Happy Wednesday! We’re back from Miami and finally trying to get back into the swing of things over here!
Let me tell you–this was honestly the MOST FUN weekend we have had in a long time. I surprised Neal for his 30th birthday and the look on his face when I told him we were leaving for Miami was absolutely priceless. We had always thrown around visiting Miami but never had gotten around to it, so I knew it would be the perfect February getaway! We absolutely fell in love with the city!
And in all honesty, I had really hoped to have a post up for Tuesday but there was too much to get done on Friday when I was hoping to schedule it in advance and then I was too tired to write one on the plane ? TOO MUCH FUN this weekend. Thank you for your understanding!
Anyway, excited to share some photos I snapped on my iPhone and some recommendations of what to do while you’re there! I also made a whole Instagram story “highlight” that says “Miami recap” so definitely head there for the FAR more entertaining “Neal and Jess show” version ?
My suit: $16 on Amazon! It runs a little bit big–comes in lot’s of colors, too! I get a lot of questions asking if it stays up–my answer is that it’s perfect for laying out, but don’t play volleyball or water ski in it. The fabric has a lot of give so I would say size down! Is it as quality as the real Marysia Swim scalloped bikini’s? Of course not–but, you know, you get what you pay for! You can shop the original Marysia Swim version here (they have so many variations that are soo cute!) Neal’s suit: from a boutique in Paris Sunnies: Mine + Neal’s– both Ray Ban, our favorite sunnies brand! Shop lot’s more Ray Ban styles here!
I had every intention of splurging on some fancy beach resort. All I had heard about was the Fountainbleu, but when I checked rates, they were astronomical due to it being President’s Day weekend and the Miami Boat Show. I also read mixed reviews on how it wasn’t worth the price, etc. So I spent DAYS researching hotels. (I have a reputation for totally botching hotels, air bnb’s, etc, because I’m often cheaper than Neal is and I never read the fine print ?) I was determined to find the best hotel, and I finally settled on the Urbanica–I am SO GLAD I did.
We’ve never loved a hotel as much as we loved this one!
For one, it’s really quiet and while it’s in a perfect location, it’s a bit tucked away off the beaten path. It really felt like its own little secluded paradise. It’s about a 5 minute walk to the beach (you can also use one of their adorable beach cruisers to ride there!) so that means it’s not only really quiet, but also substantially less expensive than the fancy beachfront resorts. You still get beach access too–you get two free beach chairs with each room and all you have to do is give them your room number! They don’t have food and beverage service there, but that’s actually a blessing in disguise because you can *unofficially* BYOB ? (technically they don’t allow alcohol on the beach, but, you know. They allow “coffee” and “water bottles”)
The entire hotel is so picturesque, beautiful, the service is amazing, the food is great as are the cocktails, and the rooms were nice and clean. Can’t say enough great things–and no, I didn’t receive any type of discount or anything for saying this either! ?
We honestly spent a lot more time at the pool than anywhere else. Exploring Miami was definitely a priority, but we hadn’t been able to just chill out and relax in the sun for so long–that’s really how we spent the majority of our days, haha! It was never crowded, very low-key. One note: there are only about 6 total pool chairs and the deck and pool are very small, but we rarely had an issue getting chairs, because it was pretty quiet!
Eat: Joe’s Stone Crab
Okay, this is a TERRIBLE photo hahaha because it was really dark, but we had dinner the first night at Joe’s Stone Crab. I actually don’t eat seafood but it’s Neal’s favorite and the original Joe’s is a historic Miami must-do, so we had to go! It was really fun and the service was great! (They also have a few menu items for the crab haters like me so that’s always appreciated ?) Tip: Go REALLY late to avoid a crazy long wait. We got there around 10pm and had a drink and apps at the bar and sat down to eat around 10:30-10:45! Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but we eat dinner really late–it’s more fun that way!
Romper: Old, Sandals: Splendid Colleen Sandals (SO comfortable! Have never given me blisters! Run TTS!) Splendid makes the most comfortable sandals and I always end up getting a few pairs each spring/summer season because they’re so cute and comfortable! Shopbop has lot’s of Splendid sandals right now and free fast shipping! Purse: Rebecca Minkoff “Love” Bag–I love her cross-body purses! Shop more right here at Shopbop! Neal’s Shirt: Stock MFG (old) Shorts: Bonobos: Sandals: Rainbows
On Sunday we explored the Wynwood area, which is so cool and a definite must for anyone visiting Miami! Every building is more colorful than the next, and the street art has really revamped the entire neighborhood, drawing people from all over the world–definitely don’t miss the Wynwood Walls!
There are so many cute bars and restaurants around Wynwood–we stopped in for lunch at Coyo Taco, after several of you guys recommended it! It didn’t disappoint! We got the Al Pastor and Carne Asada Tacos, the street corn, jalapeño rice, and pineapple Agua Fresca.
Eat: The Forge
Dress: Vineyard Vines (super old, but still one of my favorite dresses whenever we’re somewhere tropical and preppy ?) Sandals: Splendid Colleen Sandals Neal’s blazer: custom made by ESQ Chicago (can’t recommend them enough!) Neal’s sneakers: Jack Purcell, Neal’s Jeans: Levi’s 512 jeans
Our last night we had dinner at The Forge! Neal loves steakhouses. So I knew I had to plan a nice steak dinner one of the nights we were there, and this did not disappoint! If you are ever looking for a nice dinner in Miami, you cannot miss this place!
It was one of the most memorable meals we’ve had. The building is so cool and is one of the most historic buildings in Miami. The restaurant used to be a total mob hangout. It was frequented by tons of Hollywood stars and that has continued through today.
The owner is a big history buff and antique collector.
Some of the chandeliers in the restaurant came from the White House. Apparently Jackie decided she didn’t like them and got rid of them when she moved in. So they found a new home here and have been there ever since! The library room contains two sconces once owned by Napoleon!
Our server Megan, was unreal, and gave us a full tour of the restaurant–including the back room where Lil Wayne frequents to throw dinner parties! (So obviously we had to sit where he sits and get a photo ? I LOVE LIL WAYNE!) We also got to see the wine cellar, which is one of the most famous in the country–it has over 300,000 vintages and the oldest one dates back to 1700’s! This was definitely one of our favorite experiences we had in Miami–so if you’re ever looking for a reason to celebrate–you cannot miss this!
Another favorite of ours was DIRT–it was really close to our hotel and was an easy, healthy, quick option for breakfast and/or a snack! They have a few of them around Miami. Everything from the interior of the place to their packaging was beautiful! We liked their green smoothies and avocado toast!
Romper: old–Cupcakes and Cashmere brand via Shopbop (shop new Cupcakes and Cashmere stuff here!) Sandals: Splendid “Madrid” flip flops are a must for all beach/pool vacations! So easy to throw in your bag!