I had so much fun in South Beach in Miami a couple months ago, I couldn’t wait to go back again. And that’s exactly where I ended up this past Saturday. But this time, I brought my bike, for there were a few places I wanted to check out last time but couldn’t find any parking. And with my bike, parking problem solved. After I arrived in South Beach and parked my car, I made a b(ike)-line north to the Holocaust Memorial. I was amazed by it the first time I drove by it a few months back, and it’s even more stunning up close. I first learned of the Holocaust when I was a junior in high school and couldn’t believe such an event ever took place. Then my father told me all his stories of growing up in Hungary during that time and how the German soldiers would bust through his front door, accusing his family of hiding Jews. And those stories came back to me as I walked around the incredible moving statue. As I spent a good hour walking around the memorial and reading the memorial walls about the events that took place back then, I noticed more and more people arriving, and quite a few were in tears. I left there feeling very somber but also very fortunate to visit such a powerful place, as I felt the exact same way when I first visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC back in the 90’s.
Right next to the memorial was the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, which I also did not get to see back in November. A small but very nice garden, it helped pick up my mood, and it reminded me a lot of the botanical garden in the middle of downtown Honolulu. I particularly liked the Oriental garden area with the quaint red bridge and the Oriental statues. There were also some interesting art pieces that seem to fit in nicely with the colorful flowers blooming within the garden.
I then biked over the Venetian Causeway that go through the Venetain Islands. It took a while to cross, though, as I kept stopping to take pictures of the beautiful waterway and the great views of the downtown Miami Beach skyline. I then headed back towards the beach and biked all around South Pointe Park. As I drove away up north along the beach, I was hoping to stop here and there to do some more exploring and take more pictures, but the day turned from warm and sunny to windy and cloudy and I ended up driving all the way back home without stopping again. At least I had great weather in South Beach and got to check out some incredible hidden gems that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from one of the most popular beach spots in the world.