Biscayne Blvd. Daytrip

 

Explore several neighborhoods and unique stops up and down one of Miami’s major arteries

Biscayne Daytrip

By Megan Ann Harmon

You can find some amazing shops, restaurants and sights on Biscayne Boulevard (and even more with some slight detours). Create a fun playlist, grab a friend or two, and take a drive up and down this long and windy road as you explore MiMo, NoMi and Miami’s Upper East Side. Note: street parking is part of the experience!

Your Schedule:

9 a.m. Sight-seeing / Bacardi Buildings
2100 Biscayne Boulevard

You have heard about them, seen a thousand photos of them in every book on Miami, and have surely driven by them – but have you ever stopped to see the glory for yourself? Bacardi moved their offices to Coral Gables, so you can now take a chance to scope out these abandoned historic buildings without fear of awkwardly running into an employee. Park, walk around, and take your own photos.

 

9:30 a.m. Coffee / Out of the Blue Café
2426 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami
Website: outofthebluecafe.net
Cost:
$10-$15

Tucked away a block off of Biscayne Boulevard is a little house turned coffee shop perfectly called ‘Out of the Blue Café’ (OBC). Grab a cup o’ Segafredo coffee and a breakfast bite in this quaint venue. They have a great selection of breakfast pastries and sandwiches, and, if you go on Sunday, revel in their $19.95 ‘Out to Brunch’ special with complementary mimosas. Enjoy!

 

10:30 a.m. Detour / The Living Room
North Miami Ave & 40th Street

Although it is in a sad state compared to it’s fresher days when the internationally acclaimed urban intervention was one of the most-photographed buildings in Miami, this installation is still magnificent. Did you know that the floral wallpaper was hand-painted (360 individual flowers in all)? Designed and built by the Miami-based Argentinean couple Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt, The Living Room is a landmark work in the history of public art, and a must see. To quote the artist himself, Behar, ‘The Living Room is a life without limits.’ Just something to dwell on as your eyes drink in the view of this stellar monument.

 

11 a.m. Gas / Chevron (I’m serious)
6075 Biscayne Boulevard

If you need some gas for the drive, wait until you get here. You have never seen a gas station more posh and classy then this one. Trust me. Take a look inside. It’s a café straight out of Europe (with some Americanization – like the TV and cow-print chairs). They serve coffee and have an assortment of refreshments. Get your car washed! Take a seat and relax for a bit! And take pictures – because no one will believe you when you try to explain that a gas station like this actually exists.

 

11:30 a.m. Shop / Rebel and Cheap n Chic Boutiques
6669 and 6621 Biscayne Boulevard

Rebel has been around for 8 years – and with the size and amount of items in this store, you’d believe it! It is a shopper’s dream-come-true. So many racks to choose from! Although they focus in new and designer clothing, they also have a section dedicated completely to vintage consignment. Amen.

Cheap n Chic is two stores down. Don’t you feel lucky? This is their second store, so you may already know their Bird Road location well. They have a great selection of crisp and clean clothing and an easy to maneuver store. I found something I wanted the moment I walked in. Surprising!

 

Noon Tour / MOCA
770 NE 125th Street, North Miami
Website: mocanomi.org

Take a turn off Biscayne and head to The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), known for it’s provocative and innovative exhibitions – and its amazing gift shop. With only a $5 admission fee, it’s worth seeing what all the talk is all about. It’s a small museum, but home to a world-class modern art collection. Now is a good time to visit as they will begin construction in early 2011 on their new expansion - designed by internationally acclaimed architect Charles Gwathmey.

 

12:45 p.m. Wander / Antique Stores & Marc Corbin
875 NE 125th Street, North Miami

NoMi still has a lot of growing to do – but in recent years it has done a great job of attracting high-end antique shops to the charming store fronts of NE 125th Street, making it a hub for collectible mid-century design. I personally recommend visiting Marc Corbin. His store is a gem (and he is too!). If Marc is there, ask, and he’ll make sure to tell you the other best stops on the drive, like Gary Rubinstein Antiques. It shouldn’t take you long to realize why this strip recently earned the nickname ‘20th Century Row.’

 

1:30 p.m. Lunch / Red Light
7700 Biscayne Boulevard
Website: redlightmiami.com
Cost: $12-20

We’re getting hungry now, so head south on Biscayne. Why? Um, they have a grilled cheese, lobster and tomato sandwich. Enough said. Honestly, hands-down this is among the best restaurants in Miami. Sit inside and experience a hip diner-type feel, or sit outside by the river and pretend like you’ve stepped into a New Orleans-inspired setting. Either way, you’ll enjoy being served spectacular fare. Did I mention that they have a grilled cheese, lobster and tomato sandwich? Just checking.

 

3 p.m. Shop More / Style Lab and Mille Fleurs
The Courtyard @ 55th Street Station, NE 4th Court, Miami
Website: the55thstreetstation.com

55th Street Station is located in the Upper East Side, Miami’s oldest neighborhood. You can see it from Biscayne and your natural inclination is to want to figure out how you get there, ASAP. Take a right on 54th St. and your next right onto 4th Court and viola! Style Lab is a great place to start on this trip. It’s a boutique with extremely reasonable prices and fun, vintage sunglasses to keep you entertained for hours. In the same station you’ll find a really beautiful store called Mille Fleur. It’s a fresh flower and arrangements shop. Enjoy the smell of the roses, take in the pretty petals and make a mental note for the next time you need to send flowers (or buy them for yourself).

 

5 p.m. Drinks / News Bar & Lounge
The Courtyard @ 55th Street Station, NE 4th Court, Miami
Website: the55thstreetstation.com
Cost: $15-20

This is Mark Soyka’s newest addition to his restaurant enterprise (he is also the founder of News Café, Van Dyke and his namesake, Soyka) – and it’s fantastic. Have drinks inside and get comfortable in the ritzy Grand Central Station themed bar or enjoy the outdoors, sit in a swing, and hopefully have the chance to listen to a live jazz performance!

 

6 p.m. Shop Even More / Night Owl
The Courtyard @ 55th Street Station, NE 4th Court, Miami

Night Owl is a vintage boutique that opens – get this – at night! From 6 p.m. – midnight enjoy all that this store has to offer, which includes vintage jewelry from overseas (found while the owners, mother and daughter, travel together), and really great purses and home accessories. Conveniently enough, Night Owl is located right next to News Lounge’s outside bar, and, you will know where to find it, because everything seems to sparkle and bring you in – especially after a drink or two. Go figure.

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