Every year, the East Coast is hit with winter weather, causing all of the snowbirds to flee south. And Florida is at the top of the list this year, with an endless stretch of beach, great shopping, nightlife, and diverse cuisine. What more could you want state-side.
South Beach is a glamorous paradise within Miami, known for its Cuban influences, trendy nightclubs, fresh seafood, beachside hotels and resorts, and colorful art deco buildings. But if you’d prefer an area that’s slightly more low-key, mid-beach (between 21st and 45th streets) is where it’s at. Sunny Isles and Surfside have calm waters and a relaxed vibe for families or couples looking for a more secluded experience. The point is, there is something for everyone on this glitzy beach stretch.
Where to stay
When we book your stay, you’ll get VIP treatment. Furthermore, we have a close working relationship with these hotels and will collaborate with their team to make your trip unforgettable!
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily breakfast
- $100 Resort credit
- Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
A calmer, more zen alternative to what you’ll typically find on South Beach. The combination of Art Deco glitz and Asian-inspired luxury creates the ideal romantic couples getaway. While the beach is lovely, it pales in comparison to the hotel’s three infinity pools, each of which is kept at a different temperature so you can find the one that’s just right for you. The courtyard is a serene oasis. Yoga on the beach is a unique feature for this property, as are no resort fees. The Setai places a high value on privacy and discretion.
W South Beach
Spacious guest room suites, oversize private balconies, and stunning ocean views. This opulent haven is within walking distance of world-class shopping, dining, and nightlife. Catering towards a younger crowd with a DJ by the at WET, the atmosphere is perfect for a girls weekend away. Of course, the back entrance take you directly to the full-service beach. You can fuel up at FIT, a cutting-edge fitness center, or play rooftop tennis or basketball.
The best thing about traveling with toddlers…
They’re just happy to be along for the ride. Our Stella girl is the first one up and can’t wait to get out of the room; she will fight all signs of exhaustion in order to be a part of the fun. The more we travel with her, the better she gets. For .5 seconds I feel bad when we push her and throw her off her sleep schedule but I get over that because that life, she is learning to adapt and thrive in new places and different situations. So here she is, the only one-year-old at the W South Beach Wet Bar. We got our drinks and she got a cup of strawberries from the bar, living the life.
The eco-friendly 1 Hotel is stunningly beautiful, beachfront, and offers surprisingly large rooms. Not every hotel has its own stretch of beach, and 1 Hotel makes the most of it by dedicating a team to beach service. Another amenity worth taking advantage of is the rooftop pool, which is the best in Miami and is located 18 stories above the water. If you plan to keep active, there’s a SoulCycle onsite. With an eco-conscious mindset, the hotel has local produce in the lobby and regularly scheduled events such as terrarium building and sunset meditation.Everyone knows how difficult it is to get around Miami Beach, here you’ll have access to complimentary rides with the hotel’s fleet of Teslas within a three-mile radius.
Miami Beach Edition
The Miami Beach Edition is often associated with the South Beach area, but it is actually located in the Mid-Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach. The hotel was right on the beach, and the surrounding area was much quieter than the heart of South Beach.
Several well-known Miami resorts, including the Faena, Fontainebleau, and Eden Roc, are nearby.
The Miami Beach Edition is an elegant collection of boutique rooms, suites, and bungalows. You’ll never be bored here, with a full menu of dining options, an ice rink, a nightclub, a movie theater, pools, and a bowling alley. So chic and high on style everywhere you go!
Cocktail hour at the Tropicale, a pool bar that serves tiki drinks, reggae, and snacks, is not to be missed. Matador Room, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is led by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and will not disappoint.
We arrived and the art of a doorman is alive and well here with all-white uniforms and a warm welcome into this cinematic hotel.
Are you over the all-white design palette offered by luxury hotels? If you enjoy extravagance, Faena is for you. Incorporating vivid red, animal prints, and giant golden encased wooly mammoths in the middle of the pool area. The rooms are decadent and beautiful, and the service is excellent.
Faena attracts couples of all ages as well as families who take advantage of babysitting and Faena kid’s classes such as soccer games and pastry lessons.
The pool was actually on Architectural Digest’s list of the 10 most beautiful pools in Miami Beach. We enjoyed coconuts at the Sun Bar, felt like we’re were in a tropical garden. The staff brought crayons and paper for Stella to color making sure each of us were content. It can be hardest to please the littles and they did just that.
While it is not a megaresort, it may not be the most intimate property, given the popularity of the restaurant, bars, theater, and spa. Don’t miss the Faena cabaret.
The hotel has a very Art Deco vibe to go with its roots, which were established in the 1940s.I highly recommend booking an oceanfront balcony room because the views are breathtaking. Bonus points if you order macaroons from room service. At this hotel, the backyard is where you want to be, with cabanas available for rent, live music on weekends, and two pools. Use the complimentary bikes to explore the surrounding area.
