Hello my fellow travel addicts! I’m here to share about my recent trip to Miami. I was really surprised by how much I loved Miami, and I’m already thinking about returning for a longer trip in the future. The vibe in Miami is amazing. Beautiful views with palm tree-lined beaches, incredible sunrises/sunsets, and of course the great warm weather. It was a nice change from the freezing weather we’ve been hit with in New York this winter.
I’ll be sharing my guide below with things to do, places to see, where to eat and more!
Where to stay
If you are looking for party central, then you can find it in South Beach. Specifically north of Fifth Street. Here you will find the famous the Clevelander, and E11even. You’ll also find it to be crowded on and around the beach.
Then there is also Mid-Beach, my preferred location of South Beach. This area has a more upscale feel, running from 24th Street up to 44th Street. Here you will find hotels such as the Fontainebleau, The Miami Beach EDITION, and 1 Hotel South Beach.
Brickell is Miami’s financial center, also filled with tons of bars and restaurants making it a perfect location for a lively nightlife. You’ll also find Brickell City Center, which is a mixed-use development with upscale shopping, residential buildings as well as office buildings.
Coconut Grove is an upscale, lush neighborhood with cafes and chic shops in and around the CocoWalk mall. This area includes Barnacle Historic State Park (home to a mangrove forest) and the waterfront Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
WHAT TO DO
This was my favorite activity that we did in Miami! My husband and I packed a small cooler with some drinks and rented a tandem kayak from Oleta State Park (you can also rent a paddle board or canoe). From there you can make your way to the sandbar through a small river surrounded by mangroves. You may have to navigate through some large boats to get to the sandbar, but it’s so worth it once you get there. You’ll arrive to a bunch of anchored boats with a chill, party atmosphere. There are also 2 areas where you can possibly spot dolphins and manatee!
Versace’s Mansion is now actually a boutique hotel known as the The Villa Casa Casuarina. You’ll need to be a guest or have reservations to Gianni’s restaurant to actually get inside.
Visit Wynwood (wall murals)
Wynwood is known for its famous wall murals done by talented graffiti artists. You’ll find the majority of the artwork at the Wynwood Walls, which is a free outdoor museum. More beautiful murals can be seen walking up and down the surrounding streets. The streets are also full of craft breweries, coffee shops, açaí bowls and unique art galleries.
Brickell City Center offers four levels of shopping, dining and entertainment. Here you will find stores such as Saks Fifth, Apple, Cole Haan and MAC Cosmetics.
Avenrura Mall has more than 300 retail stores, including five department stores including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. You can also find luxury retailers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Burberry, just to name a few. Don’t worry, there are more budget friendly stores as well like Aldo, H&M and Express.
This is a MEGA outlet center full of discounts. You’ll find stores such as Saks off 5th, Forever21, Express and a TON more. If you decide to check out the discounts here, make sure you wear comfy shoes since this place is huge and you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
Miracle Mile (Coral Gabels)
This is one of the most swanky areas in town, featuring more than 200 retailers. Miracle Mile is known for its’ high-end fashion shops like Isa Boutique and bridal stores like Alessa’s Bridal. There is literally a block of all bridal stores, so if you’re looking for a bridal gown, this is your best bet. There are also more affordable options like Ross Dress for Less. You can then grab bite at one of the many different restaurants including Indian cuisine (Mint Leaf), pizza (California Pizza Kitchen), steakhouses (Morton’s) and Sushi (Red Koi Lounge).
WHERE TO DINE
Here you will find great coffee, tater tot waffles, open faced sandwiches and a really unique and relaxed atmosphere. They have the cutest outdoor dining area shaded by a large tree that’s decorated with antique chandlers. I had one of the best breakfasts here! I suggest trying the ‘Chef’s Breakfast’ and the coffee of course.
If you like Açaí bowls and Poke bowls make OHH RAW! one of your stops for breakfast or lunch. You can even upgrade your Açaí bowl to be served in a pineapple, watermelon or coconut and add some Fruity Pebbles or Reese’s Puffs! The building itself is pretty cool since it’s covered with beautiful graffiti art.
Located right next door to OOH RAW! is a popular donut shop. They are known for their unique donuts and coquito spiked donut holes. Get here early to avoid the long line and chances of them selling out!
Come here for authentic tacos and their homemade gluten-free tortillas and chips made with blue masa. You’ll thank me later.
The restaurant its self is kind of no frills but the food is so worth the trip! You can start off with some sushi and end your meal with a traditional Peruvian dish.
WHERE TO DRINK
Think of it as a speakeasy filled with art and enticing cocktails. Located in Brickell, this bar has some unique crafted cocktails. I suggest you try the ‘Dirty Dip’ and ‘Tommy’s Margarita.’
Blackbird is a bar known for its crafted cocktails named after all types of birds. You can also find a dance floor, DJ or band on any given night.
The Wharf is a scenic outdoor event space located on the Miami River. This location has a more upscale feel with several bars, lounge seating and even a few food vendors. It’s the perfect spot to relax and grab a drink or a bite during the day or night!
I hope this inspires your trip to Miami! Let me know in the comments below if you check out any of these suggested spots!
For more photos from my trip visit my Instagram page!
*All photos are mine, unless otherwise stated