Updated: Jun 5
As you might expect considering I run a travel blog, I am used to traveling. I’m used to night life, and big cities, and loud noises, but very few places in America compare to the constant party that is South Beach, Miami. My husband and I enjoy doing things on a whim, so we decided to drive from Tennessee to the southern tip of Miami for merely two days in December to see a concert. Yes, it was exhausting, and yes, it was a blast.
It was also incredibly overwhelming and a lot to take in in just a few days. Things are expensive, so we would have been sorely unprepared to stay there much longer than we did. Some travelers would relax when they got to their hotel, but we simply couldn’t. With only two days, we had to see as much as we could. This thrill is what I live for.
I’m excited to give you a peep of what Miami has to offer, and show you that even with limited time, you can still live it up in South Beach.
1. Visit the iconic Ocean Drive
A walk down this party strip will provide you many views of Art Deco buildings that have widely been featured on the big screen. You will see beautiful glimpses of the beach on one side and likely at least 10 Lamborghinis revving their engines on the other. Make sure to check out the Colony hotel. Built in 1939, this widely pictured hotel was featured on Dexter as well as in other movies and TV shows. While strolling along, you can stop at numerous places to eat, drink, and party.
2. View the Versace Mansion
Well, the former Versace Mansion, at least. It is now a hotel called the Villa Casa Casuarina. This building was once accompanied by the designer himself—Gianni Versace, from 1992 until he died in 1997. Those wishing to see inside the mansion have two choices: you can dine at Gianni's Restaurant or book a stay in the hotel. Check out rates for the hotel here, and book a table at the restaurant here.
3. Drink a giant margarita
Almost every restaurant along Ocean Drive offered these incredibly huge alcoholic beverages. We went during happy hour and got two of these bad boys for the price of $35. As outrageous as that sounds, each of these drinks contained 7 shots, and after the meal, they brought us each one more shot as a "thank you." Funny thing is, it was barely noon.
4. Check out Palace Bar
The Palace Bar is a gay bar that was alive and pumping Saturday evening well into Sunday afternoon. There were drag shows taking place practically the entire time, and patrons packed each seat every time we strolled by it. Different shows and events take place at the bar all the time, and there is even a rooftop bar you can reserve. Click here for reservations.
5. Take a tour of World Erotic Art Museum
Yes, that is a giant statue of a penis. It's one of the most popular attractions at the World Erotic Art Museum, so you just have to take a snapshot. This museum features numerous works of art as well as a library featuring tons of erotic books. You never know what you're going to see around the corner here. If you're interested, learn more here.
6. Go for a swim
It was night time in December and my husband and I were still able to get in the water and enjoy impressive waves without freezing to death. With this being said, I would say you could probably enjoy the beach year round, whether it's laying in the sand or splashing in the water. It wouldn't be a trip to South Beach without swimming.
7. Enjoy a Cuban sandwich
Miami is the best place to enjoy an authentic Cuban sandwich other than Cuba itself. I had heard of these sandwiches but never had one, and I was so impressed that I've been talking about it since I went (as of publishing, for 6 months now). This sandwich is typically comprised of Cuban bread, pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.
8. Have a drink at Mango's Tropical Café
I actually didn't know this was a famous restaurant until I read about it when I got home. This is likely because I went during the day, but at night, there are show girls and dancers and a whole nightclub experience. I had a good time, anyway, and my husband and I met a nice man who bought us each three shots. Once again, before noon. Whew. Learn more about this place here.
There is so much I could say about my time in Miami, and usually, every story begins with "I didn't mean to drink that much," or simply "we don't talk about that weekend." All jokes aside, South Beach is poppin', and I fully intend on coming back.
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