The best of what to do in and around Miami this week
Poetry and music are the perfect leads into the weekend. Come Saturday, escape to South Walton, a collection of charming beach towns that's close to Miami but, culturally, feels miles away. Or, eat at the new Japanese fish market in Doral. Don't fill up, though: Sunday brings Cochon 555, an international pork festival, to the city.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
April 1–30 | Poetry festival
O, Miami Poetry Festival
If you’re touched by a verse this month, O, Miami Poetry Festival may have fulfilled its mission of bringing a poem to every single person in Miami-Dade County. April is poetry month and there are events of all kinds taking place around the city. From readings and outdoor events to interactive theatre performances and poetry-under-the-stars, there’s something for everyone. Don't miss the guided floating-meditation session at The Standard and the Breakbeat Poets performance in Wynwood.
Times & locations vary | Free | website
April 1 | Concert
Of Montreal is bringing their colorful, puppet-filled, costume-drenched, wacky kind of rock concert to the Culture Room. The prolific band has more than a dozen albums under its belt and is still pumping out energetic, psychedelic, electronic indie-dance albums. The music will be experimental and refreshing, while the visuals will keep your eyes glued to the stage all night long.
8 p.m. | 3045 N. Federal Highway, Ft. Lauderdale | (954) 564-1074 | $16 | website
April 1 | Restaurant opening
Dragonfly Izakaya and Fish Market
A 6,000-square-foot dining room and Japanese fish market—with a Japanese whiskey list, a Japanese ice cream program, and educational seafood workshops—is opening in Doral this Friday. The third Florida location for Dragonfly Izakaya and Fish Market will bring traditional Japanese fare to a neighborhood that’s yet to be put on Miami’s culinary map. The grab-and-go bento boxes and kits for making meals at home will surely become a favorite among the local 9-to-5 crowd.
5241 NW 87th Ave., Doral | website
April 2–3 | Escape the city
Located up in the Panhandle, a few hours’ flight time from Miami, the quirky region of South Walton is made up of 16 tiny towns with signage touting things like “Founded in 1995.” Each surprisingly artsy town has a lot to offer a weekend (or weekday!) visitor. Stop into Central Square Records and sort through their collection of classic albums on vinyl, catch a jam session on Grayton Beach, or check out the live music scene at the Red Bar or Bud & Alley’s. Stay at the WaterColor Inn in Santa Rosa Beach or the Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach.
April 3 | Food festival
Pig out at Cochon 555, an annual eating event at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach that features five chefs, each cooking every single piece of a pig (imagine: pork cooked 30 ways). Eat as many of the small dishes as you can during the event, then cast your vote for the chef who made the best use of the whole hog. Participating chefs include Alex Chang of Vagabond, Xavier Torres of Drunken Dragon, and Michael Fiorello of Beechcraft. You’ll be grubbing so hard you’ll almost forget that Cochon also has a mission to raise awareness for responsible pig-farming practices.
5 p.m. | 1 Lincoln Rd., Miami | $130.95 | website
Patricia Guarch Wise is a Miami native and the blogger behind Miami Nice. Her interests include paella, paranormal activity, Proenza Schouler, and her Pekingese named Bonnaroo.