Last weekend was my second time in Miami and just as amazing. Below I have detailed where I stayed and what I did for the weekend in Florida. I booked my flights from Chicago on Tuesday and I was in Miami on Friday – possibly the most spontaneous / last minute trip I have organised to date, but worth it. What persuaded me even more to go was that Chicago was due its first snowfall since before the summer and it was supposed to be 85 F / 25 degrees Celsius in Miami all weekend, I was READY for summer part two.
Where I stayed..
I actually stayed here the first time I visited too. I love it as it is centrally location in the Miami Beach area, less than a 5 minute walk from the sea. It also has a super cool bar called the Broken Shaker and a pool for guests.
What I did..
1. Walk along Miami beach
Given that Miami Beach was so close to where I was staying, when I arrived I walked along the shore front and had to get some photos of the colourful lifeguard stands, very Miami-esque.
2. Little Havana / Calle Ocho
I actually love this area of Miami as it is infused with Cuban culture – the bartenders and servers had very limited english so it makes it even more authentic (I just started learning some spanish via Duolingo so there should be no troubles communicating when I’m back ;)). You need to have a cuban coffee and a juice from Los Pinorenos Fruteria. Click here my post on 6 things in Calle Ocho.
3. Wynwood Walls
I visited the Wynwood Walls on my first time to Miami two years ago but given the fact I am a sucker for street art and that the artwork changes every year I had to go back. They have cool exhibitions on also.
4. Art Deco District
This was an area I hadn’t explored before and well worth a walk along ocean drive next to South Beach at night to see all the art deco building lit up with neon lights.
5. Drive from Miami to Key West (with a pit stop Scuba Dive – Click here for a blog post about my dive).
This is such an amazing 3 hour and 40 minute drive along the Overseas Highway crossing 42 bridges along the way. I drove from Miami and back in one day as I had accomodation booked with the Freehand but if I were to do the drive again I would stay in Key West to make the most of it.
6. Everglades National Park
This was one of the highlights of my trip and first time visiting the Everglades. Just a 40 minute drive out of Miami. I took an air boat tour (which goes way faster than I initially thought and had to hold on for dear life). I paid $22 for my ticket which I purchased on Groupon (click here for offer) a few days before which included a 30 minute boat tour, an alligator show and I got to hold a baby gator at the end. I arrived around 11 am and didn’t need to reserve ahead or wait long. However at the end of the tour I saw groups of people arriving by bus around noon and long lines that I thankfully avoided.
Our tour guide was hilarious and gave us a lot of information about the area. We saw 3 alligators on our tour which was apparently good for this time of the year. During the dry season its possible to see a lot more given lower levels of water. He told us about python snakes eating alligators which scares the life out of me. Overall, a super worthwhile experience.