20 Reasons to go to the Miami Design District

(even if you can’t afford to buy anything)

Most underrated South African travel blog

Every time I think I've seen all the good bits of Miami, I discover something new. A friend introduced me to the Design District a few weeks ago (thanks, Fio). As far as areas that are pretty darn fancy go, Miami has a few and this one is right up there. Similar to its neighbour Wynwood, apparently it was previously a rundown area until someone came in with a vision. Now it's filled with designer boutiques, art galleries, interior design showrooms, specialised restaurants, quirky architecture and every big expensive label you can think of. And then there's me, who orders my clothes on Amazon where it costs more to ship them than to make them (in China). I don't even know how to spell Louis Vuitton. (Seriously, I just had to google that.) I am definitely not their target market and, though I do not belong there, I really like this place. So here's a couple of reasons why you might too: 

1. It’s free to go there from Downtown. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be rich to get there. There is a free trolley that runs there, just take the Biscayne route to Midtown. It’s the last stop. 

2. It’s a great location for very serious amateur wannabe supermodel photoshoots or very serious amateur social media fashion influencer photoshoots …you know, for their “portfolios” (or Instagram accounts).

(Not photographed here)

3. It’s a great location for people-watching very serious amateur wannabe supermodels or very serious amateur social media fashion influencers and their “photographers” (moms).

(“How to pose like a very serious amateur wannabe supermodel 
or social media fashion influencer” may or may not be a future post)

4. They have the world’s most ostentatious underground parking entrance. 

Best South African travel blog
"I'm in a glass orb of emotion!"

5. But why would you wanna park there when you can park in the world’s most ostentatious parking lot? 

parking lot Miami design district

...Which also has a unicorn? (Because if anyone in Miami could afford a unicorn this is where they would park it.)

Design district parking unicorn

6. Whether you have a car or not, you can then wait at this bus stop:

Miami design district skeleton
"And you think you've been waiting long?"

7. They have one of these. I’m not sure what it is. I think it’s art.

Design district park

8. You can have your picture taken with this giant bird mural. (#atMDD)

Design district mural
Spot the blogger

9. The trees grow above the ground. (It’s like they don’t feel like they belong here either.)

10. There are a lot of art galleries, collections and experimental art collectives. Some of them offer free entrance (saving you some of the money you’re not spending on designer anything, if you’re like me). Of the three I wanted to see, the only one that happened to be open on the day I tried to visit, was the Institute of Contemporary Art. 

You know it’s a gallery of contemporary art when they have something that looks like this: 

It definitely evoked some strong emotions from me (like rage at the fact that some people spend their whole lives honing their crafts and never get to exhibit their work in a venue like this). But I guess it’s open to interpretation. 

In all fairness, some of their other exhibits were less “conceptual” and more substantial.  The sculpture garden was good too. 

Miami design disctrict
(I think this piece may have been inspired by people's reactions to the other one)

11. You can play on the swings. Yay swings!

12. They have the most amazing free public bathrooms. I have paid to use so much worse! There is also a waiting area outside for people whose family members may be going #2. I’m assuming it’s also a great place for post-bathroom-visit therapy sessions, for those experiencing guilt after defecating in something so beautiful. One day I dream of having a house decorated as well as that bathroom.

fancy public toilet
This picture doesn't quite do it justice.

13. Then there’s this thing:

Design district mural

14. Stuff like this: 

15. And this: 

16. There’s also this guy:

17. And this mural that perfectly matches my cheap Chinese attire:

18. It’s easy to lose track of time in a place like this, and if you do, these clocks won't help at all!

19.  And, the second last reason you should visit is this paint colour:

Very orange architecture

20. Finally, if you get hungry there’s a Target on the other side of the highway. 

Don't forget to take your cheap also Chinese travel toy. 

21 cruises down, 31 more to go
Money spent in Design District: $0


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Welcome to the Sharonicles

The Sharonicles is a travel humour blog by a South African travel writer. With six years of experience as a cruise ship crew member, her travels on ships and on land have taken her to 57 countries on five different continents.  She photographs a plastic flamingo called 'Rodrigo' on her adventures because it seemed like a good idea ten years ago and it’s probably too late to turn back now. She also likes unicorns, carbs and referring to herself in third-person.

Here she shares advice, opinions and anecdotes revealing the funny side of travel from her experiences. 

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Practical travel tips and destination guides 
for anyone visiting any of the places I have been.

My thoughts on travel mascots, photographing 
your butt in exotic locations and the addictive 
nature of cruise ship employment, 
among other things.

True stories about trying to find trolls in 
Norway, toilets in Denmark 
and getting flashed in Cuba, to name a few.

Tips for cruisers and crew 
members, as well as anecdotes from a variety 
of experiences at sea.



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