Our first trip this year took us to Miami beach in the heart of spring break... a potentially questionable decision. As per usual, I am here to share my full Itinerary complete with all the things I loved, hated, and everything in between!
We opted out of a hotel and decided to go the Airbnb route in the Art deco district right behind the main stretch of Ocean Drive. The location was great because we could walk just about everywhere and had plenty of new places to explore! I couldn't find our exact Airbnb to link but there are so many cute options in that area!
Day 1 - Travel & Arrival
For some reason, we thought the best idea was to get up at the ass crack of dawn and head to the airport to get to Miami early (I think early travel plans always sound good until the night before comes around). Since we arrived early we dropped our bags at the Airbnb and headed straight towards Ocean Drive to try and find a quick place to eat. *cue first mistake* We popped into Oceans Ten a poppin' hookah lounge/sports bar and let me just say I don't recommend it. *PAUSE* we really enjoyed our trip to Miami, but do yourself a favor and if you visit Miami beach - do a tad bit more research on where to eat than we did. Anyway, the food at Oceans Ten was not good and expensive, a very very sad combo.
After eating we started to explore the area, you know toes in the sand - vacation mode ON.
For dinner night one we had reservations at a very vibey Italian restaurant called Cecconi‘s that was highly recommended to me by a client. We shared pizza, pasta, and a bottle of red wine, you know classic date night. The service here was phenomenal, I highly recommend putting this spot on your list! They only take reservations three weeks out so keep this in mind if you’re planning on adding this spot to your travel itinerary! Oh, and make sure you book your table on the patio, inside is not at all the same vibe but outside is absolutely beautiful!
Day 2 - Pool Party
We started the day with brunch at The Local and then headed to the Strawberry Moon pool party at The Good Time hotel. Y'all this pool is so freaking cute!! I'm talking pink cabanas and day beds, a candy-striped pool lined with palm shades, and a DJ booth in the middle of it all. It's the attention to detail for me. this place is obviously a big bachelorette destination and you can tell why, the whole thing is v v instagramable. I wish the music had been a bit louder but overall great vibes!
For dinner we stumbled across a place called La Ventana, it’s right off ocean drive so it’s not hard to find but I mean stumbled more in the sense of the food was actually really really fucking good. We started with the ceviche which came with plantain chips (honestly the only way to serve good ceviche) and then we kinda put the rest of our dinner order in the hands of our 18-year-old server. He recommend the fried fish and the paella which were both PHENOMENAL. 10/10 recommend.
Day 3 - Brunch
We started with a boozy brunch at Orange Blossom. Our waiter was seriously invested in making sure we got the most out of our bottomless mimosas which is always a great start to the day if you ask me! If you go here I recommend sitting on the patio, they have a live DJ so the vibe is great.
After breakfast, we walked to the SLS Hotel to check out their pool party, Hyde Park. This pool party was definitely more affordable than Strawberry Moon since our admission fee was just a minimum spend on drinks. *PAUSE* if you are going with a group of girls you can probably get into both of these pool parties for free if you just find the right promoter on insta! Before going to a Miami or Vegas I always try to scroll through the promoter hashtags of that city! Anyway, with that being said Hyde park had louder more hype music but was overall much less of a production. Like it kinda just felt like a rager at your neighborhood pool.
The bartender at Hyde Park recommended we check out Dolce Italian for a very late lunch so that's where we headed next! Dolce was great, I ordered the bolognese and the el diablo - the perfect spicy marg. If you go here, sitting on the patio is an absolute must! (I love a good patio if you can't tell)
I think after this we tried to continue drinking but I ultimately insisted on a nap - look being in the sun is a lot and what even is a vacation if you can't make your own schedule.
We ended up at STK that night for our actual dinner, the filet here just never disappoints but I do recommend the asparagus as a side over the brussels. Also, make sure if this is going to be your first STK experience that you do not let them seat you upstairs, all of the atmosphere that makes STK so great is definitely on the first floor.
Day 4 Last Day Explorations
Our last day in Miami started with a completely sub-par breakfast at Ocean Cafe, just save yourself the trouble and don't go here. My potatoes were soggy and cold, it was not a vibe.
*hair flip, moving on*
We spent the day walking the beach and soaking in our last day by the ocean. Then we tried to check out Nikki Beach but couldn't get in on a Monday at noon? It looked like a pretty cool spot from what we could see so it might be worth checking out! I mean who needs a bouncer on a Monday in the middle of the day - somewhere cool, that's who.
We had lunch at Naked Taco and, well, I don’t recommend this place either. It wasn’t absolutely horrible but I’m sure you could definitely find a better
place to eat if you just looked a bit longer than we did.
A place I do recommend for lunch is Mercato Della Pescheria, we stopped here for a couple of beers and a burrata board. This spot is one of the many restaurants that line the absolute cutest alleyway between 14th and 15th. There was so much good energy here, you know? I’m talking lots of patio seating, ice cream shops, and music. I really wish we had stopped here sooner, it was basically mini Italy in the middle of Miami.
For dinner, we went to Gitanos on Collin’s and 35th. This restaurant was dark and intimate with the absolute best lingering smell of incense that I couldn't quite put my finger on (we love a signature scent, it really just pulls everything together). I really wanted to check out their rooftop bar after dinner but it’s only open on the weekends and I made a Monday reservation, truly unfortunate. The food here did not disappoint! We started with the watermelon salad, guac, and tuna tostada - amazing. We finished with the carne asada which was great, a bit fatty for my taste, but Chadd loved it.
Get to your reservation here early, grab a drink and head to the sitting room behind the restaurant for the cutest photo op! Think maximalist decor with Tulum jungle vibes, very trendy.
Lessons I learned about Miami
Do more research on where to eat. It's probably not hard to find good places to eat but if you find yourself trying to just stumble across a great restaurant, it’s probably not going to happen. We really did learn that the hard way and luckily it didn't ruin our trip but the places that we sought out were infinitely better than the places we randomly popped into, minus La Ventana - that place was well worth the stop! We did pass a few things while walking around town that caught my eye and I wish we had gotten to try so I will list those as well!
Places I wish we had tried
The restaurant in the good time hotel which I believe is also called Strawberry Moon. This restaurant looks just as cute as it sounds!
Gitano rooftop bar, this bar is above the restaurant we went to on our last day in Miami but it is only open on the weekends!
Limoncello looked like a really cute place to stop for breakfast!
Juvia is another rooftop bar/restaurant that was recommended to me by a co-worker, this spot overlooks the city and looks v v cool. They serve food as well so this would be a great dinner spot f you can get in for a reservation!
The World Erotic Art Museum, this museum is right in South Beach and so close to where we stayed, I think Chadd thought I was joking when I said I wanted to check it out but seriously how cool would be to go here?? I think very!
Okay, My last hot take is a sunscreen tip. Get yourself a powder sunscreen to reapply SPF to your face throughout the day! I am so so bad at reapplying and while I did try to religiously reapply my body still got a little burnt. My face however was completely fine! Like I am so serious not even a little burn on my nose and it's all because I always carried a powder SPF in my purse and reapplied throughout the day. Jane Iredale makes a great one that I took on this particular trip but Color Science has a great one as well! If you do anything to prepare for the sun this summer, make sure it's picking up one of those two sunscreens!
That's all from me, Hope this was helpful! Let me know if you go to any of these spots in the comments!