Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekend Getaway to Miami Beach: A Few of My Favorite Things

Nic and I just returned from our East coast spring break bonanza and I'm happy to say it was everything that we wanted it to be. In New York we had some sweet catch up time with our family and friends that we miss so much. I got in some quality Central Park runs and we ate at some of our favorite spots from our days of living on the Upper West Side. We rounded out our culinary experience with a trip to Chelsea Market and we even managed to catch an afternoon showing of the Hunger Games while the rest of the city was at work!

From New York we flew to Miami for a blissfully chill three days of sun. We managed to check off our must-do's for the perfect getaway: we went out for breakfast two days in a row and I think I ate the world's best pancakes here, we spent hours laying by a pool where I started and finished a great book and indulged in some yummy overpriced cocktails. We ate sushi three nights in a row at three different restaurants because thats what we both felt like eating, and we got plenty of sleep... oops we forgot to go clubbing.

South beach for three to four days is actually the perfect amount of time for a relaxing getaway. For three days you can afford to stay at a slightly nicer hotel and just relax and be lazy without getting antsy. We have been there a few times and on this trip we found a few new favorite restaurants and things to do. Here is my updated what to do, what to eat and where to stay list for your next south beach vacation!

Where to stay: there are so many hotels to choose from in south beach and Nic and I have tried out our share including one shady place we stayed at when we were just out of college with no money. We walked by it on this trip and I literally cringed at how incredibly sketchy it was...I remember being embarrassed when Nic's cousin picked us up at our hotel! While the nicer hotels are not always cheap there are deals to be had and no need to stay the the incredibly sketchy "San Juan"! On this trip we stayed at a great hotel where I got a good corporate rate through my company. I'd recommend checking Groupon, Sniqueaway, Jetsetter and Rue La La for Miami hotel deals or if you work for a big company see if you can get a corporate rate for your next trip.

The Perry South Hotel (formerly the Gansevoort): We loved this hotel! We had a huge clean room, they have 2 great pools with waiter service and amazing views and that was pretty much all we could have wanted. It's a little trendy/sceney but the staff was friendly and the house music wasn't pumping quite as loud as other south beach spots. The location is great and close enough to lots of restaurants and hot spots so you don't need to rent a car if you're just there for a few days. The food at the pool restaurant looked good but was pricey as were the drinks so aside from a few cocktails we did all our eating and drinking at great places nearby, not in the hotel. I would definitely recommend this place if you are looking for a place to chill. I've already shared a couple pics of the main pool but here are some from their uber trendy rooftop pool...

Rent a Decobike - Sometime between now and the last time I was in Miami decobike bike rental stations sprouted up all over the city. You just use a credit card to check out the bike in hourly or daily increments and can dock a bike at any deco station in the city when you are done or taking a break. The bike stands will all recognize your credit card so you could bike somewhere, park the bike in one of the little stations, get lunch and then come out and check out the same or a different bike. Our last morning in Miami I was up early so I went out to the corner and took out a bike to go get us some breakfast at whole foods. I just parked at the Whole Foods station, got some goodies and then came back out to check out the bike again and bike it back to the station by our hotel. I was PRETTY proud of myself :)

Walk on Espaniola Way - This is a cute touristy street that is closed off to car traffic and has yummy looking restaurants some great cafes and a puppy shop. We had fun walking up and down this street people-watching even though it almost led to us purchasing a tiny bulldog puppy.

Eat a Great Breakfast - The Front Porch. While I'm usually an egg white omelette kind of girl I splurged on some granola banana pancakes at this place and it was worth every bite, this place is the fricking bomb. Everything there looked good but if you are feeling indulgent please try the granola pancakes :)

And Some Yummy Sushi - Toni's on Washington at 13th street had delicious sushi and great service. I would recommend the Beauty and the Beast roll.

That's all I got, if you have other Miami beach suggestions please leave them in the comments!!!

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