First of all, I would like to wish you a belated Happy New Year ! I hope 2018 brings wonderful travels and delicious meals, with the people you love ❤
Every year in February, comes the moment when we no longer stand the cold and grey Parisian weather and desperately need a good dose of vitamin D from the sun 🙂 A cruise in the Caribbean followed by 2 or 3 days of fun in Miami is, in our very humble and unbiased opinion :D, the best solution ! Over the past decade, I have seen the “Magic City” change for the better and become more “gourmet” and more “human” thanks to its culinary hotspots, its lovely boutique hotels, its quirky shops and its neighborhoods with high-quality cultural assets. Let me introduce you to “my” Miami, far from the cliché of a superficial city. These 48 hours are quite hectic but will give you a good idea of the diversity of its districts.
10 am: installation at the hotel in South Beach
After a hearty breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to disembark and head towards South Beach, our favorite neighborhood. If you already are in the area, have breakfast at Front Porch Café on Ocean Drive, the food is consistently good and the portions are more than generous (do not hesitate to share).
In 10 years, we have tested many hotels with varying degrees of success but my 2 favorites are The Anglers and The Betsy. Unfortunately, their rates have skyrocketed in recent years. You can find more affordable boutique hotels close to Lincoln Road like the Redbury South Beach for instance.
11 am-1.30 pm Shopping on Lincoln Road
Lincoln Road is a charming pedestrian street with walk-in stores, which I think is a nicer way to shop than being stuck in a covered mall, especially when the weather is gorgeous. Our fave brands are the ones we cannot find here in France, like Victoria’s Secret (ohlala!), American Eagle Outfitters (I love their floral cotton dresses), Madewell and Anthropologie (thumbs up for their kitchen accessories and their stationary). Check out CB2, a cheaper brand of Crate&Barrel. As an avid reader and member of a book club, I’m in heaven at Books & Books, a real bookstore with handwritten summaries, exceptional Art books, and cool stationery. Speaking of beautiful books, Taschen , a publisher of international reputation, is worth a few additional steps. If you happen to be in Lincoln Road on a Sunday, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the Farmers Market or the Antique and Collectible Market, a popular flea market (not on all Sundays though ).
The Farmers Market on Lincoln Road
1.30 pm: Lunch at Pane & Vino, on 1450 Washinton avenue
Not far from Espanola Way, this charming little Italian trattoria, which I “discovered” 2 years ago, offers homemade pasta from another world and a to-die-for tiramisu, prepared at the patrons’ table ( this video will give you an idea of what I mean). A not-to-be-missed in Miami.
3 pm-5 pm: Art Deco district
To work off those extra calories with a little exercise, walk to the Art Deco Welcome Center (a 15 mins walk approx.). There you can buy an iPod-based self-guided tour and accompanying map and learn about the Art Deco district‘s architectural history. You can do it by foot or rent a Citybike on 9th street.
Art Deco district (photo courtesy of “used in book”)
Late afternoon at South Pointe Park
After returning the bikes, I recommend you spend the late afternoon at South Pointe Park to relax on the beach and to watch the sunset and the cruise ships pass by. If you stay longer, have dinner at the Stubborn Seed by Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford. It is a short walk (10-15 mins) from South Pointe Park. Reservations are highly recommended.
South Pointe Park (view from the ship)
Dinner at Wynwood
Don’t worry, you will go back to this area on day 2 to visit its impressive Street Art. But Wynwood by night is also a must since it is the new favorite culinary hotspot in Miami, thanks to its trendy bars and restaurants. Have a pre-drink at Beaker & Gray (Happy Hour cocktails are only 7 USD) followed by dinner at Kyu, which ” features Asian food with a BBQ twist”, according to Eater Miami website.
