Miami plays an important role in pop culture, particularly its reputation as the seaside sin city. Whether it's Rihanna's "Wild Thoughts" music video or seasons 1 and 2 of Netflix's Narcos, what's depicted is a clichéd Miami Vice that memorializes the era of Cocaine Cowboys. While the nightlife is spectacular, Miami doesn't simply provide an impulsive escape filled with blonde bombshells. Cultivating one of the most innovative art scenes in the country, growing one of the best culinary scenes, and maintaining one of, if not the most, diverse demographics in the South—Miami is an eclectic force to be reckoned with. Not to mention, flying there is jaw-droppingly affordable.
Flights: During the month of August airfare from New York City ranges from $200-$300. From Los Angeles airfare ranges from $200-$400. Depending on when you're booking and the month you want to travel, airfare from both cities can be as cheap as $150 roundtrip.
Since you so responsibly bought an affordable plane ticket 2 months in advance, you have room in your budget to splurge on a beautiful hotel room at Delano South Beach. Located on Miami's famed Collins Avenue, you not only have everything you need in terms of luxury, you also don't have to drunkenly travel back to the mainland after a long night out. With two unique in-house dining experiences, Leynia and Umi Sushi and Sake, and a swimming pool leading into the ocean, it's almost as if winter never happened.
Delano also offers The Suite Life by SBE, which is code for the ultimate VIP experience. As if the personalized mini-bar wasn't enough, a car service will drive you to/from the airport, you'll gain preferred access to all sbe restaurants, nightlife and events, and you'll be welcomed with a complimentary bottle of champagne. What I'm trying to say is you will have become the happy couple you always see featured in ads for Carnival Cruises™.
What to do: STK, Byblos, Wynwood
STK: Since you probably spent all day at Delano lounging with your personal poolside bucket of Peroni, it's time to eat. And when I want to eat, I mean really go there, I immediately think of a steak. What better place to get a hunky piece of meat than at STK? You could go to the club, but then again men aren't really there for you the way expensive food is, ya know?
With happy hour specials that'll knock your socks off and filet that melts in your mouth, it's an obvious choice. Also located on Collins Avenue in South Beach, you won't have to travel far from Delano to stumble into this chic lounge. While maintaining the allure of a traditional steakhouse, STK is "not your daddy's steakhouse." The restaurant embodies the chicness often associated with Miami with its modern decor, flavorful yet innovative menu and younger clientele. If you're not into beef, the fish options are just as mouthwatering, I mean you are in Miami.
Byblos: You're probably hungover after all the Veuve you enjoyed yesterday evening, so it's likely time to recuperate by enjoying a luxurious hangover meal at Byblos. Similarly located on Collins Avenue, Byblos offers an array of Eastern Mediterranean delicacies including but not limited to Turkish manti dumplings, tah dig and rock shrimp rice. With a family style mantra, Byblos has no preference towards one Eastern Mediterranean cuisine over another. Here, they're all fused together to create this diverse yet cohesive menu, that also includes traditional cocktails with interesting twists.
In addition to the menu, walking into Byblos feels like walking into a Art Deco Grecian Versace mansion, navigated by the soft blue color scheme and gold accents. So if you like to play Instagram model, this is definitely a photo op.
Wynwood: You can't go to Miami without walking the streets of Wynwood. Appealing to both tourists as well as locals, the Wynwood Walls are the heart of Miami's booming art scene with murals painted by some of the world's most famous street artists. In addition to the public views, there are over 70 galleries and and museums that have paved the way for Miami's recognition as one of the leading artist hubs in the U.S.
In between your gallery tour, there's also a number of great eateries in Wynwood. And since I'm assuming you'd like to try a little bit of everything look no further than The Wynwood Yard. A pop up foodie hub brings together various cuisines and entrepreneurs who want to try out their salacious experiments in an upscale food truck environment.
My Ceviche: I know that you're so full, you don't want to return to the coveted pool at Delano, however you simply cannot go to Miami without eating Ceviche. Before the poke revolution swept across the U.S., there was this traditional Peruvian dish. Being on the ocean, and having such a prominent Hispanic cultural influence, Miami may just have the best ceviche outside of Peru. My personal favorite spot, is of course My Ceviche. With several locations, the first being a takeout window on South Beach, they have everything from seafood bowls, to fresh fish tacos, and even have some elote you can enjoy as a side!