Miami's South Beach has been the object of celebrity, entertainment and musical affection since the '80s. After a recent trip to the 305, I’ve fallen in love with the sunsets, the year-round bikini season and the perfection that is Ocean Drive all over again.
My favorite places are guaranteed to give you all the spoils SoBe has to offer. A visit to these hot spots will ensure that you eat, sleep and party like the beach gods intended.
Where to stay
Soak in the neon-filled fabulousness of Ocean Drive at the Clevelander. Located in the middle of the Art Deco District's hustle and bustle, the Clevelander offers a 24/7 party equipped with all the go-go dancers, top shelf cocktails and bass you could ask for. The hotel’s unique bar patio attracts more than just hotel guests — Ocean Drive visitors always stop into the Clevelander for a good drink and an even better party.
STORY along with several other Miami nightclubs, stays open until 5 am. Party on.
For a more romantic escape to South Beach, stay at the ultra-luxe Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. Chic resort-style accommodations include personal shoppers, an elevated infinity pool and private beach cabanas. Observe the dazzling art pieces throughout the property (that total a cool $2 million) and treat your special someone to a swanky dinner at DiLido Beach Club.
Grab your closest friends for a weekend getaway at the Beacon. This boutique hotel located in the Art Deco District is ideal for the eager traveler who wants the full SoBe experience. Head to the beach in a quick minute (literally) walk from the lobby and spend your day sunbathing with some of Miami’s most beautiful locals and travelers alike.
Where to eat
Forget all the preconceived notions you may have about hotel restaurants. OLA is an upscale Pan Latin eatery that will take your taste buds on a trip across the Atlantic. Acclaimed Latin chef Horacio Rivadero designed a menu full of Caribbean, Spanish and traditional Latin flavors that give you the essence of the melting pot that is Miami. Try the crispy pork with mustard mojo or the Florida sweet corn empanada. You won’t be disappointed.
Indulge in the deliciousness of Italy at Fratelli La Bufala. Take a seat on the patio and people watch some of the most fabulous faces of South Beach while you listen to the exotic accents as they pass. Order one of the famed –– and authentic –– Neapolitan pizzas for a Miami meal you’ll never forget.
If you’re looking for a bikini-friendly brunch locale, choose Icebox Café. The price point, incredibly nutritious options and local ingredients make for an ideal brunch (or any meal) before hitting the beach. Don't miss “The Mess,” guava-filled French toast. The menu is so good, you may just forget how delish the specialty cocktails are.
Where to party
Strap on some beachy heels and head to STORY for a night you’ll remember forever. With elevated club levels, several VIP tables and an eclectic mix of DJs on any given night, STORY is the ideal place in true SoBe fashion. Are you always fashionably late? Not to worry, STORY along with several other Miami nightclubs, stays open until 5 am. Party on.
Revisit EDM-filled memories at Club Space. Mingle with dub step lovers from across the globe and dance to electronic hits all night long. Club Space brings you all the fun of a rager, minus the obnoxious partygoers and terrible outfit choices.
Famed Miami hot spot Mansion could help you rival your previous “best night ever.” Mansion offers private VIP rooms and tables, a noteworthy lineup of some of Miami’s best DJs, frequent celebrity guests and an overall swanky atmosphere fit for any music video.
Where to shop
A trip to the The Webster is the perfect dose of vacation retail therapy. This luxe boutique carries an inventory that rivals Barney’s and comes with a killer view. Splurge on labels like Alexander Wang, Valentino and Marc Jacobs before hitting the beach.
Take a family outing to Lincoln Road Mall for a fun afternoon of shopping. The abundance of unique shops, sidewalk cafes and lounges make this locale more than just your neighborhood mall.
Humor your inner fangirl with a visit to DASH. The Kardashian-owned storefront is full of cute fashions for the girl-about-South Beach and the staff is incredibly friendly, making it the perfect place to live out that fantasy you have about being the store manager while Kim and Kourtney are in town for a visit. Forgive us, but we just had to.