Miami is a city of the United States but also it’s own little country. I love Miami for its character or ability to never disappoint your need for the perfect getaway. There’s a different air in Miami, an energy that fills you up once you arrive and no limit to the adventures you can get into. The city doesn’t rest; so just make sure you can keep up! Miami is always upgrading and becoming more and more catering to the creative, food loving, art seeking adventurers. Spending so many weekends in Miami year by year has helped me gather the ultimate guide to an amazing weekend in the most festive of cities. Here’s where you start:

Best Places to Stay

There are SO many great types of hotels in Miami; boutique, luxury, beach rentals, etc. If you want to be located near the beaches and the fun, midtown is a great area to stay in. South beach is of course the most ideal location, below are my favorite options that are all perfect for a weekend in this paradise of a city.

1 Hotel

This is luxury. The 1 hotel is one of the most unique and beautiful properties on South Beach. The service is incredible from the moment you arrive all your worries are eliminated by the impeccable staff. The hotel is made up of reclaimed furniture, and filled with natural plants, a fresh organic café, sand bar, 2 pools and just about everything and anything else you’d want in a hotel, also has its own private beach area just feet away, perfection.

Dream Hotel

This is the boutique hotel to stay at in South beach, small but beautifully decorated, perfect location within walking distance of most shops and the prime restaurants/bars on Ocean drive, you can’t go wrong booking the Dream. They also have one of my favorite funky rooftops with a great pool and if you’re lucky enough to be there on a weekend they’re throwing a rooftop party, you’re automatically on the list.

Suites on South Beach

If you want more of a homey feel, you can rent an condo at suites on south beach, you’ll be able to come and go quickly without having to walk through a huge lobby or take elevators, etc. and it’s located right on Collins, in the area you’ll want to be in. Suites on South beach gives great rates and with their prime location, you can’t go wrong.

Best Places to Eat

Brunch Favorites:

The Social Club

The social club is part of the beachcomber hotel on Nikki Beach, a great area to spend the day, get some sun and have a lot of fun. Since it’s part of a hotel, the décor is refreshing and modern, connecting the pool with the restaurant, you can enjoy the property while you wait for a table or right after. They have all your favorite brunch options and you’re in the perfect location to enjoy the rest of the day.

Batch

Batch is a really good spot for a group brunch. They have great brunch deals, tons of TVs and is located in downtown Miami near a lot of hotels and things you’ll want to do while in the city. With options like lobster quiche and smoked brisket grilled cheese, you can’t go wrong with this brunch!

B Bistro

B Bistro is a small French bistro that packs big flavor on their menu. There is a full bakery where gourmet French sweets like macaroons, Mont Blanc cheesecake and various types of croissants are baked fresh daily, but the real winner here is the menu options for brunch. Spicy tuna toast, pastelito pancakes and smoked salmon scramble are just a few of the mouth-watering options for your most important meal of the day. This is easily one of my new favorite spots in Miami!

Lemoni Café

This is a quaint café that I particularly love for their immense selection of healthy food options, there are so many vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options and all made hot and fresh and not lacking even the slightest bit of flavor. Make sure to get here early because space is limited and their reputation most definitely precedes them.

Lunch

1-800-lucky

This Asian fusion restaurant in Wynwood is definitely gaining popularity by the minute. They offer the best foods from Asian cuisine with a small twist and big taste! One of their most popular items is their signature ice cream selection that are served on homemade taiyaki cones and topped with a variety of different goodies like crushed Oreos, rainbow mochi and cotton candy sprinkles.

Suviche

If you’re a seafood lover, ceviche lover, foodie or all 3, this is a must on your visit to Miami. Their selection of ceviche is unparalleled, along with a full sushi menu and Tiraditos (sashimi cuts on fresh fish smothered in a delicious sauce of your choice), this spot will satisfy your seafood craving and keep you coming back for more!

Big Pink

A staple in the city, located in Miami Beach; this is one of the best spots for a delicious reasonably priced meal right by south beach. They’re known for handcrafted milkshakes, big portions and savory meals, no matter what time of the day you decide to visit. The Big Pink will leave your belly full and your pockets happy. Also, they’re open 24 hours. WIN.

Beaker & Gray

Quickly becoming a highly favored restaurant in Wynwood, Beaker and Gray has a range of different small shareable plates that will rock your taste buds including: cheeseburger croquettes, bay scallops and Reuben fried rice. This is a great place to enjoy a meal with friends or experience a meal that’s different from the ordinary.

Dinner

Yardbird

I swear by this restaurant and can’t see any reason why everyone shoouldn’t do the same. Their staff is incredibly accommodating, the food literally melts in your mouth and will have you stuffed for the entire day, so your stomach will love this place. The mac and cheese, chicken biscuits, crispy brussel sprouts and cauli flower mashed potatoes are just a few of my personal favorites. You really won’t be disappointed no matter which direction you go in but be sure to make a reservation; they are pretty popular these days!

