Miami is a fun and vibrant city. But for college students or anybody else who isn’t rich, rooftop bars and yacht parties can get costly. To avoid draining your wallet and still have a great time, you can visit a farmer’s market, enjoy a sunrise, walk through historic North Dade Park, or sip some tea.
Visit a farmer’s market
Starting in late fall, farmers market open throughout South Florida. They sell fresh vegetables and fruits, spices, coffee, and much more, with prices that are usually better than the supermarket.
One of our favorites is the Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market (3599 NW 79th Ave. 305-669-6990), which takes place every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of this upscale town’s central park.
It offers free parking, a pet and family-friendly environment, and plenty of trees that provide a nice amount of shade. There’s a diverse menu provided by farmers from the Miami area, the Redland, Homestead, Clewiston, and Fort Pierce. Pinecrest Gardens is more than just the Sunday market; it features a botanical garden with exotic and native tropical plants.
Go on a Pawventure
When you tire of the farmers markets, adopt a dog for a day and have all the fun without the commitment. At the Miami-Dade animal shelter (3599 NW 79th Ave. 305-884-1101), you can pick up a dog from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekends. The pup must be returned by 5 p.m., giving you up to 7 hours of fun.
This program, which they call a “pawventure,” is completely free, offering you the choice of any dog with a binder of recommended dogs. The dogs come with an orange bag containing all the essentials: food, water, and poop baggies.
Go see the sunrise
For a more peaceful activity, watching the sun, sand, and sea wake up with orange and pink skies is unmatched. You can see it anywhere, but Southe Pointe’s view of the sun rising from the ocean makes it our top pick. No need to worry about parking since the first three hours at the Smith and Wollensky lot are free (1 Washington Ave.). Don’t forget to leave on time, as the sun rises from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., depending on the season.
Visit North Dade’s historic Heritage Park
If you’re looking for more of an outdoor adventure in the North-Dade area, Greynolds Park (17530 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach, FL 33160, 305-945-3425) might be your forté.
The 249-acre county park just off of West Dixie Hwy. offers several walking and hiking trails, picnic areas for any group size, volleyball spaces, and even birdwatching opportunities.
There’s also access to fishing docks and launch areas for your kayak or canoe. Entry to this park is free on weekdays with plenty of parking space, but on weekends and holidays, there is a $7 parking fee per vehicle.
Bubble Tea and Chill
Kung Fu Tea (6819 Stirling Rd, Davie, FL 33314, 954-909-4238) offers a unique balance between a bubble tea shop and a casual hangout spot with friends. After ordering your drink, feel free to grab a group game from the shelves or even bring your own, and get comfy.
There’s open lounge areas for large groups and simple table spots for smaller ones, but virtually everyone can be accommodated here, even when selecting your drink.
The boba drinks range from classics like Oolong tea, to milk drinks like Taro green tea, and even the dairy-free selections made with lactaid milk.
Prices for most of the teas sit within the $3-6 dollar ranges, with a few drinks in the $7 dollar range depending on the size and specialty.