Boston had a particularly brutal winter last year, so to escape the snow we ran off to Miami for a few days of sand and sunshine. We loved how Miami just seemed like a jumble of cultures thrown together to make this beautiful urban paradise. If you’re looking for a unique sunny getaway, Miami is your city!
- Location- Miami is the southernmost city in the United States, located in Southeast Florida on the Atlantic Ocean coastline.
- Budget- $$$$$
- Language- Miami is a bilingual city, with much of it’s population speaking both English & Spanish.
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Where to Stay-
We stayed in South Beach and recommend it if you have never been to Miami before. It’s definitely more of a touristy area but makes a great base for exploring the city since there are tons of things to do nearby and great transportation options to to get around. Below are some great accommodation options in the South Beach area:
The Clay Hotel– We stayed here during our long weekend and loved it. The hotel is located on an adorable pedestrian-only side street called Española Way, that had amazing restaurants and a lively atmosphere at night. The rooms were small but clean and the included breakfast was an added bonus! The real selling point of this hotel was the location- everything in South Beach was within 10 minutes walking distance. Price is usually around $100-$175 a night.
The Freehand– When we were booking we were torn between The Clay Hotel and The Freehand, a boutique hostel that came with glowing reviews from a personal friend. We ultimately picked The Clay due to it’s prime location but anyone we know who has stayed at The Freehand has loved it. The hostel has both dorm rooms and private rooms depending on your preference. They also have an in-house cocktail bar, The Broken Shaker, which is known for it’s unique cocktails. Price is usually around $37 a night for a dorm bed or $99-$200 a night for a private room.
Miami Beach International Hostel– We didn’t know about this one until we were there and saw the group out on a bar crawl but it looked like tons of fun. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the price of your dorm bed so it’s a great value for the budget traveler. Price is usually around $23 for a dorm bed to $100 for a private room.
What to do-
Explore South Beach-
South Beach has something for everyone! A great way to start your first day is by walking down Ocean Drive which is the main strip in South Beach. This is the area with all of the art deco architecture and candy colored buildings that you see in pictures. It also runs parallel to the beach so you can pop over and enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean. If you don’t want to walk, Decobike has a service where you can rent bikes all over South Beach and then drop them at a number of drop off points.
If the Florida weather turns on you and it rains, don’t worry– there is a uniquely Miami rainy day experience to be had at the World Erotic Art Museum. It was a fun to go and laugh at all of the raunchy art collected by a GRANDMA— yes, you read that right, the contents of the museum were collected by Naomi Wilzig. Admission costs $15 and you can easily kill a few hours here.
I wouldn’t recommend eating on Ocean Drive. Everything is incredibly overpriced. On our first day we made a rookie mistake and ordered drinks from a restaurant that was promoting a happy hours special for buy one get one free– but they failed to mention that one drink cost $45!! Granted the drinks were huge but certainly not worth that kind of money. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Lastly, for a nice evening in South Beach head over to Lincoln Road, an outdoor mall that stretches across the entirety of Miami Beach. Mixed in with your mall favorites you can find unique stores like Dylan’s Candy Bar, a South Beach staple! After this hit up one of the many clubs in South Beach— Nikki Beach was our favorite!
The Wynwood Walls area is definitely up and coming. What used to be a bunch of run down warehouses is now an amazing street art installation that has attracted art galleries and trendy cafes to the neighborhood. This is an instagramer’s dream with amazing walls of art to pose in front of 😉
Pop into Panther Coffee, an amazing specialty coffee shop, for one of their unique brews while you walk around.
Calle Ocho or “Little Havana” is the Cuban culture center of Miami. No travel guide to Miami would be complete without mentioning this street! The street is dotted with cigar shops and delicious Cuban restaurants. Make sure to stop by Domino Park, where you can watch elderly Cuban men while away the afternoon with friendly games of dominos. If you’re looking for amazing Cuban food, skip Versallies and go across the street to La Caretta which has more authentic food at a lower price tag!
Why Should You Go to Miami?
We feel like we used the word unique too many times in this guide, but that really is the best word to describe Miami. It’s unlike any other city we’ve been to in the USA. From raucous nightlife to laid back beaches, Miami truly has something for everyone.
Miami Packing Essentials-
- Sassy sun hat– How perfect is this “Do Not Disturb” hat?!
- Sunglasses- Shades to protect your eyes from the strong Florida sun
- Cover Up & Swimsuit– Can’t come to Miami without lounging on the beach!
- Duffle– Who says carry-on only travel can’t be cute
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