I’ve visited many cities in the state of Florida and have come to love so many of them: Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, the Keys, and more. But Miami has always been a bit of an exception.
Until recently, I had only visited Miami once before, and it was for a sailing competition (didn’t know I sailed competitively? see here). So this was my first experience visiting Miami for fun, and wow was it an experience!
Since it was a short weekend trip, I just wanted to share my top five highlights, a little sample of Miami for anyone dreaming of vacation or heading there and looking for something to do! (Note: I wasn’t the best at taking pictures on this trip, so they may not always correspond with the topics)
1. Omaki Experience
For dinner on our first night we went to the sushi restaurant Omaki. For $75, you can have the Omaki experience for dinner, a tasting menu left up to the discretion of the chef.
It’s truly a diverse culinary experience, one of the more complex meals I’ve ever had. Above, from left to right, is Uni (sea urchin, my first time trying and it’s quite good, has a smooth buttery taste), white fish nigiri, salmon roe, and sweet shrimp nigiri.
And if the price tag seems like a lot, I promise you get your money’s worth. It felt like the courses never stopped coming, I was starting to feel full half way through! Paired with hot sake it was a dining experience to remember.
I walked into the multimedia museum, Archtechouse, not knowing what to expect. But I was blown away.
An immersive and interactive cultural experience, this art display is a celebration of the historical and modern black experience. Created in collaboration with artist Vince Fraser, the goal was to, “amplify the artist’s voice, broadcasting the frequencies of Fraser’s surreal interpretations out of the past and into our current digital age, giving a unique platform to the stories of the Black community.”
As suggested, the artwork is largely digital in combination with poetry being read by Ursula Rucker. There’s a very strong sense of empowerment throughout this exhibit, something I felt strongly as a black female.
Much of the art is inspired by the masks and crowns of African kings and queens from different regions. The pieces invite you to interact, you can see yourself in these digitally conceptualized masks and step in front of cameras that will take you into the art pieces in different and exciting ways. It’s truly something you have to see for yourself.
(note: exhibits may change over time!)
3. Swizzle Rum Bar
This speakeasy style bar with handcrafted, quality cocktails is an unexpected gem in the heart of South Beach!
True to the speakeasy style, Swizzle Rum Bar is tucked away behind the Stiles Hotel and a bit hard to find, but oh so welcoming once you find your way in. With a dimly lit interior and heavy red curtains around the windows, small tables and old-timey music on the stereo, and bartenders dressed in vests and bowties, the vibe is on point.
And the cocktails are killer (just writing this has me craving a cocktail!) I tried their drinks named the Amazonia and a Mamey Swizzle. Ditch your usual dirty martini or old fashion this time, you’ll definitely want to try one of their unique, hand-crafted cocktails.
4. Coyo Taco
Another hidden gem is Coyo Taco, an unassuming eatery with Mexican street food & a fun twist. Sure, the food is good! But the atmosphere is what makes this place. In the evening, if you venture just past the bathrooms, through what looks like an employee door, you’ll find yourself in a dark bar with people packed and dancing around to the DJ’s beats.
Yes, a taco club. You’re reading that right. This spot ended up being one of the highlights of the trip in my opinion. The bartender was serving up lemon drop shots and the DJ was on point, mixing fun beats that you couldn’t help but move to.
This is the type of place you need to experience for yourself to understand just how lively and unique a taco shop can really be. I’m already looking forward to going back here on my next trip to Miami!
5. Art Deco Architecture on Ocean Drive
More of a typical tourist must see, I’d definitely recommend taking a walk down Ocean Drive. Here you can check out the unique Art Deco buildings along the way! From pretty pastel colors to the intriguing architecture of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, you’ll get that classic, glamorous Miami feel as you stroll along this area.
There are plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants along the way, and you can cool off with a dip in the ocean, there’s easy access to the beach all along ocean drive! Visiting South Beach and Ocean Drive are simply a Miami must do!
Have you ever been to Miami? What are your favorite things to experience there?