As many visitors are aware, Miami Beach is costly, so the Confidante stands out for its beachfront location and reasonable price. Plus the colorful umbrellas and setting is the perfect backdrop to your vacation.
The 1,500-room resort dominates its stretch of Miami Beach. There’s a real mix of people here, from conference guests to families to partygoers. This is ideal for large groups, such as girlfriend getaways or for bachelorette parties. There are numerous dining options, a fantastic pool, and one of Miami’s best clubs, LIV is located within the hotel.
In my opinion, because it is more of a party hotel, it may not be the best option for families with young children.
Eden Roc Miami Beach is located in the heart of Mid-Beach. We stopped by Ocean Social for brunch, and the property has a distinct vibe. A 15-minute drive from South Beach, the surrounding area is more residential and provides direct access to a less crowded beach stretch. Nobu, a well-known sushi restaurant, is also on-site.
I was most excited to visit Acqualina; there’s a reason this resort has been awarded five-star status by Forbes Travel Guide and five-diamond status by AAA. We took the scenic drive to Sunny Isles Beach. This Mediterranean-style paradise is ideal for both family vacations and romantic getaways.
There is a zero-entry pool, an excellent AcquaMarine Kids Program, children’s menus in both restaurants, and large standard rooms with pull-out sofas for families. Couples will appreciate the adults-only tranquility pool and the incredible Il Mulino New York for a taste of the Mediterranean at the resort, which is simply the best Italian restaurant in Miami.
The Acqualina staff makes certain that guests never have to lift a finger, making it one of Miami’s most service-oriented hotels. There is no separation between the pool and resort setting and the beach here, whereas in Miami Beach, there is a gate and pathway that separates the oceanfront. You can relax at the resort while watching children play in the sand a few steps away.
There is no nightlife in this area, and the beach lacks the crowds and fast-paced energy of South Beach, which most visitors prefer. Only 30 minutes from Miami Beach, the tranquil setting on 4.5 beachfront acres is the ideal escape.
To do Miami
Rent a Bike
Miami is a great biking town, with the beach bike path ideal for riding along and stopping for quick bites along the way. Ride to South Point Park and Pier, where there are plenty of Citi Bike stations.
Open Air Shopping
Lincoln Road in South Beach is a popular spot for shopping, people-watching, and dining at an outdoor cafe. Over the last decade, the Miami Design District has grown to include upscale boutiques ranging from Hermès to Cartier, all surrounded by a collage of cutting-edge architecture and interactive public art. Check-out the Dior Cafe, located high above the street on the rooftop terrace of the Dior women’s boutique, serves coffee, tea, pastries, and other treats in a magical setting featuring the iconic Toile de Jouy print on oversized, 3D sculptures of giraffes, bears, and tigers. The most instagrammable cup of coffee. In the Miami Design District, you’d be hard-pressed not to find whatever you’re looking for—as long as you’re looking for something tasty or with a designer tag, that is.
Street galleries, yoga, and coffee shops are all nearby. With life-size murals and graffiti quotes, this is one of Miami’s most photogenic spots.
Mia Market Miami features stalls from a dozen local chefs and cuisines from around the world in the Design District. Luna Park is an Italian hotspot in Brickell. This 40,000-square-foot food hall pays tribute to authentic Italian cuisine and transports you to Italy. Here you’ll find restaurants, cafes, Italian markets, bars, and other amenities. Timeout market, 1-800-Lucky, and the Citadel certainly make the list for innovative restaurants, entertainment, and good bites.
You’d be remiss if you didn’t order a Cubano sandwich and a cup of Cuban coffee at Islas Canarias, a family-owned restaurant that opened in 1977. Anthony Bourdain famously paid a visit on an episode of Parts Unknown. Azucar Ice Cream is in the hear of Little Havana, serving frozen sweets with cuban flair. Try flavors like café con leche or plátano maduro (sweet plantain).
Sunset On The beach
South Point Park is the best place in Miami to enjoy the sunset. A 17-acre park with a fishing pier, a children’s playground, and plenty of green space to relax.
Nightlife & Pool Parties
Miami Beach is well-known for its nightlife scene. Late-night clubs, such as LIV at the Fontainebleau in Mid Beach, pulsing with music from local and international DJs, are popular nightlife destinations. Twist South Beach has been a must-see LGBTQ+ nightlife destination. Hyde Beach at SLS South Beach and 1 Hotel South Beach are known for their chic pool parties.
Another popular nightlife district is Downtown Miami. It is home to the opulent E11EVEN Miami, a 24-hour ultraclub, as well as numerous other clubs, hip bars, and entertainment venues.
why you should drive from miami to key west
If you’re looking to extend your trip, I’d recommend driving from Miami to Key West, it’s a classic American road trip. Click HERE to read about the incredible stops along the way.
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