I always said I would do a big trip for my 30th birthday.
Having turned the big 3-0 this year, I started planning this trip last year, and since a friend was also celebrating her 30th this year, we chose to do a vacation together. I knew I wanted to go somewhere hot, so it was down to Vegas or Miami, but since I’ve done Vegas like six time and Miami never, we chose the latter.
I’ve always had an interest in travelling to the southern Florida city. The beaches, the nightlife, the architecture, the history… there’s lots to see in Miami. In total, there were nine of us girls going and since we booked our flights so early, it was a cheap trip down.
We decided to stay at the Fontainebleau Hotel, which was one of my bucket list hotels to stay at. The property, which opened in 1954, is located on Collins Avenue and faces the Atlantic Ocean. It has over 1,500 rooms with 12 restaurants and bars, a spa, as well as number of swimming pools. Honestly, you could spend your entire trip here as it’s a full-blown resort.
Although we spent tons of time at the pool and in the comfort of our junior suite (we also had a basic guest room), we did tons of exploring around the city as well. Since the hotel is north on Collins Avenue, most of the places we went to were a 20-minute drive away. We did do some research into restaurants and lounges and ended up eating at some fabulous places. We were also in luck since it was Miami Spice month, which meant that most restaurants had a set menu that you could a three-course meal for a good price. Some restaurant highlights were Upland, Planta (which also has a location in Toronto), and Cecconi’s.
Three of us girls arrived in on the Wednesday and the rest came on the Thursday. On Friday, we prebooked a yacht via Getmyboat.com, which took us around the city so we could see all the giant mansions that surround the water. If you’re doing a Miami trip, I highly recommend doing this as it truly was a highlight for us, and let’s be honest, living in Winnipeg you don’t see many yachts around the area (if at all…). After the yacht, we went to Wynwood, which is this cool arts district filled with street murals, restaurants, and cool shops, and walked around and took photos. We also popped in to this delicious Mexican place called Coyo Taco.
After Wynwood, some of us girls walked over to a nearby Target because that’s always a must for any American trip, then went back to the hotel to get ready for the night. We went to Upland for dinner, then made our way over to Basement Miami, where we unfortunately just missed our reso for their bowling alley. Instead, we made our way over to Hyde Beach at the SLS before retiring back at the hotel for the night.
On Saturday, a bunch of us made our way to Planta in South Beach, this vegan restaurant that is oh-so-Instafriendly and then walked a short 10 minutes to the beach where we saw some cute lifeguard stations and enjoyed the warm coastal waters. Since Miami was getting into hurricane season, rain would happen on and off throughout the trip, and unfortunately it did start up again as we were laying on the beach. We quickly grabbed an Uber and made our way back to the Fontainebleau, where some of us hit the pool and the rest of us stayed back to do hair and makeup for the night ahead.
One of the things I wanted to do the most was visit the Versace Mansion, now known as the Casa Casuarina, which is a luxury hotel on Ocean Drive. In case you guys aren’t familiar with the history of the property (or didn’t watch American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace), it was owned by Gianni Versace and he was actually shot right on the front steps. Since we didn’t stay there, we went instead to the bar and got some prosecco so we could walk around and check it out. Aside from the yacht, this was the second highlight of the trip for me since it’s such an iconic building with so much history. Checking out the architecture and pool was truly an experience and it was so amazing to share it with so many close friends. I highly recommend checking this out if you are in Miami. If you aren’t staying at the hotel (it starts at like $800 a night, USD), then make sure you pop by the bar or the restaurant, which opens at 6 p.m.
After the Versace Mansion, we grabbed an Uber to Cecconi’s, which was actually right beside our hotel, and then after dinner we walked back so we could go to LIV at the Fontainebleau.
The next day we went to Calle Ocho, also known as Little Havana, where we just had to try some Cuban coffee and a Cuban sandwich. Afterwards we walked around the area a little bit before grabbing an Uber and making our way back to the hotel to check out and head to the airport.
I’ve done many girls trips in the past, but this one definitely had the most people. It was so fun to hang around all my besties and really just enjoy ourselves in a beautiful location. Although I am happy to be back and fully get into fall weather, I can’t wait to hit the beautiful beaches of Miami once again sometime in the future.
Have you been to Miami?
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