HOW TO SPEND 48 HOURS IN MIAMI
With direct flights to Miami from the UK being so convenient, it’s just the perfect destination to get away on a warm city break or like us tag it onto another flight route from central America.
Flying home from Belize, we decided to tag a 48 hour stay in Miami onto our trip and extend the vacation time just a teeny bit more before we braved the arctic conditions the UK had in store for us!
Here is how I recommend you spend 48 hours in the vibrant, art-deco, palm –lined, golden sand metropolis, in the state of Florida, we call Miami!
CHECK INTO THE PERFECT ART-DECO ABODE
Bag yourself a stay at one of the Art-Deco styled hotels in South Beach. There’s plenty to choose from on the famous, Collins Avenue, however we opted for The Redbury South Beach, Miami. It’s located in the heart of South Beach and is brought to life by creative director, Matthew Rolston. The hotel features 69 rooms and suites, a 12,000 square-foot rooftop pool and a restaurant, Cleos on the ground floor, which takes care of all your food and cocktail needs! Guests are invited to indulge in access to South Beach sunning via the Delano’s private beach.
Interiors are reminiscent of the exterior, think bright coloured rooms, funky art works and record players in rooms with a host of vinyls. Communal areas are dressed with sideboards, tall bookcases, slouchy leather sofas, the odd old school telephone and lots of reading material in the form of quirky books! Pretty much reverberating the art-deco era!
The Redbury South Beach
1776 Collins Avenue
Tel. +1 305-763-8272
After a quick freshen-up and slip into comfy shoes, get a quick orientation for the city. I would recommend a quick walk, in the neighbourhood to get your bearings and a quick jaunt to the beach to be continued later!
Then switch up the following in any order that takes your fancy!
WHAT TO DO
ART DECO WALKING TOUR
You cannot be staying in the Art Deco district and not do this self-guiding tour courtesy of Lonely Planet. That would be sacrilege! 2 .5 hours of pretending your on the sunny set of Bugsy Malone!
The tour starts at the Art Deco Museum, leading onto three examples of Art Deco hotels; The Leslie, The Carlyle and The Cardoza, which is owned by Gloria Estefan. Next we checked out the Terrazzo floors of the Winter Haven hotel, which leads on quite nicely to the US Post Office building.
A good lunch spot en route is 11th Street Diner, which is housed in an aluminium Pullman carriage, which was imported from Pennsylvania in 1992. Post lunch take in the newly restored Astor hotel and the Wolfsonian-FIU, which is a top design museum. Finally end up at the Hotel of South Beach and Ocean’s Ten restaurant, where the great Art Dec legend, Henry Hohauser showcased his creative talents.
If you like the Fast & Furious life, by that I mean cars then you need a brunch stop or even a few curbside cocktails on this art deco patch. Some of Miami’s pristine Art Deco hotels are situated here and at that they are pretty darn striking! Evenings are the most entertaining here as you may even see the rich and famous cruising along this famous strip in Miami.
SOUTH BEACH & LIFEGUARD HUTS
Ok, South beach is the place to hang-out in my opinion! Most of the hotels situated around here, have their own patch of the beach with pretty beachside bars and in true Miami style, co-ordinating beach exteriors but for me it was always going to be all about the Lifeguard huts! This is an iconic constitution in Miami and one you will inevitable partake in!
If you like to people watch, South Beach is full of beautiful people on the sand and streets and remember to stick around for the sunsets, because they are simply incredible!
I realise Florida is not such a long ferry ride from the Cuban mainland but Miami has it’s own slice of Cuba in the form of Little Havana. If you’re staying on South Beach, then it’s a short Uber ride away and trust me you will feel like you’ve been transported back to the streets of old Habana minus the vintage and classic cars!
The atmosphere is a little exaggerated, however there is still the wafting of Cuban cigars in the streets, live jazz latino bands and dancing and numerous Cuban restaurants and bars you can sip on authentic Mojitos! Oh and there is also a Dominoes club frequented by the cute elderly gentlemen of Cuba! Don’t be surprised if many of the locals here speak to you in Spanish!
One of my favourite areas of Miami and what I would call the Shoreditch equivalent but minus all the eateries, however there is a great restaurant scene emerging! If you love street art, sculptures and all things warehouse and trendy, this is your hood of choice to hangout! Again a short Uber ride away from South Beach but totally worth it!
