A Tourist’s Miami Beach Recommendations

Full disclosure: i have no clue what i’m talking about 🙂 Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dive in! A tourists guide to A Weekend in Miami.


Where to stay:

First things first- why Miami Beach and not Miami? Great question, hun. If you’re going to Miami for the action and city life- stick to Miami. If you’re going to Miami for the sand and the sun, don’t stop driving until you get to Miami Beach.

We were advised by a Miami ~local~ to find a spot north of Espanola Way: “Still in the action and walking distance but far enough away from the craziness in South Beach”

The Sagamore

This is where we stayed (thanks to a friend’s recommendation) and loved it. It was considerably less expensive than the other resorts in the 4-block radius but didn’t feel like a very different experience than any of them would’ve been. Set right on the beach, the (required) $35-a-day resort fee covered 2 beach chairs + towels, pool access, bikes, and water.

We stayed in a Ocean View Balcony room… I would really recommend a balcony room if you can swing it- having that space outside to enjoy the couple hours between beach + dinner made hanging in the room feel like part of the vacation- not just wasted time.

The Freehand

If you’re not going to Miami Beach to enjoy the super quick beach access, I’d look into staying at the Freehand. A well-regarded chain, this spot does not disappoint (more on this in the “eat” section).

Nautilus by the Arlo

Again, was only here for about 2 hours for a Sunday brunch with friends (good, not great), but the location- only 2 blocks from my hotel- coupled with the design made for a pleasant visit.

What to eat:

Breakfast:

Rosetta’s– pastries, pizza, & coffee

Bacon Bitch– greasy, messy, delicious croisant egg sandwiches. **TAKEOUT HERE- YOU MIGHT HAVE TO WAIT 2+ HOURS FOR A TABLE*

A Simple Eggstuarant – Yummy (greasy, but yummy), quick egg sandwiches on brioche buns.

Takeout/ lunch:

Moshi Moshi – Yummy 24/7 sushi/ rambe, soba spot. Good for late night eats or easy lunch. Order ahead for pickup since there’s limited seating and usually a wait!

Dinner:

The 27 Restaurant – After reading only great things about 27, we snagged the last available table of the night on OpenTable and worked up a healthy appetite. 27 understood the assignment and did not disappoint. The atmosphere was incredible (The Infatuation was spot-on when they said it felt like “sitting at a friend’s backyard but better”), and the food was to dieeee for. I dream of their Kimchi fried rice whenever 7 PM rolls around and their Thai Mussels were some of the best I’ve ever had. If you’re of-age and enjoy drinking, definitely opt for their cocktails (they’re famous for it!)- I’d recommend asking what your waiter enjoys.

Cocktails:

The Broken Shaker– Right around the corner (no, really) from The Freehand’s 27 Restaurant is the hotel’s cocktail bar. Definitely make a reservation in-advance for this since it seems like they’re usually booked up, and enjoy the relaxed but groovy atmosphere and live DJ as you sip on some one of a kind (and locally sourced) seasonal cocktails. Can you tell this is the first place I’m headed the next time I’m in town??

What to do:

I might be biased, but here’s what I’d consider a perfect itinerary:

9-10 (slow!!) Wake-up

10 Order breakfast online + walk to pick it up

10:30 Eat breakfast on the boardwalk + stop by CVS/ Walgreens for sunscreen & snacks

11 Change into bathing suits, pack for the beach. Head to beach. Grab beach chairs (+ we opted for an umbrella).

2 Order lunch to beach

4:30 Head back to hotel. Shower, relax on balcony, go for a boardwalk bike ride

7:30 Start getting ready for dinner

8 Walk to drinks on Ocean Drive

9:30 Dinner reservation

11 Head home or hit cocktail bar

What to wear:

If We Had More Time:

South Point Pier- said to feel a bit more secluded and zen than the rest of MB.

Joe’s Stone Crab- A nice seafood restaurant that looks like a great spot for a date.

Mac’s Club Deuce- The oldest bar in Miami + set to a few Miami Vice shots (and cast parties) this looks like the dive bar of dreams. Super casual and lowkey, I’d love to come here in cutoffs and aviators (above) and enjoy a game off pool & a nightcap.

Strawberry Moon- The pool-club of David Grutman + Pharell’s new Goodtime Hotel (Miami Beach), this looks like a fun and whimsical pool-day spot.

What Did I Miss?

(A lot, I know.) Leave your recommendations in the comments of this post!

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