The Itinerary is my series of travel guides on where to stay, eat, drink, go, sweat and chill. vibes
Miami needs no introduction, since it is globally known for its sometimes enviable lifestyle of partying, splurging, and lounging on the beach. The epicenter (for all the things listed above) is still the iconic South Beach, but there is so much happening in this city beyond the streets of Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road. Buzzy neighborhoods like Wynwood, Brickell, and the Design District have quite a few gems that will have you enjoying the best of Miami without even going to South Beach.
So quit day dreaming and book a ticket to explore the ever-expanding food, culture, and art scenes that Miami delivers. And if you have a taste for some nightlife, shopping (even by window), or catching a few rays while listening to the waves of the Atlantic, there is plenty to be had. Just don’t forget your sunscreen for this hot destination!
Keep reading for tips on planning your next trip to Miami, Florida
What to Know Before You Go
When to Visit Miami
Miami is practically sunny with warm temps all year round, but different times of the year bring distinctive weather (and crowds). In my experience, the best time to visit is from March to May. The spring season in Miami brings gorgeous 70-80°F weather (21-27°C), while also avoiding the peak airline and hotel rates of the winter season.
Though December to February is the most popular season in Miami (ahem Art Basel and Christmas), the winter months bring in cooler temps and high rates. There is great beach weather (80-90°F/27-32°C) from June to August, however the summer months is when thousands of families descend onto the shores and streets of Miami. Since June marks the start of the hurricane season, expect for the temp and precipitation to increase, as well the hotel and airline rates. As summer fades, hurricanes are much more likely from September through November. It’s best to either avoid traveling during this season or pack your umbrella and raincoat.
The closest airport to this South Florida city is Miami International Airport (MIA), which has a wide variety of commercial airlines flying in from all over the world. If you want to save a few bucks for the many other things to spend money on in Miami, fly into the nearby Fort Lauderdale International (FLL) on lower cost airlines like Southwest, Allegiant, Jetblue or Spirit.
Whether you are coming from MIA or FLL airports, you can easily take an Uber from either of those airports and during the entirety of your vacation. Though Uber is convenient and easy (but definitely comes with its own challenges), I recommend renting a car so you can easily explore Miami at your own leisure. Just remember parking isn’t easy to come by in Miami, so you may often need to consider valet parking, it is available everywhere (and often comes at a co$t).
Yes, Miami is more expensive than many other US cities, but that doesn’t mean you need to max out your credit card to have a good time. Whether it is high or low season, the cheapest time to visit Miami is during the weekdays (as hotel and airfares dip during this time). Plus, there are many activities to do in Miami that won’t cost you a dime.
Find out where to stay, eat, drink, go, sweat, and chill in Miami, Florida.
Where to Stay in Miami
1 Hotel South Beach
There is no other hotel in all of Miami like 1 Hotel South Beach. Located right on the beach, this eco-conscious, luxury hotel has it all. When you first step through 1 Hotel’s oversized doors, you will be met with the hotel’s fresh signature scent that will instantly have you feeling all the chill, beach vibes. The laidback, yet upscale atmosphere flows seamlessly from the buzzy lobby straight to the rooms. Its beautifully designed rooms match the airy and sophisticated aesthetic throughout the property and are complete with sea or city views.
Once you check in, you can easily spend you entire vacation at 1 Hotel South Beach. You have a lot of lounge options, whether it is under an umbrella on the beach, in a cabana by the main pool, or in a chaise at the rooftop pool. Make sure to grab a meal at one of the hotel’s many bars and restaurants. Enjoy a healthy breakfast or brunch al fresco at Habitat. Sip cocktails and grab a snack by the pool at The Sandbox. Maybe get an after workout smoothie at Plnthouse. As the sun goes down, dine the trendy STK South Beach. If that isn’t enough, head to the rooftop to Watr for a chic crowd and creative cocktails. Trust me, you won’t want to leave this hotel.
Kimpton EPIC Hotel
If you are not looking to stay in South Beach, make sure you check into the Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Brickell. This modern hotel boasts beautiful views in every direction. Depending on the location of your room, you will be greeted with up close and personal views of South Beach, the bay, or the downtown Miami skyline right off of your very large balcony. Each view is so unique, I honestly don’t believe one is better than the other.
