It’s the end of April, and spring is still holding out on New Jersey (for reference, it’s 50°F, raining, and I’m wearing a turtleneck as I write this). But for this not-long-enough long weekend in Miami, it was summer.
When I told people I had booked a flight to Miami, I got some quizzical looks and even a few chuckles. Miami is a one big party, and I notoriously poop out at parties. Sorry, not sorry.
But there’s more to this place than big night clubs and tiny swimsuits. The beaches are beautiful and clean, with that same glassy, turquoise water you would find in the Caribbean. And unlike most tropical beaches, Miami is a full-fledged city, which means tons of top-notch restaurants within walking distance (no matter where you’re staying), cool up-and-coming neighborhoods, and a lively Cuban culture to boot!
With all there is to see and do, Miami strikes the right balance between lay-on-the-beach and get-up-and-go. Although, it’s infinitely harder to get up and go after lying on the beach for hours on end. Especially when your hotel serves up food like this, right to your beach chair. (Side note: I am now convinced that heaven will include frozé on the beach.)
But even with full stomachs, slightly burned skin, and the certain kind of exhaustion you can only get from doing absolutely nothing in the sun all day, my friends and I dragged ourselves out to dinner every night, and every night was SO worth it. Seriously, we didn’t have any bad (or even so-so) meals on this trip—everything was completely delish! Here are some of the restaurants we hit:
- Essencia Restaurant at The Palms Hotel—local, seasonal ingredients and a lovely patio for outdoor dining.
- Havana 1957—All your favorite Cuban dishes, big portions, and tasty mojitos. Also, there are a handful of locations around Miami, so odds are you can find one nearby.
- Cecconi’s Miami Beach—AMAZING Italian food, and a magical enclosed courtyard for some serious ambiance. So many twinkle lights!
Really, the bulk of the trip was spent lounging and eating (a vacay done right in my book), but we did make one stop outside Miami Beach before we left. A short Uber ride away from our hotel in Mid Beach is Wynwood—the former-warehouse-turned-art district and home to Wynwood Walls, an outdoor exhibit of commissioned graffiti murals. It’s such a cool spot, but even before you get to the official display, there is plenty of eye-catching art to see. There are murals painted on the sides of buildings on almost every street in this neighborhood—some even more grandiose than the ones in within the exhibit.
And because the art community has flooded the area, lots of trendy shops and eateries have appeared as well. Like The Salty Donut —or as I called it, breakfast.
Yep, I couldn’t even wait to take a picture before scarfing down a few bites. Oh well.
My little slice of summer in Miami could not have come at a better time. All the warm air and Vitamin D I soaked up should be enough to carry me through the rest of this cold and rainy “spring” in NJ (note the VERY necessary quotation marks here). And now I have a nice tan to show off with my turtleneck. #Goals, right?