Gone are the days of Miami weekends spent crammed into rooms with 3 other friends and minimal space. I once stayed at a South Beach hotel that had a shower head with a curtain separating the “shower area” from the toilet. Thankfully throughout the years, I’ve evolved to a place where that just won’t cut it. This past weekend I went to Miami with a friend, and it was perfect. Not overly pricey or extravagant, but a nice balance of sophisticated fun, and of course real bathrooms!
The Pestana Hotel was a sweet discovery, that had the right ambiance and perfect location. Located on James Street, it is just 2 blocks from the beach and right around the corner from a lot of good places on Collins Ave. It’s on 18th street, which is walking distance from lower South Beach, but not too close – providing a more relaxing feel. And there’s a big mermaid in front. What’s not to love about that?
My favorite meal of the day is brunch. I wish it was a standard beyond just weekends – and on vacation I am always eager to find the best place. This time around, thanks to Foursquare I was able to find Front Porch Cafe. The challah french toast with orange zest was heavenly! So much so, that I went back 2 days in a row. Definitely a new favorite.
Sure lower streets on South Beach have the frozen drinks and more crowds, but my favorite beach entry way is on Ocean and 14th. Just a bit removed from the crowded Miami streets, the entrance to the beach is lined with palm trees and is super relaxing.
My favorite sushi restaurant is Katsuya, so when I heard one opened in the SLS Hotel on South Beach I knew that I had to go! I’ve been craving crispy spicy tuna rolls since I went to Katsuya Hollywood last year, and the ones in Miami were equally good. That paired with a crab hand roll made my night! While the food quality was good, the restaurant was pretty small and nowhere near the ones I’ve been to in California. After, I went to Hyde Beach which is located in the same Hotel as the restaurant.
In addition to good food and beach, I found a new street – Espanola Way. It’s located on Washington and 14th Street and is it’s own little haven of restaurants and cafes. There isn’t anything too unique that can be found but it is a more quiet option for coffee or food.
Other activities included pool time, beach walks, Deco Bike rides and just walking along South Beach. Good food and relaxed vibes go a long way. Especially after one of the worst NY winters that I can remember. Cheers (with mango mimosas) to one of my best Miami weekends to date!