Miami: South Beach
SEE The Holocaust Memorial
1933-1945 Meridian Ave., 305/538-1663, holocaustmmb.org
A contemplative, sobering experience, nodding to the large number of Holocaust survivors who chose to make Miami Beach their home. Graphic and unflinching, a massive cast-bronze hand reaches for the sky, surrounded by black granite panels etched with the names of victims. $2 donation for brochure.
SEE Lincoln Road Mall
Part outdoor mall (it's lined with trendy shops and restaurants) and part catwalk (locals strut here daily, with dog-walking throngs on Sundays), Lincoln Road is the soul of South Beach. No one should leave Miami without grabbing a coffee and watching the skaters whiz by, or window-shopping at the high-end stores.
SEE Ocean Drive
Photo shoots are a rarity along Ocean Dr. now, but at 7 a.m. it's easy to understand why South Beach became the fashion location of choice in the early 1990s-the light is sensational. What to look for: the Versace mansion, now a private members-only social club, at no. 1116; and ravishing art deco hotels, including the Park Central at no. 640. For maximum art deco sights, concentrate on the strip between 5th and 14th sts.
SEE Parrot Jungle Island
1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Watson Island, 305/258-6453, parrotjungle.com
One of the city's best family attractions, built on an island close to South Beach and easily accessible by car. The vast aviary and gardens are home to more than 300 parrots, including hatchlings in the parrot nursery, as well as hundreds of other creatures, such as monkeys, reptiles, and a showy flock of flamingos. Adults $25, kids $20, parking $6.
SEE The Wolfsonian
1001 Washington Ave., 305/531-1001, wolfsonian.fiu.edu
A hulking old Mediterranean revival building, once the headquarters of a storage company, houses the decorative-arts museum's collection of trinkets, which includes World's Fair-related ephemera and propagandist posters, as well as British arts and crafts furniture by William Morris and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. $7, free Friday 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Closed Wed. (and Mon.-Tues. in summer).
EAT Big Pink
157 Collins Ave., 305/532-4700, bigpinkrestaurant.com
A Day-Glo diner that's famous for its satisfying TV dinners served on vintage trays at cafeteria-style tables. The huge menu offers burgers, salads, and desserts like red velvet cake.
EAT David's Café II
1654 Meridian Ave., 305/672-8707
Above-average Cuban restaurant with a take-out window serving hearty sandwiches and coffee, plus an eat-in dining room serving staples like ropa vieja (shredded beef stew).
EAT Miss Yip Chinese Café
1661 Meridian Ave., 305/534-5488, missyipchinesecafe.com
With a slick feel recalling Shanghai's decadent 1930s heyday, this Chinese restaurant serves old-world Cantonese fare. Try dim sum at lunchtime and dinner staples like moo shu pork.
EAT News Café
800 Ocean Dr., 305/538-6397
A major player from the early-'90s South Beach scene, the café is still a great place to hang out-just don't expect much from the food. The ratio of models to mortals is 1:1.
EAT Pizza Rustica
863 Washington Ave., 305/674-8244
Beach pit stop serving huge slices of tangy pizza. Order the namesake, piled high with artichokes, olives, ham, and sun-dried tomatoes.
EAT Tap Tap
819 5th St., 305/672-2898
Haitian fave known for its intriguing menu-say, goat stewed in a peppery tomato broth, or a mango, avocado, and watercress salad-and bright fruity drinks. Caribbean art plasters the walls. Live Haitian folk music at 8:30 p.m. on Thurs. and Sat.
SPLURGE Prime One Twelve
In the Browns Hotel, 112 Ocean Dr., 305/532-8112, prime112.com
One of South Beach's hottest restaurants, in a converted 1915 hotel; it's popular with visiting celebs like Calvin Klein, Claudia Schiffer, and Sting. The waiters sport butcher-style aprons and the menu is steak-heavy. The flavor-packed $20 Kobe beef hot dog is more than worth it.
TIPGawk at gothic castles
Of the sand variety, that is, reaching upwards of 10 feet with turrets, towers, and spires. They're built and touched up daily by a 20-something artist known around town as "the Sand Castle Guy." At Lummus Park and 10th St. in the heart of South Beach.