Visiting Little Havana in Miami.
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Visiting Little Havana in Miami.

Visting Little Havana in Miami. There’s always something happening!

What else can I say about Calle Ocho that you have not heard or already know? It is a place in my heart with so many fond memories.  It is the place where the newly arrived Cuban immigrants would find cheap rentals or set up their business. It continues to draw immigrants to start a new life.  Now home to many Central Americans and Cubans alike,  Little Havana you can find hand-rolled cigars, fruit-stands, meat markets,  herbal stores and windows with cafecitos(espresso shots) for only 25 cents. You should have at least ONE. 

 

Although Miami is new,  you can walk from downtown with all of its art deco high-rises right into old-time Cuba. On 8th Street (or Calle Ocho) between 12th and 27th Avenues lies a time warp into another reality. Yes, you actually do travel in time and location. I kid you not.  


Restaurants and food places in Little Havana, Miami.

A good place to start your sight-seeing is (like anywhere in Miami!) with the food! Calle Ocho offers many authentic Cuban restaurants.  El Pub offers traditional Cuban dishes with wonderful atmosphere; spend an afternoon browsing the Cuban memorabilia on the walls.

Another option is the Cuban hamburger at El Rey de las Fritas (The King of the Fritas). Restaurants usually serve heaping portions at affordable prices.  

Visiting Little Havana, check out the Parks


At Maximo Gomez Park or Domino Park as the locals call it, you can see the older generation of Cubans meet to play dominoes or chess each day. There is a large mural depicting the Summit of the Americas in 1993.

Steps away you can check out the  Little Havana Paseo de las Estrellas (Walk of the Stars). A smaller version, but not less important, to the one in Hollywood, stars are given to Latin American actors, writers, artists, and musicians.


At the corner of 13th Avenue lies a memorial park with monuments to many Cuban heroes. 

You can see memorials to Jose Marti, Antonio Maceo (war hero), the Island of Cuba Memorial, and the Memorial Flame (to the heroes of the Bay of Pigs), a failed attempt to free Cuba. There is a large ceiba (kapok) tree with various offerings! A place for reflection and respect.  A tribute to our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Little Havana-When to visit and what to do.


Cultural Friday

Looking for an authentic Cuban experience? Visiting Miami at the end of the month? Then you are in luck. Called 8 comes alive as we enjoy Viernes Culturales (Cultural Friday). A large and loud Latin street party complete with music, dancing, street performers, food, the local artists showing their latest creations and last but not least, the theater. Want to learn how to dance salsa?  Then check out Ball and Chain Bar and Lounge. By the way, don’t forget to have some ice cream at Azucar.


Calle Ocho Festival
Of course, each March, Calle Ocho is best known as the biggest street party in the country; more than 1 million people from around the world come to this single-day event! In 1998, more than 119,000 people joined in the world’s longest conga line, and the festival still holds its place in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Cubans and from all over the country return to celebrate their roots, enjoy traditional foods, see old friends and just enjoy the event.


it’s your first time on Calle Ocho you want to see it with new eyes, whether you are coming for a day in Domino Park or the Calle Ocho Festival, there’s always something new here in Little Havana. It’s a piece of history you have to see to understand.

Come and share this unique experience.  Don’t leave Miami before you visit Little Havana. 

 

 

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