Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An Insiders Guide To Miami Beach

Sun, sand, palm trees, and beautiful bodies; these are images that one conjures up when thinking about all that Miami embodies.  I've lived here for going on 4 years now and I can't imagine living anywhere else!  Where else in the country can you be laying on the beach, soaking up the sun in the dead of winter?  

I've had a couple requests for this post, and thought it was a fun idea to put together a list of my favorite shopping + dining spots in my city.  So pack your flip flops, your spf, and a teeny bikini - you're headed to MIA!

Where To Shop -

First and foremost, lets get down to business.....where to shop!

The shopping in Miami is pretty spread out.  If you're staying in South Beach {or Sobe as the locals refer to it as}, there is always the 'Shopping District' which is within walking distance of most hotels located on Collins Ave.  The shopping down here is decent; I make the trek down here often as the only Zara in the area is located down here.  A few of my favorite retail stores in this area are:
  • Zara
  • Intermix
  • Beach Bunny
  • Dash 
  • Club Monaco
  • Steve Madden
  • Sephora

Another great shopping area that I always recommend for people to check out is Lincoln Road.  Lincoln Rd is an outdoor pedestrian only promenade that has lots of great little shops + retail chains, cheap restaurants, and is great for people watching.  Here you can pick up bikinis on the cheap {usually $10 for a top, and $10 for the bottom mix + match style}, shop in stores such as J.Crew, Madewell, All Saints, H&M, and Anthropologie {for a full list of stores click here}, or grab a cocktail at one of the dozens of outdoor cafes and watch the action.  I also recently heard that a "super Zara" is being built down here that will have a entire section dedicated to homeware!  Definitely worth checking out!

For more high end/designer merchandise, head to Bal Harbour Shops.  This outdoor mall is an easy 15 minute drive on Collins from South Beach.  If your man is into exotic sports cars, take him to lunch at Carpaccio {be sure to sit outside} and watch him drool over all the Ferrari's, Lambo's, and Porche's that pull up.  This is definitely a "see + be seen" type of place with a wide variety on the menu for reasonable prices.  After lunch, walk thru the mall and do a bit of your own drooling as you window shop stores like Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and Saint Laurent.  When I need retail therapy, you can find me at:
  • Intermix {I'm obsessed with Intermix!}
  • Scoop
  • Rag & Bone
  • Calypso St. Barth
  • Chloe
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Saks Fifth Avenue 

For a complete listing of shops & restaurants located in Bal Harbour click here

Aventura Mall is another 10-15 minute drive from Bal Harbour Shops, and this is where I do the majority of my shopping :)  With over 300 specialty stores + 10 full service restaurants it's easy to see why Aventura Mall ranks in the top 5 highest grossing malls in the country!  A few of my fave stores in this mall are:
  • Nordstrom
  • All Saints
  • J.Crew
  • Louis Vuitton
  • H&M
  • Jo Malone
  • Koko & Palenki
  • MAC
  • Restoration Hardware
  • Sur La Table

For a complete listing of stores click here.

Where To Eat-

Below are some of my favorite restaurants. 

Prime 112 - Everybody who comes to Miami must eat at Prime 112 at least once.  Delicious food + drinks + social scene.  We almost always see celebrities, athletes, someone famous everytime we eat here.  Reservations are essential, and even with a reservation you will usually have to wait for your table.  The food is pretty pricey but I promise it's worth it for these three words: Deep Fried Oreos.  Save room for dessert because they are so, so good!

Milos - Gorgeous restaurant with amazing Greek food.  This is one of my favorite restaurants!  If you like fish, you must eat here.  Also make sure to try the 'Milos Special' appetizer - so yummy!

Cecconis  - I love this spot for lunch or dinner.  Located at Soho House, the restaurant is outside and absolutely stunning!  Try the burrata.

Rosa Mexicano - Located on Lincoln Road, Rosa Mexicano has the best Mexican food around.  Definitely order the tableside guacamole {it's insanely good!} and a yummy skinny margarita!

Casa Tua - This is my favorite restaurant for a romantic dinner.  Reserve a table outside on their gorgeous terrace - it's lit only by candlelight.  Anything you order will be amazing, although the food is pretty pricey.  Reserve well in advance.

Michaels Genuine Food & Drink - My favorite spot for lunch is located in the Design District of Miami.  Lots of great high end shopping around here also :)

Zuma -  Best sushi in Miami!  Great Sunday brunch as well.

Joes Stone Crab -  It is famous for a reason! 

Timo Restaurant  - This restaurant is located in my hood {Sunny Isles Beach} about 15 minutes north of South Beach.  Adam & I eat here a couple times per month!  We always share the margherita pizza {thinnest crust you'll ever have!}, with a side of their delicious truffle risotto.  Great menu + well priced.

