I will be the first to admit I love Miami. I’ve been several times and I have no shame in my game when it comes to the Art Deco oasis. There is always something to do, something to see, or actually you can choose to do nothing at all. For me, Miami the ideal location for a girl’s trip. Sun, sand, and skimpy bikinis are all you really need to have a good time and unwind. Not to mention i’m obsessed with the preserved Art Deco. South Beach almost doesn’t even feel like you’re still in America save the occasional Walgreens spotting.
Where to Stay
Gale South Beach
Gale South Beach is a boutique hotel in South Beach just one block from the beach and centrally located. This is my second time staying at this hotel. I love its proximity to pretty much everything you would want to do in South Beach However, I would highly recommend to upgrade and stay at their sister location Kaskades. The Kaskades suites are much roomier and secluded. The suites on the first floor also come equip with their own terrace and outdoor spa/jacuzzi. The building has its own rooftop with a small pool and amazing views of South Beach. Look out for their packages that include a buffet breakfast for just $1.
Where to Eat
I am obsessed with the atmosphere of Nikki Beach. They have successfully created an ambiance that transports you a chic beach club in Italy. Nikki Beach is located on Ocean Drive. You can choose to dine, chill at their beach club, or eat breakfast at their cafe. They also have party brunches and dinner parties. We went for lunch and it was so serene. The portions are huge, the food is amazing (don’t listen to the Yelp reviews), and how could you not love dining right on the beach?
Ok you’re probably reading this thinking I should’ve just went to Italy. I mean are there any words for the Versace Mansion? It’s absolutely stunning as soon as you pass through the iconic gate. It’s truly surreal to dine in such a historic landmark. The architecture is beautiful and makes you feel fancy AF. The menu features a wide seafood variety and steaks. The crudo (appetizer) is amazing and filet mignon doesn’t disappoint. Prime time to go is around 7pm, while it’s still light outside so you can take in all of the mansion’s glory and also see the beauty at night.
Puerto Sagua is a classic, no-frills Cuban restaurant. Everything on the menu is authentic and you really can’t go wrong with any choice. Tip: be sure to bring a sweater as it’s super chilly inside the restaurant.
Larios on the Beach
Another Cuban restaurant! But I say take advantage while you’re there. This chic restaurant from singer Gloria Estefan on Ocean Drive is great for shared plates and sangria pitchers. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu,.
Get on a Yacht
Cruising around Biscayne Bay on a yacht will have you feeling like an extra on the ‘Big Pimpin’ video. There are plenty of ways to rent or get access to a yacht in Miami, but I found a great deal on Airbnb Experiences for a two hour yacht ride here. The boat comes with ice, soda, and water. You’re allowed to bring your own food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages. We stopped by a cute Italian bakery, Rosetta, to pick up sandwiches prior to the ride. The captain will give you a mini guide on Star Island and South Miami.
Have a Beach/Pool Day
Because why not. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. I love being lazy and relaxing by the beach or pool with a cocktail in hand. We had two pool days at the Shelbourne hotel, where they have an expansive and quiet pool area with a full bar and jacuzzi.
Go to a Nightclub
Miami is known for their nightlife scene. On any given night you can find at least one nightclub to go to. I always find club promoters via Instagram (search “#miamipromoter”) and I’ve never had a bad experience *knocks on wood*. On our three day trip, we only went out once to a club called Rockwell. It started off pretty dead but a few drinks later and the club was packed…on a Monday!
Why Late August/September is the Best Time to Go
Not only is the weather a but more mild, but late August/September is the perfect time to catch Miami Spice and Miami Spa month. Miami Spice is Miami’s version of restaurant week except it lasts for almost one and a half months. Hotspot restaurants have pre-fixe lunch and dinner menus at $23 and $39. Nikki Beach and Versace Mansion (!) both participated in the promotion. So yes we were balling on a budget at restaurants that are normally $25 per plate.
There are also spas and hotel discounts throughout South Florida during this time. We didn’t reap any of those benefits, but there were some good deals out there.
Late August/September is the beginning of hurricane season but it never rained once during my stay nor any other time I’ve been in the fall despite the forecast.
I usually book my trips through Travelocity. I found my hotel + airfare for 4 days, 3 nights for only $450. Sign up for eBates here to get cash back the next time you book a trip!