Horse Around — and Shop Till You Drop — in an Unexplored Section of Miami

Horse Around — and Shop Till You Drop — in an Unexplored Section of Miami

Gulfstream Park

A NEW HILTON property in an area of South Florida maybe a bit less explored by Houstonians — with great beaches, shopping, dining and cultural draws — is offering a new take on a Miami weekender.


Located in Aventura, 12 miles north of Miami and 12 miles south of Fort Lauderdale, amid those semi-suburban sections known for ritzy high-rises and over-the-top single-family homes, the Hilton Aventura Miami opened in the spring. Its ethos is warmly contemporary, like a chic living room, with soaring lobby lounge spaces appointed with dangling art installations that double as chandeliers; the Muse bar is a good place to take it in, munching on truffle popcorn and sipping a Farmer's Vice cocktail with tequila, jalapeño and fresh carrot juice.

Other onsite activities include yoga on a sunny terrace, rosé all day at the pool or the adjacent greenspace lined with mod cabanas, or dining at Gala restaurant. At the latter, dinner may start with tostones with braised chicken thighs, Cuban-style black beans and chili aioli, and move on to cast-iron-seared grouper with purple sweet potato, braised kale and key lime butter. Brunch here is special, with pretty avocado toast, and yogurt parfait with basil honey, lavender granola and edible flowers.

Chic cabanas at the Hilton

Nearby, take in attractions such as Haulover Beach, home to America's largest public nude beach. Or, if you're looking for fun with your pants on — party pooper — the Aventura Mall, with a flagship Bloomingdale's, is the fifth-largest mall in the country (300,000 square feet larger than the Galleria). Those in need of an art fix can hit up North Miami's smart Museum of Contemporary Art.

The outings perhaps most worthy of a quick-getaway itinerary are dinner at South Beach-esque Etaru Japanese Bar & Grill at Hallandale Beach — where Robata-style grilled seafood and lavishly presented sashimi platters are served on a large, chill terrace overlooking the Atlantic — or playing the ponies, Moscow Mule in hand, at the spiffy Gulfstream Park horserace track and casino, which also has cool shops, art galleries and fun-food restaurants.

People + Places
Duos, Trios and Teams: ‘Next-Generation’ Mother-Daughter Leppert Duo Debuts

Clare Leppert and Clementine, the Cavachon. Leigh Leppert and Benny, the Bernedoodle.

HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!

Keep ReadingShow less

Orleans Seafood (photo by Becca Wright)

FORGET MARCH MADNESS — mudbug madness has arrived. Fans think the little critters taste like baby lobsters, so they can’t gobble up enough. Here’s where to hit for the most badass boils in town.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

'Alma's Rainbow'

THIS WEEKEND, FEB. 3-5, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents Through the Lens of African American Women, a mini-festival of four films and one short, all directed by Black women. The lineup was curated by UH graduate Autumn Johnson, who interned with the MFAH film department last summer and produced the short film This is Real Life, which has earned 70,000 views and counting on YouTube. As Houston is home to such talented Black female film directors as Candice D’Meza, Lisa E. Harris and Brittany Bass, and this being Black History Month, the festival is timely and will resonate with anyone interested in great, independent filmmaking.

Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment