Category Archives: Florida

City Guide : South Beach, Miami

miami has been on my short list for quite some time.
the south american + cuban influence , picturesque beaches and art deco architecture are a few reasons why i knew this city would be great — just didn’t know how great!

let’s jump to it – a 36 hour city guide with the best things to do, eat and see in sobe.

City Guide to South Beach Miami

6:30pm – dinner at colette little french bistro 

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miami is full of immigrants. like we literally did not speak with a single person who was from the states. i think that may be one reason why their food is so amazing.
my favorite cuisine is french and colette’s did not disappoint. the flavors, preparation and presentation were all on point (including a waitress originally from the south of france!). oh and do save room for dessert as their chocolate souffle was heavenly!

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side note… my guilty pleasure is bravo’s real housewives. anyone with me? i kept my eyes peeled the whole trip for a miami housewife spotting and although i did not see one i did run into a husband. remember frederic  (adriana’s husband)? well there he is in the corner. i sneakily took his picture because i was so excited. also if you remember, he is french which made me that much happier that he picked colette’s for dinner.
and then we took a selfie.

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8pm: walk along lincoln road
lincoln road is filled with great shopping, street performers and people watching.
on another note, b forgot to bring a swimsuit this trip and so we thought it would be simple enough to find a cheap swimsuit in the area. NOT! we went to miami in september (so technically after summer season) and there was not one swimsuit for men anywhere. we searched up and down lincoln road without success. there was plenty of options for women but not men. can you believe that?

10pm: ice cream at frieze ice cream factory

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9:30am: breakfast at yardbird southern table
yes, there is also a yardbird in vegas but i had never eaten at that one so this southern style restaurant was all knew to me.
located near lincoln road, yardbird southern table is the perfect brunch spot for benedicts, grits, chicken+waffles, homemade donuts and flaky biscuits.
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why yes, that is a perfect maple donut topped with bacon and a side of extra glaze.

11am: beach & bikes
soak in the ocean views in south beach but don’t forget an umbrella because there is no shade and that sun is strong! you can also rent an umbrella on the beach like we did but they will charge you an arm and a leg.
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the water is crystal clear and so warm. and those clouds? perfect beach day.
there are also bikes to rent all over south beach (sobe). it is a fun way to see the city but prices are steep.
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2pm: lunch at las olas cafe
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olas is not trendy or cutesy but it is good cuban food and the prices can’t be beat. we tried a traditional cuban sandwich stuffed with french fries, empanadas (best i ever had) and key lime pie (all of which i would recommend). it is walking distance from the main beach.

3pm: paddle boarding with miami beach paddleboard
so i found an amazing deal through groupon that pushed me over the edge to try paddle boarding — $10 for one hour rental with instruction. it was a no brainer. another bonus — we got to paddle around the bay of miami beach so it is easier to find your balance and the homes lining the bay are drool worthy.
i brought an underwater disposable camera (yes like the 90’s) and still need to get the film developed but trust me, paddle boarding in miami was awesome not to mention a work out!

7pm: learn the art of flying trapeze at the flying trapeze school
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yes, my hands had blisters after and yes, my arms were sore for a week but learning the art of flying trapeze was one of the biggest thrills. it was an adrenaline rush. i felt so alive and the team at the flying trapeze school were amazing instructors. i felt completely safe and like i was learning the true technique that circus performers use. it was also an added bonus that we were the only 2 to sign up for the class that day so we got to fly a number of times and see the instructors practice. definitely an experience i will never forget!
thanks to my older sister for recommending!

9:30pm: dinner at shake shack
i like shake shack. i have been to the one in new york and was excited to introduce b to the franchise. the burgers are good and very similar to in-n-out. the fries are easily forgettable but that shark attack concrete? heavenly. i like how shake shack has more options than just hamburgers and i feel like the food is very quality but, in-n-out will always have my heart in a burger taste off. i am a west coast gal, what can i say?


9am: breakfast at sofi cafe
after all the rich and heavy food, all i needed was a good acai bowl. that’s all i was craving and sofi cafe is just the place. i absolutely could not get over how darling the furniture was. it was definitely a spot where i would become a regular if i ever live in miami.
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after breakfast, we walked around south pointe park. it offers scenic views and flat paths. then you can walk back to main beach and grab some of the most amazing tacos before you head out of the magic city.

12pm: lunch at my ceviche
there are a few different locations for this place but we went to the one on washington ave. my ceviche is literally a hole in the wall but it offers the best ceviche and tacos! i got an ahi taco and octopus taco. both were fresh, flavorful and packed with fish (you get your moneys worth).
there is no seating but the restaurant (or food stand) is located next door to a hostel that offers outdoor seating if you order a drink from them. so grab your tacos from my ceviche and a drink from the hostel and bask in your last moments under the miami sun.

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miami was one of my favorite adventures.

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in preparation for any trip, i research (especially restaurants) for hours upon hours. i like to have lots of different options and then choose based on our mood. below are a few places i heard good things about but did not have a chance to try.
true loaf – cookies, pastries
puerto sagua – cuban diner food (my sister highly recommended but it was closed due to fire when we were in town)
pubbelly – asian fusion
a la folie cafe – crepes
joe’s takeaways – crab, key lime pie
oliver’s bistro – breakfast / brunch
athen’s juice bar
the bazaar by jose andres – spanish cuisine, tapas style
michael’s genuine food & drink – new american eatery
cena by michy - new american eatery

on a personal note, you may be wondering why we went to miami (and i want to always remember for our own history). i was getting a little anxious of my upcoming birthday. i had talked about how fun it would be to travel on my birthday as to keep me excited for this milestone and less anxious. b sure listened because i opened his card on my birthday that said “put together the puzzle to find out where we will continue the celebration of your birthday”. i couldn’t put together the puzzle fast enough. i jumped up and down. he provided a way then he let me still do my favorite part of traveling (research and make an itinerary). so here we are a month after my birthday in miami continuing the celebration. it is a memory i will cherish forever.
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