10 DAYS IN MIAMI
South Beach - Art Deco influence from Paris 1920s
Coral Gables - One of the oldest cities in Florida
North Miami Beach - One of the oldest buildings in the Western Hemisphere
Miami Beach - One of the most historical and architectural hotels
Little Havana - Taste of Cuban
Key West - Underwater national treasures
Wynwood Arts District - Trendy Miami neighborhood
First introduced in Paris in about 1925, the Art Deco style quickly found its way to Miami Beach Florida. The South Beach Art Deco district has the distinction of being the first 20th century neighborhood recognized by the National Registry of Historic Places.
1.5 days and 1 night
Rent a bike from Citi Bike Miami which has stations everywhere. Follow the South Beach Art Deco Trail Map here.
Check out some of the top art deco buildings including The Webster, The Carlyle, Jerry's Famous Deli, Colony Theatre, The Breakwater, Cadillac Hotel, The McAlpin, The Plymouth, The Delano, and Bass Museum.
Be sure to stop by Espanola Way! Espanola Way is a historic Spanish-style area.
Try the afternoon tea at The Villa by Barton G every Saturday and Sunday from 2:30pm to 4pm.
Window-shopping at Lincoln Road Mall around 3pm. Even if you are not buying, it is a nice area to stroll around for the evening with lots of good places to eat. In 2011, the Lincoln Road Mall was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Miami Beach is known for night life. If you have the energy, we recommend checking out these bars: 1930s House, Katsuya, The Bar at the Setai, Rose Bar at the Delano, Haven, and The Forge Wine Bar.
Recommended Places to Stay
In addition to the Art Deco hotels, it would be worthwhile to check out these hotels especially Casa Casuarina! Even if you are not able to get a room, we highly recommend you trying out their restaurants because of their unique architectural designs. Casa Casuarina offers afternoon tea service every Saturday and Sunday!
Casa Casuarina Hotel - 1930s Mediterranean home of famed fashion designer Versace.
Casa Tua Hotel - The ultra-exclusive Casa Tua is a five-suite hotel housed inside a Mediterranean-inspired mansion.
Fountainebleau Hotel - Fontainebleau Miami Beach is one of the most historically and architecturally significant hotels on Miami Beach.Opened in 1954 and designed by Morris Lapidus, it was arguably the most luxurious hotel in Miami Beach
Clevelander South Beach - Built in 1938, the Clevelander has been a South Beach landmark for more than 70 years. While it is not a quiet place to stay, it's a fun place to hang out to get the quintessential SoBe experience!
The National Hotel - If swimming pool is important, this hotel is known for the longest swimming pool in Miami Beach.
Celino South Beach Hotel - While this is not a historical hotels like the others, this used to be the popular hangout place for movie stars Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Rita Hayworth, and a few others. So, you never know who you will see here!
Beside these hotels, we also recommend checking out local Airbnbs!
Recommended Food Experiences
There are many interesting restaurants in Miami Beach area. But, these are the ones that really stand out for us because of the ambience or the view that you can only experience while in Miami.
1 night at Islamadora - a romantic dinner would be worth the while!
1 - 2 nights at Little Palm Island Resort if rooms are available.
1 - 2 nights in Key West to do snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas National Park and explore around town. 2 days 1 night is enough to see the highlights but 2.5 days and 2 nights will be more relaxing.
1 night in Homestead if you decide to explore Biscayne National Park, Charles Deering Estate, and Coral Castle.
Depending on your time, stop by Charles Deering Estate in South Miami either before Key West or after Key West. Charles Deering was the son of William Deering, founder of Deering Harvester Company, and brother of millionaire industrialist James Deering. Deering is remembered as an American businessman and philanthropist.
Check out Islamadora Beach! - We don't know if this is true. Voted one of the most romantic places for couples in the U.S, with the island only 20 miles long, Islamorada, Florida is the perfect place for tranquility and quality time together. Please check it out and take photos for us!
Little Palm Island Resort at Big Pine Key is on the way to the Key West. It is another amazing place to stay for total relaxation! If you are not able to book a room this time, keep moving south to Key West.
Snorkeling at the Fort Zachery Taylor State Park - The fort has the largest collection of Civil War armaments in the United States. The beach, at the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico, is Key West’s best beach with clear water, good snorkeling and a shaded picnic area.
Snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas National Park - Almost 70 miles west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequent the area. Click this link for more info.
After all the snorkeling in Key West and heading back up north to Homestead area, you can decide whether to check out the Biscayne National Park located at the northern tip of the keys. At 172,000 acres, 95% of the park is underwater making it the largest marine park in the national system. Instead of snorkeling, take a guided kayak tour through the mangroves.
Within the same vicinity in Homestead area, another interesting and odd place is Coral Castle, an unique sculpture garden using over 1,100 tons of coral rock, built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin, from 1923 to 1951.
Key West is filled with many touristy things to do. But, we won't cover it here since they are easy to find out once you get there.
Recommended Places to Stay
Must stay 1 night in Islamadora!
It would be worth while to stay 1 at the Little Palm Island Resort at Big Pine Key for the ultimate relaxation.
Stay 1-2 nights in Key West. Besides standard hotels, check out the local Airbnbs in Key West.
1 night in Homestead before exploring Biscayne National Park or Everglades.
Recommended Food Experiences
Islamadora - For some of the best romantic restaurants in the area, check out Morada Bay, Chef Michael's, Marker 88, and Pierre's!
While in Key West, check out the local seafood restaurants!
EXPLORING THE HEART OF MIAMI
Key areas covered:
Venetian Pool (Coral Gables)
Biltmore Hotel (Coral Gables)
Merrick House (Coral Gables)
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Ancient Spanish Monastery (North Miami)
Miami Auto Museum (North Miami)
Little Havana - a taste of Cuba
Wywood Design District
2 nights at the Wynwood and Miami Design District area.
3 full days to explore Coral Gables, Little Havana, and North Miami Beach
Day 1 (Coral Gables area)
Spend 2 nights at the Wynwood and Miami Design District area. A good place to hang out at night and to experience the Miami design culture. We recommend staying at local Airbnbs.
Must try out the brunch at Michael's Genuine Food and Drink! It might be a good idea to make a reservation ahead of time. Phone: 305-573-5550
After brunch, take a LYFT to visit Chinese Arts. Address: 4380 NW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33166 Phone: 305-477-4992
Take a LYFT to Biltmore Hotel - crown building of Coral Gables developer George Merrick. Nothing was spared in the building that was constructed with the finest materials and designed in the grand Mediterranean style. Address: 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
After Merrick House, walk over to Venetian Pool, a historical swimming pool created in 1923 where celebrities used to hang out. The pool closes at 5:30pm. If you want to do some swimming, you can always come back the next day.
Dinner at El Carajo International Tapas & Wines. It is known as an uniquely local experience. We will let you try it out and tell us! Address: 2465 SW 17th Avenue, Miami, FL 33145 Phone: 305-856-2424
Day 2 (Vizcaya and Little Havana)
If you couldn't get into Michael's Genuine yesterday, try again today or stroll around Design District to find a cafe before heading out.
Drive to Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, previously known as Villa Vizcaya, is the former villa and estate of businessman James Deering, of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune, on Biscayne Bay in the present day Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida. Hours is from 9:30am to 4:30pm but it takes only about 2 hours to check it out so you don't need to get there super early.
Then, head over to Little Havana to get a taste of authentic Latin American culture. Recommended places to check out:
Los Pinarenos Fruteria - fruit stand
Azucar Ice Cream Company
Maximo Gomez Domino Park
Viernes Culturales - Festival on the last Friday of every month
Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center
Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co.
Ball & Chain - live music
Hoy Como Ayer - live music
Little Havana Cigar Factory
Have dinner at Versailles Restaurant, a landmark place where the Miami's Cuban Exiles used to hang out.
Day 3 (North Miami Beach)
After breakfast, drive to Ancient Spanish Monastery, one of the oldest buildings in the Western Hemisphere! The Cloisters of the Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach is more than 800 years old. One of the most stunning and picturesque features of the monastery are the cloisters, or arched walkways that surround the inner courtyard.
Near the Ancient Spanish Monastery is the Miami Auto Museum James Bond Car Collection. We wouldn't normally call out touristy places like museums. But, this is James Bond we are talking about. For all the guys, we have to go check it out!
One of the popular things to do in Miami is to take an airboat tour at Everglades National Park. Check out Everglades Safari Park Tour! From Wywood area, it's about 40 minutes drive.