Tired of the frigid temperatures this winter? Beach, please! (We had to.) While the temperatures have been low in most of the country, the heat is always on in Miami. Miami is an easy, inexpensive getaway and it’s a quick 2 and a half hour jaunt from New York. Seriously, you can leave after work Friday (or sneak out a little early) and get back on the first flight Monday to cruise into the office just in time. No vacation time needed. Miami is filled with beautiful people, gorgeous beaches, diverse culture, loads of expensive cars, and of course the temperatures are perfect this time of year. With flights as low as $116 roundtrip this season (yes, seriously), you’ll have enough cash leftover to play the Miami way. Here’s our guide to an inexpensive weekend trip to Miami.
Pro-Tip: Book your hotel on Booking.com or a similar site. The prices are slashed up to 50% off for some February and March dates.
With a full-service spa, rain style showers, and organic toiletries, The Standard is perfect for a relaxing weekend getaway. You can dip your feet into the outdoor pool or head over to South Beach for a little more action. Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill bring you to the Mediterranean with authentic dishes paired with organic wines. Lido Bar and Lounge holds film screenings and bingo nights with a side of your favorite cocktail.
With custom-designed furniture and artwork, the Mondrian is truly a unique place to stay. Each room offers a garden or Biscayne Bay views with black and white decor. This family-friendly hotel allows you to let your children play around in the tented sandbox while you’re lounging by the outdoor pool and flourishing gardens.
Washington Park Hotel
For an affordable and stylish option, the Washington Park Hotel is where it’s at. It’s central, party-friendly, and checks off all of those Insta-friendly boxes. Just ask THE STAYCATIONERS.
Throw it back to the 50’s with Nautilus, a hotel revamped to its original 1950’s design. Located in the heart of South Beach, Nautilus is the prime spot for anyone looking for quick exertions to the Lincoln Road boutiques and cafes, Miami Beach Golf Club, and the Bass Museum of Art. However, if you’re looking to stay on site, Nautilus offers cabanas, spa services, a fitness center, a saltwater pool, and direct beach access with food and beverages brought right to you.
What’s better than a welcome drink at arrival? At the Vintro Hotel, the experience starts at check-in. They offer a restaurant, beach access, free bike rentals, and a rooftop plunge pool. With the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach Convention Center, and Collins Park all within walking distance, you can never have a dull day at the Vintro.
Explore the halls of The Hall, an art deco hotel, containing beautiful views of the city and outdoor swimming pool. A ten minute walk and you’re on Lincoln road, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and clubs. If you’re looking for a more laid-back vacation, head over to the beach to catch some rays.
For a healthy breakfast that will give you energy to explore the streets of Wynwood all day, stop by Paradigm Kitchen. Named after a surrounding street, Purdy Ave Mornin’ is freshly baked bread from the bakery next door, True Loaf, topped with fluffy scrambled eggs, arugula, and a savory and tart dressing. The shiitake bacon is good for mushroom haters and lovers alike. If you’re still hungry, the Missionary Pancake Position topped with whipped coconut cashew butter, pineapple blueberry compote, and bananas are gluten-free and almost guilt-free. Perk up with Togarashi Can’t Stop Me coffee.
Lagniappe is a secret garden with cheap eats, charcuterie and live music. Grab a wine at the bar, take a seat at the antiquated, mismatched tables and chairs, order some charcuterie to start. If you’re still hungry after all that cheese, order the BBQ grill. For $14, you can get a grilled meat such as filet mignon or mahi mahi with a side salad and garlic bread. Arrive early, as this secret garden is not so secret (and they don’t take reservations).
Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Stepping into Mandolin Aegean Bistro is like stepping into a picturesque taverna in a coastal Aegean town. A husband and wife team took over a quaint home and transformed it into a beautiful restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating under twinkling lights, and a garden where the team grows their own fresh ingredients. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the grilled octopus, manti dumplings with minced lamb, and the hand cut fries with garlic greek yogurt are dishes not to be missed. Order a pitcher of fresh white sangria for the table.
27 Restaurant and Bar
Set in a restored 1930s house on the Freehand Miami compound, 27 Restaurant and Bar features locally-sourced ingredients, some sourced from their own garden. The food is served family style and features worldly cuisine ranging from kimchi fried rice to an arepa platter. Grab your first drink here, and then head next door to their backyard bar, The Broken Shaker. Up next!
The Broken Shaker
This popular watering hole is set in the gorgeous backyard of The Freehand, a not-so hostely hostel and another affordable hotel option, with canopies of banyan trees and ferns. The surrounding garden is made up of the herbs used to create their handcrafted cocktails. Treat yourself to the Yellow Submarine, featuring Cuca Fresca cachaca, roasted yellow beet, strega, pineapple, and fresh citrus. Pair your cocktail with some of their delicious small plates such as the beef empanadas and the shrimp ceviche. Have the Bedrock Ice Cream sandwich made with red velvet cookies, vanilla ice cream, and fruity pebbles to cool off in the Miami heat. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, explore past South Beach to their sister location, The Anderson.
Inside the Langford Hotel Downtown, take a ride up a blue leather elevator, and enter this prohibition themed rooftop bar set amidst the Miami skyline. All the drinks are served in antique glasses, except for the two served in a pineapple and a bathtub. Get the Giggle Water, a play on bathtub gin, it’s a gin and tonic with champagne syrup and lavender foam. It’s like an internal lavender bubble bath.
On South Beach, there aren’t many places that can be deemed as a “local haunt.” However, Radio Bar is one of the few exceptions. Stop in for craft beers, craft cocktails, a game of pool, and late-night DJs.
Take a paddleboard yoga class on the beach. SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Yoga is a unique way to yoga and soak up some sun at the same time. The classes are 1 ½ hours and start with a 10-minute introduction to paddleboarding.
Lay on the Beach
After 90 minutes of SUP Yoga, enjoy Miami’s main attraction: the beach. Lay out and get your tan because as of Monday morning your natural Vitamin D intake will be scarce.
Stroll the Streets of Wynwood
You’ve probably seen Wynwood’s massive murals all over your Instagram feed. The ever-changing wallscapes of Wynwood never get boring. Take your own little walking tour of Wynwood’s art scene, maze through the Wynwood Walls, and pop into a gallery or two. During your strolls, stop at The Wynwood Yard for a food break at one of their food trucks and check out their live events, which can be anything from a cooking class to a yoga session.
Road Trip to This Miami Staple
If time permits, take a small road trip (40-minute drive depending on traffic) to the Knaus Berry Farm in Homestead. Ask anyone who lives or grew up in Miami, and they’ll tell you about the cinnamon rolls and fresh strawberry milkshakes. They’re the sweet delights dreams are made of. The lines are long, but the wait is well worth it.
Written by Danika Daly
Featured image via Mondrian Hotel