Working full time in marketing @ C2 Montréal and starting a cake business (@gateauxbourgeoys) has been anything but a breeze. With my boyfriend having also just launched his own social impact law firm (Read more here) and us getting engaged, 2017 has been a pretty busy year so far. In an effort to preserve our sanity, we had our hearts set on a quick and close getaway to recharge our batteries and have some fun ;).
We stumbled upon Miami during our research: a 3-hour flight away, dreamy beaches, good eats, trendy neighborhoods and affordable(-ish). Bingo! I was very surprised to hear everyone’s concerns before we left: “Don’t go to Florida in the summer, it’s an oven”, “OMG, the mosquitos”, “It’s low season, there will be no action” Well… let me tell you that almost all of this is wrong. Sure, it was pretty darn hot (but who cares, it’s the beach, right?), but there were zero mosquitoes in sight and the nightlife scene was on point.
With all of that in mind, here’s the inside scoop on how to plan for a lively, oddly satisfying and cost-effective trip to one of the world’s most famous beach cities.
Where to stay:
The Raleigh @theraleighhotel ($$) – One of the first Art Deco hotels built on Collins Avenue; all the charm of the 20’s with a sexy modern vibe. Usually pretty expensive we got a great deal on Expedia (hotel and flight) because its low season in July.
Where to eat breakfast:
Walgreen’s ($): ☺. Oh yeah, you read correctly. Yogourt and fresh fruits by the pool are an excellent way to avoid breakfast hassle and save a couple dineros for later in the day.
Perfect casual dinner:
Taquiza @taquizamiami ($) – A savory (and unexpensive) trip into the heart of Mexican cuisine. Be sure to chow down on the camarones tacos, elote (charred corn with creamy cilantro crema and queso fresco) and end with the paletas (homemade gourmet popsicles. Yum.)
Grab a drink at:
El Grito @elgritomiami ($) – A tiny mezcaleria in Sunset Harbour, hidden away from the effervescence (or, should I say, craziness) of South Beach. Ask for a Michelada with homemade spicy sauce or a $6 margarita during happy hour. Olé!
Best hangout spot:
Freehand Miami @freehandhotels (Bar $, restaurant $$) – Is it a hotel, a sweet pool hangout, a drinks garden or a delicious restaurant? Well, it’s all of the above. You can easily plan a great afternoon/night at the Freehand. First, grab the daily cocktail specialty at the Broken Shaker, sip it feet in the pool while waiting for your table at 27 (a great communal style restaurant with fresh cuisine and oh-so-hip décor), sit back and enjoy: you’ll feel like you’re eating in your grandma’s dining room! Finish the night in the upstairs bar for some well-crafted spirits.
Places to be seen:
The SLS and Delano hotel ($$$$) – Both in the hearth of it all, these two hotels are not only gorgeous, extremely tasteful and trendy they are also a little bit on the expensive side. If you want to buy the most expensive cocktail of your life and cry about it (24$ USD for a dirty martini ☺) be my guest, otherwise you can hunt the street for festive happy hours elsewhere. The Raleigh offers 7$ concoctions every night, like the Refresher: a mix of vodka, cucumber, strawberry water and other very cooling ingredients. A must!
Best neighborhood to visit:
Wynwood – If you are on the hunt for Miami’s hipster/artsy scene, look no further. Wynwood is the host of the Art Basel festival every year at the beginning of December, which leaves the streets glowing with gorgeous grafiti year-round. With its abundant art galleries, arcades, thrift shops and great restaurants, Wynwood is definetly worth the trip. I recommend @zakthebaker for a great deli breakfast, @thesaltydonut for a yummy treat and @altermiami for a sexy evening.
Most romantic spot:
Picnic on the beach – Go to Publix and grab some fresh cheese, a baguette, raw veggies, fruit and a bottle of Coppolla’s Director’s Cut red (a steal, in the States!) for a perfect ending to a lovely excursion into Trump-land ;)
-A day trip to Key West to stroll around the old town and munch on a slice of the famousd Key lime pie
–@flywheelsports to sweat out your tacos and beer over a 45-minute spin class.
–@vizcayamiami, a gorgeous museum/gardens on the bay
Cheers to summer xx
Big Bear: Fun in the California Mountains