Given South Beach’s rep, we were mildly concerned that we were gonna feel too old and lame for the scene. We were traveling without Foster, but we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of families we saw, mostly European, in that we weren’t the only 40-somethings. South Beach is great for people watching and not feeling like you have to accomplish anything other than laying poolside for the day while drinks magically appear in your hand. It’s definitely fun to get your inner “I’m on a Boat” on for a couple days.
1717 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139
Kimpton hotels are our go-to as far as boutique chain hotels go. We enjoy their quirky but conceptual design aesthetic, especially their Philly locations, Monaco and Palomar. The excellent service and very cool outdoor spaces definitely lived up to our Kimpton expectations. The lobby is a playful design, albeit slightly cluttered (it feels a bit less cohesive than Monaco or Palomar). The reception staff wears dapper seersucker jackets with green pants and yellow vests, which is just plain fun. We love the perks like free wine at happy hour, sunscreen poolside, the $10 “raid the mini bar” credit and our welcome cocktail. Comfy padded chairs are free on their private section of beach, but an umbrella is an extra $19. The pool area is fabulous including a tasty poolside menu. We were slightly disappointed in the size of our room and bathroom, view of a wall (we tried to upgrade to the next size up of room with a view, but there weren’t any available), and the hallways are ridiculously cold & dark. But the location is excellent, right along the main strip on Collins Ave, beachfront, so everything is walkable, in fact a car is just a nuisance with the cost and lack of parking.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
1501 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL
Full disclosure: we are related to the chef. But HOLY SHIT WE’RE RELATED TO THE CHEF, so we got to try just about EVERYTHING on the menu, which means we know just how amazing this place really is, because every damn thing was ridiculously good. It was so good we actually left in pain, but highlights included: bacon slabs in peanut butter with jalepeno jelly (The Elvis); charcuterie; john’s 3, yes 3, steaks; the corn creme brûlée; really every side dish on the menu, the fig ice cream, the Quality Mule (vodka + homemade ginger beer) & the mango basil martini. OMG. SO. MUCH. FOOD.
Joe’s Stone Crab
11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Old school decor & shtick, not unlike the vibe at The Palm in Philly, but excellent food and service. No reservations, so go before 7pm if you want to avoid a wait.
Rosetta Italian Bakery for breakfast
1666 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL
There’s a line out the door every day. Bangin’ fruit tarts, tasty ham & cheese croissant, great coffee with attention to detail, in a clean, bright, comfy-feeling space.