When Booking.com and Time Out challenged me on a spontaneous trip, I was totally down. The catch? I wouldn’t know which city until the night before/morning of. Next thing I knew, I was on a plane flying off to the vibrant city of Miami. It was my first time to Miami and Florida so I had no idea where to stay, do, or eat. After 56 hours in the city, here’s my list of top 10 things to do in Miami.
1. Start your day with a Cuban coffee
Café con leche, the traditional Cuban breakfast beverage, comes with a shot of espresso with a cup of steamed milk. Be sure to pick up a Cuban sandwich and Cuban pastelitos (pastries). Cuban cigars are optional.
2. Stay at one of the top luxury hotels
No need to book in advance. Explore the strip and go hotel hopping until you find one that you like the best. After seeing the pools at 1 Hotel South Beach, the nature-inspired boutique beachfront hotel, I booked a room using the Booking.com app. The app is super easy to use, especially when you need a hotel in a hurry. In one tap you can find the best hotels closest to you tonight (even last minute deals!). Sort by what’s important to you (best price, deals, guest review scores) and narrow your search results with handy filters (price range, city districts or amenities). I recommend The Setai in South Beach, and Viceroy Miami in downtown Miami.
3. Yoga on the beach
Donation-based yoga sessions are offered at 7am and 6pm everyday at 3rd and Ocean Dr. I recommend waking up early to take the 7am (it’s too hot at 6pm), and take a walk around Ocean Drive. It’s one of the most famous boulevards in the city characterized by its distinct Art Deco buildings. The Versace Mansion is located at 1116 Ocean Drive.
4. Eat Cuban food
Cuban culture infuses the Miami’s dining scene so it’s mandatory for you to try some authentic Cuban food. The Havana 1957 Specialty at Havana 1957 in Espanola Way with roasted chicken in Cuban gravy, white rice, black beans, salad, and sweet plantain chips was delicioso. Wash it down with a coconut mojito! You know a place is authentic when it’s filled with Cuban exiles.
5. Take a dip in the ocean
The clear blue water and white sand beaches are a must-see for anyone visiting Miami.
6. Cool off with local ice cream
With all that walking around, you’re going to need to refuel with a gelato pop or triple scoop ice cream cone. Don’t miss Azucar Ice Cream Company, located in Little Havana. While you’re there, head down Memorial Boulevard and check out the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame and the Brigade 2506 Memorial. Triple scoops of passion fruit, mango, and mamey sorbet pictured above.
7. Swim in a rooftop pool
There’s a reason why South Beach is rated one of the hottest cities in America. Whether it’s the beach, attractive people, weather, or wild pool parties. When in Miami, head to the rooftop and swim aloingside the A-list Miamians. 1 Hotel South Beach pictured above.
8. Immerse yourself in the Wynwood Walls
From life-sized paintings of the Dalai Lama to colorful spray painted murals that are nearly impossible to decipher, Wynwood Walls feature a constantly rotating mixture of artists and their highly regarded creations. The art changes almost every 2 weeks so there’s always something new to see. The mural above was carved out of the wall!
SEE ALSO: Where To Shop In Wynwood Miami
9. Visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami
Marvel in the modern and contemporary international artwork at the Pérez Art Museum, the $220 million art museum named after billionaire Jorge Pérez.
10. Try a new cuisine
Miami offers a variety of Cuban, Argentine, Venezuelan, Peruvian and Latin food. The Latin American cuisine with molecular gastronomy techniques at El Cielo by Juan Manuel Barrientos blew my mind.
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