Wynwood Art District Association was founded in 2003, by a group of art dealers and subsequently Wynwood walls was created in 2009 by the late Tony Goldman. His aim was to encourage local artists to paint and sell their artworks under one collective. Today Wynwood Walls have become quite the creative hub of the city and artists from across the globe sell their works here, as well as owning workshops that accommodate local artists starting out.
South Beach is actually a fantastic place to shop with a deluge of shops located on Lincoln Road, from fine restaurants to American labels we are familiar with in the UK to high-end boutique shops. Its all happening on Lincoln Road.
There are also a number of designer outlets/villages dotted around the city and if you are into your shopping and have the extra time, then it may be worth scoping these out for some serious bargains! Personally I was in Miami for the atmosphere!
Miami has one hell of an amazing skyline and the best panoramic view of the coastline is obtained from one of many roof top bars available. I tried two recommended by Fee from Where’s the Rooftop blog!
We popped along to Juvia for Brunch one Sunday afternoon. By the way the Brunch seen in Miami is huge on weekends. Juvia is located at the top of Lincoln Road Mall and has a roof terrace equipped with DJ as well as an indoor area with floor to ceiling glass windows to capture those all-important views. Think uber cool, beautiful people and champagne brunches! Be warned this place is pricey but hey you’re not in Miami everyday.
Our brunch menu choices consisted of a Tuna tartare salad, a burrata salad, a couple of signature cocktails and a deconstructed lemon meringue pie!
Nothing at all disappointed, the service is excellent and the food great quality. Fantastic tunes and an open kitchen complete the experience beautifully!
1111 Lincoln Road
Tel. +1 305-763-8272
Located at the top of 1 Hotel on Collins Avenue is the uber hip and trendy rooftop bar with direct sea views, a swanky pool and private cabanas and booths to see out well into the night! Food is also served up here and it does get very busy around the bar! Dr C and I had pre-dinner drinks here and loved the atmosphere, the music and the general vibe however the Espresso Martini was very bad and Dr C’s gin sour wasn’t saying much either. We most definitely enjoyed the views of South Beach and the stunning lit pool. I would say this rooftop bar is one for the younger crowd and full of beautiful people. More of a club-like atmosphere! 20 years ago, I’d have been in my element!!
2341 Collins Avenue
Tel. +1 305-604-1000
WINING & DINING
Food in Miami as Latino, Middle Eastern and Greek influences with a good helping of sushi and some Italian. Here are my three favourites…
A definite middle-eastern street food style affair with al fresco dining! Great cocktails accompanied by Shawarmas, wraps, falafel and traditional salads with a great helping of spice. The perfect way to spend a warm evening. If you’re a hookah fan then then 7 Spices is your place. In my opinion it also has some of the best outdoor seating on Lincoln Road, where there is a plethora of restaurants to chose from!
610 Lincoln Road
Tel. +1 305-397-8402
The following two restaurants were suggested to me by Scarlett from Diary of a Londoness Blog
A stunningly colourful room lit by lanterns by night creates a romantic and tranquil atmosphere to dine in, hence no photos due to the very low light! The service is excellent and the food focuses on Meze and exotic dishes with a very Eastern Mediterranean feel. Portions are created for sharing and a punch of fusion flavours, which leave you totally satisfied. Byblos also has a great wine and cocktail menu.
1545 Collins Avneue
Tel. +1 786-864-2990
CECCONI’S AT SOHO BEACH HOUSE
A stunning outdoor location serving upscale as well as casual dining options. We had lunch here and it felt very casual although Soho House does have a very upmarket vibe about it! The hotel is located in the courtyard just through to the back of the lobby and is a quite calm and peaceful haven if you’re looking for some time away from the hustle and bustle of the beach!
Soho Beach House
4385 Collins Avenue
Tel. +1 786-507-7900
MONTALCINO CUCINA ITALIAN
If it’s a quick coffee and pastry or in my case a side of profiteroles you need to grab head on over to this small Italian with outdoor seating on Lincoln Road. Great cappuccino and traditional no frills profiteroles served al fresco providing a great pit stop in-between sight-seeing!
Montalcino Cucina Italian
831 Lincoln Road
Tel. +1 305-695-1654
There you have some of my ideas on how to can spend 48 hours in Miami. I’d love to know what recommendations you have for Miami in the comments below.
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