A Weekend Guide to South Beach
Cue the Latin music and grab your sunglasses, bikinis, and sun tan lotion because this week's weekend guide is taking us to Miami! We're exploring the sultry neighborhood of Miami Beach, with a main focus on South Beach in this edition. Beaches, international flavor, and a-whole-lotta heat!
It's worth noting that Miami is a pretty large city comprised of multiple neighborhoods with lots of personality. South Beach, aka SoBe, is one of the most popular areas of the city that attracts millions of international visitors every year. There's epic nightlife, world-class cuisine, art deco and modern architecture, and incredibly gorgeous beaches. You can easily get here by flying into either Fort Lauderdale or Miami Airport and then rent a car or take a cab into the area. Once you arrive, it's party time! Check out this travel guide for tips on where to eat, sleep, and play on every budget in South Beach.
If there's one thing you'll leave Miami with, it's certainly going to be a full stomach. The food scene in this city is to-die-for! Since South Beach has become such an international hotspot, culinary geniuses from around the world have been flocking to this city to make their mark in any way they can. What it's left us with is an incredible selection of international flavors from Latin America/The Caribbean, Europe, all parts of America, the MIddle East, and Asia.
You'll also find that the restaurant scene in South Beach can be pretty expensive if you're not careful. There are definitely lots of great budget places to eat around the city; but if you're in South Beach, be prepared to spend some money. The food isn't always cheap, but it's typically pretty damn good. *Beware of tourist traps around the beach and any restaurant that doesn't list their prices on the menu! This is a common way to scam travelers.
- La Sandwicherie, 229 14th Street
- Taquiza, 1506 Collins Avenue
- Las Olas Cafe, 644 6th Street
- Spitfire, 405 15th Street
- News Cafe, 800 Ocean Drive
Also try: Big Pink, Latin Cafe, Cheeseburger Baby, Playa Cafe, or Pinocchio Italian Deli & Caffe
- NaiYaRa, 1854 Bay Road
- Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, 1600 Lenox Avenue
- CVI.CHE 105, 1245 Lincoln Road
- Pane & Vino, 1450 Washington Avenue
- Moshi Moshi, 1448 Washington Avenue -- One of my favorite easy/delicious sushi places around Espanola Way!
- Pubbelly, 1418 20th Street
- Havana 1957, 405 Espanola Way -- Super cute Cuban spot around Espanola Way
- Cafe Charlotte, 1497 Washington Avenue
Also try: Bodega (also has a cool speakeasy through the "bathroom door"), Hoshi & Sushi, A La Folie Cafe, Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company, or The Local House
- The Bazaar by Jose Andres, 1701 Collins Avenue
- Hakkasan, 4441 Collins Avenue -- High-end dim sum
- Joe's Stone Crab, 11 Washington Avenue -- A Miami favorite with great seafood
- Prime One Twelve, 112 Ocean Drive
- Scarpetta, 4441 Collins Avenue
Also try: STK, Ola, StripSteak, Nobu Miami, Katsuya, or Pied a Terre
- The Sheply Hotel, $, 1340 Collins Avenue
Coming across something that is budget friendly but also good quality isn't always easy in South Beach. The Sheply is a wonderful boutique hotel in the heart of Miami Beach and a great option for people who aren't trying to break the bank. It's located just a few blocks from South Beach and has lovely and refined retro-inspired rooms and decor.
- COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, $$, 2445 Collins Avenue
Keeping true to the Miami style of art deco-style and high-end luxury, COMO Metropolitan South Beach is an uber chic hotel that is located in the historic district of Miami Beach. Guests will get to enjoy all of the on-site amenities, such as their rooftop hydrotherapy pool.
- Faena Hotel Miami Beach, $$$$, 3201 Collins Avenue
Luxury hotels and Miami are practically synonymous. If you really want to experience opulence on the beach, South Beach is your city! Faena Hotel Miami Beach is one of many incredible hotels that you can splurge and feel totally pampered. Here you'll find more art deco and plenty of on-site amenities
Things to do in Miami:
- Walk around and explore all of the incredible art deco architecture! South Beach is full of it and you'll walk around feeling like you got lost in a time warp of the 1950s.
- Hit the beach! After all, isn't that why you're there? You'll find plenty of white sand beaches adjacent to the crystal clear waters of the ocean.
- Walk through Espanola Way and have dinner, drinks, or just people watch and listen to music
- Rent a bike or a scooter and explore the area
- Shop around Lincoln Road
- Enjoy the nightlife--it's what South Beach is best known for! Places like Liv, The Basement, and Bodega are all unique places around the city. Know that clubs in South Beach can be a huge money suck (surprise, surprise) and tricky to get in, so your best bet is to know a promoter, show up early, or buy a table in advance.
- Stop at a Cuban Cafe and get a traditional Cuban coffee, such as the famous cortadito (beware it's VERY strong!). You also can't really leave Miami without having at least 1 Cuban sandwich...
- Find a great Latin club to go salsa dancing
- Check out the artsy district of Wynwood. You'll find street art, open-air galleries, and awesome food at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar.
- Take some time to explore downtown Miami, Key Biscayne, Brickell, or Coral Cables, which are all just on the other side of the bridge you take to enter Miami.
Have you been to South Beach Miami? What are your favorite things to eat, places to stay, or things to do? Comment below with more recommendations!
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