Before I moved to this city, I visited several times. As a tourist, I hit up the main spots, meaning South Beach, Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, but it wasn't until I moved here that I found some of my favorite places, like Old Cutler Road, The non-Coco Walk part of the grove and some others. You know this because these are many of the places I go with the intention of blogging about them, showing them to people who are visiting Miami, or who have lived here but never seen this side of our city.
This past Saturday, I got to be a tourist in my own city again. El Hombre and I took a tour of Miami with The Miami Tour Company. We took the city tour, which leaves from the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, and takes you on a three hour tour of Miami and South Beach. This was a narrated bus tour (closed buses, with AC.. thank God because it was warm outside) that runs on GPS.
I know what you may say, three hours is a long time to be on a bus. But the tour takes you from South Beach to Coconut Grove, down Old Cutler, through Coral Gables and Little Havana, and ending in Bay Side, where you can continue onto the Everglades, Boat Tour or head back to the beach. Also, as El Hombre pointed out, you got alot of information about Miami in a small amount of time (and there is a bit of dry humor here and there.) Plus it stopped in the grove for lunch, at the Biltmore (once again, my favorite hotel in Miami) and in Little Havana, so you could snap pictures, stretch your legs and chat with the tour guide.
It was nice having El Hombre along because he is a Miami native, and I could verify information with him. We both learned a few new things, for example, I would never have thought we had the third biggest skyline, nor would I have realized the cemetery in the Bahamian Village was the backdrop for Thriller (you better believe I YouTubed that as soon as I got home.) I also had never been in the Bahamian Village, so that was kinda cool.
Overall, I think my favorite thing was hearing people's reaction to Vizcaya and the backroads of the Grove. So many people come here and never see anything other than the beach, and the view from the interstate on the way to the keys. This tour is cool because it lets you see a more "local view" of Miami. I don't have pictures because my camera sort of hates life, but I felt like I was reading back through my blog and adding some history behind my posts.