FUNcierge - fun things to do and see
golf, golf courses, golfing
beaches, watersports
tours, guided tours, eco tours, nature and wildlife tours, manatee tours
shopping, shopping centers
escape, camping, weekend getaways
sailing, boating
dining, restaurants
hotels, motels, inns, b and b's, places to stay
parks, nature photography, hiking, camping
website design, hosting and marketing
by ci-Interactive

Home | Golf | Beach | Tour | Shop | Escape | Fish |
| Sail | Explore | Shell | Kayak | Dine | Stay |
| More... | Maps | Photos | Contact Us

all content © FUNciergeTM

fun things to see and do - attractions, tours, fishingmapscontact us
what would you like to do today - let FUNcierge helps you plan a great vacation

Bal Harbour, Florida

-Article by: Norm Goldman
-Painting by: Lily Azerad-Goldman

The Gold Coast, as the southeast coast of Florida is called, hugs the Atlantic coastline for more than 60 miles.

Within this endless shoreline are several well-known beach communities-Jupiter, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, to name a few.

However, none is as elegant and sophisticated as the one square mile enclave of Bal Harbour Village with its lush greenery, fabulous views and romantic ambiance.

This is quite apparent, if you should happen to drive into the village during the evening hours, when date and coconut trees lining both sides of Collins Avenue are illuminated.

It is as if you are entering an incredible tropical oasis of beauty.

Despite the evils of ever-increasing tourism, Bal Harbour Village has still managed to maintain its stately appearance, while at the same time being within easy access to everything this renowned tourist region has to offer.

It certainly has come a long way from the time during World War II when it was a United States Air Corps Training facility.

Today, it is difficult to conceive that there was a rifle range within the ocean- front and a camp for war prisoners, where the luxurious Bal Harbour shops is now located!

Bal Harbour was originally called Bay Harbour. However, the city fathers believed that, due to its strategic location, the name was inappropriate and unbecoming. Mustering up all of their ingenuity and imagination, a name was invented to reflect its breathtaking location.

As the town is located between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Biscayne Bay on the west, the letter "B" was borrowed from the word bay and the "A" and "L" from the word Atlantic. The result was Bal Harbour.

Always in season, and no matter when you plan that special romantic get-away, you will always be able to savour the richness of Bal Harbour's surroundings with its array of water sports, cultural entertainment, dinning, sunbathing, fishing, and its bountiful spirit.

Of course, for those romantics, who seek and appreciate the ultimate in an upscale shopping experience, "la crème de la crème, " is the Bal Harbour Shops where you will be seduced by the latest in fashion, without having to travel to New York, Paris, London or Milan.
No doubt, great shopping does make for great romance!

A swath of design boutiques and shops include such august names as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Hermes, Georg Jensen, Tiffany&Co, Bulgari, Prada and Pratesi, Yves St Laurent, Lacoste, Gianfranco Ferre Jeans, Louis Vutton, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Joseph, Gianni Versace, Chanel, Jaeger, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada, and Valentino, Ermenegildo Zegna, are but a few making up the 98 occupants.

Many of these upscale boutiques are first to introduce the newest collections of chic and stylish clothing including the most fashionable wedding apparel and jewellery.

If you can't find the latest designer wedding dress, a unique diamond ring or that special gift in the number one productive shopping mall in the USA, as ranked by Women's Wear Daily, you probably will not find it anywhere else.

After a day of recreation or shopping, restaurant hopping at one of the many establishments is a favourite Bal Harbour activity. Al Carbon prepares excellent meat on an open grill. Bal Harbour Beach House overlooking the ocean provides views that cannot be beat.

Chef Bennie Banks of the Sea View Hotel was recently profiled in the New York Times for his terrific cuisine.

You certainly should not go home without feasting on the homemade pastas at Carpaccio or the cheesecake at the Bal Harbour Bistro. If caviar is your craving, try the Petrossian.

For accommodations, Bal Harbour is home to the 4 star full service Sea View Hotel located directly across from the Bal Harbour Shops. This hotel affords a setting of relaxed tranquility coupled with the enduring appeal of the classical approach to hotel hospitality.

220 spacious rooms and suites all provide unbelievable views of either the Atlantic Ocean or Biscayne Bay with some having private terraces and balconies.

Suites come with living room, dining room and kitchen facilities or microwaves.

Favourite recreational options range from experiencing the full fitness center with state of the art equipment and private training to swimming and sunning in the outdoor Olympic size heated pool.
For added comfort are the "Key West" style cabanas surrounding the pool that are equipped with ceiling fans to ensure a tropical breeze. They also include mini-refrigerators, walk in closet, lavatory, phone and a huge covered patio.

Room service is available to all cabanas as well as pool service.

You can even enjoy a frozen tropical drink at the hotel's outdoor bar overlooking the ocean.
Guests wishing to soak up the area's sunshine are only steps away from the gorgeous stretch of white sand and crystal blue water that makes Bal Harbour a magnet for the visitors seeking a romantic escape.

Bal Harbour activities, be they shopping, sport or cultural, breed hearty appetites, and the Sea View responds with superb culinary delights. You can start the day off with French breakfast, and end with a Mexican feast, Italian dishes or a Caribbean meal.

Some guests seek directions to such attractions as the:
Art Center/South Florida,
Bass Museum of Art
Bal Harbour Gallery,
Lowe Art Museum and
The Wolfsonian-FIU.

Other favourites include the:
Ballet Flamenco La Rosa,
Florida Grand Opera,
Florida Philharmonic,
Miami City Ballet,
New World Symphony, and Concert Association Of Florida,
Jackie Gleason Theatre Of The Performing Arts.

For travelers who value warm and charming hospitality, beauty, a vibrant cultural scene, exotic dining, and that unique romantic atmosphere, Bal Harbour fits the bill.

Additional Information

For a more comprehensive listing of the various cultural activities as well as any other information you may want to check out the official site of the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Sea View Hotel
Address: 9909 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, Fl USA 33154
Tel: 800- 447-1010
Fax: 305-866-1898
Web Site: Sea View Hotel

Norm and Lily Goldman are a unique husband and wife team, writer and water colorist, who write and paint about romantic destinations. You can see more of Norm and Lily's work at their website

FUNcierge photos