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Little Havana in Miami

Updated: Apr 21

Day 9: Virgin Voyages | Scarlet Lady | Exploring Little Havana

We fly direct whenever you can. Partly because we don’t like wasting our time connecting if we can avoid it and also because a direct flight minimizes the number of people around you who could be sick. There aren’t a lot of direct flight from Miami to Cleveland so our direct flight wasn’t until after 9pm. It meant we had pretty much the whole day in Miami before we headed home.

We had a lazy morning well I had a lazy morning. I slept in while Brian went for a run. We then prepared our bags for flying home by packing them up and weighing them to make sure they were both under 50 lb. We then wheeled our bags downstairs and checked them with the bell hop.

Seeing Little Havana was on today’s agenda. We had a food walking tour at 12:30pm, but arrived to Little Havana around 11:30pm. We spent the hour walking around and exploring. I was having second thoughts about our trip to Little Havana. The area had a strange vibe to it and overall looked like we might not be in the best neighborhood. There was a decent amount of graffiti and we saw a lot of old things. At the same time, there were other people walking around and it felt pretty safe. I couldn’t quote put my finger on what was different about the area.

Cuba Libre artwork in Florida
Little Havana

We eventually found a little coffee shop and went inside. One of the employees approached us with details about the coffee and told us he was there if we needed help. There wasn’t really a menu or signs saying what they sold exactly which now I realized was why the guy had approached us. We each ordered some coffee and I also had some sort of pastry. The coffee was amazing and I was warming up to Little Havana. The coffee was gorgeous with a layer of cream at the bottom, a warm brown coffee in the middle, and whipped cream with decorative accent on top. The lady who brought the coffee to us said to stir it well before drinking it. It was so good.

Amaris standing in front of Little Havana sign and delicious artisan coffee
Calle 8 Little Havana, Miami

Our food tour began in front of an old theatre. Dree, our guide, greeted us all individually and then introduced everyone to each other. She said that we weren’t just others taking a tour, but we were all now “familia.” Dree grew up in the area and is American, but her parents and grandparents were born and raised Cubans. Over the next couple hours we learned about the Cuban culture, Cuban history, and of course Cuban food. It felt like we were Dree’s good friends and she was showing us where she grew up and the people and places she found dear. We went to a restaurant where we had empanadas then to another restaurant where we had Mojitos and Cuban sandwiches. By this time, I was already filling pretty full from all the food! We learned the history behind the Mojito and how it originally had a medicinal value and the lime was for scurvy, We then learned about the sugar cane in our Mojito and how Cubans love to suck and eat the cane. It was delicious. We further learned about sugar at the Fruiteria. Here a man used a 50-year old sugar cane press to extract the juice from the sugar cane and we each received a cup to drink. It was so good! We also learned how Cubans are all about fixing what they have. There were so many functional antiques around time! We learned about dominoes, churros, Cuban cigars, and ice cream throughout the rest of the tour. I was so glad we not only decided to come to Little Havana, but also decided to do a tour. My impression of the area would have been a lot different had we not done the tour. The area is rich in history and culture and filled with great little shops and restaurants.

Food and drinks from our food tour in Little Havana, Florida
Food Tour in Little Havana

During the tour, Dree mentioned an area in Miami known for their street art and graffiti. We still had some time before our flight so we decided to check-out Wynwood. We went to a small craft brewery called J Wakefield Brewing for drinks and then we walked to explore the graffiti. Another town that seems kind of sketchy until you’re walking around and experiencing what is there. It started to rain so we decided to head back to the hotel. We collected our bags and then took an Uber to the Airport to head home.

Thank for reading about our adventures! Until next time!

About the Author

Amaris is the owner of the Ohio-based travel agency, Adventures by Amaris. Her love for travel began at a young age when she traveled to her parents' home countries of England and Mexico. She continued traveling in High School by participating in a People to People program to Italy, France and Monaco. In college, she spent six weeks in Europe studying abroad and traveling. She visited Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Ireland, Vatican City, and Italy in a whirlwind summer. Through her adult life she continues to make traveling a priority with her family. Her young son is autistic so navigating the world of traveling with an autistic child brings on new adventures. Her travel resume includes Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, and Cayman Islands. She is an expert in planning family vacations across the world from Disney World to Europe to worldwide cruises.

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