Miami had previously been riddled with sweet and sour undergrad memories for me: getting a flat tire and being stuck in the middle of Hinesville, GA while road tripping to the city, day-parties on the beach that turned into raging Spring Break nights, and of course sharing a hotel room (with one queen sized bed) with 6 of my closest friends. Seeing as I’ve been making conscious efforts to transition into proper adulthood, I decided to try my hand at Miami again - but this time the responsible way. Or at least in a way that wouldn’t make my Mom cringe. I’d actually step away from South Beach and explore culturally rich neighborhoods like Little Havana, avoid fast food and eat at quality restaurants like Niu Kitchen and Yardbird, and trade in Spring Break favorite Wet Willies for a fun night out at Marion.
Did I mention I’d do this all within 24 hours? To get around all the different places on my itinerary quickly and safely, I partnered with Uber on this post to use their new safety features and tools to help ensure peace of mind for every trip. As a solo traveler visiting cities I'm not familiar with, it’s important to have these kinds of features. It's also helpful to have another person know the status of my longer trips outside of just South Beach. Hope you’ll find all my itinerary helpful for your next visit!
8am: Breakfast at The Dreamer Cafe. Started my morning wanting something healthy and refreshing, so we headed out to this perfectly Instagrammable cafe located in a very unsuspecting area. Loved their smoothies, Açai bowls, and even the matcha cookie, but to be honest found it way too expensive. Beside that, I loved the place and neighborhood.
9:30am: Visit to Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Coral Gables. Such a lush and beautiful garden that made me instantly feel like I was on European Holiday.
11am: Explore Little Havana. I’d heard so much about this vibrant part of Miami and was very happy to finally get the chance to experience it. First stop is the famous Azucar for ice cream then a Cuban coffee at the cafe next door. To be honest, I’m more of a tea drinker so I only managed to have a few sips of my coffee, but really enjoyed my Abuela Maria flavor that came highly recommended. I then walked around a bit and ended up at the Domino Park where I made a few hilarious friends that hang out at the park and play daily. Finally, I couldn’t come to Little Havana and not stop by famous Ball & Chain, where I ended up getting pulled onto the dance floor and dancing my heart out with a live band and the cutest Cuban man. Priceless.
2:00 pm: Lunch at Tap Tap. Even though my goal was to try places outside of South Beach, I’d heard so many great thing about this Haitian restaurant. It ended up being well worth the detour and absolutely delicious. If you can’t make it to Tap Tap but want to try good Haitian food, definitely still try to make it to Little Haiti.
3:30pm: Wynwood District. With it’s ever changing walls, I had to go see some of the street art on the Wynwood Walls. Unfortunately some of my favorite walls have been changed since my last visit (they change every month I believe), but still enjoyed walking around and
5pm: Beach Break and Sundowners at The Confidante. I needed some R&R after the day, so just laid out under the rainbow colored umbrellas with an ice cold coconut.
8:30pm: Tapas at Niu Kitchen. My friends and I started our night out here. WIth a menu filled with small authentic & unusual Spanish plates, this tiny little restaurant made a huge impression.
9:30pm: Dinner at Marion. I didn’t expect much when we made our reservations here, but honestly had such an amazing time. The cocktails, menu, and DJ had the perfect balance of fine dining with “get the party started”.
12:00am: Dancing at El Tucan. To finish off our night, we went dancing at El Tucan, (just next door to sister restaurant Marion) and had the time of our life.
2am: Back to the hotel. To be honest, it’s rare for me to be out this late or have a night out partying, but it was so nice and refreshing to have a girls night out and just let loose with my friends. I felt a lot more comfortable calling my Uber so late using their new safety tools and Trusted Contacts feature. It was helpful to both my friend and I because we were able to get notified once each of us was dropped off and safely back at our locations, so it didn’t matter if we fell asleep and forgot to send each other an “I got home safe” text. Perfect!
Photos of me by Melina Pardo