One of my new favorite places in the U.S. is Miami, FL. Though my trip there was a quick one, I found it to be the perfect place for a girls weekend or an SOS from the cold weather up north. Me and one of my besties were able to take in the history, culture, and nightlife in just over 24 hours, though I could have stayed for weeks. What I like the most about Miami is the beach life, the walkability, and the culture.
The beach life // I love a place that has that perfect mix of city and nature. And in Miami's case, nature means miles of warm and welcoming beaches. We stayed in South Beach, which I highly recommend for the classic Miami experience. There are quiet sections of the beach if you just want to kick back and relax, but there's always a party going on somewhere in Miami if that's what you're looking for. The beaches make for the perfect tropical getaway just steps from normal life.
The walkability // One of the ways I love to learn a new place is by walking on foot. In Miami we stayed at the Chesterfield hotel (pictured above), which was on Collins Avenue, one of three main streets that run parallel to each other in South Beach: Washington Avenue, Collins Avenue, and Ocean Drive. I recommend staying on one of these streets to be close to the beach, the Art Deco District, and an array of shops, restaurants, clubs, and cafes. There was still so much that we didn't get to see during our short stay in Miami, but we were thankful to be situated in a prime location to see and do as much as we could. We shopped, we window shopped, we ate, we played, and we even had time to relax. Another great place for walking in Miami is Lincoln Road - also full of shops, restaurants, and opportunities to take in the culture of Miami.
The culture // Ah, Miami culture. It's a beautiful thing! I can really break it down into a few main elements: Hispanic influences, nightlife, and the Art Deco movement. During the 1930's Miami became a canvas for the Art Deco movement, and much of this style can still be seen today throughout South Beach. The geometric lines and color combinations are beautiful to see, and hard to find elsewhere in such capacity. Art continues to play an important role in the identity of Miami. Miami is also characterized by its Hispanic influences. Virtually everyone in Miami speaks Spanish to some extent, and the exceptional Cuban food and exciting Latin music speak for themselves. Spending time in Miami will feel unlike any other city in the U.S. - it's a wonderful mix of different cultures and people. Another aspect of Miami culture is the nightlife. Because South Beach is a tourist spot, there will always be a party no matter the night of the week. Our main destination was Mango's Tropical Cafe - a well-known bar and restaurant that delivers a unique Latin and Caribbean entertainment experience.
Still not convinced? Miami is also full of museums, sports, and other great attractions. And it's a major cruise terminal, which is what originally brought me to Miami. Whether you only have a few hours or a few days, live la vida Miami.
*And in case this song isn't stuck in your head yet...enjoy!