Choose your own adventure in North Miami

☕️ Start the day with a morning buzz… at Café Crème. The European feel of the French bakery and bistro extends to the outdoors with seating on the MOCA Plaza.
…or Alaska Coffee Roasting Co. which, as the name might suggest, started with a sister shop in Fairbanks. Their coffee is roasted, ground and brewed in-house.
…or Bagel Bar East, if you’re more concerned with your breakfast than your morning brew. Started by a New York native more than twenty years ago, it’s a neighborhood favorite for deli classics.

🌳 Nature lovers have an abundance of options in Oleta River State Park, Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park and Arch Creek Park. Let’s start with perhaps the lesser known of the three. Arch Creek Park has a little museum about the area’s history, which dates back to Tequesta inhabitants. Get lost in the park’s hardwood hammock and catch a glimpse of the Brightline speeding over the creek and through the mangroves from the site of a once-natural limestone bridge.

A hop, skip and jump away from Arch Creek Park is Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park. Start your visit saying hello to all the turtles swimming in the pond and lose track trying to count how many you see. Then go continue your greetings at the park’s petting zoo. And if you or your kiddo are feeling brave, you can saddle up on one of the resident horses or ponies — the park is home to MM Equestrian Farm. If nothing else, wander the park’s walking paths under the shade of impressive, towering trees. As its name suggests, this park is so enchanting.

Oleta River State Park is Florida’s largest urban park. Unsurprisingly, an entire newsletter could be spent explaining how to spend an entire day here alone. (You could actually spend an entire couple of days, because the park is home to a campground and cabins.) Pedal into the woods on miles of mountain biking trails. If it’s paved trails you prefer, there’s plenty of that, too, and they’re good for biking, walking, jogging, and skating alike. Paddle into the mangroves or out onto Biscayne Bay on a rented kayak, canoe, or stand up paddleboard. Drop a line off the fishing pier or get into the water yourself for a swim or snorkeling session. Oleta offers the ultimate day of outdoor recreation.

🔎 For “treasure hunters,” the neighborhood is a hub for antique and vintage stores. Drop into Stripe Vintage Modern, Gallery Vermillion, and Martell Gallery for furnishings and decor, or Pinkgun Gallery and ReWynd for clothes, books, and other wares.

⏸ Time for a lunch break! If you’re into Italian, you’re in luck — North Miami has quite the collection of eateries. A bite into a panini from Mimmo’s Mozzarella is an experience for all the senses — the sound and touch of a perfectly crunchy bread crust, the smell of herbs, the taste of super fresh, homemade cheese. Alternatively, turn to Tomato & Basil for pizza that’s developed a loyal local following. Somewhat new to the neighborhood is One Café, serving homemade pasta alongside salads and paninis.

🕹 For the young or young at heart, there’s no shortage of fun at Dezerland Action Park. Trampoline Park? Check. GoKarting? Check. Roller skating? Rock climbing? Arcade games? Check, check, and check.

🖼 For the art appreciators, check to see what’s on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Most recently, that included native North Miamian Didier William’s largest solo exhibition, a two-decade photographical survey of Carnival in Haiti, and the artistic expanse of a Holocaust survivor’s 40-year career. The museum, with its origins in the early ’80s as the Center of Contemporary Art, showcases underexplored art and artists.

👟 Looking to wander without an agenda? Drop your pin at NE 125 Street and NE 6 Court and start walking east along 125th, peering into the windows of shops, restaurants and more along the neighborhood’s main drag in downtown North Miami.

🍽 In search of dinner? It’s not just Italian that North Miami has a collection of: head to Zaika, Namaste, or Taj Mahal for Indian cuisine. Dive into the local catch of the day at Captain Jim’s, which has been serving fresh seafood since 1996, or expand your palate with authentic Haitian pizza from newly arrived Pot’iwa Pizza, which tops pies with griyo (fried pork), aransò (herring), and lanbi (conch), among other intriguing ingredients.

🍻 End the day with a different kind of buzz… with a pour of “farmer-focused, expressive, vibrant, living wine” at Paradis Books & Bread. The walls are lined with shelves of wine bottles and books alike; the titles in their collection could also be described “expressive, vibrant, living.”
…or Luna Star Cafe, an almost 30-year-old establishment serving over 100 beers from all over the world to the soundtrack of live music. Just be sure to have cash on ya.
…or Época Brewing or Lost City Brewing, if you prefer your beers be brewed locally.
…or turn up at NoMi Village or Da Cave if you’re looking to dance the night away.