Miami’s off the beaten path spots for simple pleasures or inner peace

The Magic City keeps living up to its reputation as the city who grew up overnight by, well, continuing to grow. With the hustle and bustle of an ever-evolving city – continued expansion in urban Brickell and the Design District, iconic nightlife, beaches among the top tourist destinations in the country, trade activity that makes the city a gateway for international industries – it may feel increasingly hard to find places that offer new concepts for inspiration or inner gratification. But the town is still sprinkled with hidden gems that conjure a small-town feel, be it while exercising, eating or unwinding. Here, we take you to five of Miami’s spots of paradise.

By Cibeles Duran



Soul Cycle

Coral Gables-Shops at Merrick Park, Coral Gables, FL 33146; 305-740-3600

Paradise does not always come motionless. Soul Cycle is that hidden treasure waiting to be discovered by every work out enthusiast in Miami.  Located in the Shops at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, this gym dedicated exclusively to the art of spinning will have you burning calories faster than your Fitbit can register (or at least it will feel this way), and it will keep you coming back for more.  Find your inner peace by channeling willpower over mind to embrace speed, variety of exercises and beats all in one indoor cycling session. Take a ride on a bike in a candlelit atmosphere and jog, pedal and dance to an empowered mind, body and soul. Flexible class offerings can accommodate almost any schedule, thoughtfully allowing South Floridians to meet our New Year’s resolution without excuses! New to spinning? Do not be overwhelmed. Your instructor will teach you the ropes and encourage you to go at your own pace.


Biltmore Hotel Golf Course & Cascade Pool Bar

Coral Gables-1210 Anastasia Ave.,Coral Gables, FL 33134; 305-460-5364

Within our ever-pulsating city, we may not have fields of undeveloped greenery or gushing countryside, but we have The Biltmore Hotel’s golf course.  A 6,800-yard, 18-hole golf course will keep any golf aficionado in-bound with the historic landmark hotel as backdrop. But the charm does not end at dusk. Once the sun has set (and there are no more golf balls flying through the air), discover the beauty of our night sky.  Best in the company of a few friends, lay on the grass and simply look up at the stars. Busy streets, city noise, hectic schedules … all will be a distant memory as the twinkling lights above carry you through the vastness of our universe. Stand renewed, humbled at our smallness and ready to make our corner of the universe a better place. A precursor to your starry-filled night may be a cocktail at the Hotel’s Cascade Pool Bar and Restaurant. Enjoy a poolside drink at the terrace bar amid a chic yet casual ambience surrounded by regal Mediterranean-style columns and architecture, part of what makes The Biltmore Hotel, originally built in the 1920’s, a Miami icon.


Delices de France French Bakery

South Miami-14453 S Dixie Highway,Miami, FL 33176; 305-256-9700

Uncover your inner peace by pampering your taste buds. From their chocolate-filled croissants to their passion fruit mousse cake, Delices de France will win your heart and have you saying oh-la-la and mon amour in no time. The small bakery nestled in a Palmetto Bay plaza off South Dixie Highway proves size doesn’t matter. Here, you will experience that little piece of France that we have all been looking for but, until now, never seemed to find. Besides the pastries, selections include warm baguettes (baked three times a day), sandwiches filled with brie, prosciutto or salami, salads, freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. It won’t surprise you, therefore, that this casual café with some sidewalk seating is always bustling with adoring fans/customers that walk in and, for a moment, transport themselves to Paris. Be prepared for a line, but all good things come to those who wait!


Pasion del Cielo Coffee

Locations throughout Miami

A little piece of heaven, indeed. And what else could we expect from the coffee maestros with “Sky Passion” as their name? For a moment, simply get lost in the aroma and comfort of a cup of freshly grinded coffee.  Pasion del Cielo prides itself in never blending the coffee beans and offering unique selections from exotic lands known for their coffee industries, such as Guatemala, Costa Rica, Kenya, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Options for the latte, chocolate or hard-core coffee lovers.  And if, after you have drifted to lakes or valleys or other heavenly place of your coffee-induced imagination, you feel like following up with a social scene, Pasion del Cielo locations are strategically close to city hotspots, be it in Coral Gables, The Falls or Brickell.


Books and Books

Locations in Coral Gables and Miami Beach

Books and Books knows that the charm of holding an actual book in your hands will never go out of style despite our digital era. The locally-owned bookstore also knows that nothing accompanies a good book read like coffee or a meal in a cozy Mediterranean-style courtyard just inches away from a wine bar. Author signings plus weekend live music wraps up Books and Books’ heavenly package as a refuge for book-lovers, students and intellectual adults. Oh, no wi-fi here … part of the charm.


Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

South Miami – 10901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables, FL 33156; 305-667-1651

There are parts of Miami that are acclaimed for fiesta and then there are serene and beautiful sites to get lost in natures work. A walk through these amazing gardens will show you an unparalleled conservation effort with the native plants. The fragrance in the air of these exotic plants and the sounds of the streams and waterfalls will definitely give you a sense of peace. Take a trolley ride around the property to be in awe of the landscape along with its smells and sounds.

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