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Complete Week-long Miami Itinerary

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Miami is one of the coolest, flashiest cities in the US and a fun place to plan a trip.  The city does not sleep with something going on at all hours of the day.  That being said, it’s a great city no matter your style.  Personally, I’m a more low-key traveler so this week long Miami itinerary is about enjoying the cultural elements of the city with some relaxation at the beaches but you can easily modify to include a night out at the Fontainebleau.

What should I know?

Where to Stay

The best areas to stay are Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Merrick Park and Brickell.  South Beach is obviously a great choice too but be prepared to spend a lot of money. If you’re looking for a splurge, I’d go for The Delano.  They have a gorgeous pool and plush daybeds on the beach which would be a relaxing way to spend a day.  The Biltmore is another luxe option in Coral Gables where you could spend time golfing and enjoying their extravagant Sunday brunch buffet.

Other Considerations

  • You may find cheaper flights into Ft. Lauderdale. If you’re renting a car, it’s not too far to drive to Miami from Ft. Lauderdale. 
  • Driving is intense in Miami.  People drive fast, weave in and out of traffic and don’t use signals.  Be prepared to be hyper focused when driving here and a bit more offensive rather than defensive.
  • It’s incredibly expensive to park overnight anywhere in Miami.  Try to negotiate for a good overnight rate (or ask or the parking fee to be waived) with your hotel/Airbnb.  There are metered spots around the city for your daytime parking needs and it’s easy to download the parking app to pay from your phone.
  • The city can go from intense heat to a tropical rainstorm in a matter of seconds.  It’s best to carry an umbrella with you and be prepared.
  • A little bit of Spanish is very handy as over half the Miami population speaks Spanish.

Week long Miami itinerary Snapshot:

Day One:Wynwood Walls, South Beach, Coconut Grove
Day Two:Key Biscayne, Vizcaya
Day Three:Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood day trip
Day Four:Everglades Day Trip
Day Five:The Biltmore and The Venetian Pools

Let’s Go

Day One: Wynwood, South Beach, Coconut Grove

Morning

After touching down and picking up your rental car, stop at Versailles Cuban Bakery for breakfast.  This is a classic Cuban restaurant with some of the best pastries (guava is the best!) and strongest coffee you’ll ever have.

Afternoon

If you want to stretch your legs more from your flight, walk around Wynwood.  The beautiful and ever changing art murals at Wynwood Walls are fun to walk around. The surrounding shops and cafes are also fun to stop at. If you’re hungry, consider Ono Poke Shop or Mandolin Aegean (slightly further north) for lunch.  The Salty Donut, Taiyaki NYC Miami or Mr Kream Wynwood are fun choices for dessert. 

From here, head to Miami Beach to relax for the rest of the afternoon. Anywhere on Miami Beach is a good choice. I prefer the higher numbered streets as parking is cheaper and the crowds are thinner. Lower numbered streets (aka the true South Beach) are more hectic but also more buzzing. You can also walk along the beach from North to South if you want to burn some energy.

Evening

After a relaxing afternoon, spend your evening around Coconut Grove for a more relaxed vibe.  Monty’s Raw Bar is a fun place right on the water (it’s a favorite of locals and college students). 

Day Two: Key Biscayne, Vizcaya Gardens

Morning

Today, grab some coffee/tea and breakfast at All Day before driving over the Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne.  You’ll feel like you’re escaping to a tropical island as you head up and over the big bridge.

Crandon Park is a popular option, otherwise you can go all the way to the end and park in Bill Baggs State Park.

Afternoon

After a relaxing morning, stop at Rusty Pelican as you make your way back to Miami. It’s a great spot right on the waterway.

Once you’ve had a chance to clean up, head to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.  Keep in mind it closes each day at 4:30, so try to get there by 2:30 so you have enough time to enjoy the gardens. 

Evening

If you’re wanting a fancier evening on South Beach, a few popular options for dinner are Joe’s Stone Crab, Smith & Wollensky and Nikki Beach.  Locals will typically eat dinner later (8/9 and later). After dinner, it’s fun walking around South Beach as the streets are buzzing with activity.  If you’re into clubbing, this would be a good night for it.  LIV is popular and on the grounds of one of my favorite (and most iconic) South Beach Hotels – The Fontainebleau.

Day Three: Fort Lauderdale day trip

Morning

Today I recommend heading up near Ft. Lauderdale for some more beach time.  Swing by Zak the Baker (closed on Saturdays) on the way up for some delicious pastries and coffee/tea.

If you enjoy shopping, stop by Sawgrass Mills outlet mall before going to the beach.

Hollywood Beach is one of my favorites and around a 40-minute drive from Miami. Street parking or lots near the beach are typically available. 

Afternoon

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, check out Le Tub for delicious burgers on the waterway.  Other popular options nearby include GG’s Waterfront, Billy’s Stone Crab Hollywood and The Taco Spot.

I would highly recommend stopping by Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour after lunch before heading back to Miami.  It’s a staple of Hollywood and delicious.

Evening

Once back in Miami, check out a dinner option suggested above you haven’t been to yet, or head back towards Little Havana for a more low-key dinner at La Camaronera Seafood Joint and Fish Market

From here, check out a show (Adrienne Arsht Center) or a game (The Heat, Marlins).  For something a bit more unconventional, check out stargazing events at Everglades National Park. You can see the Milky Way due to limited light pollution and it’s a gorgeous way to spend a night.

Day Four: Everglades Day Trip + Paddleboarding

Morning

Start your day with Miami Beach Paddleboard where you’ll get to explore the various waterways just off Miami Beach by paddleboard.

Afterwards, have brunch at Lilikoi Organic Living, Big Pink or Pura Vida.

Afternoon

After brunch, head to the Everglades for an Airboat ride. The boat tours are about a 30-minute drive west of Miami.

If you’re up for a detour on your way back to Miami (like a 45-minute drive out of your way), go to the Robert is Here Fruit Stand.  It has the best fruit and the most delicious smoothies (particularly the Strawberry Key Lime smoothie).

Evening

An alternative to a paddleboard tour in the morning is doing it this evening at sunset with neon glowing paddleboards.  Check out Miami Beach Paddleboard for programs.  For dinner, check out one of the aforementioned spots or else SUGARCANE raw bar grill looks like a fun option near Wynwood.

Day Five: The Biltmore + Venetian Pools + The Grove

Morning

If you’re looking for a splurge on your week long Miami itinerary, start you day with the fabulous Biltmore Sunday Champagne Brunch

Afternoon

If you’re ready for a break from the beach but still want to lounge near water, go to the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables.  It’s a beautiful spring-water pool from the early 1920’s and a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

Evening

For dinner, check out The Grove.  There are lots of options (Greenstreet Café is good but there are many choices) and it’s a fun area to walk around and grab a post-dinner drink to toast a fabulous getaway to Miami!

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