I don’t even know where to begin with this round up, Miami was an absolute blast! I fell in love with the energy of this city straight away, and could barely fit everything that I did in those five days into this one post, but here you have it, a select list of some of the things I would suggest you do when you visit Miami.
What better excuse to be visiting Florida then for a healthy dose of shopping at some of the state’s most renowned and loved shopping malls? Sawgrass Mills is the largest outlet, value retail and entertainment destination in the USA and is the second most visited attraction in Florida, after Disney World Orlando, and when I arrived at this vast destination and witnessed the flocks of international visitors with empty suitcases in tow to fill with newly purchased items, I knew exactly why. It houses some of the industry’s most renowned names, such as Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Prada, and all at significantly low prices, so it’s not hard to understand why so many make this visit an annual if not seasonal tradition.
Whilst strolling through The Colonnade Outlets, I met people from all over the world (including Dubai), who mentioned to me that Sawgrass Mills is always included in their seasonal shopping plans and when you enter the Prada outlet and see bags and shoes for hundreds of dollars off the original price tag, you know exactly why.
Kendall Drive, Miami
Dadeland Mall was my first official stop when I got to Miami and I enjoyed spending the best part of my morning browsing through their many stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and of course, my beauty favourite, Sephora. One of my favourite things about shopping in other countries is enjoying the different buys catered to that market, and after speaking to personal shopper Marie at Saks, I was informed that in Miami, it’s all about Cavalli, Versace and Louboutin. Here’s it’s the louder, brighter and higher the better and although it’s a world away from my daily outfits, the Miami life and style was growing on me fast and I felt the South Beach in me gravitating towards Hervé body-con dresses after leaving that conversation.
I ended my day at Dadeland with mocktails and a delicious dinner at Earl’s which was set on the beautiful terrace of the mall. For a suburban location, I was pleasantly surprised at just how energetic and atmospheric it was, the food is fresh, menu varied and service excellent, which was a running theme throughout the day at Dadeland.
In an effort to take in the culture of the city, I was highly advised to check out the Wynwood walls in Wynwood, a district of warehouses used as giant canvases for renowned artists such as Futura, Retna and Ron English. I advice a lunch date at Joey’s (try their thin crust mushroom pizza) which is just around the corner, before walking off your food coma taking in all the vibrancy and talent that this place has to offer.
Española Way, Miami
I don’t know if you’re all aware, as it’s exceedingly eclipsed by my health and fitness updates on Instagram, but my absolute weakness is gelato, and when you pair that with Nutella, then you’ve hit my sweet-tooth jackpot. After two scoops from Miami Gelataria on Española Way, it was needless to say that I was one happy bunny.
Sawgrass Recreation Park
One of the activities that were a must whilst in Florida, was exploring the Everglades via airboat. We ventured off to Sawgrass Recreation Park to enjoy a thirty minute tour and spotted not one but three alligators. If you’ve never done this before, it’s one for the list.
Washington Ave, Miami
Being in Miami, is basically like being in South America and the Carribean all at the same time. The melting pot of culture speaks volumes here and that’s what I fell in love with most about the city. So there was no way I was leaving without tasting some traditional Cuban cuisine, which came in the form of these Vaca Frita sliders at Habanos. They were so delicious that I had to include them in the round up, just in case you ever find yourself on Washington Ave in South Beach. A special thanks to Miami Culinary Tours for the great tip!
Island Queen Cruise
Bayside Marketplace, Miami
To see the beautiful Miami skyline from the sea is spectacular, but although I wouldn’t tell you to prioritise a cruise of ‘Millionaire’s Row’, I would definitely recommend chartering some kind of vessel to see the city in all it’s glory at just the right time of day.
All photography shot and edited by Reem Kanj. With special thanks to Simon for an unforgettable trip.