And the best place to check all that out is from a patio, sipping chilly cocktails and nibbling warm bites.
Here are some of the best bar and restaurant patios around. If you have additional suggestions, send them to RHagwood@SunSentinel.com.
American Social — Brickell
690 SW First Court, Miami. 305-223-7004. AmericanSocialBar.com/brickell
Not only does this sports bar have a great downtown Miami location, sitting on the Miami River, but it is pet-friendly so pooches on the patio is no problem.
2430 NE 13th Ave., Wilton Manors. 954-673-4614. TheAlchemist.cafe
Sure there’s an indoors (almost a wooden shack) where you order and can enjoy your kava and nibbles, but the patio is a leafy, unplugged oasis from bustling Wilton Drive, just around the corner. The patio is almost completely hidden behind palm trees, an overgrown garden and canvas coverings, and that’s the way Alchemist fans like it. It feels like an insider secret for the loyal fans of the coffee — light-bodied, without any acidic aftertaste.
19501 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. 305-935-1110. AventuraMall.com.
This fairly new 315,000 square-foot annex just outside of the mall not only has a courtyard area with a 93-foot-tall Aventura Slide Tower and a Haas Brothers “Gorillas in the Mist” fountain, but the wing is also bordered by restaurants Le Pain Quotidien, Genuine Pizza, Pubbelly Sushi, International Smoke, Tap 42 Craft Kitchen and Bar and CVI.CHE 105.