Miami lifestyle oozes international flavor
WALKING AT BAYSIDE: Tourists and locals alike take a stroll around the Bayside Marketplace where one can find exotic restaurants by the water, kiddie rides, daily live music and an array of retail stores and boutiques. BRITTNEY BOMNIN // PHOTO EDITOR

Contrary to popular belief, there is much more to college than hitting the books and proudly carrying a red Solo Cup. The University of Miami presents its students with countless activities as well as a central location to explore the surrounding area.

For those seeking retail-therapy, students can find four different malls within the vicinity of campus.

The Shops at Sunset Place is located the closest to campus, notably boasting a Splitsville bowling alley, an AMC movie theater with stadium seating and a Gameworks arcade. This outdoor mall boasts fun stores, but more importantly, is centrally located near a variety of great restaurants like Deli Lane Café and Tavern.

Dadeland Mall, which is further south off of U.S.-1, is home to Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, JCPenny and many other specialty stores. On the other side of the spectrum, the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables is an upscale mall where shoppers can find everything from the Elemis Day Spa to fancy boutiques like Longchamp and Juicy Couture.

A more casual shopping experience students often visit is Coconut Grove. Known as “the Grove,” the town’s streets are lined with small shops and restaurants, culminating in the central CocoWalk area. Located northeast of campus down Grand Avenue, students can find easy access to stores like the Gap, restaurants such as the Cheesecake Factory and an AMC movie theater. The Grove is also home to many bars and pubs, which older students frequent on Thursday evenings.

Hooters is a great place to watch a sporting event with inside and outside seating. Monty’s Raw Bar offers reasonably priced food, Calypso music and views of the water, while New York Pizza and Boardwalk serve some of the best slices in all of Miami-Dade County.

A cab ride to the Grove costs anywhere from $10-15, and it is a nice place for students to get together with friends and spend a night away from campus. On Halloween there is a costume parade in the streets.

In the Coral Gables area, Venetian Pool is a unique location where students can relax. This historic swimming pool boasts cool waters, caves, beautiful foliage and a Mediterranean atmosphere. With a pool café and a full schedule of programming from swimming lessons to lifeguard and scuba certifications, there is something for everyone.

Venturing a little further from campus to Key Biscayne, students can find many locations to lie out and catch a few rays.

With a variety of different beaches to choose from, Key Biscayne is a tropical paradise that feels miles away from the stresses of college.

Located at the end of the Key, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park presents yet another coastal option. Students can find a plethora of rental options from beach chairs, kayaks and canoes to bicycles and water tricycles.

Guided tours of the park, as well as hiking and nature trails, are available to all visitors.

After a long day of shopping and tanning, University of Miami students know the place to be once the sun goes down.

Dressed to impress, thousands hit SoBe, or South Beach.

Lincoln Road Mall, a so-called “pedestrian mall,” is a popular hotspot for locals, tourists and celebrities alike with its art galleries, outdoor restaurants like Nexxt Cafe and stores such as American Apparel.

Most clubs and lounges are 21 and older. While this restriction does not seem to stop determined clubgoers, it is important to note that the possession of a fake identification is a felony in Florida.

For those who still wish to party, Nocturnal is an 18 and older club also located on South Beach. Patrons will definitely not be missing out at this three-story structure featuring a rooftop terrace, plasma televisions and intimate lighting.

South Beach is approximately 15-20 minutes away from campus, and the cab ride usually costs around $40.

Be sure to go with a group of friends and split the cost!

While these activities sound exciting, they are only the beginning of the opportunities available to students at the University of Miami. During freshman year, it is important to try new things and to venture outside of your comfort zone.

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of all that Miami has to offer.