It’s been a bout 4-5 years since my first visit to Miami. Since Spring break for college is March 4-9th and my birthday is the 5th, I decided I would take a much needed beach vacay to the South Beach Miami.
There are so many things I love about Miami; the colors, architecture of the hotels, the sunny beaches, and the open atmosphere restaurants. I wanted to photograph and document my stay and in the mean time, write about where we went–just in case you might go one day!
First lets talk about food! Clark is an active 20 year old male, so you can guess we ate ALOT. We tried so many places from cheap to expensive.
📸: Cute places to take photos
alright, LETS EAT
It only makes sense to put where we ate during the trip, because our schedule was based around when we would go and eat. In the morning we would shoot two outfit and then go eat breakfast, before returning to the hotel to change and shoot again. March 5th (my birthday), was our first morning in Miami. We photographed a few outfits for various companies and then headed to a local Italian bakery. We had seen people lined outside the day before, so we knew we needed to check it out.
ROSETTAS ITALIAN BAKERY $ 📸
A lovely little spot and aesthetically pleasing for those of you who like to get the shot! Clark got a ham and cheese croissant and I picked the apricot croissant. They were served room temperature, so clark wasn’t crazy about the sandwhich, but my choice, was a favorite between the two of us. Their instagram is full of bloggers and it looks to have multiple locations in the Miami area. (9/10)
1666 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Aroma Espresso Bar $$
This little spot was right next to a GORGEOUS hotel. We had a hard time finding it because we were so intrigued with everything else around it haha! After walking past it twice, we walked across the street for a better view and finally saw it. There were a lot of items to choose from, therefore it’s a great spot if you want some variety. I got the salmon croissant with cream cheese and a chia latte. I loved the latte and the croissant was good, but I think I would try something else, because I like smoked salmon better. It totaled around $12 for everything. (Clark’s was $19 for a ham, cheese, and egg bagel with orange juice). Recommended by a friend, Sheren.
1601 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Shepherds Artisan Coffee $ 📸
I was having last day blues and needed a little pick me up. I headed to Shepherd’s for a Fresco smoothie. It has: Pineapple, strawberry, coconut, and bananas. I am a sucker for anything with coconut, especially at the beach! 10/10 would recommend–even Clark wanted some! We shared this sweet little treat after riding bikes for hours, underneath a palm tree of ocean drive, as we people watched soaked in our last few minutes of Miami.
919 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
La Sandwicherie $ 📸
Day 1: I remembered seeing this little spot in someones instagram photo, so when I came across it, I knew I wanted it. Little did I know I would be paying $8 for this big ole sandwich (Clark and I could have split one). If you were to search for nearby restaurants under the “$” category you would find this and you NEED to go at least once. There were tons of people stopping and getting sandwiches and the coolest thing about this little joint, is that it resembles a food truck style. You just walk up and order and sit to eat–It’s great and fast!
229 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
TACO TACO $$📸
Day 2: This was another local spot that was PACKED every time we passed it. We went to the beach for a few hours and baked in the sun till we couldn’t take it any longer, before heading down the street to Taco Taco. Unfortunately they didn’t open till 12:30, so we sat area under their umbrella for the next 30 minutes and the waitress served us drinks (my first legal alcoholic beverage) while we waited. I ate the mahi-mahi tacos and clark had chicken; while they were good, I would say we waited a really long time for our food, which is probably why the place is always packed. The sun-bright drink I ordered was strong but still tasty. Long story short, I don’t believe I would eat there again, even though it was pretty tasty–the money just wasn’t worth it.***After looking up the address below, I now see it is a 2.5 star restaurant (should’ve researched it before hand).
1720 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Margarita Beach Club $$
I don’t recommend eating at the Ocean Drive restraints, because they are often busy and pushy when it comes to happy hour. After ordering, we sat for 20 minutes and after being harassed by people selling flowers and cigars, our waiter told us the kitchen hadn’t gotten our ticket. We received our food and the waiter said that because of our wait we could have anything off the desert menu for free, which was kind of him. For the meal, I had ordered the coconut crusted shrimp, I will say it was pretty tasty, but expensive for $19. Clark got the chicken and cheese quesadilla which was recommended to us by our waiter. . By the time we had finished we decided we didn’t care to eat deserts (it was a small list and nothing really appealed to us).
