No matter what the occasion, a weekend in Miami is always a good idea. Diverse, colorful, and full of life, Miami has something for everyone. A weekend in Miami was the perfect getaway for us as a couple, but it would also make for an epic destination bachelor/bachelorette party or even a girls weekend.
We scoured the web and asked all of our local friends what to do in Miami and from that, we put together our perfect weekend in Miami guide.
Sponsored by Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Where to stay in Miami
If you’re just spending the weekend in Miami you’ll want to stay somewhere central. We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami on Brickell Key. We couldn’t have stayed in a better location or hotel, it was close to all the best things to do in Miami. Here are 5 reasons why the Mandarin Oriental, Miami is the best place to stay in Miami.
The Mandarin Oriental, Miami is less than a 15-minute drive to all of the must-see things on our Miami list and the hotel itself was amazing. Valet at the parking was great, we just called down when we were leaving the room and our car was waiting for us when we got down.
There are different room types that offer different views. We stayed in a Deluxe Skyline view room. From our bed, we had uninterrupted skyline views but once out on the balcony, we also had ocean views. Even the spa had a view, while Adam and I were getting massages we opted to have the shades open to the view.
Spacious rooms and super comfortable beds with views – you may never want to leave your room. I hate waking up early on a weekend getaway, but that view pulled us out of bed early every morning.
Not a bad place for coffee, right? We had breakfast daily right on the patio each morning, we highly suggest the breakfast buffet or American breakfast (plated). We fueled up for a busy day in Miami with breakfast here before heading out for the day. If you plan on lounging by the pool all day you can have lunch right at the Oasis pool cafe or at the Mo Bar happy hour. Dinner at La Mar cannot be missed, this was our favorite meal in Miami.
We like hotels that if we want we don’t have to leave. If you want a day of relaxing there is a beach or infinity pool to lay by all day. If you need a little pampering visit the spa, Adam and I had a couples massage which was amazing after a busy week.
But if you do decide to leave the concierge is great with recommending things to do in Miami and providing directions.
More Miami Fun Near Mandarin Oriental, Miami
There are a ton of things to do in Miami but we narrowed it down to a key few areas of Miami that we wanted to visit. Everywhere we went was within a 20-minute drive from the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. To make the most out of your day we suggest visiting them in this order.
Wynwood Walls (3.5 miles)
My number one thing to do in Miami was to explore the Wynwood Walls and of course get a few Instagram photos. Wynwood is an upcoming area only a few miles from downtown. This area of town is all old warehouses that was until 2009 when the area turned around and Wynwood was born.
This outdoor art gallery has artists from around the world. Since the area has become more and more popular lots of businesses are popping up. There are some great breweries and restaurants in Wynwood worth checking out too. We suggest heading to the colorful and trendy Wynwood Walls in the later morning. The earlier you go the more photos you get without other tourists on the walls.
Related Article: Things to do in Key West
Miami Beach (8 miles)
Miami Beach needs no introduction. A weekend in Miami wouldn’t be complete without walking on Miami Beach. It’s a great place to catch a tan, people watch or grab something to eat or drink.
On the weekends it will be busy so parking can be tough but there are several paid lots or valet services. We found a spot on the street and walked down to the beach. After you’ve had your fill of the beach take a leisurely drive down Ocean Drive.
Little Havana (2 miles)
Literally just down the street from our hotel is Little Havana. Little Havana is Miami’s famous Cuban neighborhood complete with Cuban restaurants and bars. Head to Calle Ocho (8th Street) which is lined with Cuban restaurants and bars.
We reached out to our local Cuban friend who lives in Miami who told exactly where to go in Little Havana, we went everywhere he suggested. We suggest visiting Little Havana in the late afternoon so you can take advantage of happy hour at Ball & Chain to get a few of their infamous mojitos.
If you want to indulge in them an Uber from the hotel will cost you only $5-7 each way. If you’re hungry head to Miami’s best Cuban restaurant for lunch, more on Versailles below in where to eat in Miami. If you have a sweet tooth or can never say no to ice cream like me then Azucar serves up some amazing homemade Cuban ice cream. It is not uncommon for Azucar to have a line wrapped around the corner it’s that good.
Related Article: Things to do in Cuba
Where to eat in Miami
It would be a sin not to have dinner at La Mar by Gastón Acurio, which is Peruvian with a twist. We’ve traveled to Peru and can say chef Gastón knocked this out of the park. Everything we ordered was amazing.
Our favorite dishes were the Nikkei (Peruvian sushi), empanadas, and beef anticuchos. We finished the meal with a sweet plate of La Lucuma y el chocolate. We suggest making reservations in advance and ask for an outside table on the railing. This is also a great spot to catch the sunset.
Address: 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami
One of the best places for lunch in Miami is Versailles “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant”. A Cuban friend told us we should check this place out, so who better to listen to for Cuban restaurant suggestions. Versailles is in Little Havana on Calle Ocho and serves up traditional Cuban fare.
We went for a late lunch after visiting Wynwood Walls and Miami Beach. We opted to share a few plates and we left stuffed for only $35.
Related Article: Miami to Key West Road Trip Guide
You can’t go without getting Versailles famous Cuban sandwich, this will be the best Cuban sandwich you’ve ever had. Another staple is the croquettes, the ham & cheese were our favorite. Wash all this down with a mojito, it doesn’t get more Cuban than this unless you were in Trinidad Cuba.
Address: 3555 Southwest 8th Street Miami
Mo Bar & Lounge
If you’re looking for a chill place to grab a drink and a small bite to eat head to Mo Bar & Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. On Friday and Saturday nights, they have live Cuban music and Spanish guitar. After a day exploring Miami, it’s a great place to relax in a refined atmosphere.
If you check-in early on Friday make sure to stop by for Happy Hour 5 pm-8 pm where cocktails are $8 and small bites are just $5. If you’re looking for a few plates to share we suggest the spicy tuna rolls, calamari, and the sliders with lobster! We visited on a Saturday night where the place was full of live music, great food, and classic cocktails.
Address: 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami
Miami Getaway Tips
Check Flight Prices – Traveling to Miami from around the US is relatively quick and easy, but be sure to check flight prices from both Miami International (MIA) and Fort Lauderdale International (FLL). Depending on your departure city FLL may have better prices and it’s only 40 minutes away. We booked our flights less than 2 weeks in advance for $300 each.
Rent a car – Miami is a little bit spread out but very driveable. If you’re not comfortable driving Uber is a good option too.
Have you spent a weekend in Miami?
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