When you live in different corners of the country and have only manged to see your best gals once/year for several years, a proper girls trip away becomes necessary. Lucky for us, Nina was working in the Miami area for a bit so we jumped at the chance for a girls beach getaway. The fact that it was a winter escape was the cherry on top but you can vacation to Miami any time of the year!
This city isn’t known for being a super affordable destination but with some planning, you CAN have an awesome trip without totally breaking the bank. There are so many different ways to experience this culturally diverse destination, it literally has something for everyone. Some “must-see” activities to add to your itinerary are below – we didn’t get a chance to experience ALL of them but hey, just another reason to go back, right!?✓ Art deco historic district
✓ Museums & gardens
✓ World class cuisine
✓ South Beach
✓ Little Havana & Calle Ocho
Where to Stay
You can totally ball out of control with hotels in Miami or find more wallet friendly accommodations. After reviewing literally dozens of options, we landed on the fabulous Shelborne South Beach. This hotel provided all of the amenities we hoped for and then some. We arrived early so the concierge took our luggage and locked it up so we could head straight to the beach and pool bar while they finished up our room. [I don’t know about you but the poolside bar is one of my favorite parts of any trip.]
This location offered beach chairs, multiple dining spots within the hotel, a pool bar, and complimentary insta-worthy bikes to ride around. It was also more calm than the other party-centric hotels – as much as we love to party, these 30-somethings appreciated the relaxed vibe!
What to Do
We wanted to keep this short trip pretty simple: sun, food, and drinks were the only things needed. Keep reading for a quick recap of how we spent each day and made the most of this trip.
Night One: Dinner + Spontaneous dancing in Little Havana
I landed in Miami a night early and crashed with Nina and her hubs before the official girls trip kicked off . We decided the proper way to spend an extra night was to head down to Little Havana and get dinner at the Cuban restaurant, Versailles. I wish I could say this was amazing but the food left something to be desired – the comically bad meal was salvaged by several mojitos and loads of belly laughs though! After dinner, we decided to keep walking around and stumbled upon the salsa club, Ball & Chain . Y’all, I could not have been more under-dressed for this place if I tried (hello mom jeans and t-shirt) but it was one of the most fun spontaneous things ever! Even if you are like me with two left feet you have to check out a salsa club. The energy was magnetic!
Day One/Night Two: Pool day + Dinner + Dancing
After check-in, we immediately went to the beach but decided a pool day sounded better to start. We spent several hours catching up and getting sun drunk before taking a short nap and getting ready to go out.
First stop of the night: Broker Shaker at the Freehand Miami. This spot helped Miami become known for it’s cocktails – and with good reason. Every drink is skillfully crafted [and DELICIOUS] and the folks working there are really helpful if you need some help making a choice. Plus you enjoy your drink and yummy food on the cutest patio ever.
Naturally, a few drinks at the Broken Shaker had us ready to dance! Our bartender directed us to Bodega to keep the party going. We were pretty confused when the cab pulled up – this looked like nothing more than an unassuming taco stand from the street. Luckily, we saw people going into a hidden door, pass urinal decor (but, why?), and into a large open dance club. We were there on a Monday so expected a different vibe and we were right- definitely may have crashed a corporate event (along with several others) but still danced for hours! Tip: the tacos from that “unassuming taco stand” at the end of the night were the perfect pit stop before heading back to the hotel.
Day Two / Night Three: Beach + Bike rides + Dinner
Our second & last full day started with a fantastic brunch in the hotel restaurant Root & Bone – after staying out until the wee hours a solid brunch was crucial. They offered a top notch buffet and strong coffee so we were happy! (Seriously, such an easy group to please) Next, it was straight to the beach for a day of soaking up the sun (and y’all, the rays are strong down there!) before hopping on the hotels complimentary bikes and exploring more of South Beach. This was such a fun way to explore Collins Avenue and more of the beach.
There are a ton of different restaurant options along Collins beach so for dinner (and 2 for 1 drinks) we popped into one of these. Yes, more mojito’s were consumed. They literally flow like water here! On the ride back to the hotel, our girl Liz felt like an adventure and wandered onto the beach for a night walk. Not gonna lie, was initially not into this – at all – but South Beach at night without a soul in sight was such a cool thing to see. Check it out if you get a chance.
The following morning Liz and I had to head to the airport fairly early so we didn’t have time to grab more than a coffee. This was such a fun trip and I definitely hope to make girl getaways an annual tradition!
More Tips for a Great Trip
- Find a liquor store to stock up and have drinks at the hotel before going out. I’ve lived in LA and Chicago and was shocked at how expensive drinks are here. (A simple round and nacho plate at the pool was nearly $100)
- Check your receipts before adding gratuity. Several places here include gratuity to your check and leave a line for extra.
- It goes without saying, but use sunscreen and reapply regularly. The sun here is much stronger than the rest of the country and we fried after one day on the beach.
- Have some idea of what you want to do before you arrive. Could you have a great trip with no planning? Sure. But there are so many options your trip will be a lot smoother if you can just enjoy already made plans.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any recommendations on making a future trip even better? Comment below! Can’t wait to hear about others experiences in Miami!