Miami Beach Vacation Ideas

There are few U.S. places more exotic than the sultry southern beaches of Miami. The hot, humid temperatures make it feel like a tropical vacation year-round, but you don’t need more than a weekend to have a good time. It’s the perfect excuse to pack your favorite sexy designer bikini and jet set on a plane to visit the famous South Beach and everything that surrounds it.

Miami is well-known for its colorful culture and coastal appeal. From the stunning architecture to the delicious, culinary offerings to the hospitality of the people who live there, it’s a go-to destination appearing on many travel lists. Not sure where to begin planning your perfect Miami beach vacation? Our guide will help you get started whether your weekend getaway is a girls trip, couples escape, or a solo adventure.

Where to Stay for a Girls Weekend in Miami

An escape to the coast of Florida is perfectly suited for groups of all sizes, but it’s the ultimate girls weekend getaway. What’s better than a trip to Miami Beach? There’s sand, shopping, and countless places to wind down with a massage or a mojito. Depending on everyone’s personal preferences, there are plenty of stunning accommodations to choose from throughout the city. Would everyone prefer splurge-worthy luxury indulgences, an ode to classic Southern sophistication, or trendiness true to the Miami's unique culture? These are a few of the choices found in Miami.

The Fontainebleau

The Fontainebleau has long been a staple of Miami’s main entertainment area. Its close proximity to the beach and luxe amenities makes it a place to see and be seen. A stay isn’t complete without pampering at Lapis Spa. The 40,000-square-foot space has everything a person could want with mineral pools, hot stone massages, steam baths, and a 35-foot rain tunnel.

Needless to say, it’s not your average spa treatment and is designed for the ultimate in comfort and luxury. It wouldn’t be a bad way to end an activity-filled weekend spent on the water and exploring the various parts of Miami. Put your feet up and unwind by retreating here. The tastefully sexy design of the bandeau bikini is statement swimwear perfect for South Beach. Straps or no straps, solids or stripes, mix it up when you pack for a weekend here.

The Betsy

As an alternative to the grandiose atmosphere of The Fontainebleau, The Betsy is a boutique hotel that has been renovated within the past few years and has two pools, two restaurants, and a library. The wrap-around porch and Art Deco features provide a Southern charm ambiance and is a quieter escape compared to other resorts in Miami.

There’s also a rooftop pool suspended in mid-air, an orb-shaped sky bridge, and a Poetry Rail that makes this location part hotel, part work of art. Named as one of Travel + Leisure magazine’s “World’s Best,” it’s the epitome of style situated right along Miami’s famed Ocean Drive. The classic elegance of the Lucy triangle bikini is an ideal choice for taking in the panoramic views from the pool or wearing to the beach.

The Delano

Finally, The Delano is the essence of Miami chic and has been since the 1990s. The white walls and fixtures dotted with bold art pieces and bright colors represents the aesthetic of this area. It’s a favorite among many for its pool scene, party vibes, and close access to the beach. With a rooftop wellness center, luxury poolside service, and stylish lounge and restaurants all on property, you may find it difficult to leave.

Even if you choose somewhere else to stay, many travelers opt for the Delano Sunday Brunch complete with stone crab claws, caviar, and a signature nitrogen ice cream laboratory. While sexy swimwear is a staple part of fashion here, stand out in a bold, ocean-hued Brazilian bikini or a white-hot color choice to capture the spirit of south Florida.

These are only three of the top hotels and resorts that make for a memorable girls weekend in Miami, each with its own special appeal. Narrow down the selections by what matters most to your group. Is it proximity to the beach? The nightlife scene? Or, are you looking for something a little more casual and comfortable? Whatever the occasion calls for, Miami has it all and is waiting for your arrival.

Places to See

The beach is the place to be in Miami. The white sands and warm waters are hard to stay away from, but if you’re visiting for only a weekend, don’t miss out on the rest of what this destination has to offer. For example, Miami has an art scene bursting at the seams. Plus, there are several areas nearby that are worth the short drive. A day that includes both water activities and wandering through art galleries calls for a Nikki Beach swimsuit. The special, 20-year celebration collection exudes sultry appeal with suede-textured fabric and fashionable prints perfectly suited to transition from the beach to Miami’s cultural scene when worn under a resort dress.

Institute of Contemporary Art

One of the best stops is at the Institute of Contemporary Art. There are free guided tours every day to learn more about this museum’s avant-garde art and the occasional truly unique and bizarre exhibit. After you’ve walked through the galleries, head to the outdoor sculpture garden for more artistic beauty. There’s always something new and interesting hitting Miami’s art scene, and this is a good place to stay up-to-date on all the latest artists.

Florida Everglades

While you may encounter an alligator from the road while driving down US-41, why not get an up-close look by taking an exhilarating ride down the famed Everglades? Take an airboat through the swamp and catch a glimpse of gators and other wildlife lurking beneath the waters. Afterward, hike through the Big Cypress National Preserve where there’s a chance you might cross paths with one of the reptiles again.

