Welcome to Miami! I could hear those three little words everyday and be more than fine with it, ha! In 2016, my mom and I went to Miami for a long weekend on a mother daughter trip and had such an amazing time (my sister was living abroad at the time)! It was truly a treat to go on a mother daughter trip and Miami couldn’t have been a better place to explore. Last week, my mom was in Palm Beach for a girlfriend’s birthday party and she last minute decided to extend her trip and drive down to Miami for a few days. She asked my sister, Sarah, and I to tag along and we were more than thrilled to head south!
We all love Florida and Miami so we had the BEST time beaching, exploring, shopping, and eating our way through the seaside city. After multiple trips to Miami with my family and girlfriends over the years, I feel pretty lucky to know a bit about the city. So, keep reading for my Miami Travel Guide complete with where to stay, shop, eat, drink, and explore!
P.S. if you love Florida as much as I do, then don’t miss my Palm Beach Travel Guide as well! Palm Beach and Miami are only an hour and a half drive apart so they make for a great trip together too.
Outfit 2: Dress / Sandals (old color – available now in white and silver + lots more similar styles here) / Purse (from last year – similar, similar, similar) / Earrings (sold out – similar) / Sunglasses
MIAMI TRAVEL GUIDE: GETTING THERE
Miami is so easy to get to. Most major cities have direct flights to Miami. From Charleston, you can fly directly to the Miami International Airport or to the nearby Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport. The airport isn’t super out of the way so it’s about a 20 minute Uber drive form the airport to the beach hotels, which is where I’ve always stayed. There is also a train that travels between Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Palm Beach (but I don’t know much about it)!
MIAMI TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO STAY
Holy heck I love this hotel! I would absolutely stay here again when in Miami. My mom and I were obsessed with the clean all white decor + the gold accents. What really makes the whole vibe of the hotel so great is the abundance of different palm leaves everywhere. It is Heaven! The beach setup is a little piece of paradise too with blue and white umbrellas and cabanas. I was perhaps equally obsessed with the pool and the poolside restaurant (I OD’d on the sweet pea guacamole and piña coladas) as I was with the beach.
We absolutely loved staying at this hotel. It has the perfect fresh and chic Miami vibe! Every part of the 1 Hotel is beautiful from the lobby to the pools to the restaurants. We frequented the healthy coffee + juice café in the lobby. The delicious plant-based and organic restaurant, Plnthouse, is the perfect place to dine after a workout in hotel gym (it’s the best hotel gym I’ve ever seen!) or anytime you want a light and bright meal. We also really enjoyed the rooftop restaurant, Watr, because the setting is stunning, the views are incredible, and the sushi is so delicious (order the truffle tuna crudo for sure!). I would stay at the 1 Hotel in Miami again in a heartbeat!
MIAMI TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO EAT
Mediterranean food set in a blue and white villa styled restaurant. I recommend requesting to sit on the lantern-lit patio. I had the most amazing pasta, tagliatelle with crème fraîche and caviar. I’d never had anything like it before! Perfect for date night or a girls dinner!
Wow, Mandolin is incredible! For starters, the atmosphere is heavenly. We dined outside on the patio under the trees and could not have loved it more. The Mediterranean menu is so fresh and full of the tastiest shared plates you can imagine. You will literally stop and ask yourself if you’re in Miami or Greece! I would label Mandolin as a must when visiting Miami. P.S. we went for lunch but it would be divine for dinner too!
The famous Amalfi Coast restaurant opened up a Miami location (their second location) to a lot of hype but for good reason. The space is absolutely stunning and a must when in Miami! It’s chic Miami waterfront at its best. Get to your reservation early and be sure to experience the champagne bar for drinks too!
Located at the SoHo House, this restaurant is on the most gorgeous patio under a canopy of trees. Rosé + Italian food for the win at Cecconi’s for brunch, lunch, or dinner. P.S. you don’t have to be a Soho House member to eat here.
Miami boasts two of José Andrés’s restaurants, Bazaar and Bazaar Mar. We dined at the beautiful blue and white Bazaar Mar because we all love seafood and always crave it when in Florida. The seafood-centric menu was so inspired and delicious! We did one of the tasting menus (completely optional) and it was such a fun experience!
A Jean-Georges restaurant that will make you want arroz con pollo for the rest of your life. Everything here makes for the perfect blend of Caribbean, Spanish, and Latin and South American cuisines. Enjoy this restaurant for dinner or sit outside on a gorgeous day for brunch.
A locally-sourced restaurant that celebrates all of Miami’s flavors – seafood, fresh produce, and Cuban and Latin tastes. Everything was delicious! I love the causal atmosphere and delicious food!
