Miami Beach is a city full of life. Full of color. Full of diversity. My husband and I visited this vibrant city during Thanksgiving and went into it not knowing what to expect. Needless to say, it lived up to our expectations and then some. From the palm trees to the lifeguard shacks and everything in between, I am going to recap the best of the best in an effort to prove why you should visit Miami Beach.
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Beach Must Haves
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Where to Stay
Shelborne SouthBeach. There are a lot of beautiful hotels in Miami Beach. Everything from budget to high-end. We stayed at the Shelborne South Beach on Collins Avenue and it was amazing. The rooms, the pool, the food. Everything was wonderful. My husband and I usually prefer to stay in boutique-style hotels because we love the uniqueness and quaintness of them, but I scored an awesome deal on this hotel on Groupon and couldn’t pass it up. It’s right on the beach and there are private cabanas and chairs for those staying at the hotel to use. The chairs are free, but the cabanas are around $60.00/day. The hotel also provides attendants at the beach so you can order food and drinks.
Delano South Beach. If you prefer five-star, glitz, and glamour the Delano South Beach is the place for you. The hotel is also on Collins Avenue, about a block south of where we stayed, and the hotel is beautiful. This hotel is also right on the beach and offers many of the same amenities that most hotels in Miami Beach provide. There are a few restaurants and lounges on-site and poolside service.
El Paseo Hotel. For those of you who prefer to save a buck, or two, and don’t mind not being right on the beach, El Paseo Hotel is a great choice. It’s a boutique-style hotel (my favorite) and located on beautiful Espanola Way. I actually looked into this hotel before we booked anything, but we decided that we preferred to be on the beach since we were only in Miami Beach for three days. There are a lot of restaurants and bars located near the hotel and also lots of
Where to Eat
The Pizza Bar. If you love pizza, this place is for you. It’s a no-frills, order by the slice (or whole if you prefer) pizza joint located on Collins Avenue. I won’t even lie, we ate here three times. The pizza slices are $5.00 each (I ordered
plain cheese, so the prices may be a little higher for toppings). Each slice of pizza was the size of my head. OK, maybe I exaggerated, but they were huge. Definitely worth $5.00 and definitely filled me up.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. You can’t go wrong with a restaurant dedicated to serving classic southern dishes. Yardbird serves everything from a fried green tomato BLT to chicken biscuits to shrimp and grits. Basically, if you love your food fried and covered in butter (yes, please!) you’ll love Yardbird Southern Table and Bar.
Pane & Vino. You don’t want to miss this Italian restaurant located in the heart of Miami Beach. The pasta is handmade and there are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options, so it really is a restaurant everyone can enjoy. Pane & Vino offers indoor and outdoor dining, but I would recommend dining inside to avoid noise from the street.
Nexxt Cafe. This café is located on Lincoln Road inside the Lincoln Road Mall, which is an outside shopping mall with tons of different stores and restaurants. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating with umbrellas. The menu is expansive and has pretty much everything from seafood to salads to burgers to pasta.
Maxine’s Bistro and Bar. This restaurant is located at the Catalina Hotel on Collins Avenue. It’s open 24/7 and has a pretty decent menu. We sat outside and there was a live band playing which was nice. This is a decent restaurant and it is open 24/7 which is great. FYI – any restaurant located at a hotel automatically adds an 18% hotel surcharge to the
total of your ticket.
Shake Shack. I love Shake Shack so I had to put it on my list. It’s like In-N-Out, but better. Their burgers are amazing and their cheese fries are even better. They also have shakes, floats, and concretes, all made with frozen custard.
What to Do
Citi Bike Rentals. The only other place I have seen Citi Bike rentals is in NYC. Seriously, this is a great option to explore Miami Beach instead of walking or spending an obnoxious amount of money on an Uber or Lyft. You rent the bikes with a credit or debit card for a certain amount of time—we did two hours and it cost $20.00 ($10.00 for each bike)—and then you return the bike to any Citi Bike station in the city. You don’t have to return the bike at the same station you rented from. You can check out their website at www.CitiBikeMiami.com for more information.
South Pointe Park. We rode our CitiBike’s to South Pointe Park from the northern part of the island. It’s a really neat place to explore and get some beautiful pictures of the ocean. There is a pier here that’s nice to walk down, but if you rent a bike, you cannot take the bike on the pier so you will need to park it. There are also a few restaurants located in the park with beautiful, relaxing views of the water– Smith and Wollensky is one of them – if you like steakhouses.
Lincoln Road Mall. This is an outdoor shopping mall with a lot of different stores and restaurants. We spent several hours here on the first full day we were in Miami Beach and did some shopping and just walked around. I also picked up some macaroons at Laduree.
Ocean Drive. This is a must. It’s probably cliché but I enjoyed it and I loved looking at all the art-deco buildings. There is a lot of shopping in the area and tons of restaurants on Ocean Drive.
Wynwood Walls. I feel like everyone who goes to Miami Beach goes to the Wynwood Walls. It’s a neat, artsy part of Miami with a bunch of urban graffiti art by artists from all over the world. I love good wall art, so of course I am going to recommend it.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery. If you are a history nut, like me, you’ll want to check out the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach. It is said to be the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere. It was originally built in Spain in the 1100s and during a social revolution in the 1830s the cloisters were sold and shipped to the United States. That’s not the whole story, of course, but if you want to know the rest you’ll just have to visit!
|Have you ever been to Miami? What are some of your favorite things to do? Leave me a comment and give me some ideas!|
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