So, you’re planning a trip to Miami- the party city of all party cities! Well, there’s a catch. All clubs in the area are closed until further notice, so visiting the city looks a little different these days for the avid partygoers. Being a Miami local myself, I was never the party type but always had something to do that would keep me entertained.
This city isn’t just for day drinking and late nights, endless activities & experiences are waiting to be had for those who want to get to know the city during the day time, too. Below we detail a loose itinerary for a weekend in Miami sans the partying. Not to worry! You will still have a blast and open the door for more safe quarantine travels, as you can probably do some of these things in other cities as well.
Table of Contents
- South Pointe Park
- Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
- Brickell City Center
- Yacht rental
Day One: We’re off to South Pointe Park
South Pointe “Park” is located in the most south part of South Beach and is a great place to enjoy the outdoors while living like a beach local- we are going to break down everything you can do here: The park encompasses the beach, a boardwalk for miles, a huge pier, one restaurant, a grassy park along with a park for children, and is located right on the water.
If you come to South Pointe on the weekend, you’ll see people rollerblading, biking, doing yoga or pilates in the park, walking with their dogs, and basically just hanging out. The park area is frequently used during the weekend for both picnics and playtime for dogs, as well as exercise classes that get pretty full.
There is a good amount of space for the park dwellers, and as you walk more east towards the water, you come across a small grassy “hill” that people use as an exercise tool, doing sprints, or lunges, up and back down- so if you’re into working out and getting active this is a great park for you!
In this area is also the children’s park equipped with a new jungle gym and sprinklers to add even more fun. If you have a child, South Pointe is somewhere you’ll want to stop by before you depart from the city. Whether you’re a family of 5, a couple, or just traveling alone, this area has something to entertain everyone.
Along this park area starts a nice boardwalk that wraps around the grass and turns left, continuing for miles and lining some of the nicest hotels in all of Dade county. From the park, if you decide to go the opposite way of the boardwalk, you will walk along a busy marina with yachts as large as 115′! If you’re into boats, this might be a cool spot for you to stop by and enjoy as you might also see some huge fish and other interesting sea creatures. Along the boardwalk on the east side of the park is also the South Pointe Pier.
You’ll see lots of local fishermen, families dolphin sighting, and others just enjoying the nice breeze and view of the sea below. You can walk off the pier and head onto the beach, with nice white sand and clear blue waters. All of the above sectors of the park are within a 5-minute walk of each other, and streets lined with restaurants and shops are also about a 5-minute walk away from this area. To say you can make a full day out of coming to South Pointe would be an understatement. This is a pretty detailed explanation of the findings in the park specifically, but you could spend your whole weekend in South Pointe and not run out of things to do and see!
After enjoying the park, we recommend hopping over to either Joe’s Stone Crab, Macchialina, or Inti.mo. All three of these are MUSTS when in the city- Joe’s Stone Crab is the second oldest restaurant in Miami, dating back over 100 years. Its 4th generation owners have kept its charm, quality food, and long waits. We aren’t complaining, though! Only good feelings do we have towards trusty Joe’s.
Macchialina, who was voted the best Italian restaurant in Florida, perfected the art of homemade pasta along with unbeatable desserts. This Italian pasta restaurant is a weekly stop for me. Their “Pasta Thursday Nights” feature $10 on all their pasta…need we say more? You truly can’t beat them with any other Italian restaurant within 250 miles of it, and we can promise that! My favorite is their Chanterelle Tagliatelle and the Tiramisu.
Although all three of these restaurants are solid “birthday dinner” options, Inti.mo takes the cake for being the fanciest and the most viable option for a big achievement or special celebration. Their food is next level- Nikkei cuisine is a blend of food that uses Peruvian flavors and ingredients with Japanese techniques. A must try and hands down my favorite restaurant in all of Miami.
Brunch is a popular past time in Vice City and I have some very solid recommendations for you below:
- Beaker & Gray: Based in Wynwood, this New-American cuisine restaurant is famous for its creative menu and changing ingredients. You can expect Waffles & Lox, Sourdough French Toast, and Guava Cookie Skillet!
- Over Under: This casual spot in Downtown Miami opens at 11 AM on the weekends and features Cheeseburgers, Jackfruit Nachos, Wings, and more. A great choice for casual but delicious eats!
- Filia: Filia is a new-age Italian restaurant in Brickell that has a nice and spacious lounge above it on the second floor which can also be used as seating. Their menu features what you might expect from a brunch place, like Eggs Benedict & Pancakes, but they also have a variety of delicious pizzas and plates of pasta.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Vizcaya, formerly known as Villa Vizcaya, is a beautiful villa and former estate of James Deering. Through family ties, James is a recipient of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester Fortune. Built in 1916, it is one of the longest standing gardens in Miami and is definitely worth stopping by. The property boasts Italian Renaissance gardens and intriguing compounds surrounding the property. The theme of this villa is the Tuscan-Italian Renaissance with Mediterranean architecture.
Brickell City Center
BCC is a large outdoor mall in the heart of Brickell- it’s a great place to stop by if you love to shop or want to see the center and get a bite to eat. It is very new to the city and continues to grow along with the rest of the area. Some stores they have worth checking out are:
- Diptyque: A unique candle store with scents you couldn’t have dreamt of.
- Aesop: Minimalist home & beauty company that has a cult following for its aesthetics on Instagram and Tumblr.
- Dr. Shmood: Acai bowls, salads, juices, smoothies, and raw vegan treats makes for a great stop after a long day of walking outside.
Grabbing dinner in Brickell couldn’t be easier. For a spot out of BCC, walk across the street to River Oyster Bar for some of the best oysters in the city. They have happy hour Mon-Fri 4-7 PM and feature $1 oysters along with wine & beer specials. Their homemade bread is a must-try!
If this is a special weekend and you are out to make up for the lack of parties, get your friends together and rent a yacht for some safe fun with parties less than 10 people. We suggest bringing food, drinks, and checking with your Miami yacht rental provider if any water toys are included. Once you make your way on the yacht, you can decide where you want to go and let your captain know!
We suggest stopping by either Haulover or Nixon sandbar- the captain can tell you which one is a better option that day. At the sandbars, you can get out and walk around in hip-deep water with a drink in hand and not a care in the world. Going to the sandbars is by far my favorite part of going on any boat in this area! You can bring floaties in the water too and enjoy the weather and bright sun.
From there, you can make your way towards Brickell and take in the city sights from a different point of view. Enjoying your day on a yacht is best finished with a beautiful sunset and calm ride back to the marina.
Dinner & Drinks
1-800-Lucky is an Asian food hall that has many different stands, each offering different choices all centered around Asian cuisine. Sushi, Bao Buns, Ramen, and Red Bean Pasta Ice Cream are all offerings you can find here. The experience is very casual and the food is top-notch. They have an outside bar area that gets pretty popular at night, but tons of seating await you inside.
I hope this itinerary serves as exploring grounds for your next trip to Vice City. As these are just a few options, Miami has much more to offer than just what was listed above. For those looking to experience a more adventurous trip, check out sky diving, parasailing in South Beach, and bike rides at “Shark Valley”.
All it takes is a little digging and you can have a new & exciting experience every day for months on end. Traveling during these trying times can be tricky, but doing your best to protect yourselves and others are what makes the difference, regardless of where in the world you are!