For the past month or so I have been hanging out in Miami, Florida… South Beach to be specific. I LOVE this place, I literally walk around everywhere with my jaw dropped in awe of just how beautiful it is; the beach, the art deco buildings, the palm trees. When most people think of Miami/South Beach they think of a party town… and it can be like that, but there is also an awesome fitness culture here and some of the best gyms and activities I have found!
So if you want to come back from a Miami holiday feeling amazing and kicking ass at life, here are my suggestions:
Train at the World Famous 5th Street Boxing gym (Its actually on 15th and Alton, it moved but they kept the name). Really cool, authentic but clean boxing gym. Everyone is inviting and helpful and they have loads of group classes daily for beginners to pros. Many famous people have trained and still do train here. While you’re there speak to Donato and try a pair of Mason’s boxing gloves – new on the market and the best I’ve ever worn – made from real Italian leather.
Get in a callisthenic workout flipping around (or watch others flip around) the bars on the beach near Ocean Ave and 9th I was super inspired just watching the things people can do! The locals were super friendly; if you ask nicely people are often more than willing to try to teach you how to do their tricks too!
Have a meal at “Dirt Eat Clean”, a paleo place on 5th Their menu ranges from ultra-squeaky-clean-paleo to more liberal-yummy-paleo haha, so there is something fresh and healthy for everyone. If you like sushi, Moshi Moshi on Washington and Espanola Way is my fave… They have real crab meat and brown rice if you ask for it! And speaking of crab, the crab burger at Big Pink is a must (depending on your definition of healthy haha) and so sooo good.
Join the Lululemon running group at 7pm on a Thursday. They meet at the store on Lincoln Road and go for a 3-4 mile run (or run/walk for some). There are people of all fitness levels, and its more of a fun social event than anything, so get along and meet some awesome locals! There are usually about 40-60 people that go, but I am told they do another one in Brickell (15 mins drive away – and another place that is well worth checking out for restaurants/nightlife if you’re into that) same time on a Tuesday night that attracts around 400 runners!!
If running is your thing, then Miami is perfect! Its pretty much all flat and so beautiful to explore! The sand on the beach is also quite hard too (compared to in Australia anyway), so its pretty easy to run on. On days when I feel like a bit of a longer challenge, its really pretty to go running over any of the bridges to the “mainland”, especially at sunrise or sunset.
In between exercise sessions and eating, fill your days laying on the beach, shopping on Lincoln Road, chill at Starbucks on Ocean and people watch or get a massage.
Rent a car from Miami Beach car rentals (their number is +1 305 748 6301) – tell them Avril the Australian girl sent you; every time I have asked for “just the cheapest car” here, they always upgrade me to like a convertible or some other badass car haha. There are a lot of other awesome places and things to do outside of South Beach that will make getting a car definitely worth your while!
Train at Jaco Hybrid Training Centre in Boca Raton. This place is hands down the coolest functional gym I have ever been to. It actually reminds me of WickedBodz, my fitness centre at home in Australia, but on steroids (not literally haha). In addition to all the regular machines and weights etc, they have every piece of functional training equipment you could imagine (and even that you couldn’t imagine), a huge cross fit section, an even bigger MMA section (it’s home to the Blackzilians including a number of UFC fighters), and loads of group classes daily. Check it out, you will be amazed.
After the gym, you HAVE to go to Farmhouse Kitchen by Gary Rack. It’s one of those farm-to-table casual restaurants that has the most incredible and fresh salads, burgers and other meals. I usually get the Kale Yeah Salad (add chicken and avo and dressing on the side – and note: the pic below does not even do it justice as to how good it is) or the Veggie burger. And the sweet potato fries are a must.
Head to Deerfield Beach, also known by locals as “little Brazil”. It’s a beautiful little beach lined with restaurants, beach volleyball nets and SUP and especially on weekends there is plenty of action and great people watching.
I haven’t actually done this yet, but I really want to check out the Ninja Warrior gym in North Miami. Since the uprising of the TV show (American Ninja Warrior), apparently these gyms have been popping up all over the country and are super popular… and I can see why! Not only is it challenging and and awesome functional workout, but looks like so much fun!!
And after a healthy week, let your hair down over a beautiful brunch and a drink or five at Sea Spice in North Miami. It’s a casual affair with a very upmarket crowd, amazing views overlooking the water and even better music. SO much fun and goes on until late. You can get an Uber here from South Beach for not much more than $10.
I’ll be hanging out here for a little while longer, so if you have any other suggestions I would love to hear and go check them out! Let me know