When it comes to spring break in Florida, Fort Lauderdale is undoubtedly the originator, but I’m here to convince you that Miami is the place to be, and not just for US college kids – there truly is something for everyone. So, in the words of Will Smith, “Welcome to Miami”…
1. Tropical weather
The humidity in Miami can be fierce, but if you can handle the heat the balmy temperatures are ideal for a beach-by-day, party-by-night situation. The biggest bonus? It stays warm all night so bikini-clad revelry is very much a reality.
2. Beaches for days
Uber-trendy South Beach is the most obvious choice for spring breakers (and with good reason), but if you’re looking for something a little different, head to the Sunny Isles/Golden Beach area of North Miami where flamingo t-shirts are still a go, or Haulover Beach where it’s completely legal to be caught with your kit off.
In my world, there’s no better way to blow off steam than blowing off some cash, and Miami has some of the best shopping malls in the world. The 10-block open-air mall Lincoln Road; boutiques like The Webster, Del Toro and APT 606; and Miami’s designer district are all must-visits.
4. Hotel amenities
Check out the poolside restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach to watch the hotel’s tanning butlers perform their sunblock-application duties, head to Sunset Lounge for nightlife, The Setai for celeb-spotting (Jay-Z and Beyoncé have stayed in the penthouse there), and Fontainebleau where the bakery alone is worth the trip.
5. Tourist hotspots
I say if you’re going to be a tourist, you might as well really be a tourist. Get out and visit the unique Everglades, Zoo Miami and Jungle Island. And do not miss Versace Mansion on South Beach – reportedly the most photographed home in North America.
New York may be dubbed the city that doesn’t sleep, but Miami’s 24-hour liquor license means non-stop partying really is a possibility. Don’t miss Cameo for the hottest live music, Mansion for art deco fabulousness, Mynt Lounge for celebrity spotting, and Nikki Beach for the open-air dancing.
7. Cuban coffee
All-night partying requires a certain level of caffeine consumption and, luckily, Miami’s Cuban coffee’s molasses-sweetness is just the ticket. Order a Cortadito if you’re a beginner, a Colada with a group, and a Cafecito for a serious energy injection.
8. Ultimate people watching
Between the very minimal swimwear (there’s a reason the South Beach Diet is named thus – the body is big business in Miami), celebrity spotting and extreme eccentrics, the people watching in Miami is fabulous.
9. Food forever
South Beach is home to some pretty incredible down-home favourites including crisp-fried chicken and fried-green tomatoes, but there’s a whole lot more to the foodie scene than first meets the eye. Khong River House is the place to get your Asian-food fix, De Rodriguez Cuba is where you’ll find your empanadas and brunch-time sangria, and The Forge is the place to be for fine dining.
10. Art scene
The annual Art Basel in winter is the best time to check out art in Miami, but the gallery scene is thriving year-round. Miami’s Wynwood Art District offers some of the world’s best private collections and the Fredric Snitzer and David Castillo galleries hold many incredible treasures.
Start planning your spring break trip to Miami and make the most of the amazing coastline and take a trip to Florida while you’re there.