Whether you like your sun and sand with a side of meditation or late-night revelry, Miami has you covered. While known for its iconic nightlife, the melting pot of a city—known as a gateway between the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe—is also full of daytime activities on and around some of the nation’s most beautiful beaches.
The Palms Hotel & Spa, a 251-room boutique hotel minutes from the heart of South Beach, sits on an exclusive stretch of pristine sand that beckons for a cocktail and conversation. If you’re not the sunbathing type, stroll on the scenic Miami Beach Boardwalk, which runs behind the hotel, or post up by the heated outdoor pool in a private tiki cabana—complete with wireless Internet, double-teak chaise lounge chairs, and personalized service from the bar. Oceanfront rooms boast floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows overlooking the beach and the hotel’s tropical gardens; city-view rooms give you a picturesque glimpse of the Miami Beach cityscape.
For a weekend escape, consider the two-night “Nature & Nurture” package (starting at $449 per night, only for double occupancy), which includes a daily breakfast buffet for two at the hotel’s renowned Essensia Restaurant & Lounge, one 50-minute massage or facial per person at the Palm’s Aveda Spa, a private tour of the Essensia chef’s organic garden while tasting natural gourmet cuisine straight from the source, and a Sunday morning yoga class in the tropical gardens.
The Palms Hotel & Spa’s sister hotel, Circa 39, is just a few blocks away and across the street from the white sandy beaches Miami is known for. The chic, art-deco boutique hotel has a more intimate atmosphere with fewer than 100 rooms—all decorated with bright, tropical motifs. A hidden courtyard garden full of greenery, rocking chairs, and picnic tables under striped umbrellas connects the East and West buildings.
The whimsical Jules Kitchen on site prides itself on serving international comfort food for hungry globetrotters, while Circa 39’s first-floor Wunderbar offers cocktails that capture the spirit of the tropics. Refresh yourself with the Oriental Crush, a fresh take on the mojito that’s a combination of crushed mint shaken with premium white rum, Japanese Yuzu juice, elderflower liqueur, and topped with prosecco.
You don’t have to stray far for world-class fare. The Palms Hotel & Spa’s signature eatery, Essensia Restaurant & Lounge, serves up wholesome farm-to-table cuisine under the direction of Executive Chef Venoy Rogers, III. If you’re in the mood for seafood, you can’t go wrong with the Stuffed Scallops (with Florida stone crab, couscous, French remoulade, and cilantro-scented barley) or the Florida Black Grouper (with crushed pickling spice, sorghum, pomegranate-studded farro, and Brussels sprout leaves).
In Wynwood, Miami’s arts district, GK Bistronomie—of the newest additions to the area’s culinary scene—offers Peruvian cuisine with global influences and an exhibition-style kitchen. Chef Rafael Perez came on board after one of his restaurants ranked in the top-300 restaurants in the world, and he’s developed a menu of dishes that are as creative as they are delicious. Take, for example, the Foie Gras Empanadas, a fresh take on street food, and the braised lamb shank, which is served with navy beans, onion salsa, and moonshine sauce. The cocktails are as visually captivating as they are delicious.
After a night on the town, opt for a quick, healthy bite at DIRT, the new clean-eating-meets-fine-food-meets-fast-dining concept in Miami Beach. The Nourish salad—made from quinoa, sprouted chickpeas and lentils, roasted curried cauliflower, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper, golden raisins, shaved carrot, mole vinaigrette, and cucumber-mint yogurt—will leave you refreshed. Wash it down with the house sparking soda made from watermelon, raspberry, and rose-water soda, and you’ll be ready, once again, to hit the streets.
To get an iconic view of the city, stop by Miami Beach Paddleboard (rentals start at $30 for one hour) and then head to the waters of Biscayne Bay. Cut through the picturesque canals off Sunset Harbour for some fresh sea air and a glimpse of bay-front mansions. Afterward, walk to the nearby JugoFresh, a fast-growing Miami-based chain that offers smoothies, acai bowls, and its signature cold-pressed juices with tongue-in-cheek names, such as “El Green Go” (apple, celery, spinach, parsley, and lemon) and “Selfie Ready” (apple, lemon, ginger, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, cayenne, and fat belly tonic).
For a personalized glimpse of coastal life, take a Royal Palms of Miami bike tour. While cruising down some of Miami Beach’s most iconic streets in the Art Deco District, guide Frank Schena will give you a spirited lesson in the area’s history, architecture, and culture.