✈️ Travel

A long weekend in Miami Beach

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Miami Beach and I have a special relationship. I first visited about 15 years ago with my husband, where we both completed internships. Of course, we fell in love with the city almost instantly and had returned a couple of times. However, with exploring new destinations, we hadn’t been back for 8 years now. So, it was about time to return and take a walk down memory lane.

How to get to Miami Beach

Flying to Miami, you basically have two options. Either fly into Miami International Airport (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Miami International is a much bigger airport while Fort Lauderdale is smaller. Depending on what you are planning on exploring you can rent a car or take an Uber to get around.

Where we stayed

We stayed at the AC Hotel Miami Beach located on 29th and Collins Avenue. The hotel is very close to the beach, has its own beach chairs, rental bikes, a small gym, a nice rooftop area with a pool and a bar. They also have free water bottles at the front desk. The rooms were beautiful, very clean and the the staff was incredibly friendly. We felt very welcome and loved our stay.

How we spent our days in Miami Beach

Day 1

We arrived around lunchtime at MIA. First, we needed a nice cup of coffee and a snack. We took an Uber to Threefold Coffee in Coral Gables where we enjoyed very delicious Lattes and Avocado Toast. Next on the agenda was checking in at the hotel and a first trip to the beach. The weather was very nice and we enjoyed walking around for a little while.

Dinner that night was Spris for Pizza. The restaurant is located on Lincoln Road where you can find all sorts of cute shops and loads of restaurants. We shared appetizers and a couple of pizzas. The pizza was good but not as great as I remembered it from our time living there. After dinner we strolled down Lincoln Road listened to some music and simply enjoyed being in a warm climate.

Day 2

We started the day with a variety of coffee, a green smoothie, empanadas and avocado toast at Cortadito. The little flavored cortados came in the cutest little cups. The green smoothie was amazing (finally something green to drink) and the avocado toast was a refreshing start into the day. Loaded up with energy we spend some time by the pool and planned the day.

We went to Bayside Marketplace later that morning and did some exploring of the area. Being hungry from walking around in the sun we shared some pasta at Lombardi’s, which is located on the water very close to the Hardrock Cafe. The location is beautiful. The pasta however was ok but nothing special and I would not go back there necessarily. We walked over to Breezeblock for a delicious coffee treat. It was a 10 min walk from Bayside Marketplace. We ordered salted caramel latte and it was amazing. Spoiler… It was by far the best coffee we had on this trip.

Afternoon Boat Tour – seeing some millionaire’s homes

Our highlight this afternoon was a boat tour called MIAMI MILLIONAIRE’S ROW CRUISE by Miami on the Water. The tour was 90 min long and was $28 per person. Our tour was narrated in English and Spanish. It does not only include homes of rich and/or famous people. You also get to see the Biscayne Bay, Downtown Miami with the beautiful skyline, Star Island, Fisher Island, Flagler Monument Island and the Port of Miami. If you get really lucky like we did, you might even see some groups of dolphins swimming around.

After the fantastic afternoon on the water we headed back to South Beach where we had a dinner reservation at LT Steak & Seafood at the Betsy Hotel. There was a road block on ocean drive in that area which was quite nice because the street was less busy and fewer pedestrians were walking around. We enjoyed a delicious cocktail with Guava and 23 year old Zacapa Rum and a purple gin Cocktail. Once you order dinner, the chefs in the kitchen prepare a bread basket for the table where each person gets to enjoy a giant Popover (which is a light, fluffy and buttery bread). Sooooo good. For our main course we had a variety of sushi, a salad and burgers. Mine was vegetarian with a spicy black bean patty and homemade fries. At the end you’ll get a sweet treat (a coconut petit fours in our case) on the house. So nice and everything was very very yummy.

Day 3

We started our third day with breakfast at Panther Coffee. While the coffee and Chai Latte were quite good, I would recommend to stay away from the Croissants. They were incredibly dry and unpleasant. After breakfast we went to Ocean Drive. So many nice old cars in front of the Art Deco Buildings. Down in this area is where you feel a true vacation vibe. On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped at Mamma Mia Gelato for a delicious but insanely over-prized chocolate milkshake.

In the afternoon, we took a nice walk by the beach, got a coffee to go at XO Espressobar and went to the Wynwood Area where you can enjoy graffitis and a streetfood market. Dinner that night was at Nobu. We arrived early (for happy hour) and had cocktails and appetizers at the bar first. The Spicy Edamame and the Wagyu Short Rib Gyoza were incredible. Later at the restaurant we enjoyed more Gyoza and 2 different kinds of vegetable rolls. Even as a non seafood enthusiast there are plenty of options for you. For dessert we had mango and green tea mochis.

Day 4

On our last morning we went to Be Bakery (2745 Collins Ave) for breakfast. This place doesn’t look like much from the outside but it is like you step into a different world once you enter the shop. They had Croissants samples on the counter and a big variety of pastries. There even was a green juice on the menu, which always makes me incredibly happy. We also enjoyed croissants and avocado toast. The guys weren’t super happy with the coffee at this place so headed back to the Wynwood area for a second coffee at Suite Habana Cafe.

Final Thoughts

All in all is Miami Beach a beautiful place to stay. If you are a coffee snob yourself or traveling with one, please be aware that there aren’t many great coffee options in Miami Beach itself. We found some nice places on the main land with Breezeblock being my personal favorite. Threefold Coffee was our second favorite place during this trip.

This trip’s main purpose was to escape the cold weather in Houston and enjoy some sun. We didn’t feel the need to re-do lots of sightseeing. If you’re feeling more adventurous, here is some stuff that we really enjoyed a couple of years ago. Both are good day trips from Miami Beach:

  • Fruit and Spice Park: This Park is the only tropical botanical garden of its kind in the US. The Park has a special tropical climate that can be found nowhere else in the continental U.S. and it hosts over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts and other commercially important plant specimens from around the world. Our tour guide gave us lots of samples during our tour. My favorite was when he picked star fruits and baby bananas that tasted a little bit like apples.
  • Everglades Alligator Farm: This farm is the oldest alligator farm in South Florida. It is located near the entrance of Everglades National Park and is home to more than 2,000 alligators. During this visit you can go on a airboat tour, see an alligator show and a feeding demonstration.

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