This week we’re heading across the Atlantic to warmer climes. Yep that’s right, we’re off to…Miami.
Bathed in perpetual sunshine and swaying palms, Miami beckons travellers with its vibrant fusion of cultures, iconic Art Deco architecture, and the sultry rhythms of salsa and reggaetón echoing through lively streets. As the gateway to the Americas, this coastal gem boasts world-renowned beaches, an exhilarating nightlife, and a culinary scene that dances on the palate. Whether you're basking on the sandy shores of South Beach, strolling through the historic streets of Little Havana, or exploring the colourful murals of Wynwood Walls, Miami promises an intoxicating blend of tropical allure and cosmopolitan flair.
What you need to know…
✈️ Flight time: Typically 9-10 hours
⏰ Time difference: -5hrs
🔌 Travel adapter: Type A and Type B (with Type A plugs compatible with both Type A and B sockets)
💷 Currency: US Dollar
🗣️ Language: English and Spanish (there is a Spanish speaking majority in Miami)
🌡️ Weather: Today a high of 29°c
🚲 Getting around: Miami is a large city, with key attractions fairly spread out. Exploring smaller areas like South Beach is possible by foot or bike, but you’ll need other options for exploring the rest of the city. Driving around Miami is an option, although if you don’t want the stress of driving on the opposite of the road, then you’ll be glad to hear that ride-sharing is just as prevalent with Uber and Lyft being the most popular. If you’re happy taking public transport, hop on the Metrorail at Miami International Airport, a cheap and fast way to get into Downtown. Once in downtown, the Metromover is a free public transport option for getting around. Another more photogenic option for travelling around downtown for free is the Miami Trolley. Finally, if you’re heading to other areas in Miami, I highly recommend you checking out Brightline - probably the nicest high-speed rail system I’ve ever used. The trains are great, and it’s well worth upgrading to premium for the awesome lounges at their stations and the great on-board service!
😋 Must try dishes: If you’re a bit of a foodie like me then you’re in for a treat in Miami! If you’re visiting between October and March then make sure you try Stone Crab. It’s one of the most iconic dishes in the city with their tender and succulent meat making them especially delicious. Next, you have to try a Cuban sandwich. Created in Florida by Cuban immigrants, this delicious sandwich comprises roasted pork and Swiss cheese, together with baked ham, yellow mustard, and dill pickles, all served on fresh Cuban bread. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it (I definitely shouldn’t be writing the food section before lunch 😅). If you’re after something sweet, then the classic suggestion would be a Key Lime pie, but if you’re after an alternative look out for Pastelitos. Delicious puff pastry filled with guava, cream cheese and coconut.
💬 Key phrases & slang:
Que bolá (What’s up?)
Getty (An informal get together)
Grab your chanx - we're going to the beach. (Grab your flip-flops - we're going to the beach.)
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What to do?
Discover an insane underwater cemetery…
Most popular Miami attractions…
🌌 The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science offers more than just exhibits, this museum is an immersive journey. During my visit, the highlight was the 'Feathers to the Stars' exhibit which delves into the evolution of flight – from dinosaurs to aerospace technology. The three-level aquarium showcases Florida’s diverse ecosystems, and that 'oculus' view into the Gulf Stream is spellbinding. Tip: Head to the rooftop for a stunning view of the Miami skyline.
🌺 Next up, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is an oasis of tropical plants, including one of the largest collections of palms in the world. Walking the Rainforest trail, I was surrounded by rare tropical fruits, and their sunken garden, filled with vibrant waterlilies, was a serene escape. Don't miss their night events; my favourite is 'Sip & Stroll’ on selected Thursdays.
🎨 One of the most recommended suggestions from our IG story post, Wynwood Walls is an urban graffiti park, featuring works from over 50 artists spanning 16 countries. Beyond the walls, there's the Wynwood Doors, where murals play out on storefront roll-up doors. For a unique souvenir, some nearby galleries sell prints of these artworks.
🏖️ Beyond its glitzy reputation, South Beach offers the mesmerizing Art Deco Historic District. Strolling past the 800+ pastel-colored buildings, I felt transported to the roaring '20s. Tip: Join a guided walking tour for juicy tales of Miami’s Prohibition era.
