Welcome to the vibrant city of Miami, where the sun always shines, and the fun never ends. In this Travel & Leisure Magazine guide, we are going to take you through an incredible weekend in Miami’s South Beach. From exploring the art deco buildings to relaxing on the beach, eating delicious Cuban cuisine, and experiencing the city’s unique museums and galleries, we have got you covered.
So, put on your sunscreen, grab your hat, and let’s dive into the best things to do, where to stay and eat in South Beach, Miami.
Table of Contents
Things To Do On South Beach
Sightseeing on Art Deco
Miami is a city that’s always evolving, but its art deco architecture has stood the test of time. South Beach is home to over 800 Art Deco structures on Collins Avenue, making it the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world.
Take an Art Deco Walking Tour
If you’re interested in learning about the history of the art deco architecture, book a walking tour with a travel guide. The tour will take you through the Miami Beach Architectural District, where you’ll learn about the city’s past, its famous residents, and the buildings that make Miami such an iconic destination.
Take photos on Miami Beach
Miami Beach is a must-visit destination on any trip to Miami. With its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and colorful lifeguard towers, Miami Beach is a photographer’s dream come true. Make sure to pack water, sunscreen, and a towel before heading to the beach, and don’t forget to snap some photos to remember your visit.
Escape from the heat and immerse yourself in a world of lines, dots, and letters at Artechouse. This new art museum is a virtual playground of four dimensions: X (horizontal), Y (vertical), Z (depth), and T (time), with locations in DC, New York, and Miami. The XYZT exhibition will be on display through Labor Day weekend, while the installation platform on the second floor changes every few months. Currently, it features Fractal Journeys. Tickets are $24 for adults and $17 for children.
Tickets: adults $24 and children $17.
736 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL, miami.artechouse.com
Bike down Espanola Way
Española Way is a historic street between 14th and 16th street on Miami Beach that’ll make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The vibes are laid-back, and you’ll find some of the best Cuban food in the area. Take a bike ride down Española Way and explore the quaint shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
Located in the heart of the Art Deco District in Miami is The Wolfsonian – a museum, library, and research center that uses its collection to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design. The Wolfsonian has over 180,000 objects, including furniture, ceramics, posters, textiles, and rare books, and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in design.
1001 Washington Ave
Shopping on Lincoln Road
If shopping is your thing, then Lincoln Road Mall is a pedestrian road on 16th and 17th Street that’s filled with 200 designer boutiques, local shops, national retail stores, art galleries, and nightlife. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or unique souvenirs, Lincoln Road has it all.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
South Beach is known for its beautiful beaches, but it’s also home to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. The garden underwent a $1.2 million landscape renovation designed by South Florida landscape architect Raymond Jungles and is a serene oasis in the middle of the city. With its lush gardens, beautiful sculptures
This 74-acre public, urban park in Miami Beach on the Atlantic Ocean runs alongside South Beach’s legendary strip, Ocean Drive, and has been the backdrop for many TV and film scenes. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, people-watch, or just take a stroll, Lummus Park is the perfect place to do it.
World Erotic Art Museum
A little different from your typical museum but leave it up to Miami to create something completely unique.
Art Basel in Miami Beach
One of Miami’s hottest events every year is the Art Basel and this year it falls on June 18 – June 21, 2020. Art Basel is a premier art show of modern and contemporary art that attracts people from all over the world.
The Bass Museum
If you’re not here during Art Basel but still want to see some contemporary art, go to The Bass. This historic art deco space featuring diverse art, artifacts & sculpture garden, plus films & lectures.
Bike on the Miami Beach Boardwalk
The Miami Beach Boardwalk begins at 46th Street and continues south to 23rd Street. Most hotels in this area offer complimentary bikes so I like biking down the boardwalk!
Miami Children’s Museum
If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity, visit the Miami Children’s Museum on Jungle Island.
Miami boat tours
I’ve taken Duck Tours in Austin and it’s a fun way to explore the city. Duck Tours in Miami is a 90-minute day trip that goes past Lummus Park and down Ocean Drive, then it’s wheels up and into Biscayne Bay for the amphibious vessel.
Best restaurants in South Beach
The Local House – located inside the Sense Beach House, The Local House on Ocean Drive is the cutest, chic, ocean-themed restaurant. I ate brunch there and the lobster benedict and banana pancakes were so good. The tropical garden cocktail with fresh watermelon juice, gin, and rosemary was so refreshing from the Miami heat!
Havana 1957 – the very first restaurant that I ate when I visited Miami for the first time was Havana 1957 so it holds a special spot in my heart. A trip to Miami isn’t complete until you eat Cuban food so I usually try to dine here every time I visit Miami. Order the chicken and rice with a coconut mojito.
Puerto Sagua – if you get late-night cravings for Cuban food as I do, go to Puerto Sagua. It’s been open since 1962 and the food isn’t overpriced.
Las Olas Cafe – another Cuban restaurant! If you see people standing on the sidewalk scarfing down croquettes and drinking cafecitos, you’re in the right spot.
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila – this cute Mexican spot serves tacos, burritos, and tequila. I loved the elotes and salsa & chips but was disappointed to see hashbrowns and cheese in my barbacoa taco.
La Sombra – I didn’t get a chance to here but I did stop in to take a photo of this plant-filled restaurant.
Bacon Bitch – this cheeky restaurant caught my eye while I was shopping between stores on Collins St. The line was too long so I didn’t eat here.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – If you’re craving some good old Southern comfort food, Yardbird is the place to go. Their fried chicken and waffles are a must-try, and their extensive bourbon selection will make any whiskey lover happy.
Byblos – For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to Byblos. This upscale restaurant serves modern Middle Eastern cuisine in a chic and elegant setting. Don’t miss their famous lamb ribs and the roasted cauliflower with harissa and tahini.
Joe’s Stone Crab – A Miami institution since 1913, Joe’s Stone Crab is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Make sure to try their famous stone crabs, served with Joe’s signature mustard sauce, and save room for the key lime pie.
Best Hotels on South Beach
SENSE BEACH HOUSE
I stayed at Sense Beach House on this trip and loved this beachy hotel that is right across from Miami Beach, next to the art deco, and walking distance to so many shops and restaurants. There are 18 nautical-themed rooms and I was surprised to find the room nice and spacious.
Sense is located on 4th St and Ocean Dr so right down the street from the art deco district and South Pointe Park. I spent most of my time lounging on the rooftop terrace and pool and then walking across the street to Miami beach. The Local House is located on the first floor and was popping with both hotel and non-hotel guests.
- Complimentary bicycles
- Rooftop swimming pool
- Private balconies – ask for a room with a private terrace
- Complimentary yoga classes
- Complimentary evening wine
These are all included in the resort fee of $20.52 per night. Most hotels located around Miami beach have a resort fee.
400 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL, sensebeachhouse.com
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