72 Hours in Miami Beach

by  Anne Roderique-Jones | Apr 7, 2023
Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau – MiamiandBeaches.com

Miami Beach is an ideal long weekend getaway. You'll find beautiful beaches, excellent art deco architecture, and great places to eat and drink. We recently spent a three-day weekend in this South Florida city and have crafted the perfect itinerary for a quick but fun-filled getaway to Miami Beach.  

Day 1

Upon landing, drop your bags at the hotel and hit the ground running. We made The Gabriel Miami South Beach our home base, which is ideal for exploring South Beach and an easy bus, Uber, or even a nice walk north. It has a beachy-chic aesthetic with roots grounded in its historic art deco past. 

Courtesy of the property

Then, it's off to lunch at Puerto Sagua Restaurant, South Beach’s best-loved Cuban restaurant since 1968. Here, you'll spot locals and tourists digging into combo platters and staple Cuban sandwiches. From there, the beach beacons. South Beach has a wide stretch of white sand and a relaxing atmosphere. Boucher Brothers is a local vendor for renting beach chairs, umbrellas, jet skis, stand-up paddleboards, and kayaks. Banana boat excursions and parasail boat tours are also bookable here. Their kiosks are conveniently located every few yards along South Beach.

Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau – MiamiandBeaches.com

Come evening, it’s time for a pre-dinner drink. You can’t do better for a well-made cocktail than The ScapeGoat. The entire bar is known for its crafted cocktail list and offers an upscale and grown-up vibe. Our favorite libation? The Black Magic is made with rye, Averna, clove, and bitters. 

For a dinner that’s as classic Miami Beach as it is delicious, head straight to Joe's Stone Crab. Sure, it's on every tourist's radar, but the white-tablecloth mainstay is also adored by locals. Grab a martini, a bib, and the famous sweet stone crabs, when in season. The fried chicken is also delicious. 

Day 2

Find a leafy courtyard for breakfast, or hit up Bettant Bakery & Café for a pastry to take across the street for an early picnic in the park. 

Miami Beach doesn’t have to be non-stop action. Take time to reset with a spa treatment at K'Alma Spa in the historic Hotel Victor. Upon entering, you'll feel as if you’re stepping into a den of relaxation. The facial is incredible, as are the massages. Be sure to take time pre- or post-treatment in the steam room, sauna, meditation space, or lounge. 

Post-spa, head to La Sandwicherie Miami Beach. Perch on one of the outdoor stools or, if you’re feeling up for a dive bar, Mac’s Club Deuce is just across the street and will even let you bring in your lunch. 

Grab a bike (our hotel provided them) to cruise along Ocean Avenue. The super-clean and breezy path is ideal for pedestrians or bikers and, as the name implies, offers excellent ocean views. 

Come dinner, Meet Dalia offers a hidden gem of sorts. Snag a seat in the leafy courtyard or the art deco dining room. The whole local fish is made under a wood fire, and it’s fantastic. 

Courtesy of the property

Nightlife, but make it classy: Catch the 10 (or 8 p.m.) Allura Cabaret show at the Faena Theater. We won’t give away too many details but the music, singing, and dancing rival any Broadway or Vegas act. Make sure you allow extra time for a pre- or post-dinner drink in the Living Room bar: The entire property is a work of art. 

Day 3

It’s Sunday, so take your time. But, be ready by 10:30 a.m. for the Miami Design Preservation League Art Deco Walking Tour. This fascinating spin around Miami Beach’s Art Deco District provides insight into the area's history and architectural trends. Tours are led by volunteers who are passionate and incredibly informative. 

Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau – MiamiandBeaches.com

For the architecture enthusiast,  an affordable but swanky pre-fixe lunch can be had at the former Versace mansion. The interiors are over-the-top and worth poking around. Book lunch by the pool. 

However, you'll want to save room for dinner later on, which is easily one of the highlights of the weekend. It's not located in Miami Beach, but instead, Little Havana — a quick Uber ride away. Cafe La Trova feels more like you’re at a family member's house with excellent Cuban cuisine.

Courtesy of Ranieri Cassuola/RC Visuals

The bar, looked upon by Julio Cabrera and his team (who are often found on best-bar lists) is renowned for handcrafted cocktails; all while James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein helms the kitchen. Sipping on a Magic City Daiquiri and tucking into an order of Rope Vieja — with live Trova musicians in the background, feels as if you’re transported to Havana.  

Rendering of Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains' Woodland Villas living room
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