For New Years Eve, I hopped a plane and headed back to one of my happy places, Miami Beach! I know I was just there in October but I needed some sun and relaxation and knew that’s where I wanted to ring in the New Year. If you haven’t checked out my New Years In Miami Vlog or my Week in Miami 2020 Vlog on my Youtube Channel be sure to check out those videos for more details on where to go, see, eat and do.
WHERE TO STAY
During this trip I stayed at a Domio in downtown Miami. It’s a block away from the Arena where they have concerts and basketball games. In fact there was a Miami Heat game the last night of our trip. It’s a cool area with lots of high-rise apartment buildings and right on the bay. Domio is similar to airbnb. The Domio in downtown Miami has a pool, a club room with TVs, pool tables, work spaces and a coffee maker as well as a gym. They also have on site parking for an additional $25 a day. The apartments come with a washer and dryer and a killer balcony with a view.
It’s like having your own apartment. It’s only a 10 minute ride to South Beach via uber (usually under $14) and a 5 minute ride to Brickell where there’s tons of shopping. I love this area but it’s not on the beach, which I like because South Beach is a little too noisy for me. Domio just opened up another space in Wynwood Miami as well. They are in about 5 major cities so definitely check them out. They always run promotions too from 10-35% off your stay. Check their instagram and website for promotions. I highly recommend their Downtown Miami location.
WHERE TO EAT
Miami has some fantastic food. I had the best taco, beef stroganoff, biscuits and gravy, chicken sandwich, acai antioxidant juice, octopus and mushroom and cheese quiche of my life while in Miami. Read on for details.
Sagrado Cafe — This place is a quick 5 minute walk from our Downtown Domio. It is such a cute breakfast and brunch spot right across from the bay waterfront at Maurice A. Ferre Park. The acai berry antioxidant juice is life changing. It’s the best juice I’ve ever had and I’m convinced it made me healthier. I also had the best beef stroganoff at this place one afternoon. They have coffees and juices and a mean shrimp salad. They also have gelato. Grab a table outside and do some people watching.
Yardbird Southern Table and Bar — Y’all know I absolutely love this place. I’d eat here every single day if I could. Everything on the menu is good but my favorites are the biscuits and gravy (whew chile), the shrimp and grits (some of the best I’ver ever had in life), the deviled eggs, sweet corn hush puppies and their fried chicken with hot honey sauce. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Oh they have amazing drinks as well. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s literally one block way from Lincoln Road Mall. Shop till you drop then eat or vice versa.
WHERE TO EAT CONTINUED
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila — Okay so this place has the best tacos I’ve had since I’ve been in Mexico. It was so good we went 3 times in 3 days! It also has a cool little speakeasy bar in the back after you go through a kitchy port a potty door and a bathroom-esque hallway into a cool bar in the back. But the star of this place is the tacos! Go for the Carne Asada, the Mahi Mahi Fish and the Tequila marinated shrimp tacos. They have two locations: one in South Beach literally a block from Yardbird and a quick walk to Lincoln Road Mall and one in the Miami Design District.
Dior Cafe — This place is a must visit in Miami Design District. The cafe sits atop the Dior store in an outdoor space perfectly curated for the best photos. The cafe only serves coffees and finger foods like croissants. I ordered the mushroom and cheese quiche and it was literally one of the best quiches I’ve ever had. I also loved my Dior coffee with Almond milk. The service was great but you will need to make a reservation. They even gave me the Dior Magazine for free!
Faena — This hotel is amazing first all and it’s an instagram dream with an encased dinosaur in glass in the main courtyard. It also has a beautiful beach but what I really enjoyed was the octopus at the bar restaurant outside. It was some of the best octopus I’ve ever had. We also got a margarita pizza which was some of the freshest pizza I’ve ever had! Go there for the ambience and stay for the food. It’s a bit pricey but worth it.
Hillstone at Bal Harbour Shops — Hillstone is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC so when I saw it at Bal Harbour shops during my last visit to Miami, I made it my business to go and visit it. Hillstone has amazing drinks as well as artichoke dip. My favorite thing on the menu is their crispy chicken sandwich. They give you a generous portion and it’s always delicious. This location is just a who’s who of everyone. Bar Harbour shops is a whole scene and we will get into that in the next section.
WHAT TO DO & WHERE TO SHOP
Miami Design District — This place is a gem. I can’t believe I’ve been to Miami so many times and never been. There are a ton of designer stores from Dior and Dior Cafe to Fendi, Loewe, Rebag, COS, Bottega Veneta and more. It’s bustling with action and there is valet parking on all 5 roads. It only cost $5 too. I mean wow! Talk about cheap. If you want to shop or just check out the cool scenery it’s worth a visit.
Bal Harbour Shops — It’s worth the 20-30 minute drive from South Beach or Downtown Miami to check this place out. It’s my favorite open air concept mall in Miami. It has all the shops from Neiman Marcus to Jimmy Choo. It’s a beautiful mall and it’s where people go to be seen. There are two outdoor restaurants flanking the valet entrance to the shopping center. People pull up in their Maseratis and everyone watches as the get out. People here are dressed to the nines! It’s a great place to people watch and Hillstone is located on the second floor if you get hungry.
WHAT TO DO CONTINUED
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens — We decided to take a quick trip to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and we are so glad we did. It was only a 10 minute uber ride from our digs at Domio Downtown Miami. The grounds are beautiful with stunning gardens and the house is absolutely amazing. It’s the perfect place to be amongst beauty and nature and learn a little something about life in Miami in the early 1900s. It’s an amazing place to take photos as well. They were even setting up for a wedding as we were leaving. They close at 5:30pm daily and it costs $22 for adults to get inside. You can choose a guided tour or be left to your own devices. I preferred meandering along on my own and checking out the house.
The Beach — Yes, go to the beach and of course you can go to South Beach but if you want a beach all to yourself, head to the beach across the street from Bal Harbour Shops. It’s quiet and simply beautiful for sunset. We practically had the whole beach to ourselves. We did a little shopping at Bal Harbour Shops, ate at Hillstone and then walked across the street to the beach leaving our car in the Bal Harbour parking lot. Parking cost us $2.25 for the whole 4 hours we were there!
WHAT TO WEAR
The weather in Miami is pretty fantastic. In October it was still hitting 80 degrees. In January it was steady in the mid to high 70s daily with a few cooler 60-65 ish evenings. It the winter it’s best to keep a light cardigan or shirt on hand for an extra layer. If you want to see everything I packed for my Miami Trip check out this YouTube Video. All of the details can be found below the video in the description box.
Miami is a great place for a quick trip when you need some sun, beach and relaxation. I hope this guide helps with you planning! If you’re a native Miami resident please do drop your recommendations for things to do and things to see as well as your favorite places to eat and shop in Miami below in the comments! I’d love to check out a few of your recommendations the next time I’m in town, which will be sooner than you think!