Disclaimer: This post is a little late considering this vacation was a couple months ago. BUT, here it is none the less.
It’s evident the art deco era has come back in full swing, and if you weren’t aware, just open any fashion mag – the words mod, palm and 60’s are literally everywhere. So, in true fashion, I thought a trip to the art deco mecca was in order… and my flight to Miami was booked.
Since I’ve never been to Florida (other than a quick stop to hop on a cruise), I was an open book ready to soak in as much information on places to see, things to do and the best cuban sammies to eat. By the end of the trip I was one happy and full, bronzed babe.
We were fortunate enough to stay with some family friends that live in an awesome condo facing Biscane Bay. Our mornings were well spent sleeping in and taking a dip in the pool. Many cities have adopted the Citi Bikes and Miami was full of stations, so we rode everywhere… pretty much so I could multitask by getting a tan ;) On our way to the beach, we walked through Lincoln Road, aka a shopolic’s dream. Not only can you find an ahmazing Anthro, various locals boutiques, and a Starbucks on every corner, the ascetic is built around the existing art deco buildings, aka oh so chic!Miami beach is definitely a lot nicer than I thought it would be. There is a boardwalk that runs along the entire beach separating it from the die hard sun bathers and party goers on Ocean Drive. After a few hours of Peter’s skin getting crispy, we made our way in search of some frozen beverages and cuban sammies.
All hail, the $25 passion fruit mojito! Just a note, Miami is not cheap, so be prepared to spend some moolah. But it’s vacation, so go ahead and buy things you don’t need, but have to have.Since we were staying closer to downtown Miami, we had the opportunity to check out a lot of the bustling neighborhoods, including Little Havana, the Fashion District and Wynwood. Wynwood Art District is home to inventive, colorful and some incredibly weird expressionist work. This area reminded me a lot of Austin from the hipster coffee shops to the unique clothing stores, so this neighborhood is a must see. Doesn’t the picture below look like the wall is 3D?! It’s not.I made him pose for this one. Matchy matchy.
Truthfully, our main mission of this trip was to check out all of the highly rated cuban sandwiches in town, so we did. Here is how they measured up:
Better: Las Olas Cafe
Worth every penny (and then some): Fresas
That’s right, Fresas is actually in Austin. SOOOO we really were’t blown away by the cuban sandwiches in Miami #tbh. They were great, but the coffee was much better (and sweeter). Below is the cuban (and fried plantains) from Enriqueta’s. After 4 days of sun bathing, eating and shopping, we decided to hit the road to the keys. We rented a baller Mercedez c350 (thanks to Sixt) and started our 300 mile road trip down the Overseas Highway, something I highly recommend everyone doing in their lifetime and something I’ll never forget!
Our first stop was at Robert Is Here, the coveted smoothie shop/fruit stand/petting zoo that had me going bananas. I’ve never seen so many unique fruits in one place! Heaven.There were a ton of oversized sea critters on the drive to Key West. This lobster was just one of many, so we proceeded to take a picture with as many as possible. Lobster in Florida? You betcha. This lobster roll was just as good as it looks.Islamoralda is one of the islands on the Overseas Highway and it ended up being my absolute favorite. There were a lot of beautiful hidden beaches, like this private one we snuck onto… This island is also home to Millionaires Row, where a ton of rich folks and celebs hide out in their 20,000 sq. ft vacation homes. Naturally, snapchat was a key player on our trip. Follow me @dskiiiThe drive is about 3.5 hours… it took us almost 6 since we stopped many times along the way. We made it to our hotel/island paradise Parrot Key Resort (which I would definitely give 5 stars), just in time for the Key West Sunset Festival. Our back porch!The beaches in Key West are not what you think. They are great, but if you really want some snorkeling or shallow water for that Baywatch pic, stay in the middle keys, ahem Islamorada.
We made it to the end of the road. Exploring Key West….
Ernest Hemingway House. We grabbed some “Royal Reds” which are local shrimp that taste like lobsters, then hit the road, so we could go snorkeling with sharks! We booked a trip with Happy Cat Snorkeling and boy did they deliver. I’ve been to the Great Barrier Reef before, and I saw more sting rays, turtles, fish, and sharks on this trip than anywhere else. HIGHLY recommend this. To wrap up an amazing adventure, we had the best dinner at Lazy Days Restaurant on the road back to Miami. Mainly because of the view, but also because of the fresh conch ceviche. We grabbed our last taste of Florida with some cuban coffees before flying out in the morning. If you haven’t been to Miami or the Keys, book a trip. It was one of the best I’ve planned thus far!