How to Spend One Weekend in Miami

If you're only in Miami for a weekend, why not spend it in style?

Hopper Editors - Oct. 26, 2017

Seeing everything in Miami in just 48-hours would be a daunting task, which is why it’s best to focus on a few favorite areas rather than running rampant through the city streets. For a short stay in Miami, travelers should start in South Beach and make their way Downtown. Some time spent in the sand and shopping at an outdoor mall, followed by delicious dining and drinks on a rooftop in the sky. In true Miami style the best way to end a weekend is with a boozy brunch, and we’ve got the perfect place to order morning mimosas. From start to finish here is our guide for an unforgettable weekend in Miami.

Friday: Dinner at Nobu Miami Beach

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is famous around the world for his trendy Japanese cuisine so of course his restaurant expansion to Miami Beach brought a buzz of excitement. Nobu serves some of the best sushi in South Beach, in part to its excellent selection of fish (rumor is they get first pick of the morning deliveries) and the chef’s South American take on traditional Japanese fare. Located in the Shore Club on Collins Avenue, Nobu is the perfect starting point to a Friday night in South Beach.

Friday night: Drinks at Bleau Bar

After dinner, take a taxi to the Fontainebleau for drinks at Bleau Bar. This Miami classic was a meeting place for the stars back in the 1950s and 60s when celebs like Elvis and Judy Garland could be spotted staying at the resort. Located on the lobby level, Bleau Bar offers first class people watching as club-goers usher in to try their luck in line at LIV. Visiting the Fontainebleau is a must when in Miami, and if staying in one of the pricey suites is out of the question, a cocktail at the legendary Bleau Bar is the next best thing.

Saturday morning: Hit the beach

There’s no better way to spend the day in Miami than at the beach. Be sure to bring water and sunscreen to cool off and stay protected from the sun’s strong rays. In South Beach or off the Miami Beach Boardwalk around 21st street, umbrellas and beach chairs are available to rent. Spend the day soaking up the sun and taking a dip in the temperate azure water, or give SUP (stand up paddle boarding) a go at one of the nearby water sport rentals in Miami.

Saturday midday: lunch at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

Within walking distance of the ocean, on the corner of 16th Street and Lenox Avenue is Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, a casual dining spot perfect for a post-beach lunch. Yardbird has a farm-fresh focus and easy going atmosphere that stands out in South Beach — and doesn’t require a wardrobe change. The menu at Yardbird is dripping with Southern classic comfort food like fried chicken and house-made buttermilk biscuits but the salads are just as delicious. Cool off with a refreshing cocktail like their signature Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade or Watermelon Sling.

Saturday afternoon: Shopping on Lincoln Road

After a hearty meal, walking is always a good idea and there is plenty of street to cover at the nearby Lincoln Road Mall. This outdoor shopping mall is lined with retail stores, unique boutiques and shops, restaurants and art galleries. Hours can easily be spent shopping and taking in all the action at this high traffic hot spot. For an afternoon pick me up and an escape from the heat, pop into the Nespresso Boutique Bar. The chic Miami coffee lounge has a modern design and a menu of fancy espresso drinks to keep travelers buzzing until the late night hours.

Saturday evening: Dinner at Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita

Spend the evening in Downtown Miami starting with dinner at Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita in Brickell Financial District. Guests dine at Dolores for the unique venue (the Mediterranean-style building was built in 1923 and was once a fire station) and quality food at competitive prices (every entree includes an appetizer of your choice). Most dishes are Italian but the menu also includes American favorites like Gourmet Mini Burgers and Baby Back Ribs. Guests can sit outside on the plush terrace or inside in the beautiful candle-lit dining area.

Saturday night: Drinks and dancing at FIFTY

Photo via their official FB page.

For a stunning view of Downtown weekenders should head over to the Viceroy Miami, a popular hotel whose 50th floor rooftop lounge looks over the entire city. Arriving early is best as entry gets tighter as the night goes on. Take the elevator to the top and grab after-dinner drinks at the hotel’s outdoor bar. Guests can leisurely enjoy the lounge’s scenery and 360-degree views next to an Asian-inflected pool, and later head inside to FIFTY’s second bar and indoor dancefloor.

Sunday morning: Brunch at Otc

Brickell has plenty of boozy brunches but OTC is undoubtedly a top contender, and the fun, laidback atmosphere is perfect for a Sunday morning in Miami. Guests can choose between bottomless mimosas, bellinis and champagne alongside unexpected breakfast entrees. Food is described as modern American cuisine and for brunch the menu features a variety of sweet treats like the nutella and peanut butter laden Elvis French Toast and a crispy pork-belly eggs benedict that pairs nicely alongside their grilled country toast and breakfast potatoes.

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