Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week of November 9 - November 15, 2010

Last week, GEM NYC was invited by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau to get the inside scoop on Miami's hidden gems, one-of-a-kind attractions and exciting events. As the holidays are right around the corner, we were ecstatic to speak with the tastemakers of our sister city because whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas – people will want a warm place to spend the holidays with friends and family this winter (flights are less than $500 roundtrip to MIA this week for either holiday period).

We will also be offering you this week our very FIRST giveaway – see below for more details and submission instructions!

Don’t forget to share some of your own GEM NYC finds, or if you’d like to drop us a line please do so at



The first annual Miami Live Music Month is November 1-30, 2010. Every week in November, 25 lucky winners will have a chance to win a seat for themselves and a guest on the weekly “Rock the Bus Tour”. Winners get tickets to two live Miami music shows, a Rock the Bus ride to each show and swag bags with goody items. Don’t miss your chance to “Rock the Bus”!

Miami Live Music Month highlights Miami’s top live music venues, including Tobacco Road, Churchill’s Pub, Crescendo Jazz & Blues Lounge, Jazid, Transit Lounge, Bossa Nova Lounge, Hoy Como Ayer, The Clevelander and many other great venues. Music lovers can sample the hottest live bands playing rock, jazz, blues, R&B, Caribbean jams, Latin grooves, bossa nova and more. Miami’s multicultural vibe makes the city a perfect location for a growing live music scene.

On November 12-14, 2010, Miami Music Festival and its emerging artists’ conference takes center stage. The MMF will again feature acts in a wide variety of genres from Florida, around the U.S. and around the world, performing for the music industry, the press, the local community of music fans and visitors to Miami.



Vizcaya Museum & Gardens was built by agricultural industrialist James Deering, who lived on the property from 1916 to 1925. Today, the extraordinary European-inspired estate and National Historic Landmark includes a house filled with art and furnishings, and 10 acres of gardens on Biscayne Bay.

Vizcaya’s collections are broad and diverse, including its National Historic Landmark Main House and Village outbuildings, its gardens with their architectural elements and statuary, and the array of art objects on display and integrated within the design of the Main House. Vizcaya’s patron and designers brought to the estate collections spanning 2,000 years, from North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition, today, we are pleased to feature an exceptional collection of orchids on display in the David A. Klein Orchidarium to the north of Vizcaya’s Main House. Open daily 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Adults $15, children (6-12) $6, children under 5 free. To plan your visit this winter click here.



Miami welcomes guests traveling with pets with an extraordinary array of offerings ranging from the basic necessities of comfortable beds and water bowls to spa treatments, doggie yoga, yappy hours, and other luxuries. You’ll see how three hotels below, beat out the rest of their competition with their laundry list of doggy amenities!

The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club: When it comes to guests’ four-legged friends, The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club barks up a tall order. Among customized amenities that can be ordered in advance are a fluffy bed, special collars and leashes, elevated food and water bowls and favorite treats. A Pooch Pouch in-room dining menu, created specially by the resort’s culinary team, offers a long leash of dining options and includes a doggy bagel, teeth-cleaning dog bone and much more. For more information, visit

Mayfair Hotel & Spa welcomes pets up to 50 pounds with an in-room doggie bed, water bowl, treats and a special pet menu offered at the "Bark Bar & Grill." Offerings include Mutt Loaf, Shi Tzu Sushi and Bow-Wow Burger, with the number of calories and the health factor, rated by paw prints, indicated for each menu selection. For more information, visit


With its legendary nightlife driven by the fashion and entertainment industries, Miami is at the forefront of the culinary trend towards blending dining and entertainment experiences. It is extraordinary cuisine that takes center stage at white-hot spots like Tantra, Nikki Beach and Meat Market, and a more recent entry to the fray, Loftin’s at Casa Casuarina, in the mansion owned by the late fashion designer Gianni Versace. By the time diners are enjoying coconut crème brulee or guava cheesecake, the music begins to pick up and the cocktails flow with more regularity. Meanwhile, at B.E.D. diners recline on beds while supping on gourmet cuisine.

Almost every cuisine under the sun can be found in Miami -- Cuban, Haitian, Vietnamese, Colombian, Peruvian, Thai, Japanese, Italian, German, Greek, Irish, Argentine, Russian, Indian, Honduran, Brazilian, Jamaican, the list goes on. In the mood for meat? Top-rated steakhouses like Christy's, BOURBON Steak, Kobe Club, Texas de Brazil, Manny’s Steaks the Palm and Capital Grille dot the dining landscape.

Feel like enjoying a cappuccino and watching rollerbladers whiz by? Alfresco cafes are a quintessential part of any Miami dining experience, from Ocean Drive's famed News Café (open 24/7) to Coconut Grove's legendary Greenstreet Café. An even more casual option is Dogma Grill, a hip hot dog stand that now offers creative concoctions in four Miami locations – á la NYC Papaya King Hot Dogs. Meanwhile, there's still a two-hour wait for a table most nights at Joe's Stone Crab, a Miami institution that opened its doors in 1913. Miami's culinary scene presents an ever-expanding cornucopia of delectable choices.



Evoking the essence of Miami with a mix of history, education and just plain fun, local tourist attractions offer much more than a break from the beach for families visiting Miami. Jungle Island, which relocated in 2003 to Watson Island in close proximity to resorts and cruise ship terminals, is a 18.6-acre theme park that is home to more than 3,000 exotic animals and 500 species of plants. Here, visitors enjoy animal stage shows, one-of-a-kind interactive aviaries, plant nurseries, jungle trails, a petting farm and educational exhibits, as well as world-famous parrot shows, a new Serpentarium and Jungle Theater, an Everglades Habitat and much more -- all nestled on a lush tropical island.

Nearby, the Miami Children's Museum features interactive exhibits, including a miniature supermarket, television news studio, cruise ship and a giant sandcastle slide. MCM is one of the ten largest children’s museums in the United States and destined to be one of the most successful. MCM and Target have collaborated to celebrate every month (every 3rd Friday of the month, from 3PM to 9PM) with fun interactive activities and crafts, storytelling and much more! One can also explore hundreds of bilingual, interactive exhibits which are related to arts, culture, community and communication for FREE! To plan your visit, click here.

Families also enjoy spending time with the rest of the animal kingdom at Miami's acclaimed Metrozoo. One of the world's great zoos and the only one in the continental United States located in a subtropical climate, Metrozoo opened a new $35 million exhibit, Tropical America, in 2007. Larger than the average American zoo, the 27-acre exhibit features jaguars, anacondas, giant river otters, stingrays and more. The zoo is also home to the American Bankers Family Aviary Wings of Asia exhibit, with more than 300 birds representing 70 species of exotic, rare and endangered Asian birds in a large free flight area that feels like an Asiatic jungle. Another popular attraction at the zoo is Dr. Wilde's World, including a new Wild Earth Jeep Simulator where guests can take a virtual African safari. Unlike any other zoo in the U.S., Metrozoo incorporates an “Adopt an Animal” program for children, which invokes social responsibility and promotes wildlife preservation!



GEM NYC would like to give a lucky traveler this week a full day VIP Go Miami “City-Pass” for a family of 4, for use by December 31st, 2010! This great offering is worth a whopping $229.00 USD, courtesy of our friends at Smart Destinations. The VIP Pass may be used for one full day’s general admission to most attractions for 2 adults and 2 children (under 12 years old). To win, simply send your full name, email address and telephone number to or The winner will be contacted on Monday, November 15th via email and telephone.

*If any of you can visit Miami for the holidays to enjoy the warm weather – please share with us your stories and pictures!




Blog Directory blog directory Blog Directory