During the day, enjoy a walk or run on the nearby promenade or head straight to the pool to lounge and enjoy the continued epic views of the bay. As 5pm rolls around, head to the lobby for a complimentary happy hour for all hotel guests. On the weekends, enjoy the pool deck happy hour that often goes well into the evening. If you don’t feel like going far for dinner, eat at the hotel’s Asian fusion restaurant Zuma, while checking out the yachts in the bay parked right at the restaurant.
Also enjoy the convenience of this hotel to nearby restaurants, shopping, Whole Foods, Brickell City Centre, and the American Airlines Arena, in case if you want to catch a Miami Heat game or a concert.
Where to Eat in Miami
Take a short drive to this plant-based oasis in Wynwood. Plant Miami is more than just a restaurant, but a dining experience. You’ll find beautifully served plant-based dishes with great and friendly service. Either sit inside with views of the open kitchen, or eat al fresco in the garden with Miami skyscrapers as your backdrop. Make sure to explore the menu, Plant Miami offers a variety of incredible vegan dishes with don’t disappoint. Especially the truffle kelp noodles, those are my absolute favorite.
Whether you have or haven’t been to Miami, likely you have heard of Pura Vida. Located South of Fifth (with locations in Coral Gables and Edgewater as well), this health-conscious restaurant is always busy, and it’s that way for a reason. With juices, açai bowls, smoothies, delicious salads and sandwiches on the menu, you are sure to find something you enjoy. If you are lucky (or willing to wait awhile) you just might score a seat outside which is a perfect spot for watching the very international crowd of this health foods hotspot. What’s my go to? Well, I can’t come to Miami without getting my green smoothie from here.
This is a charming little place has a really cute interior design and decor that will make you want to post on social media the second you walk through the door. If you want a photo for Instagram as well as an açai bowl (or an avocado toast, or maybe a matcha latte) Dreamer won’t disappoint. Even though the menu is a bit pricey, the food and smoothies are tasty. Also, did I mention that this place is highly Instagrammable?
Vegan restaurants are really taking over in Miami! Planta is the spot that your friends (and maybe even you) won’t believe is a vegan restaurant. Once you walk into this beautiful space, you will be met with amazing natural lighting and skylights that give you a peak at the rooftop organic garden. In addition, the ambiance and service is A+. When it comes to the food, every dish is delish. The must eats are the truffle fries, spring rolls, the watermelon sushi, and the mushroom pizza — but sure to wash it all down with a refreshing kombucha cocktail! Trust me, even if you aren’t vegan you should definitely dine at Planta, because you’ll be surprised at how amazing the food is.
Coyo Taco Wynwood
If you are in Wynwood, Coyo Taco is a must even if you aren’t craving tacos — because these will change your mind. This is a small spot in the heart of Wynwood Arts District that serves the best tacos in Miami with great vibes. There is a good variety of tacos including vegetarian options, as well as beer and margaritas (definitely try the blood orange margarita!). If there is a line, don’t worry — it moves rather fast (as service is quick and friendly) and is definitely worth the wait.
In case you are in town on a Tuesday, come in for their Taco Tuesday deal for discounted tacos. And if you are here late at night, head to the back of the joint for the hidden bar (you just have to find the secret door first).
Where to Drink in Miami
Watr at 1 Hotel Rooftop
Watr at 1 Hotel Rooftop is the best rooftop bar in South Beach. If you aren’t staying at the 1 Hotel (perhaps you should rethink that). Come in the daytime for a sip and a dip in the beautiful pool while taking in the sweeping views of the beach and the ocean. Maybe grab a chaise by the long infinity pool and enjoy some quality people watching. At night, the bar gets busy and is a fun spot to hang out with creative drinks. No matter the time of the day, this rooftop bar has a cool vibe and draws a sophisticated crowd.
Miami Mojito Company
Make sure you are paying attention when you are walking down the streets of Wynwood because you might just miss this awesome little spot. Miami Mojito Company is a tiny, tucked-away tiki bar serves creative mojitos (and nothing else) in its beach-inspired digs. With great mojitos, vibes, and prices, this is place you want to chill at between viewing the mural art in Wynwood. If you are in town on a weekday stop by from 3-6pm for $6 mojitos. With such a wide variety of flavors, it really is a steal.
