5 Secret Spots For A Snowbird-Free Miami Holiday

Dear, tourists: We appreciate all the money you pump into our local economy, dining at our restaurants and popping bottles at our clubs. We’re especially grateful for all the neon “I’m in Miami” apparel you purchase. It usually makes us giggle. And while we totally love you and welcome you with open arms, there are a few local haunts we’d like to keep to ourselves. So, if you're looking to have a snowbird-free holiday without leaving town, we've got you. We hunted down the under-the-radar Miami spots that are sacred for either the killer views, the cheap drinks, or the short waits. And not a single fanny pack in sight.
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Okay, before you judge us for picking a restaurant located on Kendall, listen up: ridiculously delicious food at affordable prices served by really nice people. The weekends get a little crowded and reservations are recommended, but pop in on a weekday and you’re sure to grab a seat. Forget about the menu; always go for the chef's specials. Oh, you’re welcome.

11652 N. Kendall Drive; 305-596-4840.

Photo: Courtesy of Secreto.
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The Betsy’s Wellness Garden
We’re just going to say it: This spa may be South Beach’s best-kept secret. The rooftop wellness center opened a year ago, but it’s kept a pretty low profile (until now!). Why are we obsessed? Each treatment starts with a warm foot-bath and takes place inside an outdoor bungalow that feels both Zen and homey at the same time. When you’re not experiencing a body scrub, a massage, or a facial, you can hang out on lounge chair and cushions while working on your tan. Efficient!

1440 Ocean Drive; 305-531-6100.

Photo: Courtesy of The Betsy.
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Rusty Pelican
After celebrating its reopening on Monday, this old-timer made our list, since few people know about the landmark’s recent $9-million makeover. The views have always been awesome, but now the place is actually good-looking and serving innovative dishes, too. The oh-so-lovely seashell decor has been tossed for a more modern design, complete with a stone outdoor patio featuring three fire pits. And that’s exactly where you’ll want to enjoy your cocktail and coconut shrimp.

3201 Rickenbacker Causeway; 305-361-3818.

Photo: By Michael Pisarri/Courtesy of Rusty Pelican
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Scotty’s Landing
An oldie, but a goodie, Scotty’s Landing is easy, affordable, and sees a breeze like no other place in the city. Sure, the tables and utensils are plastic and the food is mediocre, but you go there for the bay view and the Jimmy Buffet cover band — which isn’t always on key, but that’s just part of Scotty’s charm.

3381 Pan American Drive; 305-854-2626.

Photo: Courtesy of Scotty's Landing.
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It’s not easy to find this dive bar with an unmarked door, but it’s definitely worth the hunt. Cheap drinks and rad musical acts are what makes this unassuming spot a keeper.

31 NW 36th Street; 786-991-3823.

Photo: Courtesy of Mamushka’s./small>