August 7, 2017Posted by Bethany Larson Bloch
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, Miami is the window to pastelitos, coladas and the good life. Between its amazing year-round weather, its abundant opportunities for recreation and access to the hottest shopping, cuisine, nightlife and people, it is a bon vivant’s dream destination. This is the type of place you want to be if you’re looking to alternate effortlessly between daily life and vacation – in the office at sunrise and sipping rosé by the ocean at sunset – or, if you’re ready for retirement, but you’re only in your 30s. It’s where you can live large while casually overlooking the fact that you’re not rich and famous (yet).
Whether you wish to lounge on a beautiful, white-sand beach, explore the only living coral barrier reef in the US, taste Cuban culture without leaving the country or dance to the beats of world-renowned DJs and musicians, we’ve got them all. There’s a reason Miami is known as The Magic City, and you can only truly understand it after you’ve been here. So put on your sun hat and prepare to have the time of your life!
8:30am: Buenos dias! The sun is shining and the city is waiting, so get dressed and head to a ventanita (walk-up Cuban coffee window) for a café con leche. Ocoa’s Breeze in Miami Beach is a convenient stop for your pre-breakfast brew.
9am: Once you’re fully caffeinated, hit 11th Street Diner one block south for traditional American eats with a twist. An omelet with toast and grits or home fries is a delish way to kick-start your day.
10am: Walk southeast to the Art Deco Welcome Center, where you can catch the Miami Design Preservation League’s Art Deco tour. Don’t miss the clock to its south and Miami Beach Ocean Rescue Headquarters to its east for more examples of this architecture style.
12pm: Return to Washington Avenue to visit The Wolfsonian-Florida International University‘s extensive collection of furniture and industrial-design pieces for a dose of art and culture.
1:30pm: Hail a cab to Yardbird Southern Table & Bar for lunch, and be sure to try the stellar crispy chicken biscuits, butter lettuce and grilled mango salad, and crunch Yardbird sandwich.
3pm: Take a 20-minute amble northwest to Sunset Harbour and peruse the drool-worthy offerings at Frankie and the other bontiques on Purdy Avenue.
5pm: Stop for dessert at Icebox Cafe and sink your teeth into the Oprah-endorse dark chocolate cake with its decadent layers of cheesecake brownie and chocolate mousse filling.
6pm: Bask in the stunning views of Biscayne Bay and the downtown skyline as you stroll down the Venetian Causeway en route to The Standard Miami for a sundowner at The Lido Bayside Grill.
7:30pm: Fancy a spot of pre-prandial shopping? Hit Lincoln Road Mall for some retail therapy before a meal at Ola. The smoked marlin tacos and cheese bread are must-tries.
10pm: Catch the 150 bus and ride two stops to The Regent Cocktail Club for well-made drinks and jazz in an ambiance straight out of the 1940s.
11:30pm: Looking to keep the night going? Hop in a taxi to Freehand Miami where Broken Shaker can satisfy your quest for libations until 2am.
9:30am: A jam-packed day in the South Beach fast lane is best followed with a relaxing day of shopping and exploring in slower-paced Coconut Grove. Fuel up with crab cakes Benedict or a lobster omelet at Peacock Garden Bistro.
11am: Go northwest on McFarlane Road toward Main Highway, where ladies will find rows of small boutiques perfect for adding some Miami flair to your wardrobe. Check out Romana La Rue for bright, hand-painted pieces, which you can accessorize with unique, boho jewelry from neighbor Golden Bar.
12:30pm: Proceed one block northwest on Commodore Plaza and another block west on Grand Avenue to Coconut Grove Organic Market for fresh produce if it’s a Saturday. On other days, drop in at The Barnacle Historic State Park to catch the 1pm tour of Miami’s oldest house.
2pm: Hungry? Feed your tummy with delectable French eats at the rustic Le Bouchon du Grove.
3:3pm: Walk off lunch and head east on Grand Avenue toward Mary Street to The Bookstore in the Grove. Look through their monthly book club picks and start ready while sipping on a flavored iced latte.
4:30pm: Mosey one block west on Florida Avenue and show your body some TLC with a rejuvenating session at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa, which offers facials, massages and body treatments. Their Balance package is a one-hour massage followed by an hour-long facial. Pure bliss.
6:30pm: Refreshed and restored, stroll east down Grand Avenue where, just past the iconic CocoWalk, you will spot Jaguar. Stop for pre-dinner pisco-based drinks and the ceviche spoon sampler, which allows you to try six out of their nine different variations.
8pm: For dinner, continue west on Grand Avenue to LoKal for inventive burgers. Try the Frita by Kush topped with guava jelly, melted Gruyère and potato sticks, or My Childhood Dream with its seared doughnut buns and candied bacon. Beware the impending food coma.
10pm: Not quite ready to call it a night? Cab it to Bougainvillea’s Old Florida Tavern in South Miami for more tipples and live music.
About The HUNT Miami Writer: Margarita Wells moved to Florida from Mexico City at the age of 12, and while she’s never stopped pining for the taco paradise where she was born, she fell hard for the palm tree-lined haven of her adopted city. A marine scientist, Margarita loves Miami’s interconnectedness with the sea, its tropical vibes and ability to cater to both a metropolitan beach town and suburban lifestyle. When she’s not protecting the local environment, you can find her bumming around her coastal backyard, skateboarding around her neighborhood or checking out the newest hot spots for her blog, thankyoumiami.com.
For more great insider recommendations, pick up The HUNT Guides on gatehousepublishing.com.