Where To Grab Drinks-

We usually always take our out of town guests for cocktails at The Delano.  Whether you sit inside {stunningly decorated} or out by the pool at night, this is a great choice for drinks.  Info found here.

Bar Centro by Jose Andres at the SLS Hotel is another great option for unique cocktails, light snacks + people watching.  

Bleau Bar at Fontainebleau Hotel has great cocktails and loads of beautiful people!  This iconic Miami Beach bar usually becomes insanely crowded around the time that LIV nightclub is opening up {11pm}.  Grab a drink and watch the sh*t show unfold :)


I really hope this info was helpful to any of you planning to visit soon!  I'm sure that I'm missing some great spots, if anyone has restaurant or shopping recommendations, please be sure share them in the comment section :) xx


  1. i would NOT recommend prime 112. made bday reservations for my man, didn't get seated until 1145pm when reservation was for 915pm. Ruined our whole night :-(

    1. such a bummer!! I've never had to wait that long, but we usually never make reservations there after 8 because I hate how crowded it gets later at night :/ Thanks for sharing xx

  2. This is making me leave my little town in Minnesota even faster! All these amazing outdoor things to do and restaurants to try, while Im stuck in 8in snow :(....

    1. awwww I'm sorry!! I'm sure your little town is beautiful though!! :)

  3. This makes me want to escape the West Coast Vancouver weather :) Its surely stunning here but SO cold and dreary after March everyone is so depressed here and ready for SUMMMMMER! Lucky girly you are blessed to live in MIA! I'm blessed to live in beautiful Vancouver but I DEF get envious of you and Andee with such beautiful winter weather xo

    1. Girl, I know exactly what you are going through! I grew up in Port Angeles, WA {literally a hop, skip, and a jump across from Victoria BC!}.....I know what Pacific NW winters are all about! So, so beautiful in the Summers but awful in the Winter. Hang in there!! xx

    2. No way!!! I'm from Victoria!! That is so crazy my fam lives there and I was born and raised in Vic! Have you ever been? thats awesome :) xo

    3. So funny!! We lived so close to each other! Yes, I've been to Victoria many times, it's a beautiful city! I've always told Adam that I'd like to take him there sometime when we're back in Port Angeles {my family still lives there}, but need to wait for Summer before we visit :)

  4. Oh yay! You did this post, so helpful! Will definatly be taking you up on some of these suggestions :)

    1. I was hoping you would see this before you left! Do you know where you are staying yet? I could give you a few more suggestions based on your location :)

    2. We ended up staying in the Hilton Key Largo resort just because my boyfriend had travel points we could use up there. We will however be doing shopping/sightseeing/ eating in Miami for the most part! If you have any other must-see spots I would love to hear :) We leave Monday!!!

    3. So fun!! You'll love the Keys, they're so laidback! Have a great time & let me know if you end up trying out any of the places I recommended! xx

    4. Will do ! and thanks again - I will be printing out this post :)

  5. Love this! Miami is definitely on my visit list and possible future home so I love hearing people's personal recommendations :)

    1. Hi Kathryn!! You will LOVE Miami :) It's an amazing place!

  6. This is great, MIA is on one of our Top 5 places to visit! Any recommendations on what time of year to visit? I have so many cute little airbnb rentals bookmarked, but not really sure which one offers the best location?

    Here's some of my favs -

    1. Hi Katie! Usually Oct, Nov, Feb, March, and April are the best times to visit because the weather is absolutely perfect {80+ with zero humidity}. May generally starts the rainy season which lasts until around Sept but it's a great time to visit also because there is less tourists and prices generally drop. Rainy season isn't as bad as it seems, usually it will be hot, very humid + sunny every day until between 1-3pm and then it will rain for a couple of hours, and it's done. The ocean is great this time of year and becomes the temp of bathwater! December & January are generally a little colder {60's & 70's}. So I guess it just depends on what type of weather you're looking for. :)
      I looked at the rentals - they're all so cute! The first 2 are in midtown so you're a 15 minute drive from South Beach but you're very close to the Design District. Morningside is the CUTEST family neighborhood and Adam & I have been actually househunting in that specific neighborhood! The third listing is closer to Lincoln Rd + South Beach and you would be able to walk to more restaurants, shopping, and the beach.
      Hope that helps!! You have to let me know if you end up coming down here. I would love to meet up w/ you & catch up! xx

  7. Thanks for insider info! I love seeing your blog updates - you have a good variety of fashion, food and fun! I will def let you know if we're able to make it down that way!! Take Care!



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