: Coconut Grove
    Specifically designed for personalized success. Ptograms for adults and kids. Private, semi-private and small group classes available. Virtual and real life. First class is free of charge!
  • A+ Languages: Pembroke Pines
    Offers immersions, one on one tutoring and private sessions at an affroadble rate. Focus on themed Spanish language for professionals. All teachers are native speakers with university degrees.

Buena suerte!!

If holiday indulgence has you feeling sluggish and out-of-shape, there is no time like the present to get yourself moving again. Miami’s fitness scene is top-notch, and narrowing down your options can feel overwhelming. If classes are what you’re looking for, check out some of the options below to get you started.

For Cardio/Weight Training
  • Barry’s Boot Camp: Intense and to the point with weight training and treadmill runs. Expect quick results and celebrity-esque trainers. Various locations.
  • Fitbox Method: Boxing is not only a great workout, it’s a stellar stress reliever. Edgewater.
  • Sweat 440: Circuit Training rounds that start every 10 minutes. Great way to make friends. Various locations.
  • RedBike: This spin class will get you sweating in no time with Miami-inspired music and instructors. Brickell & Midtown.
For Yoga
  • Prana Yoga: Various levels and styles of yoga and meditation with a focus on the spiritual. Coral Gables.
  • OM Movement: Expect good vinyasa flows, evening restoratives, and friendly people. Coconut Grove.
  • State of Yoga: Strong vinyasa flows with plenty of arm balancing and chanting. South Beach.
  • Miami Life Center: An Ashtangi’s paradise. Choose from in-person and online Mysore classes. Wynwood.
For Pilates
  • MegaLit: A sweaty, full-body toner with 90s hop hop and low joint impact. Need I say more? Midtown.
  • SolidCore: This class will kick your butt. Enough said. Midtown.
  • Tremble: Your core will thank you, eventually. Reformer classes are intelligently sequenced. Various locations.
  • Renegade Pilates: Try the jumpboard pilates class to challenge your balance, fire up your core and burn a few extra calories. Little Haiti.

Now that temps are dipping below 75, it’s the perfect time to escape to some of Miami’s best movie theaters. Cinema experiences have come a long way since the ‘80s, so if popcorn isn’t your thing, you can now opt for sushi instead! Read below for a list of locations to snuggle into a cushy chair in front of the big screen.

  • O Cinema: Once known as the Miami Beach Cinematheque, the artsy theater on 12th and Washington is now O Cinema. The arthouse continues to showcase independent films at an affordable price. In 1927, the theater was built by Carl Fischer. In 2011, it was restored and is now more than just a place to see films; O Cinema is part gallery, bookstore, library and cafe. Wine, candy, popcorn and other snacks are available for purchase.
  • Regal South Beach ScreenX, IMAX & VIP: If mainstream movies are what you are looking for, Regal South Beach has it. Here you will find all the blockbuster hits in the comfort of a large theater with recliner seating. Feeling fancy? Purchase a VIP ticket for access to a full-service lounge, reserved king size recliners, gourmet food menu, and beer and wine choices.
  • Silverspot Cinema: Silverspot in Downtown Miami won Miami New Times’ Best of 2021 and with good reason. Not only are there 17 theaters inside, the food is served fresh before, during or after the film, the seats are plush and reclinable and the movie choices span independent quirky to Hollywood blockbusters. Oh, and you can order an Aperol Spritz, or whatever signature cocktail you might be craving with your gourmet pizza.
  • IPIC Theater: Seeing a movie at IPIC is basically a mini-vacation on the luxury level. The company’s motto is “to provide elevated entertainment escapes that engage multiple senses” by offering you a full menu of chef-inspired food, champagne cocktails, ridiculously comfortable seats and movie favorites from past to present. Meaning, if the movies of today don’t inspire you, surely some of their Flashback Cinema hits will.
  • Tower Theater: Tower Theater is South Florida’s highest grossing art-house cinema, and has been since 2015. More importantly, it is one of the oldest. Tower Theater opened in 1926 and served as a de facto classroom for loads of Cuban refugees after the ‘59 revolution revitalized 8th Street into a little Cuba, known today as Little Havana. Expect a step beyond the basics like comfy seats, wine and popcorn, as you watch the latest indie film alongside abuela.

Tried the above already and want something new? Here are a few more options around the city:
Coral Gables Art Cinema
AMC Sunset Place 24
AMC Aventura 24
CMX Cinema Brickell City Center, Doral
Cinepolis Coconut Grove Opening Winter 2022

Coral Gables is also known by many as The City Beautiful, and for good reason. This neighborhood is lush, tropical and, simply put, beautiful. Coral Gables is one of Florida’s first intentionally planned cities, created by George Merrick in 1925. Can you picture the Mediterranean style architecture that this area is so well known for? We can thank Merrick for that. Have you noticed the Spanish street names? Merrick chose these names after reading Washington Irving’s book, Tales of the Alhambra. While Merrick’s influence on the area was great, he died nearly penniless.

Today, Coral Gables is thriving and considered by many to be the ultimate suburb. There are so many things to do that residents and visitors often have trouble deciding! Discover the gems that Coral Gables has to offer this Holiday season. Here are just a few of the events happening in The City Beautiful.

Downtown Coral Gables Holiday Market: December 17-18, 2021
Great for kids and adults. Expect Santa & Mrs. Claus sightings, snow, shopping opportunities, Christmas Carols and craft workshops.

NightGarden at Fairchild: Through January 2, 2022
Yuletide-themed activities, events and cocktails amongst a spectacular interactive light and sound show at the already-spectacular Fairchild Gardens.

Madeline’s Christmas: Through December 19, 2021
A musical theater show geared at children but fun for everyone at The Actors’ Playhouse at Miracle Theatre.