How to Spend 1 Week in Miami: Where to Stay & Play
My first time in vibrant Miami, Florida as an adult! I had been once before with my family as a kid but this trip was extra special because it was my fiancé and I’s first time traveling here together and our first time flying since 2019, before COVID-19. In case you are in need of a getaway too, we documented the highlights of our trip from where to stay to where to play! So without further ado, here’s how to spend 1 week in Miami!
Where to Stay
The Julia | $160/night
We stayed 7 nights at The Julia. This is an adults only boutique hotel in the South Fifth neighborhood of Miami. We booked our stay through Airbnb. If you are traveling via car, this place includes a parking spot which is rare for the area! The main thing we were looking for when booking a stay was that it had to be close to the beach. The Julia was perfect because it was just 5 minutes walking to South Beach. It is also within walking distance to many restaurants, Art Deco District, convenience stores, shopping, etc.! We didn’t get a rental car because we were so close to the necessities or just a short Uber ride away from most things we wanted to do.
Where to Play
Explore the Food Scene
Miami is definitely a foodie destination! It’s a diverse city with tons of cuisines to explore especially those from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Additionally, given its geographic location and being surrounded by water, this also makes Miami a seafood lover’s dream. I had so many delicious meals during our trip but know that there is still so much more to try. Read more about my Miami foodie adventures here: “How to Spend 7 Days in Miami: Where to Eat“!
Relax at the Beach
There is something so peaceful about being in the ocean. During our week here we went several times to both South Beach and South Pointe Beach. South Beach was closest to our hotel and also borders the Art Deco District on Ocean Dr. You can take a stroll to look at the beautiful pastel buildings, workout at Muscle Beach, or grab a bite and show at The Palace’s Drag Brunch then take a dip in the water to cool down whenever the Miami sun gets too hot. South Pointe Beach has a slight edge in my book over South Beach. The water is clearer, bluer, and sand is whiter. At the end of the beach is a park and pier with beautiful views of the Miami skyline and coast.
2000 Convention Center Dr | mbgarden.org
If you are a plant lover like me, I highly recommend visiting the Miami Beach Botanical Garden! It’s a 3 acre tropical garden with so many beautiful plants and home to the biggest monstera I’ve ever seen. Some of the plants there have leaves bigger than I am! There are different sections including a Japanese garden and a water fountain. Purchase tickets online for $5.
Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach
1933-1945 Meridian Ave | website
Next to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is the Holocaust Memorial. The memorial features a wall that details the history of the holocaust and leads to tunnel. The end of the tunnel puts you at the foot of a massive hand sculpture which is surrounded by walls that list the names of the victims. From the outside, the large sculpture is surrounded by a beautiful pond of water lilies. The memorial is open to the public for free everyday from 9:30am to sunset.
2520 NW 2nd Ave | website
Wynwood is a neighborhood in Miami known for its colorful murals. There is a section specifically dedicated to graffiti artists called Wynwood Walls, admissions is $10. However you don’t need to pay to enjoy the art. There are so many murals on every building and business in Wynwood, all you need to do is walk around. If you’re feeling hungry in the area, stop by Zak the Baker for pastries or get food at the Asian food hall, 1-800-Lucky.
Can’t make it to Cuba? Little Havana is probably the next best thing in the states! Calle Ocho is the main street where you’ll find people playing chess at Domino Park, the Cuban and Latin Walk of Fame, and rooster sculptures on every block. There are also lots of shops where you can get Cuban cigars and guayaberas (traditional Cuban shirts), and ventanas (windows) where you can get the strong but mighty Cuban coffee. Dining at a Cuban restaurant is also a must! We opted to go to Versailles which is self proclaimed as the most famous Cuban restaurant in the world. We loved our meal there but there are also many gems to choose from in the area. If you have a sweet tooth, stop by Azucar for ice cream with unique flavors. The building is a giant ice cream cone on Calle Ocho so you can’t miss it!
Frost Museum of Science
1101 Biscayne Blvd | frostscience.org
Visiting museums is one of my favorite things to do when traveling. The Frost Museum is a mix of an aquarium and science museum. It is a nice way to escape the Miami heat for a few hours. There are a lot of great interactive activities for kids too! Admissions is $30/adult and $22/kid 3-11 years.
Lincoln Road Mall
Lincoln Rd | lincolnroadmall.com
Even if you’re not in the mood to shop til you drop, it is still fun to walk around Lincoln Rd. The design is beautiful with lots of greenery and tropical plants. Every Sunday, the mall also hosts a farmer’s market from 9am to 6pm. They sell everything from fresh produce to snacks like empanadas!