It’s been so long since my last post, I almost don’t remember how to use WordPress. Our last proper summer vacation occurred in 2019 so we are well overdue for a good trip. We still camp all the time but have mostly been spending our time closer to home lately. Our kids are all grown up so this year we took an epic trip with friends. We started the trip in the Florida Keys and ended in Miami. If I’m being honest, I mostly didn’t enjoy Miami so I’m going to start with that and save the best for last (in a different post).
You are probably aware that I want to see all the things and cram in as much as possible on any trip. Of course that happened when we started planning a trip to Key West. Being so close to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, we added a couple days in Miami to the end of our trip so that we could hit up those parks.
We decided to stay in South Beach Miami, Florida. It sounded like a good idea when planning but the reality was not as good. We stayed at the Moxy Miami South Beach and our group definitely bumped up the average age (and we’re not even that old!). We felt very out of place and hilariously, when we were out and about and told bartenders/servers where we were staying, they all laughed and agreed that we didn’t belong at the Moxy.
There were a few things we enjoyed. One being the Havana Vieja Cuban Restaurant which was across the street from our hotel. The food was amazing and worth every penny. If you find yourself in the area, check it out.
Our hotel has dedicated beach chairs on South Beach. When we were planning our trip, I envisioned us relaxing by the beach in the hotel chairs napping and reading. What was not in my dream were 10,000 of my closest new friends. The picture below looks more like my dream but this was taken very early in the morning. The rest of the day it was packed and there was hardly anywhere to put down a towel. Needless to say, we didn’t spend any time on the beach relaxing.
Many of the hotels in South Beach were built in the 1930s so it’s fun to walk around and admire the Art Deco architecture.
Since our plans to relax at the beach were squashed, we instead explored Miami. The first stop was the Wynwood area to explore the murals. Wynwood is Miami’s arts district and there are murals on almost every building. It’s a fun area to walk around and there are so many shops, restaurants, and breweries to explore. J Wakefield Brewing received 5/5 stars from our group and was our most favorite beer stop on this trip. The walls are decorated in Star Wars and Marvel murals and they were playing Star Wars movies. Definitely a fun vibe and the beers were excellent.
After Wynwood, we drove over to Little Havana which is Miami’s famed Cuban neighborhood. This is such a cool area and I loved walking around. The La Colada Gourmet coffee shop is phenomenal. I wasn’t sure what all the drinks were on the menu but I was hot (Miami in June was not our brightest idea) and wanted something cold and dairy free. They asked me a few questions and surprised me with a drink. And for a fun bonus, they added a shot of hazelnut liqueur! 5/5 stars for both customer service and taste. There are several good restaurants in the area which we didn’t eat at but wanted to. Overall, it’s a great place to walk around and explore. Lots of shopping, food, and cigar shops.
I was so excited to see Domino Park! I have no idea how to play dominos but the place was packed and everyone was having a good time.
Miami in June is hot and humid. I’ve lived in the desert my entire life. This was my first experience with real humidity and heat so now I understand everyone who says they prefer a dry heat over the humidity. I am in that camp now as well. A little PSA if you are planning a trip to Miami, so many restaurants and stores are not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. For real, like half of the places we wanted to visit were not open.
Fun fact: On our way home from Miami, I learned the new Father of the Bride movie dropped. Father of the Bride was my favorite movie growing up. The new movie is set in Miami and all the places we had just been. It was so fun watching it.
So that’s a wrap for Miami! Up next, Everglades, Biscayne, and Dry Tortugas National Parks and the Florida Keys…