As you saw from my last post, Aaron and I were in Florida two weeks ago for a funeral. The silver lining of this trip was that it fell around our anniversary date. We decided to extend our trip to be able to celebrate it on the beach!
We’ve been to South Beach together once. I’ve also been for a bachelorette party, so we knewwhat to expect. If you’ve never been down here before, it’s a great place if you love the beach and ocean. South Beach is huge! Long stretch of beautiful, light brown, soft sand and blue water. It’s a great place to walk along the streets to admire the candy-coloured art deco buildings, or bike along the beach promenade.
If you’ve never been here before, expect it to be a bit on the pricey side. Rooms mostly start at the $200 mark and a meal, without a cocktail, to start around $30. Most servers are Spanish as there is a huge Cuban community here. And expect to see the tip already included in all of your bills.
This time we stayed at the Washington Park Hotel. A great spot on Washington Ave. just a quick 2 blocks from the beach. You’ll find most hotels in this area a bit older, but the Washington Park hotel rooms were nicely updated. Our rooms were bright and clean which is usually all Aaron and I really need. We’re not too fussy! Added amenities included a small pool in the front, a mini-fridge (KEY to keeping your cocktail bill down!), and bike rentals just to name a few. The best value for us was that it came with 2 lounge chairs on the beach and towels. Great additions!
Our first day was spent roaming the streets and beach, getting familiar with the area again. Most shops and restaurants can be found on Collins Ave., Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road. Just a note that most of the restaurants on Ocean Drive are not very good in terms of quality and price. Maybe just grab a cocktail from one of these touristy spots!
Aaron and I realized that we’ve been to South Beach but have never really explored Miami so we did a quick runaround of some must-see places on our second day.
We started our anniversary off with coffee from Panther Coffee in the heart of Wynwood. I’d say it’s the new industrial, hipster area. We were told by our Uber driver that there was always a line-up at this place and sure enough, we were greeted with a line right at the door. They roast their own coffee here and we were not disappointed! We ordered two types of coffee, recommended by the incredibly friendly and patient barrista, served in two different styles. I think they were just generally happy that we both took our coffee black! Highly recommend this place. Great people, beautiful atmosphere, huge outdoor space to sip your morning brew.
From here we walked over to the Wynwood Walls. A great outdoor art installation. Free to the public! There were many cute little boutiques in this area so we do recommend to just take your time. Maybe you’ll find something awesome that you weren’t quite looking for!
Lastly, we went to the Salty Doughnut. Aaron was a bit disappointed as they only had two options for a “salty” donut, nonetheless we pretty much devoured our Brown Butter and Salt treat!
After our delicious breakfast and roam around the Wynwood area, we took a quick Uber to Little Havana. Great spot for people watching and soaking up culture, not to mention a great Mojito! We grabbed a seat at El Pub and blissfuly wasted a couple of hours with each other. There’s not too much to do here other than watch intense domino games at the aptly named Dominos Park. Our favourite part of the afternoon, other than getting peanuts from the famed Alberto. We read about him when we were first dropped off, from banners tucked away in a forgotten alley sharing stories of individuals who make up Little Havana. When we heard his cry for $1 peanuts, it was like seeing a celebrity. They should really make these banners more visible. How else would we have known how important he was to this community? Also, don’t forget to stop in Azucar for an ice cream on those hot, Miami days!
Aaron and I really wanted to try a tasting menu for our anniversary. We binge-watched Chef’s Table like ravenous animals! So, we automatically searched just that on Google and stumbled upon Tuyo. Situated just in front of the Freedom Tower, and overlooking the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay, Tuyo is a restaurant within the Miami Culinary Institute. We had the most incredible experience beginning with the fact that we were the only ones there that evening! There were two other tables to begin with, but once we were on our second course, it was just us. It’s like they knew!
Incredible service and DELICIOUS food. Everything was mouthwateringly fresh. Every bite, delectable. Our server was incredibly attentive but wouldn’t awkwardly bother you every 5 minutes. He also knew the city very well and had great recommendations for our next stay. Can’t recommend them enough!
Last but not least, I got to wear my wedding dress top, so that was a huge bonus! Might have to try and always wear it for our anniversary 🙂