Price Point: ✪✪✪✪✪
Food To Try: Croquetas
Tipping: 5% for meals/round up on drinks
Where to Stay: South Beach
Transportation: Train(from Madrid to Toledo:35 Min)
Drive just 3 hours south of Orlando and it’ll feel like you’ve arrived in a different country. Step foot on South Beach and it’s like you’ve gone back a couple decades.
Miami is a dysfunctional, absurd yet exhilarating concoction of people from all different backgrounds coexisting in tropical paradise. Why I never took the time to truly explore this city being born and raised in Orlando, I’ll never know.
“Miami is a melting pot in which none of the stones melt. They rattle around.” -Tom Wolfe
Growing up in Orlando with a large Hispanic population, I heard Spanish on a daily basis. In Miami though, the Spanish was… different. It belonged there. It flowed from the mouths of residents like it was a part of Miami’s identity, not just a minority language in a predominantly Caucasian population, like the rest of Florida.
Much like the Porches and Mercedes zipping through the streets, our 3 nights in Miami went by in blur.
Full Disclosure: I did almost get into a wreck here. Like I’m talking paper thin close. Moral of the story, driving around Miami sucks but the convenience outweighs the negatives. Also don’t eat chips and drive.
Grab a Pub sub (Publix sub for all you out-of-staters) and hit the beach. If you don’t feel like driving to Publix Super Market and to possibly one of the best things Florida has yet to produce (because let’s face it, there isn’t much else), there are multiple food kiosks dotting the beach. Although expensive, I can personally recommend the quesadilla and ceviche.
Feeling adventurous? Rent a longboard and skate up and down the South Beach boardwalk. Be sure to bring some cash along for the ride, you’ll inevitably want a spiked rum coconut from one of the “vendors” along the boardwalk. And by vendor I mean boardshort clad local with home grown coconuts and a handle of Malibu rum.
Have you ever seen that mural constantly plastered on Instagram with the haphazard pastel stripes (pictured below)? Look no further than Wynwood Walls to follow the million other selfies. Too bad muralist Mya Haynuk doesn’t get commission for the amount of times her wall graces the endless scroll of Instagram.
While my favorite nights ended up being spent in Wynwood and the concert, here’s a list of go-to nightlife spots from Miami locals who know it best:
Although we didn’t quite make it here, Coconut Grove came highly recommended by friends for its old canopy trees and historic Miami storefronts. It’s a little bougie but if you have some cash to burn, this is the place for it. Want more things to do in Miami? Check out this article by The Crazy Tourist of the top 25 things to do in Miami!
Day 2: Wynwood Art District
Day 3: Little Havana & Miami Nightlife
BONUS DAY: Coconut Grove