Where to Go in Miami
Wynwood Arts District
Wynwood Arts District is primarily known for its Wynwood Walls — an outdoor museum with a collection of murals and street art. Wynwood’s urban street art scene shouldn’t be missed, as it is free and a great place for selfies in every direction. Beyond the artwork (on the street and in the galleries), there is a lot to do in this bustling neighborhood. Just by strolling you can find some great restaurants, bars, cafes, and quirky shops. This eclectic area is more than just its walls.
Miami Design District
A short drive from Wynwood is Miami Design District (MDD), where you’ll find sleek modern architecture, upscale boutiques, interior design stores, and art galleries. If this type of shopping isn’t for you, I still recommend coming to MDD to walk around and window shop. Maybe spend a few hours at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Or have a seat at one of the many celebrity chef restaurants, and do some people watching since this area draws a well-heeled crowd.
South Pointe Park
South Pointe Park is a beautiful 17-acre urban park at the southern tip of Miami Beach. It is a perfect place to take a stroll, do some sightseeing, and to get impressive views of the Miami skyline for sunrise and sunset. This park is steps away from the pier and Loomis Beach, has a playground for kids, and is an all around a great place to enjoy the sun and the ocean’s fresh air. If you are in the mood to break a sweat, it is also an excellent place to exercise whether it is biking, walking, running, or doing a little yoga in the open fields. South Pointe Park is a nice way to enjoy South Beach without being in the middle of the usual Miami hustle.
Where to Sweat in Miami
Equinox Brickell Heights
This is by far one of the best fitness clubs I have ever been to. Nestled between Mary Brickell Village and Brickell City Center is the unassuming Equinox Brickell Heighs gym location that has it all. Experience state of the art equipment, amazing classes, and beautiful facilities. The yoga studio is seriously gorgeous as well with 180° views of the surrounding Brickell skyline. However, the best part is the rooftop pool with amazing views of the city. This is definitely the gym to get your sweat or zen on in Miami.
Green Monkey Yoga
Green Monkey Yoga is more than just a beautiful yoga studio, it has a great vibe and is full of amazing instructors. Whether you want power yoga, slow flow restorative, candlelit yoga, or yoga for athletes, Green Monkey Yoga has it and pretty much everything in between. If you get your flow on here, you won’t be disappointed.
Jet Set Miami
If you are a pilates lover and looking for an intense full body workout, head straight to Jet Set Miami. The instructors at this studio are very attentive and professional, and the pumping music will keep you moving. Executed on the megaformer, the routines are intense, but the time sure does fly. These KILLER classes often targets the core and lower body (a.k.a. that booty), and will always have you feeling challenged. After one class you will be hooked, and will leave feeling amazing plus drenched in sweat.
As you already know, running is good for you. So if you are coming to Miami, might as well check out some of its best running routes. Maybe you want to run on the beach or the promenade (while people watching), or something more off the beaten path. Whatever your prerogative, make sure to pay extra attention on picking the right time to run and don’t forget to stay hydrated. That Miami sun, heat, and humidity can be strong!
Where to Chill in Miami
Modern ŌM has some of the best meditation classes, mindfulness workshops, and events/social gatherings in Miami. Whether you live in Miami or are just passing through, you will have a great experience at Modern Om practicing mindfulness and connecting with like-minded people. Spend a little time here to raise your vibration and interact with such a welcoming community. Let yourself relax, reflect, and rejuvenate in this incredibly serene space.
Sacred Space Miami
I haven’t been to any wellness center that compares to Sacred Space Miami. Providing a variety of holistic experiences, events, trainings, and workshops. Sacred Space also houses Flow, a wellness shop for all your holistic and wellness needs. If you leave Sacred Space feeling a little hungry, make sure stop next door to Plant Miami.
Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel South Beach
Need to find a place to relax and get pampered in Miami? Schedule your detox time at the Bamford Haybarn Spa and choose from a variety of holistic treatments. This spa is the perfect place to treat yourself to a luxurious day of self care that recharges and resets the mind, body, and spirit.
There are so many things to see and do in Miami. So use these travel tips to make the most of your next vacation!