🏛️ The final suggestion in my roundup of the most popular attractions in Miami is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens - a lavish Italian Renaissance style villa. This European-inspired estate left me in awe with its ornate Italian gardens, native woodland landscape, and Baroque decorated rooms. James Deering’s winter home is a testament to lavish 1920s Miami. My favourite part is the swimming pool grotto!
🍇 First up, one of the most fun wine events you’ve ever been to. Grape Crush pop-up is a drinking social. Set in different scenic locales, this event is more than wine tasting. When I attended, a jazz trio played in the background, and local chefs served gourmet bites that paired beautifully with our wine. Owners Mariel and Macarena wanted to make wine-tasting fun - think wine-filled water guns, chef collabs and pool parties!
🥑 Sticking with the wine theme, I highly recommend a trip to Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery. You’re probably thinking I’ve chosen the wrong emoji for this recommendation but wait - Nestled in the Redland countryside, this winery offers tropical fruit wines: think guava, lychee, starfruit, passionfruit and even avocado! (grape is so boring 😅). I took the tour, which ended in their serene courtyard, followed by their ultimate wine tasting experience, where you can try 5 wines.
🎥 Next, a retro spot that feels straight out of the '60s. If you want to watch a movie with a difference, try Nite Owl Drive-In. An old-school drive-in movie theatre! Besides classic films, they occasionally have themed nights; my visit was a delightful '80s movie marathon. Grab their house-made popcorn, with flavours ranging from spicy buffalo to caramel.
🌱 If you’ve got green fingers then you’ll love Little River Cooperative: It's an urban farmer’s dream. They have a beautiful edible nursery full of all sorts of plants ranging from kale and tomatoes to hard to find rare plants like black pepper vine and klip dagga. They also run a series of workshops, both in-person and virtually. I attended a 'Seasonal Planting' workshop and left with a potted veggie plant and a handy planting calendar. They also sell handcrafted gardening tools!
🐠 For something a little different take a trip to the largest man-made coral reef ever conceived. Neptune Memorial Reef is a surreal underwater city designed to create a new marine habitat as well as a green burial opportunity. Memorialisation in the Reef is achieved by carefully blending cremated remains with a natural concrete substance, which is then moulded and secured within the various artistic structures. This underwater cemetery is packed full of amazing sculptures, and is teeming with marine life that now call this reef home.
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Where to stay?
This week I’m doing things a little differently with the hotels. Rather than just showcasing a selection of great hotels, I’m going to group them by budget with options for Save, Spend and Splurge.
First up…Save 💷
🏖️ Ideally located a minute from Hollywood beach, the Hollywood Beach Suites Hotel blends relaxed Florida vibes with comfort. The rooms are beachy havens featuring plush beds, mini kitchenettes, and modern amenities. The on-site Taco Beach Shack is a culinary delight, serving mouth-watering tacos with fresh ingredients, perfectly paired with live music and chilled margaritas. Why stay here? It’s the perfect spot for families seeking a memorable beachside retreat.
🍹 Located along the iconic Collins Avenue, Circa 39 is a vibrant blend of eclectic charm and modern Miami allure. Dive into rooms that encapsulate Miami’s spirit, enjoy the sun on the landscaped pool deck, and savour diverse flavours from tapas to cocktails that mirror the city's rich culture. Why stay here? Circa 39 offers a genuine slice of Miami, merging beachside serenity with the city’s vibrant culture - a must for the true traveller.
🖼️ Located where the East meets the West on the illustrious Collins Avenue oceanfront, The Setai Miami Beach emerges as a tranquil yet tantalising gem. Dive into the harmonious design of the Art Deco Suites, rich with teak wood and a nod to Asian Art Deco, or ascend to the epitome of luxury in the Ocean Suites, where personalised services meet unimpeded sunrise views. Food connoisseurs will find solace in Jaya and Ocean Grill, both offering authentic experiences enveloped in a tropical ambiance. Insider Tip: When choosing a room I recommend booking an Art Deco Suite. It's a sensory journey, where Miami's vibrancy meets Asian serenity. A true retreat for discerning travellers.
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