Recently I found myself with a little extra cash, a summer Friday and a serious pain in my neck from all things that come with being a busy New York City girl. In short, I needed to get away—quick. And I knew exactly how and where I wanted to escape to: Miami.
In general, when one thinks Miami the frenzy of Collins and Ocean Avenues, mega-clubs and art deco cradled, teeny bikini beaches come to mind. But when you step away from the beach and black suited doormen, the chill, everyday Miami that I’ve grown to love literally shines through, making it a perfect 36 hour getaway for the girl who is looking to slow things down for a few days. Here’s a breakdown to a new way to do a Miami weekend:
Where To Stay
Without a doubt, the Standard Spa Miami Beach is probably one of my favorite hotels and totally made for doing nothing in style. Hidden away on the Venetian Islands between downtown Miami and Miami Beach, the Standard is more of a haven than a hotel. Equipped with one of the world’s top rated spas, an integrated wellness/fitness center, lush gardens to chill in and and a pool that attracts a chic-yet-friendly crowd on the weekends. I’ve been known to check in and not actually leave the property, since you really don’t need to. If you’re looking for a 24 hour party complete with heels and bikinis, this hotel is definitely not for you. But if a killer massage, yoga class and post-sweat cocktail and swim (with occasional celeb spotting) is more your speed, consider this home. And being greeted by name with a smile every time your served doesn’t hurt either.
Where To Eat
Miami is home to Caribbean (think Jamaican, Haitian, Cuban, etc) cuisine, this is true. But remember Miami is also in Florida. And Florida is the south. And when it comes to southern fare, the one place to hit is Yardbird. Along with a fried chicken meal that will make you question every vegetarian you know, their seasonal bourbon-friendly cocktail menu is not to be missed so definitely build in a little pre-dinner bar time.
If you’re in the mood for global fare from and street art, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar won’t disappoint. Classics like seared scallops, pork belly skewers and elote dot the menu for a truly unique meal, but the real take away is the restaurant itself. Aside from the bathrooms, the entire restaurant is covered with murals by the world’s most prominent street artists including Os Gemeos and Shepard Fairey. Before or after dinner, be sure to take in the surrounding Wynwood Walls and work your dinner off by exploring the district’s blocks and blocks of graffiti covered walls.
What To Do: Day
Miami is truly a global hub for contemporary art. Aside from Miami Art Basel/Art Week every December, the city is also home to a strong gallery and museum scene with The Pérez Art Museum Miami being among the newest, and best on the scene. Located in Museum Park overlooking Biscayne Bay, the museum boasts a strong collection featuring the best in Caribbean and Latin American artwork and offers an opportunity to experience some great architecture and design overall. Two exhibits to note are Edouard Duval-Carrié: Imagined Landscapes and Adler Guerrier: Formulating a Plot. While Haitian born Duval-Carrié’s work is steeped in ornate fantasy with odes back to his native Haiti, Guerrier’s raw, multimedia take on politics and society serve as a creative introduction to the real city of Miami, far away from the beach. Outside you can find a set of hanging gardens and chairs to relax after your visit and take in the bay, complete with a restaurant and one of the best museum gift shops I’ve visited in some time.
What To Do: Night
At night, trade your stilettos for some denim cutoffs and wedge-dunks and head to Wood Tavern in Wynwood for some of the best in hip-hop and late night boozy tacos. Imagine one of the best BBQs you’ve event been to complete with a dope DJ, picnic tables and wide open spaces, a few bars and a taco stand inside of an old car—that’s The Wood. And it’s awesome. Around the corner you can also find Gramps with a similar vibe and down the street make sure to see what the lineup is at The Electric Pickle, which tends to have a rotating roster of electronic and hip-hop DJs.
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