TRAVEL: Miami Beach, FL

Miami was a dream. This is probably going to be the most boring trip recap ever because every single day consisted of laying at the beach or pool followed by dinner and/or drinks. South Beach is super walkable, so we did get in quite a bit of exercise as well to balance everything out. I'm not sure how or why I got it in my head that I really wanted to go to Miami. My husband was pretty insistent that I wouldn't really like it (the nightlife vibe is really not my thing), but in my mind I just saw gorgeous beaches, good food, and amazing architecture. Because he's a gem he surprised me with a trip knowing he was going to have some extra time off work with the inauguration. Planning to go in January was a bit of a risk in terms of really enjoying the beach, (I think January is typically the coldest month) but we ended up having the most amazing weather- sunshine with temperatures in the high-70s to low-80s!



marriott stanton south beach
exterior; ocean view from our room on the 9th floor
We stayed at the Marriott Stanton South Beach and would easily stay there again in the future. It's located south of fifth (sofi), so it's away from the main strip of Ocean Drive, and away from the hotel area further up on Collins Avenue, but is still walkable to just about anywhere you want to go (aka perfect location). We had amazing customer service from the moment we checked in, and were really pleased with the overall cleanliness and all of the amenities.

marriott stanton south beach
pool area; drinks on the beach (chairs reserved as part of the daily resort fee)
On vacation is about the only time I like to be an early riser, so we got up by 7 everyday and usually caught the sunrise from our balcony (or in my husband's case, on his run). We got coffee at Pura Vida and Craft Cafe a couple of the days. There's a boardwalk/walking path that was about 8 miles (there & back) from our hotel that follows along the ocean and behind the hotels on Collins Ave. While our days were spent relaxing at the beach or pool, between walks in the morning and walking to dinner or drinks at night, we still managed to get 20k+ steps a day. The beach was really nice, the water really is so clear you can see to the bottom and it was fun to get to swim in the water (compared to lake michigan that is freezing, or hilton head where I'm paranoid of jellies).
towel stand; that spot in the middle left of the water is my husband swimming
Aside from the architecture on Ocean Drive, we pretty much avoided that area because it felt crowded and too touristy and not really what we were looking for, but the architecture can't be missed if you're into art deco!

that sunrise on ocean drive; breakfast @ the local house
We had an early reservation at Yardbird, and it was possibly one of my favorite meals ever. Sometimes I'm skeptical about Yelp reviews, because things can be overhyped, but we loved our entire meal. We had drinks and tacos at Naked Taco. More drinks at Broken Shaker. Watched the sunset at the outdoor bar at Smith & Wollensky in South Pointe Park.

We marveled at the stunning hotel lobbies and outdoor areas-- the Delano was our favorite. We had dinner at Cleo (we'd go back again for their social hour drinks, but probably skip dinner), and a really great breakfast at the Local House. Overall, it was just a huge treat to enjoy dinner and drinks outdoors all week. There's no denying it's an expensive city, but we experienced really good quality and great service every single place we went.
broken shaker; the w 
We ran into zero crowds or craziness anywhere-- though to be fair we were there during the week and never out very late. I can easily say that our trip went above and beyond any of my expectations, and I'm already dreaming of going back again.
As someone who loves the city, but also loves the beach Miami really is the perfect combination of the two. Next time Vizcaya, Wynwood, and an art deco tour are on the list!

linking up with lauren & kristen & joey

27 comments

  1. Miami beach is amazing; one of my favourite spots to visit when i'm in Florida.

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  2. Miami looks like a blast. It's definitely on my to-go list! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. :)

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  3. This looked like such a lovely vacation! I'm glad you got great weather and got a chance to enjoy the beach :)

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  4. Too bad we weren't there at the same time! I agree - the water is so much nicer. I won't even get in when we're in Hilton Head. I'm glad you guys had a good time! You deserved it!

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  5. The sun and beach looks pretty great to me right about now (as I stick my hands under my butt trying to warm them up at my desk!!).
    Glad you had a great trip with great weather!!!

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  6. Laying by hte pool or on the beach is all I do on beach trips as well! I am so not a night life person either. It sounds like you had a great time and had some delicious meals too! On vacation if I am not laying out, then I am eating out ;) Haha

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  7. I went to Miami in college and haven't been back since. If I did go, this is how I'd do it! It looks like a great trip.

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  8. Looks so nice! It's been years since I've been - I went last for a friend's bachelorette party and she's been married for a solid 6 years now haha. We stayed somewhere super boutique-y. The Clevelander, I think? It was fun though!

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  9. oh wow, looks like a perfect vacation! i haven't been on a proper 'beach' vacation in years. miami is on the list though, so glad to hear you loved it.

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  10. Oh, Wow - This does sounds like a dream vacation, especially in the middle of winter! How relaxing and warm and beautiful and delicious.

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  11. I never had Miami very high on my list either because I've always viewed it as a party city, but all of your pictures have me dying to go there! That's also so awesome that everything was so walk-able as well!

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  12. Wow looks like you had a fabulous time! Brian and I were planning on going to Miami Beach at some point but it ended up not happening. Looks like I'll have to reintroduce the idea haha!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  13. How sweet he planned a surprise trip for you to get your tropical/beach fix! Miami beaches are beautiful but the prices of drinks and such in South Beach are quite ridiculous...that's one thing I never care to visit for.

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  14. Your trip looks awesome! I was fortunate enough to visit Miami for my first time last year and it was AMAZING! Your pictures took me back! The big question, though... did you get Cuban coffee? :) That is my favorite!!!

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  15. Living in the Arctic, I absolutely wouldn't mind a January vacation in Miami - even if it had been slightly colder! Those beaches look absolutely gorgeous!

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  16. I might be going to Miami next month so this is great to read! Looks like an absolute dream, especially after how cold it is in Pennsylvania!

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  17. We spent a few days in Miami once and I loved it.
    That mixed drink looks like a dream!

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  18. This looks absolutely amazing! I want to be on the beach with a fruity drink right now!

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  19. I've never been to Miami! I'm not big into the whole night life scene either, but I'd love to chill by the pool/beach and just explore. :)

    -Lauren

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  20. swoon. looks like an amazing winter escape!

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  21. This looks like the perfect winter getaway. What luck that the weather cooperated so well! I haven't been to Miami in 10 years or so, but everything you described (the food, the sun, the architecture) is what I loved about it too.

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  22. Y'all seem to go on the most fun trips! I remember when you went to NOLA and it looked like the perfect trip. We need to travel more.
    I think going to the beach in the winter is a fantastic idea - at least if you choose somewhere warm enough. I loved seeing your photos while you were there. Glad you had a great time - it's so good to get away.

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  23. We were talking about going to Miami next month, but work got in the way. I was a little worried about the whole club atmosphere, but you have me convinced I need to go!

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  24. Oh my goodness! Girl! Miami looks amazing. I want to sit on a beach all day with that pink drink! Instead it's snowing. Blah. haha!

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  25. Okay now you made me want to go to Miami. It's never been on my list really bc Mexico is closer for us and cheaper. But it sounds like going in the winter is the perfect time to visit. So glad you guys had a relaxing trip.

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