Key West

Snorkeling fans are happy to take the one-hour drive from Miami and spend an afternoon off the Florida Keys. The adventure sounds like a summer song in the making. The waters are warmer, cleaner, and clearer with plenty of fish and marine life to see. Either set off on your own from the shore into the shallow waters or sign up for a guided tour by boat.

Versace Mansion

Although now a hotel, it’s worth it just to get a view of the opulence of the former Versace Mansion. Gianni Versace purchased the home in the early 90s and went on to invest $32 million to add to the Greek-inspired, Spanish architecture property. Lovers of art, fashion, and a bit of scandal will appreciate all this famed designer gave to Miami.

Things to Do

Miami is a city that combines nature’s beauty with urban adventures for a weekend getaway that packs the itinerary with unique experiences. There’s a lot that can be packed into a short 48 or 72 hours. There’s art, cuisine, water sports, among the many sights to see. There’s enough to fulfill all senses while providing a broad picture of life in Miami.

Visit an Indian Burial Ground at Deering Estate

Going back to the early 1500s, the Deering Estate is home to an ancient Indian burial ground and other historical buildings from the late 1800s. Visitors can stroll through the salt marshes that line the property check out one of the many art exhibits on display. While there, take part in a moonlight canoe tour or full moon yoga if your trip time lines up with the property’s special event dates.

Dine on Cuban Cuisine

It’s no surprise Cuban influence runs high here. After all, a flight to the island is a little over an hour away. A visit to Little Havana in Miami provides an authentic taste with several specialty food shops and restaurants to choose from. It’d be a shame to leave without drinking a mojito or eating a Cuban sandwich. You can find both here along Calle Ocho, the heart of this cultural district. Let your stomach be your guide and sample as many delectable dishes as possible.

Walk Through the Art Deco District

No matter where you go, you won’t miss the stamp of art deco in this neighborhood. A trip to the Art Deco District reveals a full display of the pastel buildings and ornate details this area is known for. A free, self-guided tour will take you by stunning structures including the former Hoffman’s Cafeteria (now Senor Frogs) and the famous Carlyle Hotel, known for being featured in films such as The Birdcage and Scarface. The postcard views will make you feel like you’ve stepped back into another era when this art movement was thriving.

Kayak in Biscayne Bay

True to its name, Stiltsville, on the edge of Biscayne Bay, is a group of wood stilt houses. In the 1960s, there were 27 structures, but over time, these have diminished to just 7 buildings. It’s a sight to see on its own and a popular spot to set out for an afternoon of kayaking or a boat tour. Also while here, you can stroll along the beach, stop by the Cape Florida lighthouse, and experience a more relaxed side of Miami.

Stroll the Grounds of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Located in Coral Gables, Florida, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is approximately 12 miles from Biscayne Bay and about 20 miles from Miami. There are several guided tours daily of the main house, garden, and Vizcaya Village. The villa was inspired by the country estates of northern Italy and was designed to be seen from the sea. There are multiple rooms, artifacts, and artwork on display as part of this elaborate property.

Swim in the Venetian Pool

Taking a dip at the Venetian Pool will give you more of the architectural beauty found in Florida. The pool was created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry and is fed with spring water from an underground aquifer. It holds 820,000 gallons of water and is filled and drained daily. There are grottos, porticos, and palm trees to complete the Italian-inspired atmosphere. Since it can get crowded, it’s recommended to arrive early.

A one-piece swimsuit in a fashionable print is ideal for a day of checking off this Miami to-do list because of the additional coverage and versatility it provides. Add a sarong for anything water-related and a beach dress while dining or walking through museums. It’s all you’ll need to keep cool and ready for anything.

What to Wear in Miami

The temperatures in Miami stay sizzling most months of the year, which makes packing quite easy. Grab your favorite swimsuits, a cover up or two, designer flip flops, and you’re all set to go. The colors of Miami are bright and bold, so allow your swimwear to match the tone. Other clothing items to pack include:

Nighttime outfit(s) for a nice dinner or dancing
Dress shorts or resort dress
Tank tops or loose tunics
Beach bag
Beach hat
Sandals and/or flip flops

    You don’t need to add much to your carry-on when planning what to wear for your next Miami beach vacation. Plan around your swimsuits and mix-and-match options to get the most out of your clothing choices. The city embraces the more glamorous side of life, which means pack for the beach, but make it fashionable.

    Why You Should Plan a Miami Beach Vacation

    There’s a carefree air about Miami where all eccentricities and personalities are welcome. Activities range from free, off-the-beaten path finds to luxurious spa retreats and everything in between. It’s a place where lazy days on the beach are perfectly acceptable since no one can pass up admiring the white-sand shorelines and turquoise waters. But leave time to explore the vibrance of the city away from the water. As a main hub of fashion, art, and architecture, there’s no shortage of glitz and glamour. Whether it’s a carefully planned trip or a spontaneous excursion with your girlfriends, you’ll be amazed at how much you can pack into a weekend getaway in Miami.