Travelogue: Miami Beach, Fl (January 2013)

I decided to do a throwback travelogue for a memorable trip back in 2013 — Miami Beach, since I’ll be going back there January 2015! So excited about it since I had very fond memories of Miami: the beach lifestyle, everybody’s working out on the beach (beach yoga!), sunny and breezy weather, great Cuban food, amazing restaurants off the beaten path, walking around and seeing all the unique architecture and absorbing all the culture around you!

Many people think of Miami as a nightclub-party-beachy vacation, but there’s just so much more to it! Honestly, I went to bed every night before 10PM when I was there because (run-on sentence alert) I was exhausted from walking all day and seeing all the architectural gems and biking and eating and shopping (see how excited I am about Miami)!

So here is my trip from almost 2 years ago, all phone pictures because I didn’t see the need to bring my DSLR to a beachy vacation — I was SO wrong — there’s so much I want to capture on my next visit!

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We stayed the the Perry hotel, which is now completely renovated and rebranded as 1 Hotel & Homes. It was such a nice hotel despite the negative reviews on Yelp.

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The hotel had a rooftop pool overlooking the beach front completed with a bar and great service. The room was super spacious (much bigger than the picture shows here) and chic.

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They also had another huge pool on another level. It was such a good find.

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Walking around South Beach you’ll find a lot of picture ops.

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And of course, good, cheap Cuban food.

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Playa Cafe on Washington Ave– hole in the wall local Cuban food, nothing fancy and that’s the best!

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Wet Willie’s — apparently a must-stop in Miami. They have an upstairs with 20+ different alcoholic slushies for you to taste and purchase. “Call-A-Cab” was highly recommended, but we stuck with sour apple instead.  $10 is the usual size in a plastic cup, and $12 for the souvenir cup (larger size).

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Along the ocean front you’ll see a lot of tourist traps; they advertise with these giant margaritas. They can get pretty pricey.

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We walked down to Espanola Way — a street of restaurants, cafes and bars that become a salsa village at night. Or so we were told. It’s a tiny village that’s worth seeing. Very artsy and not “Miami-like”. But then again, this blog post isn’t about that scene.

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We got gelato at Milani Gelateria.

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This was a cool spot that we walked by; a picture at night and in the day time.

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There were many brunch places at the restaurants inside hotels. We tried out a couple. This was The Lantao Social Club, which has now been renovated completely (see the trend here?) and renamed The Social Club. It’s still inside the Surfcomber hotel.

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It was amazing; one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. Outdoor seating with big cushions too!

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We then walked to Lincoln Road again (seems like we were there everyday!) and got a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity. It was my first time at this establishment even though we have one in NYC. There’s something about dining out in Miami, though, that’s different. First, they have outdoor seating in nearly most of their restaurants all year round, which can never happen in New York (snow and sleet make seats not desirable).

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More window shopping at Anthropologie.

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I found a Lululemon! It was closed though, since many places here closed at dusk…

Pubbelly was on my list of food to eat in Miami. And it was fantastic. It is SO underrated!

Highly recommend:
1) McBelly – pork belly sliders
2) Fried Chicken
3) Duck and pumpkin dumplings

We shared 5 or 6 dishes between the two of us. It’s tapas style, so the dishes aren’t huge. The rest were good, but those would be my top 3.

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We got the chocolate brownie dessert with bacon. You cannot go wrong with chocolate and bacon. It may be an acquired taste, and your companion may not ever acquire it… Which means more for you.

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There were DECOBIKE stations all around Miami Beach. They were SO convenient! …If only I didn’t fall off my bike.

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It was a laid-back kinda day everyday.

We decided to stop by one of these tourist traps along the ocean front, and it wasn’t bad! The only thing is that they lure you in with $3.99 appetizers and don’t list the prices of the drinks. This ended up being $25, but it was big enough to share, so it was okay.

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Our last dinner in Miami was a highly anticipated one at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. I made a reservation ahead of time. I was a bit disappointed as it did not live up to the hype, but it was still a good meal.

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On this trip, there was one thing I regret… that I didn’t join in this beach yoga class! I didn’t have a towel and felt awkward just barging in. 3rd St Beach Yoga, you’re on my list!

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3rd St Beach Yoga
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