Hiden is hidden within a low key taco shop, which makes the whole dining experience that much more fun. A door slides open to reveal the authentic Japanese fine dining restaurant. The menu changes daily and is coursed out to you (there is no menu). The sushi is just as memorable as the experience!
I had dinner here with a big group of friends on a girls trip to Miami and it was wonderful! The menu is made up of meze and exotic dishes so it’s perfect for sharing. The atmosphere is beautiful too as the restaurant is super colorful and the patio has a lovely Mediterranean feel.
This restaurant is located on the roof of the 1 Hotel so it is a stunning setting with gorgeous views. During the way, it’s only open to hotel guests but at 6pm it opens up to everyone. We absolutely loved the sushi and the cocktails (order the truffle tuna crudo for sure!). It’s an amazing place to watch the sunset too!
I first went to the New York City Upland location but was excited to try to South Beach location when I went to Miami on a girls trip in 2018. We had a big, delicious brunch here with flowing mimosas and tons of plates for the table. The space is beautiful and great for small or larger groups. The food is California cuisine meets Italian fare.
The chef, Jeremy Ford, has quite a name for himself in the food industry thanks to the way he creatively prepares all his dishes. Stubborn Seed uses the best seasonal ingredients to put a beautiful twists on the American fare.
If you’re on the hunt for casual Mexican food, then Lolo’s is your spot. The patio is great on a warm day but the fun décor inside is great too. The fish tacos hit the spot for me right off the plane when we arrived.
This restaurant is not to be missed when in the Wynwood District. It’s a modern take on a classic American diner with amazing craft cocktails. The diner is split into three sections, the diner, the cafe, and the patio so there is a vibe for everyone!
Sitting poolside or beachside never tasted so good. The is the outdoor restaurant at The Edition Hotel where I enjoyed a plethora of piña coladas and multiple helpings of sweet pea guacamole. P.S. You have to be staying at The Edition to eat here.
Miami is such a foodie city that it’s impossible to fit everything in on one trip. All my recommendations are compiled from a handful of trips to the tropical city! In case you’re looking for more, here are a few other restaurants recs to discover: The Dutch, Coyo Taco, Marion, Mister 01, Swan, and Zuma.
MIAMI TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO SIP
A gallery wall of bullfighting photographs covers one wall while beach views take over the other side of the bar. Get “The Pineapple” cocktail… it comes in a copper pineapple shaped cup and gets lit on fire at one point while it’s being made.
This bar is located in the Feana Hotel and is the place to go for a more is more Versace Miami vibe and for live music.
The perfect spot to go day or night for friendly cocktails on the colorful and mismatched patio.
Situated in the Wynwood District and inspired by Tulum, Mexico, this spot is a great place to go if you’re looking for an outdoor bar. It’s a celebration of delicious cocktails, music, art, and culinary culture.
Nestled in Little Havana, Ball & Chain was an iconic nightclub in 1930s-1950s and is now one of the best spots for live-music and Cuban-style food and drinks. P.S. don’t miss the salsa dancing!
MIAMI TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO SHOP
Now this is the way to shop or window shop. The Webster is a Miami based department store that is highly curated for a unique Miami vibe. I think it’s so special to shop at one-of-a-kind stores like this while traveling. Popping into The Webster is a Miami must! P.S. The Webster now has two Miami locations and a Houston location.
An international shopping designation with high end stores including Hermès, Prada, and Céline. I love the non-designer shops like Isabel Marant, Reformation, and The Abnormal Beauty Company. Bonus: there is also lots of art, design, and food in the area too.
A beachy store with colorful, intricate coverups, patterned caftans, and both simple and embellished sandals.
MIAMI TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO EXPLORE
Yes, the water is as crystal clear in Miami as you’ve always heard it is. You truly feel like you’re in the Caribbean! I loved walking along the beach boardwalk too.
Explore the Hotels:
We had so much fun popping in and out of all the different mid-beach and south beach hotels. Each hotel has a different vibe and decor style but they all seem to maintain a true Miami feeling. Tip: a great way to see the different hotels is by checking out the bars or restaurants at each one.
The Wynwood district is a super cool part of Miami that has risen to Instagram fame thanks to the many murals and street art that adorn the walls and doors of the neighborhood. It’s full of great restaurants and bars that are not to be missed. Don’t miss the second Saturday of every month for the Wynwood Art Walk.
The Cuban influence in Miami is one of the many reasons the city is so special (and has the yummiest food!). We wanted to get a taste of Little Havana so we got drinks and split a Cubano at the famed Ball & Chain. There is live music every night and regular salsa dancing. My guess is that the salsa dancing lessons would be super fun on a bachelorette weekend!
If you’re looking to add a little history and culture into your trip, then visit the Vizcaya Garden & House! It’s s stunning property dating back to the 1910s that has been beautifully maintained and is now open for touring.
Photography by Sarah Attaway