An Artsy Long Weekend in Miami

This past February, my mother and I went on a girls trip to Miami over a long weekend. She and I both like to look at museums, funky shops, and eat similar cuisine, so we had a blast together! It was so great to spend time with her and explore new-to-me places in Miami, especially since I had such a wonderful time visiting last year.

While it’s important that we abide by state regulations during the pandemic, I have had fun reliving this trip so am sharing this itinerary in hopes that one day soon, we will be back to planning future trips! As of writing, many of the sites below had plans to reopen with safety precautions this month (subject to change).

I’ve put together an itinerary loosely based on our trip focused by neighborhoods and areas of the city for ease of use.

Day 1: Art and History South of the City

Miami is home to a number of arts festivals throughout the year, but wintertime is the best time to come. Check out Coconut Grove Art Festival, or Art Wynwood, usually held over President’s Day weekend, or Art Basel – Miami Beach, which is scheduled for December.

Peacock Garden Bistro’s patio in Coconut Grove

If you make it to Coconut Grove Art Festival or find yourself wandering Coconut Grove’s shops and galleries, stop for lunch at Peacock Garden Bistro which offers casual fare and nice brunch options in a relaxed setting with a lovely outdoor patio.

Vizcaya Estate, view from the water side.

From there, head to Vizcaya, a Mediterranean-style villa with beautiful gardens built almost a century ago for millionaire James Deering. Take a guided tour of the house to get all the details, but take your time wandering the gardens and sitting on a bench.

Day 2: Miami Classics

Start your day in Wynwood, checking out the street art, funky shops and coffee shops. Meander through the curated Wynwood Walls. If you really like graffiti, check out the nearby Museum of Graffiti. Treat yourself to lunch at Bakan Restaurant, with Mexican cuisine including house-made blue corn tortillas. I highly recommend the mushroom quesadillas! There are also a number of popsicle shops and ice creameries in the neighborhood if you need something cool.

Mouth-watering mushroom quesedillas on blue corn tortillas and a tasty drink.

Beat the heat and spend your afternoon and the heat of the day wandering the cool galleries at Perez Art Museum Miami which features modern and contemporary work. When you need a break, grab a drink or snack from Verde and sit outside looking over the water.

Tschabalala Self’s Chopped Cheese at PAMM

Day 3: South Beach Design

Grab a drink and pastry from Shepherd Artisan Coffee then walk towards the water to join a tour with the Miami Design Preservation League to learn about the history of South Beach and the Art Deco architecture. From there stop at one of the many restaurants beckoning to you. If you’re up for a walk and don’t know exactly what you want, check out Time Out Market Miami and choose from a selection of vendors.

An art deco hotel along South Beach.

Visit the Wolfsonian-FIU museum, which focuses on collected items from 1850-1950 with nicely curated exhibits filled with beautiful objects, and informative signage to pull it all together.

Lovely outdoor seating at the Broken Shaker.

End your day at the Broken Shaker at Freehand Hotel for a fun tiki-bar vibe with creative mixed drinks and small plates.

Bonus Half Day Trip: Japanese Gardens

If you have more time or want to substitute something from my itinerary above, drive to Morikami Museum and Gardens in Delray Beach, about an hour north of Miami. Get there in time to eat lunch at their tasty Cornell Cafe – I suggest getting a Bento box to try bits of everything! Wind through their paths through centuries of gardens encompassing different styles, and visit their museum with changing exhibitions. They also have a gift shop filled with a variety of objects, snacks, and more.

A tranquil rock garden at Morikami.

Have you been to Miami? What would you recommend?

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