In Collaboration with Uber
|I took a red eye to Miami on Monday night so that I could land and take advantage of the daylight hours. My first stop once I landed? The Bitlmore Hotel in Coral Gables. I ordered an Uber from Miami International with ease and then I was on my way. After checking in, I invited one of my dear friends, Kier Mellour, to come hang out with me, because exploring is always better with a buddy! We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Fontana restaurant before setting out to explore the city. Their breakfast buffet was perfect if you like a lot of variety (like me!), I can never decide between an omelet, or granola – so why not get both!|
After breakfast, we decided to go see the colorful lifeguard stands on South Beach. We jumped in an Uber and were at the beach in 20 minutes. Luckily, we got there before the rush (around 9:30 am) so we were able to snap a few photos before the other tourist descended, and scored premium real estate on the sand. After we go our fill of salt water air and wind in our hair, we naturally went in search of Ice Cream. Kier is local to Florida and she said that her favorite place in Miami for fresh scoops is Mammamia Gelato Italiano. So we dusted the sand off our feet and walked across the street. Kier was right! The Gelato at Mammamia made me feel like I was in Italy again. I went with strawberry cheesecake and oreo cookie, a little random but sooo tasty!
After we devoured our cones, it was time to see some art. Art Week in Miami is one of the busiest times of the year, so we were excited to see the talent that had come from far and wide to display their work. After a quick outfit change, and a short Uber ride, we arrived at Red Dot Miami, a convention center housing talented artists by the dozens during Art Week. We saw everything from self-portraits to clay sculptures and impressionist work. It was sensory overload and the sense of pride each artist took in their work was palpable. Leaving the shows during Art Week can be a bit of a zoo, and trying to find your Uber is like a needle in a haystack, but thanks to the Emil Alzamora statues that were placed in 5 locations around the city, we were able to get in our car and to the next event that much faster. We closed out night one with dinner and the perfect sunset at Lido Restaurant.
On day two my alarm went off at a cool 5:45, because I was determined to see all that I could before heading back to LA. I woke up, got dressed and shot a few pictures around the hotel before heading off to meet Kier for breakfast at a true South Beach institution, News Cafe. Since they’re situated right along Ocean Drive, it was perfect for people watching and taking in sweeping views of the beach. They also cook up a mean smoked salmon benedict and their black coffee was brewed to perfection, if you’re in to that sort of thing.
After breakfast, we grabbed an Uber and went for a stroll along the iconic Collins Blvd. I loved seeing all of the art deco buildings surrounded by bushy palm trees. The weather was unseasonably cold at 75 degrees making it perfect for exploring without the crazy heat waves and humidity that Florida is known for. After our feet got tired we stopped in to Joe The Juice for an afternoon pick-me-up. Their green juice was just what I needed to give me a boost of energy after an early morning wakeup. As nightfall drew near we went off in search of cocktails and Faena – Miami’s most luxurious hotel, was our first pick. Sure we were drawn in because of their muraled walls and candy-striped umbrellas, but their cocktails were nothing to snooze on. Kier and I ordered champagne while her beau Jacques indulged in an Old Fashioned. A pink sky rolled in as we munched on our flatbread appetizers and chatted with fellow Art Week attendees.
Day three started with room service, a shot of espresso, and an early morning photoshoot. I’m a sucker for a good sunrise so as much as it is painful to wake up that early, it always ends up paying off. Plus, I feel like I have a head start on the day. After photos I ordered an Uber so that I could check another Miami must-see location off of my list – Viscaya Museum & Gardens! Viscaya was magical from the moment my Uber pulled into their gorgeous baroque style gates. When I walked in, I was captivated by the stunning marble floors, frescoed walls and awe-inspiring ceilings. I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful piece of history was in the United States. It looked like a villa that you might stumble into in Spain or Italy, but no, there it was in Miami, in all of it’s glory. Just when I thought Viscaya couldn’t get any prettier I went outside to their perfectly manicured gardens. It was a sight for sore eyes, and a sight that I will remember for years to come. After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I ordered an Uber to Faena Forum to hear 4 amazing artist speak on a panel. I was so inspired hearing all of their stories and seeing their amazing work. I left feeling like there is nothing you can’t do if you work hard and persevere. Sure, it’s something I already knew, but it’s always great to have a reminder.
My last stop was to the airport. I ordered one more Uber, packed up my luggage and headed west towards Miami International. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the bright orange sun disappearing into the horizon as if to say it’s not goodbye, just see you later. I know I will be back to Miami, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Have you ever been to Miami? I would love to hear about your favorite spots! Thanks so much for reading and a big thank you to Uber for partnering with me for Miami Art Week!