Wynwood Kitchen

Wynwood Kitchen has my heart, there are so many amazing options on the menu, located in the heart of Wynwood, Miami’s fastest growing art district, you won’t be disappointed with the location or the meal at this restaurant. All the options on the menu derive from traditional latin dishes with of course a little modern twist; the ropa vieja empanadas, Hamachi ceviche and flautas are some of my favorite eats here! Make sure you bring your appetite.

Juvia

Juvia is an upscale restaurant located right by Lincoln Road in Miami and offering some great views as it’s located on a rooftop. The cuisine here is remarkable but you will spend a pretty penny. It’s so worth it! Coconut Maine lobster, Chilean Sea bass and Wagyu beef gyoza are just a few of the options for a lovely dinner here!

Genuine Kitchen Bistronomie

I really love GKB! The space is beautiful, different options for seating, modern décor, a great outdoor patio and a bomb happy hour menu! You can ‘t go wrong with a visit here for whichever meal you choose. The service here is incredible and the staff is very friendly. You can pair your meal with one of their pisco cocktails; you won’t be disappointed!

Alloy Bistro 

O-M-G. This is the best Italian I had in a long time and possibly ever! all fresh pasta handmade from scratch and you can taste the love in every bite! Nestled in a small mediterranean style courtyard that connects a few other restaurants, you’ll feel like you left Miami for a moment and transported to Italy. This bistro is doing so many things right! The ambiance is very relaxing and their outdoor seating is surrounded with string lights and smooth music, this is how you have dinner in Miami.

Dessert

FD Pies

These pies are incredible! Mouth watering, delicious, gourmet, you get the point right? Fireman Derek knew what he was doing when he put together this menu! This little pie shop is located in the heart of Wynwood and has so many different options like chocolate peanut butter, coconut custard and guava berry, be sure to get there at a good time because this little gem is always packed!

Salty Donut

I have just recently experienced Salty Donut for the first time because everytime I’m in the area the line to get in is literally around the corner but that’s always a really good sign. These donuts are sooo good, they almost melt in your mouth and maple bacon. I don’t think I have to say anything else. Start your day exploring Miami here or stop by for dessert, you won’t be disappointed.

Best Nightlife Atmosphere

Espanola Way

This is becoming an extremely popular area of Miami, located on south beach between Washington and Pennsylvania street, Espanola Way is a historic Spanish village and replica of a typical street in Old World Europe, with Cuban restaurants, vintage décor and all the vibes that you would get from a traditional Spanish city. There are boutiques, restaurants and hotels all throughout Espanola Way and several different bars that have the ambiance and vibes ready to help you go back in time while you enjoy a beautiful night in South Beach.

Mango’s

Mango’s is well known by many and for a good reason, it’s a vibrant, loud, fun place where the servers are dressed in colorful outfits, the music is blasting and the drinks are flowing. Located right on Ocean drive, this is a great spot to enjoy the festive energy Miami has to offer!

The Clevelander

This is a staple in Miami, an open layout, pool, big screen over looking the dance area, great cocktails, right across the ocean and right on Ocean drive, you can never go wrong with a visit to the Clevelander! Start your night here and enjoy what the Miami nightlife has to offer.

Some other great bars;

Ball & Chain (Little Havana)

Monty’s Sunset

Bodega

Best Places to Explore

Wynwood

Wynwood is Miami’s fastest growing art district, a neighborhood dedicated entirely to art; it truly is my favorite area in the city. There’s no limit to the street art you’ll find on any given corner, the restaurants, stores and businesses in the area are all covered in art too, giving you endless photo opportunities and vibrant colors. Walk around here for sometime and you’ll even find food trucks, small markets, a very big Wynwood Market and fun murals in between.

Miami Design District

The design district is stunning, aside from high end stores, there’s a plethora of art scattered throughout, some larger than average installations, murals and just aesthetically pleasing pieces. Even the area you walk through to get to the stores or some amazing ice cream (mad lab) will wow you. Various artists are featured in the district, don’t miss the opportunity to explore it.

Perez Art Museum

Miami isn’t big on museums the way other major cities in the U.S. are but they are catching up and the Perez Art Museum is a great staple in the city. The museum showcases a combination of international, modern and contemporary art with several different exhibits changing every so often. The museum is located in downtown Miami near Museum Park and the American Airlines arena. This is a great stop during your time in Miami.

Little Havana

Everyone knows the Cuban population in Miami is only less than the Cuban population in Cuba, so they have to have a little piece of the city for their own and it truly does embody the beauty of the Cuban culture. Little Havana is located near downtown Miami and is filled with cultural goodness like small cafes, restaurants, shops, you’ll even see some classic cars.  This is a beautiful way to experience a piece of Cuba in the states.

Bayfront Park

This is where lots of major events are held in Miami, holidays celebrations, music festivals, etc. It is a beautiful open space located right by museum park before the bridge to South Beach, there are a few different things to do here but you can also just enjoy the views, watch the cruise ships and soak in the beauty of the bay.