Light up the sky, on Fourth of July

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OK, so Fourth of July falls mid-week this year, smack on a hump day, but this is Miami, why would that stop us? After all, South Beach hotel pools are always hot to trot for a party and what better occasion than patriotic Fourth of July. Think the Delano, Shelbourne or Raleigh for upscale and the Clevelander (across from Lummus Park) for debauchery.

They’re also the perfect place to watch the fireworks display on 8th and Ocean at Lummus Park while sipping a cosmo, frozen concoction or downing shots poolside. Click here to learn about “Fire on the Fourth of July.”

If South Beach isn’t your scene, there are other more sedate, all-American parties in other parts of town.

Try Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park for the city’s biggest Fourth celebration “America’s Birthday Bash.” There’s food and drinks, live music and a kids’ zone, open from 3-7 p.m. At 9 p.m. the sky lights up with a spectacular fireworks display, each year bigger and brighter than the year before. Click here for details.

On Key Biscayne they kick the day off with an all-American parade featuring marching bands, slilt walkers, parade floats and plenty of good eats. It’s a small-town celebration right through the town’s main street. Afterwards, hang out at either Crandon Park Beach or Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park enjoying an all-day barbecue and take in the many fireworks displays over Biscayne Bay. Click here for more information.

And funky, waterfront Coconut Grove is the site for several celebrations. Start the day with a morning picnic at the Barnacle State Historic Site, featuring lawn games, kite making and crafts. Then walk a few blocks to CocoWalk for a scavenger hunt, hot dog eating contest, a beer pong tournament and music by local band Deck 52. And over at Peacock Park there’s live entertainment and delectable food and beverages from local restaurants. It all culminates with a fantastic fireworks display over the bay. Click here for details.

A Cozy, Intimate Setting At Cuffs Irish Bar In The Back Bay


Cuffs Bar is know for it’s food, drinks and light fare. Ideal for post-meeting drinks, relaxing chats and the perfect nightcap, Cuffs is the most unique choice in Back Bay Boston bars, featuring a sidewalk terrace for people-watching. The bar is located at the Loews Back Bay Hotel at the corner of Berkeley Street and Stuart Street in the Back Bay section of Boston. Click here for more information.

Thomas Farley on Top Hops Beer Shop

Lower east side NYC. Just a few blocks from NY food and beer institutions, New Beer, Whole Foods Bowery, and Katz’s Deli. This is a new place that has it all…multiple growler fill taps, 100’s of bottles (kept in growler units without lights to preserve the integrity of the beer), artisanal foods available while you enjoy a tasty draft at the bar…1/2 bar, 1/2 growler fill the this the new model for craft beer distribution spots? Not sure but this is a well worth checking out location…Craft is appreciated and celebrated, mid sized spot, with a sleek and comfortable arching bar, friendly, gracious and knowledgeable owner adds to the experience…go check it out..places like this are the future and deserve to be supported.

Wind in your sails at Hobie Beach

It’s easy to catch the wind in your sails on Key Biscayne’s Hobie Beach. Located just a few minutes past the toll booth into the island on the right hand side, this has long been the stomping ground for active beachgoers.

The shallow, calm waters and windy conditions make the perfect environment for windsurfers as well as paddleboarders, who are also joining in the fun nowadays. There are plenty of hobie outfitters ready to rent out their equipment. Parking is easy, convenient and free and the view of the Miami skyline is the absolute perfect backdrop. Grab a cool, frosty frozen lemonade and some snacks and make a day of it.

Hobie Beach is off the Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne. Click here for info on catamaran rentals.


Goooooooooaaaaaal! Kickin’ it in summer

Soccer fans will be kicking it up in June around Miami, catching the European action at one of the tons of pubs that have popped up around the city in the last few years.

Waxy O’Connor’s on Miami Beach and in the Brickell area are where to catch all the action on their more than 15 flat screen TV’s. They’ll even open early and be serving breakfast for early risers who can’t miss a single minute.

Brickell Irish Pub and Fado Irish Pub at Mary Brickell Village are two great alternative spots for soccer fans should the others be too packed. On the riverfront Finnegan’s on the River is perfect for open-air viewing on the water.

There’s nothing better than watching a soccer match, draft in hand surrounded by equally obssessed and fanatical fans.

However, if it’s a full-on sports bar you prefer, there are lots of options there too.  Duffy’s Sports Grill or Duffy’s Tavern in South Miami are great too, as well as Village Tavern.

The soccer action begins on June 8 and runs the entire month. Click here to view the schedule of matches for UEFA Euro 2012.

Eat your way around the “City Beautiful” during Coral Gables Restaurant Week

Getting a jump on the summer season, when mostly locals are in town, Coral Gables known as the “City Beautiful” is offering diners incredible deals at some of the area’s best known restaurants. Similar to the Miami Spice promotion in August, this one lasts only two weeks from June 4-17.

Caffe Abbracci

The Fifth Annual Coral Gables Restaurant (a misnomer since the promotion lasts two weeks) includes 20% off regular prices on a fixed three-course lunch and/or dinner menu. The list of restaurants is impressive and features some of the city’s finest, as well as some newcomers.

Italian restaurants like Anacapri on Ponce, the classic and institution of Italian cuisine in the Gables Caffe Abbracci, Caffe Vialetto and Randazzo’s Little Italy are participating as are Le Provencal, Cibo Wine Bar, Talavera Cocina Mexicana and John Martin’s Irish Pub.

Click here to view all participating restaurants and their menus.