Thinking about ditching home for a sunny destination? Here are 7 reasons to visit Miami…right now!
I visited Florida many times on family vacations when I was a kid. We went to the theme parks and of course, it was a lot of fun (I still need to revisit them as an adult!). I’ve gone to Fort Lauderdale on several occasions, before boarding a cruise ship (and also recently for TBEX). So, you might think that I’ve grown a little bit bored of Florida. That’s not the case at all! There are so many amazing places to explore in this great state. I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon in Miami during TBEX. Back then, I had no idea that I’d be returning just a few months later for another couple of days. After spending more time in Miami, I realized that I haven’t even scraped the surface of this great city. Although I’m sure there are way more, here are 7 reasons to visit Miami.
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Well, duh! Have you seen this water? These beaches have the perfect combination of powdery sand and vibrant turquoise waters. For the best beach in the center of the action, check out Lummus Park (aka South Beach). It’s a lengthy stretch of beach along Ocean Drive from 6th to 14th Street. It’s beside many delectable restaurants and the Art Deco District. For a less crowded beach, venture a little farther north. It’s possible to find your own little quiet piece of paradise. My sister and I relaxed in two loungers at the section of beach reserved for guests of Hotel Croydon (across from Collins and 48th Street). For an even quieter section of beach, head up to the public beach at 85th Street.
ART DECO DISTRICT
Miami is home to some wonderfully preserved low-rise buildings from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. The Art Deco District is where this architectural style reigns supreme. After a few hours at the beach, take a stroll up Ocean Drive to marvel at these awesome retro structures. You’ll also find some great Art Deco buildings on Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue.
Lincoln Road is a shopping area that takes up a few city blocks. This section of road is mostly for pedestrians only, without any traffic. There are lots of great finds at stylish clothing stores and independent book shops. Be sure to enjoy a meal or a drink on one of the many patios. I recommend that you check out the Cafe at Books and Books. They’ve got a vegan section on their menu and a great selection of craft beers.
When we visited Lincoln Road, Books and Books was working with a local rescue shelter to find homes for dogs. I fell in love with a little cutie, but I don’t think my cats would be too thrilled if I brought a puppy home. Thankfully, most of them (if not all) found loving homes that day.
What was once a barren industrial site has been transformed into a work of art in flux. It’s a large public space where concrete walls are painted by various artists from around the world. This space is constantly changing with new works of art being painted over the old ones. The walls and doors could have brand new murals on them each time you visit. Even outside of the walls themselves, there’s an enormous amount of street art to discover. In the neighborhood, there are lots of restaurants and cafes, and even Miami’s first craft production brewery. It’s definitely one of my favorite places in Miami.
You can read more about my visit to Wynwood Walls here, along with a huge photo gallery of the art I discovered there.
THE VEGAN FOOD
I had absolutely no issues finding vegan meals at restaurants in Miami. In fact, there are several entirely vegan eateries in Miami and South Beach. Some of my favorite restaurants included: Full Bloom, Plant Theory, Mi Vida Cafe (my review) and the Cafe at Books and Books (not a vegan restaurant, but had a vegan section of the menu).
A HOME BASE FOR MORE TRAVEL
After flying into Miami and staying for a while, you can explore other destinations. Rent a car and drive down to the Florida Keys (definitely on my bucket list!). Stay in Miami before or after your cruise. Both Miami and Fort Lauderdale are popular cruise ports. Take day trips to the Everglades National Park, Sanibel Island, and other nearby cities. You can even travel to the Bahamas on a ferry from Miami.
MIAMI IS FUN!
Miami has such a fun vibe! There’s always a party happening somewhere. It’s easy to be in a good mood in such a bright and sunny place. I love that Miami celebrates diverse cultures through art, food, and lively entertainment. I was left wanting more. I didn’t get the chance to visit Little Havana, the Venetian Pool, or Bunnie Cakes (a vegan bakery that I’ve heard is awesome). Miami, you stole my heart and I can’t wait to return…even if it’s just to relax on the beach one more time.
WHERE TO STAY
I stayed at Hotel Croydon (3720 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140). It was a last minute decision that I didn’t have time to research ahead of time. Thankfully, it was a great choice. Hotel Croydon is a boutique hotel across the road from the beach. Actually, there’s a section of the beach with loungers reserved for guests of the hotel. Even after we checked out of the hotel, we continued to use the hotel’s amenities. Our flight wasn’t until 9:00pm, so we had some time to kill. They didn’t mind letting us borrow beach towels, use the hotel pool, or lounge up on the rooftop. They also kindly stored our luggage for us. We were impressed with both the rooms and the service. Full review to come!
It was easy getting around Miami, even without a rental car. We walked everywhere that we could. It wasn’t a problem as the weather was so beautiful and sunny! For places that were too far to walk, we used Uber. Hotel Croydon also offers a free shuttle service to the airport.
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