Bienvenida a Miami. Happy birthday to me.
Last weekend I was treated to a very special trip to celebrate my 40th birthday. I know! It sounds crazy. I am FOURTY! Yiiikes. But my family surprised me with a getaway and I did not mind one bit. Travelling is one surprise that I will always take.
Let me show you how we spent it.
WHERE WE STAYED
First of all, we picked an amazing hotel: Loews Miami Beach. Located on the infamous Collins avenue with direct access to the beach, boardwalk and in the heart of the city’s Art Deco district.
Very sophisticated but family friendly. Here are some of the hotel highlights:
- 790 guestrooms, including 69 suites
- Located in the heart of South Beach, steps from the ocean
- Expansive pool deck with jacuzzi
- VIP SOAK Cabanas and Daybeds, including adult-only cabanas
- 65,000 square feet of beautifully designed, flexible function space
- Authentically local tastes of Miami at Miami Joe Coffee Co., Bar Collins, Preston’s Market & Nautilus
- Signature, award-winning restaurant Lure Fishbar
- Exhale Spa & fitness center with yoga and barre classes
- Complimentary Wi-Fi in every guest room—and in public spaces
- Beach chairs and daily water activities are included in the resort fee
- Umbrellas for the beach are $27
WHAT WE DID
We are very mellow when it comes to travelling. For us, a relaxing day at the pool, a leisurely walk on the beach, and a dip in the ocean is pure perfection.
But we snuck in a few things in the short amount of time we had.
- Ocean Drive/ Versace Mansion for food and entertainment
- Lincoln Road for amazing markets, shopping and restaurants
- Espanola way for great atmosphere and amazing food
- Collins Ave for entertainment and shopping
- Boardwalk for a relaxing stroll or bike ride
- Games and pool activities at the hotel
- Famous lifeguard towers
WHERE WE ATE
We started off with pool side lunch and cocktails at Loews and it did not disappoint. The food was quick but so fresh and tasty. The drinks and smoothies were delicious. Their service, commendable.
On Friday night, we walked around for over an hour just taking in all of the restaurants, the people, the energy of Miami Beach. It was such a delight. While there are a lot of sketchy areas and tons of homeless people, there is still so much beauty and fun in South Beach. We ended up in La Legenda Pizzeria. And Oh EM GEE, was it amazing. It is a Napoletana style pizza and if you know us, we love this type of pizza. It is extremely light with some of the freshest ingredients we have had. It is authentic and award winning. But their staff was so good and friendly. They made us feel like we were in Italy.
COFFEE: the coffee bar in the hotel lobby, Miami Joe was reasonably priced and their dark roast coffee was delicious. Very comparable to Starbucks. Their pastries were fresh but overpriced. If you just walk outside of the hotel, there are several coffee places, including Starbucks a few minutes away, and the prices are cheaper. Aroma Espresso Bar for example had great options for breakfast and lunch and very yummy too.
For my birthday, my husband made reservations at Havana 1957 and it was exactly what I expected but more. From the service to food and cocktails = a birthday I will never forget. Our daughter fell in love with a Cuban sandwich and for our son, it was the best chicken he has ever had. Mojitos, fresh juices and of course a Cortadito are all a must try too. 10/10 recommend this place.
ICE CREAM: I can’t even explain to you the quality of ice cream we had. Besides loving coffee and pizza, this family considers themselves experts in ice cream. And Miami did not disappoint. Mouthwatering gelato. I felt like I was in Europe. I would highly recommend these three spots: Icy-N-Spicy, for their TikTok famous shakes. Konos Gelato for Italian style flavors and finally I Scream Gelato.
Rakija Lounge – was what my Balkan soul needed. This was on my wish list for a year now and I am so happy I finally got a chance to check it out. It was worth the wait. The Cevapi were so fresh and tender, I would eat here again and again.
On our way home, we stopped at Carlyle Cafe on Ocean Drive for lunch. We walked in with zero expectations. I never looked it up until we were done eating, only to find out they don’t even have a website or social media. What? This place needs social media so I can brag about them. Their food was out of this world. Freshly made pasta, what?!
Overall, Miami Beach had some of the best and freshest food we have had while travelling.
WHAT WE MISSED
I had plans to walk down to the South Point Park Pier, take a drive to Key West, visit Wynwood art, and check out a few of their iconic parks but we did not have time. However, since we had such a great time, I know we will be back! Especially for the Keys!
What can I say…Miami, you were a dream. While I have been here before, I have never been here with my family. The weather was spectacular. The food was first class. The people and hospitality were extraordinary. The amount of family friendly options, surprising. But one of the best parts was that gratuity was automatically included in all transactions. I never had to worry about calculating a thing and guess what, the service was not effected. Everyone still went above and beyond with kindness and friendliness. This needs to a nationwide thing.
Overall, we loved you South Beach and can’t wait to come back.
Until next time, stay warm my friends.
Don’t forget to check out more of our family travels at: TRAVEL drop down menu.