Here is some good information via a press release issued by the Miami Downtown Development Authority about what to do and where to go for the Saints fans lucky enough to be Making the trip to Super Bowl XLIV.
MIAMI – January 26, 2010 – More than 100,000 visitors are anticipated to descend upon Miami as it readies to host the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints at Super Bowl XLIV, as well as the 2010 Pro Bowl. This will mark South Florida’s record-breaking 10th year hosting the Super Bowl and the first time in 30 years that the Pro Bowl will be held outside of Hawaii. But those who have not returned to Miami since the last time it hosted the big game in 2007 will be in for a few surprises.
That’s because since 2005, more than $13 billion has been invested in Downtown Miami, transforming what was once a 9-to-5 employment district into a vibrant entertainment destination, according to Alyce Robertson, executive director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority (Miami DDA), the agency tasked with supporting economic development and capital improvements in Downtown. With now close to 70,000 residents (an 80% population increase in less than a decade), more than 150 new restaurants and retail shops, as well as a number of state-of-the art cultural venues, visitors and residents are no longer bypassing Miami’s urban core en route to South Beach.
With so much to choose from, how does one make the most of their time in the Magic City? Here are some ideas for how to best enjoy all that the new Downtown Miami has to offer (for complete listings and a Downtown map, download the Miami Downtown Development Authority’s free DWNTWN City Guide at www.miamidda.com/cityguide):
· Sleep like a player: With recent news that Downtown Miami’s Intercontinental will be the official team hotel for the New Orleans Saints, ticketless fans still have a chance to be near the center of the action. While you might not be able to book a room next door to Reggie Bush, with a collection of hotels sure to make any fan drool, you can get your groove on at places like the Four Seasons Brickell, Viceroy, Mandarin Oriental, Conrad, and Epic – all within walking distance – there is still a good chance of spotting a football legend in the making.
· Enjoy a pub crawl: Downtown’s Brickell Avenue neighborhood has emerged as one of the hottest nightlife spots on “this side of the bridge,” featuring a vibrant after-hours scene. You’ll find dozens of new bars to choose from, including Segafredo Brickell, Waxy O’Connors, Blue Martini and Café Sci Sci. For your best bet, start at Mary Brickell Village (on South Miami Avenue between 9th and 10 St.) and head south a few blocks until you reach the Brickell Irish Pub in the Brickell Gateway neighborhood (1451 South Miami Avenue).
· Make tonight a “good night” with the Black Eyed Peas at the AmericanAirlinesArena: Aside from being home to the Miami Heat, Miami’s waterfront arena is one of the City’s top entertainment venues. The Black Eyed Peas will perform on Feb. 6. Visit www.aaarena.com for ticketing information.
· Take in some culture: Since opening in 2006, the Adrienne Arsht Center has earned top-billing as one of the nation’s leading performing arts centers, featuring an eclectic mix of programs that reflects Miami’s rich diversity. Super Bowl weekend will feature performances by the Miami City Ballet; Cavalia, a show by Cirque du Soleil co-creator Normand Latourelle; and rapper Nas with Goodie Mob. For those interested in a backstage look at the Cesar Pelli-designed complex, free tours are conducted at noon on Mondays and Saturdays. Visit www.arshtcenter.org or call 305.949.6722 for more information.
· Foodies rejoice: As Downtown Miami evolves, so too does its culinary tastes, resulting in a new crop of notable restaurants. For casual fare and outdoor dining, check out Novecento, Tre Italian Bistro, Rosa Mexicano and Balan’s. If you’re looking for a more upscale experience, snag reservations at Area 31, Il Gabbiano, Eos, Prelude by Barton G., or for a steak the size of a football, check out Miami Chophouse.
· Rejuvenate with free outdoor yoga at Bayfront Park: Every Monday and Wednesday at 6 p.m., and on Saturdays at 9 a.m., free yoga classes are held in Bayfront Park, which sits at the edge of the calm waters of Biscayne Bay. These classes are a favorite amongst “DWNTWNRS” (local Downtown residents) so make sure to get there early.
· See the best view in Miami (hint: it’s from above): With more than 80 hi-rise buildings erected since 2005, Miami’s skyline has been permanently transformed. In fact, a recent list ranked Miami’s skyline as the third most impressive in the U.S. Visit the rooftop poolside bar at the new Epic Hotel where you’ll get one of the best panoramic views of Downtown. Best to go at dusk to catch the dimming sun reflect off the buildings and onto Biscayne Bay.
· Bring the whole family: Winter in Miami is one of the best times to be outside, making street festivals an almost weekly occurrence. On Saturday, Feb. 6, Flagler Fest returns to Downtown Miami’s historic Flagler Street for a fun-filled, family-friendly day of activities, including a classic car and motorcycle show, and a Kid’s Corner where children can get their faces painted, visit the petting zoo, or bounce around in a bounce house. This event is free and open to the public.
· Experience “Old My-ama:” While Downtown Miami has gone through a tremendous transformation, it still knows not to mess with a good thing. For a true taste of old Miami Don Shula-style, don’t miss Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market, located at the mouth of the Miami River. Known amongst the locals for having some of the freshest fish without the frills, Garcia’s has been operating its own fleet of fishing boats for over 40 years (and for a young city like Miami, that’s a long time!). Another window into Miami’s storied past: Tobacco Road, the City’s oldest bar (626 S. Miami Avenue).
While these suggestions should not disappoint, there is still something to be said for exploring the City on one’s own. And with 20 Metromover stops throughout Downtown (the City’s free, automated people mover system), there is no reason not to. To check out an updated listing of places to shop, barhop, dine, or indulge in Downtown Miami, download the Miami DDA’s free DWNTWN City Guide and Map at www.miamidda.com/cityguide.
About the Miami Downtown Development Authority
The Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is committed to improving the quality of life for businesses, employees, residents, and visitors in Downtown Miami. As an independent agency of the City of Miami, the Miami DDA supports business growth, infrastructure improvements, and services for Downtown Miami residents and stakeholders. In addition to its programs and initiatives, the Miami DDA is partnering with the City and other government entities to strengthen Downtown Miami’s position as an international center for commerce, culture, and tourism. The organization is governed by a 15-member board comprised of three public appointees and 12 Downtown property owners, residents and/or workers. For more information about the Miami DDA and Downtown Miami, please visit www.MiamiDDA.com.