Posted October 4, 2016
By BRITTANY CHANDANI
MIAMI BEACH, Fla.— Where can you find a beautiful beach, great food, a happening nightlife scene and historical architecture? Miami Beach—the one place for different people searching for a well-rounded vacation experience. With white fluffy sand and crisp blue water to match the skies, Miami Beach is the ultimate getaway for those looking to stick their toes into waves of relaxation. It is the only place where you’ll see locals sitting in the Miami heat while sipping on a hot cafecito.
While known for their dry-aged steaks, this Smith and Wollensky location offers a wonderful view and a lighter but just-as-decadent lunch menu. If you are in the mood for something indulgent, try their butcher burger topped with applewood smoked bacon and cheddar, or their crab cakes which are just as amazing. Ask for a table outside to enjoy a magnificent view of South Pointe— a rocky pier and the sound of waves, with a mimosa in hand. After your meal, take a leisurely stroll through the park and take pictures at this very “Instagrammable” spot.
Do not drive on Ocean Drive
Ocean Drive—a street full of life— is a short walk over. Seventh street beach offers volleyball and foot volley nets, so bring a ball and you’ll make some friends. Or, watch the locals play— they usually draw up a crowd whether or not it is Model Beach Volleyball weekend. Then head down to the beach and enjoy the feeling of sand in your toes. When you have achieved your perfect tan, take a walk down Ocean Drive and take in all of the personalities around you: the man who sells coconut water and his accomplice who is currently climbing a tree to get more coconuts; the beasts who work out in the outside gym that is really just a couple of metal pole structures; and the bicyclists and rollerbladers who dash past you. Cross the street to get a view of Miami Beach’s Art Deco architecture and historical sites like Gianni Versace’s Mansion.
Sunset on the bay
The Mondrian Hotel features unreal castle-like architecture, with white chairs and cabana beds that make your by-the-bay experience feel like you are floating on a luxurious cloud. The view looks right onto Biscayne Bay, featuring one of the greatest sunsets ever. Sit down, grab a cocktail or two and enjoy the breeze as you watch the sunset’s red, purple and pink hues.
The Cuban experience
No visit to Miami is complete without Cuban food. Moreno’s Cuba is one of Miami Beach’s hidden gems, with a great outdoor atmosphere and traditional Cuban food. Try a medianoche and pair it with a mojito. So Miami! Jorge Moreno might come and greet you himself.
Bar hopping at Española
Head over to Española Way to bar hop and enjoy live music. Also, be sure to take in the Spanish architecture. The atmosphere is much more laid back than the typical Miami nightlife scene— a.k.a. no heels necessary. Relax. Enjoy the dive bar scene, play some pool. When you get late night cravings, Lost Weekend has you covered. Get a Philly cheesesteak and truffle fries. Whether you’re hungry or not, it’s so worth it.
A healthy breakfast
Also true to Miami Beach culture is the craze for healthy while also delicious food. You’ll see just as many locals with green juice in hand as Cuban coffee. A recent addition to the South of Fifth area is DIRT. Don’t let the name scare you— you will not be eating dirt as part of some culinary adventure, but there are very fresh and locally sourced ingredients going into your dish. You can even see exactly where on a map by the entrance. Grab a smoothie and quinoa bowl chock full of turkey bacon and avocado. Or, if you want to eat light, try their açaí bowl—it’s like having fruit ice cream for breakfast.
Time to shop!
Lincoln Road features big brands like H&M and Lululemon. Spend your afternoon here taking a leisurely stroll and get all of your shopping done. To overcome shopper’s fatigue, grab an ice cream at The Frieze, a long time local favorite. Their large selection of ice creams and sorbets makes sure that you will definitely find something you like. Oreo lovers should try the Boogie Oogie Cookie for something fun and flavorful.
A palace hidden in plain sight
Where can you find a gold-plated mammoth sarcophagus on Miami Beach? Look no further than the Faena Hotel. This opulent hotel is one of the newest additions to Miami Beach, sporting a baroque red and gold interior juxtaposed against a traditional Art Deco exterior. The walls are also covered in art, providing tons of eye candy. A quick stop to this hotel for pictures and a midday drink sounds very refreshing.
If you came to Miami Beach for seafood, try Izzy’s, a local favorite, and skip out on the typical trip to Joe’s Stone Crab. This small cozy restaurant features a great selection of oysters which make for a good appetizer. Follow suit with their IPA beer battered fish and chips that comes with waffle cut fries. Pair it with a homemade whoopee pie and your tastebuds will be as happy as you.
A very nice basement
Miami Beach is known for its happening nightlife. Housed in the Edition hotel is a club in the basement called Basement (very fitting), which features a bar in the center of the room with two other rooms that hold a bowling area and an ice skating rink. Whether you came to drink or not, Basement gives you the option of ice skating and bowling with great music which surely makes for a good night out with friends.
Brunch because Mimosas
Brunch is so ingrained in Miami culture. It is what you do after a night out. It is the vessel of being with friends and family. So, you must brunch when you come to Miami and the perfect place to do so is at 27. From being a hostel, to opening an amazing bar with crafty cocktails, to opening a restaurant, they recently launched a brunch that features dishes as unique as their venue. Whatever you order (everything on the menu is great), pair it with a pitcher of their fresh Floridian Mimosas for a true Miami brunch.
If You Go
1. Smith and Wollensky— 1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33139. Hours and reservations: 305-673-2800.
2. Seventh Street & Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Fla. 33139.
3. Mondrian Hotel— 1100 West Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33139.
4. Moreno’s Cuba— 318 20th St., Miami Beach, Fla. 33139. Hours and reservations: 305-538-7444.
5. Española Way— 612 15th St., Miami Beach, Fla. 33139.
6. DIRT— 232 Fifth Street, Miami Beach, Fla. 33139.
7. Lincoln Road— 716 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Fla. 33139.
8. Faena— 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33140.
9. Izzy’s Fish and Oyster— 432 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33139. Hours and reservations: 305-397-8843.
10. Edition Hotel— 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33140.
11. 27— 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach, Fla. 33140. Hours and reservations: 305-531-2727.