9 am: Breakfast at Rosetta Bakery on 1666 Collins Avenue
Last year’s favorite. I love everything about this little Italian bakery: its pastries, its excellent coffee, and the lovely tiny terrace. I have tested for you some items (tough job !) and I can recommend the red berry tartlets, the “apple ball” (a whole apple baked inside a puff pastry shell with a caramel sauce), the focaccia with cherry tomatoes or olives and the savory tartines. Beware, during peak hours, the line can be a bit long and no seats available. Breaking news: Rosetta Bakery has opened a new location on Lenox Avenue and plans to open 6 more in Miami. (Run the mouse over the pictures to read the captions)
Rosetta Bakery (Valentine’s day 2017)
10.30 am-2.00 pm Design District
A neighborhood that has dramatically changed in recent years thanks to smart investors who had a great vision about the area. It is Miami’s poshest district, with luxury fashion stores (Dior, Hermes, Vuitton, etc.) and numerous Art Galleries. After some window- shopping, pay a visit to the brand new ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art, open in December 2017) in a modern cubic building made of mirrors and metal or the De la Cruz Collection, a private museum which also houses contemporary art. Both “museums” are free of charge and very close to each other. (Run the mouse over the pictures to read the captions)
Then recharge your batteries at Michael’s genuine food & drink, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant. It seems the menu has more middle-eastern influences than it used to (which I do not complain about) with dishes like the smoked eggplant with mint/tahini/pomegranate, the falafel platter and so on. But the signature dish remains the crispy pork belly. If you don’t want to spend too much time eating, OTL offers healthy salads and sandwiches in a beautiful setting.
Michael’s genuine food & Bar
2.30 pm- 6 pm Wynwood area
Next to the Design District, you will find Wynwood, a once rough area, “saved” by the late Tony Goldman, a real estate mogul, and his daughter Jessica. They had the brilliant idea of attracting visitors and businesses thanks to Street Art (read my detailed post here). Start with Wynwood walls, an enclosed space with about 40 murals and supplement the visit by strolling through the surrounding streets. It can take an hour or more as the quantity (and quality) of the artworks is impressive (more than 200 !).For some shopping, the area is full of trendy shops, and I had a crush on Illim.it and its furniture made in Italy and OSM∑ Perfumery .
Wynwood Walls and Wynwood street art
Need a break? Zak the baker is a kosher bakery offering delicious pastries and breads. You can’t miss its building painted in bright colors. It also has a kosher deli not far, if you crave for a savoury snack. Other gourmet finds in the district: federal donuts for its donuts and grilled chicken, and the asian food hall 1-800- LUCKY (you will find in particular the most instagramed ice cream. You know, the one with a fish-shaped cone).
Zak the Baker
9 pm Diner at Sugarcane in Midtown, 3252 NE 1st Avenue
Have a break at your hotel and get ready for the evening at Sugarcane, a warm and charming restaurant. Sugarcane is not new to the foodie scene but does not disappoint. In a colonial style architecture and among vintage objects, I remember the atmosphere was very trendy and lively. Last time I was there, we had mojitos served by the jar and very good sushi and sashimi.
10 am: Brunch in Little Havana
A nice way to end your stay in Miami is to visit this Cuban and Latin neighborhood and taste their Cuisine. Luggage in your rental car (or take it with you in a taxi and store it somewhere in the restaurant), get ready for fritas, churros and a classic cafe con leche. Arahi’s bakery (745 SW 8th St) or Caribe restaurant are great options. Then, stroll the streets (calle ocho, Walk of Fame, Cuban Memorial Plaza, Maximo Gomez park to watch some domino games, etc…) to soak up the great latin atmosphere before heading to the airport.
12 pm : Bye Bye Miami !
48 hours in Miami at a glance
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||(in the ship for us, Front Porch Café on Ocean Drive for you)||Rosetta Bakery in South Beach||Breakfast/Brunch in Little Havana|
|Morning||Shopping on Lincoln Road, South Beach||Design District (Fashion stores, Art Galleries, ICA or Delacruz museum)||Strolling the streets of Little Havana|
|Pane & Vino on Washinton Avenue||Michael’s genuine Food&Drink or OTL in the Design District||In the plane ! 😦|
|Afternoon||Auto-guided Tour of Art deco district (bike or foot)||Wynwood walls, street art, Zak the baker, 1-800 lucky food hall.|
|Late afternoon||South Pointe Pier||Rest at your hotel|
Stubborn Seed or Wynwood Area : Happy Hour at Beaker&Gray
Diner at Kyu
|Sugarcane in Midtown|