Miami guide
Miami Beach

  Little Havana, Big Fun
By Nicholas Jurkowski

Miami is so many things to so many people: A cultural center, a nightlife Mecca, a vacation hotspot, and home of The Golden Girls. In a city as large, famous, and exciting as Miami is, how does one pick one thing to do or see above all others? Naturally, you can go to any number of amazing nightclubs. There are any number of fantastic cultural attractions, such as art galleries, museums, and concerts that you can attend. You will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world within walking distance. In spite of (or perhaps because of) all of these attractions, I will recommend you try something completely different – something that is wholly unique to Miami: Little Havana.

Walking into Little Havana is a little bit like stepping back in time to pre-Castro Cuba. You can find hand-rolled cigars, fruiterias, and meat markets, all within walking distance of downtown Miami. Without a doubt, the best place to start experiencing Little Havana is with food – El Pub is my favorite place. The last Friday of every month is known as Viernes Culturales (“Cultural Friday”) and is a celebration of Latin culture in general, and Cuban culture specifically. You’ll find plenty of street performers, food, and art exhibits, and is really a great time. Even these festivals, however, pale in comparison to Little Havana’s Calle Ocho.

Calle Ocho is Miami’s largest street party, and it happens every March in Little Havana, on 8th Street (Calle Ocho). There are many facets to this exciting festival, including a domino competition and golf tournament. However, the best part is El Festival de la Ocho – when the festival closes off over 20 blocks to host dancing, food, drink, and tons of live entertainment. It was at this event that 119,986 people set the world record for longest conga line – it’s really a party not to be missed.

Remember – when you head to Miami’s Little Havana, do it in a limousine from Mirage Limo. There’s nothing better than attending a street festival in a ridiculously large luxury automobile. Little Havana is quite a place – have a good time.

Nick Jurkowski is a senior editor for the essays above can be found on his night life blog, updated daily and available via RSS, at The Urban Adventure Blog.

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