We told the waiter we weren’t hungry for desert and he offered us something else for free and we declined. He then brought the ticket our we saw the price for a soda. Mind you, the entire trip I had drank water to save money and the one time I decided to have a refreshing soda, I had to pay $5 (the menu didn’t have the prices listed). This was a little disappointing and honestly he should have comped the drinks. I would like to point out that these are my personal experiences. The food was decent and if you happen to be around the area, feel free to have your own experience! 3/10
1052 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Tropical Beach Cafe $
After biking two miles around north beach, we GPS’d our way to a local diner. This had great reviews and was a spot where locals came to eat. We both got the sandwich Miami, which was turkey, ham, cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato- toasted. It was really good, but the wait was kinda long because it was so busy. But if you are looking for affordability and good food, I highly recommend! 8/10
2819 Collins Ave
SHAKE SHACK $
After our travel day, we were starving by the time dinner came so we decided to walk through the strip of shops to find an at home favorite, Shake Shack. We ended up liking the price point and the food so much, we came back for dinner our last night. We got two burgers, fries, and drinks before sitting to watch the by-passers. If you aren’t sure of where to eat and want something that is close to home–I recommend this little spot. (8/10)
1111 Lincoln Road on Lenox Avenue
Finnegan’s Way: $$
We found this corner restaurant while walking down Lincoln Road (the hub for shopping, walking, and dining). After walking up and down both sides of the strip, we finally decided we would settle for Finnegan’s. This was my birthday dinner and I am just glad I got to spend it with the one I love. Clark got the chicken tender basket and I got the southwest egg rolls; literally a replica of Chili’s. Good, but a little pricy. 5/10
1344 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
This place is like the starbucks of South Beach; they are literally everywhere! Clark and I stopped here at least twice and although its a little pricy (at around $10+/item), it sure is tasty. First night eating HD, I got: Pineapple coconut ice-cream in a cone–AMAZING, literal gold. The second night, I got: Coffee Frappe, which is coffee ice-cream blended with milk and ice, I added chocolate syrup–So YUMMY. 9/10
Exploring South Beach
South Beach is one of those places, that no matter how many times you walk down the strips, you will ALWAYS find something you haven’t seen before. Clark and I walked around 8 miles up and down the streets, exploring–always finding a cool new building or a little hole in the wall. This was my favorite part about Miami; there was always something to see.
You can see some of the most beautiful buildings on Miami Beach.
I highly recommend biking in the middle of north beach–the homes are STUNNING.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at the Shelborne Hotel. I did alot of research before selecting this hotel, because…well… Miami tends to have some rough spots. I booked through expedia and it was around $100 or so off normal price/night. The photos of the hotel were beautiful, the location was with in walking distance to everything, the room had a partial sea view, and the reviews looked promising.
I was all excited to come into this hotel to photograph and have loads of amazing things to say, but honestly… I would say I had gotten my hopes up. I really hate to write a bad review, but we were just not in luck on this trip.
I want to say this again, we booked through expedia, so the prices were representing a less expensive–probably less desirable–room. However, I didn’t think it would be as rough as it was. Before we get in to it, I was to say that1 I want to end this on a good note, so lets start with the negatives.
Not to be a negative-Nancy and before it turns into a novel of bad experiences, I will just list the disappointments I had for time sake (listed from small annoyance to larger) :
- No room in the fridge to put a water bottle because of the unnecessary amount of minibar drinks.
- The pullout couch was kinda nasty looking.
- The toilet paper holder was broken, so every time you would pull the paper, it would fall onto the bathroom floor and roll. (easy fix)
- The room was “partial sea view”, which it was–but the hotel redo next door defeated the view.
- The power went out. Not sure if it was only our room, but we waited awhile thinking others would call. They never came back on, so we finally had to call and they sent someone up to fix it. (uncontrollable on their part)
- Hammering at 5pm in the room next to us. We believe there was reno on both sides of us (which we were not informed of).
- There was drilling (or something with a loud buzz) happening around 10-11am.
- The mirror in the room was crack all the way across. Apart of the reason we were in Miami was to create content, therefore this made it impossible to do so.
I understand a few of these things are not the employees fault and that I might just be being too picky, but the reason I am so irritated with all of these things, is that the hotel has a 4 star rating–around $500+/night–and great reviews. Although we had a discounted rate, I believe it should have been a little more pleasant.
It feels really good to get those off my chest, considering my mother’s response was to “raise hell”, I figured this was a little more informative to those thinking of traveling to Miami.
Let me save the negative mood by balancing it out with some positives:
- The hotel is BEAUTIFUL. If you want to look like you are vacationing in luxury, you will definitely convey that here.
- Photogenic for all you influencers.
- Great location.
- Bikes are free for your use (which we weren’t told and found out the LAST day, after 8 miles of walking.)
- There is a hot tub, which I also didn’t find out till the last day.
- Room rentals gets you two chairs on the beach (but you have to pay $20/day for an umbrella, so be prepared to bake if you’re on a budget)
- Two complimentary bottles of water.
- They will keep your luggage kept safe, for those of you who are arriving early or leaving late.
Look Below for more photos of the hotel and its beauty.
Again, I want to note that this was MY experience. I am not trying to bash the hotel, I just want to inform anyone who is planning a trip to Miami that if they are planning to book the hotel through 3rd party website–you probably shouldn’t. I’m sure if you book the hotel through the website you will have a much more pleasant stay. The only consistent complaint is the rooms (layout, etc) from what I can tell through reviews.
Thank you for reading my Spring Break in Miami travel diary. I hope if you decided to travel to Miami that this helps guide you! Also, to book cheap flights we went through Dollar Flight Club: http://bit.ly/2F5OT4h I have premium so I could get custom flights that depart from my home base airport!