Here’s a recap of our Miami Beach winter getaway!!
Our Miami Beach Winter Getaway
Thomas and I escaped the cloudy blahs of Virginia’s midwinter for a 3-night stay in Miami Beach. We booked the trip after our boosters but before Omicron really took off. Were we worried about getting it? Absolutely. But we decided to go anyway, with our KN95s in hand, especially since 99% of our trip was outdoors.
We decided to go mid-week so the boys would be in school during the day (god willing). Special thanks to Nona and Grandpa for taking care of Birch. (Mazen was at his dad’s.)
How we picked Miami Beach
We don’t want to fly international until the testing requirements are lifted, so that limited our trip to the USA. We considered Key West, the upper keys, and Fort Lauderdale, but Miami was the only spot with a direct flight. A 20-minute Lyft ride got us to our hotel and saved lots of travel time. We felt like we were on an island the whole time, so it was a great choice!
This trip was free!
One reason we booked the trip was because Thomas had a credit from a flight he canceled in March of 2020. So our flights to Miami were covered by that. And our hotel was nearly free thanks to credit card points. Travel hacking FTW. (The price of food and drinks in Miami balanced this out – OUCH!)
Our Hotel: The Nautilus
We stayed at the Nautilus by Arlo.
I don’t have the best track record picking hotels, but we really enjoyed the Nautilus! We chose it because they had oceanfront balcony rooms. When weather is your top priority, a balcony makes SUCH a difference. I also found a great rate through the Chase Rewards Portal!
Our room was great and the bed faced the ocean with this view in the morning.
- Good service, especially KT on the beach!
- Great pool area with poolside food and drink service; big pool bar.
- The hotel is beachfront and there are complimentary beach chairs and towels.
- Our room and shower were nice; the balcony was fabulous.
- Robes and slippers (we had to ask for them)
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free bike rentals
- Coffee shop café in the lobby was good for quick breakfasty things
- Coffee wasn’t included ($4) but the coffee from the lobby was VERY good coffee; there were espresso machines in the room but we never made any.
- The umbrellas were $22 to upgrade at the beach. That’s on top of the $30-ish a day resort fee. 99% of the year you NEED an umbrella. The day beds in the front row were $150.
- We found out that the drinks a few doors down were 2x as big and stronger for fewer dollars less. Cocktails at the Nautilus were $18 each and pretty small (!).
Upon Arrival: Mimosas + Fish Tacos
We took the 6:30 a.m. flight out of Richmond, so we were up at 3:30 a.m. to depart Cville! When we finally got to Miami Beach at 11 a.m. (our flight had a delay) we were starving for lunch. Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we had fish tacos and mimosas at the hotel restaurant!
Wednesday: Pool Day
We spent the early afternoon by the pool. I had a delicious cocktail, started a new book, and took a nap!
Dinner at OLA
I gathered some recommendations from friends as well as Instagram and made some dinner reservations. Walking everywhere is always a huge priority to us when we travel, so we tried to pick spots that were less than a 15 minute walk.
OLA came highly recommended by my friend Erin! The service was outstanding, and the food creative and delicious.
These were SO good, and the fresh corn sauce was delish. We also LOVED the dinner rolls made from yuca and tapioca. They had the best marshmallowy texture!
Cuban Pork + Seared Tuna
The entrees were expensive, rich, and huge! We couldn’t finish. Delicious. My Rioja went perfectly with the pork.
Deconstructed Key Lime Pie
This dessert was INCREDIBLE! I loved eating the pie components all mixed up in one bite.
Thursday: Beach Day
We got so lucky with the weather, as a cold front came through right after we left. It was also supposed to rain all day Wednesday and we had plenty of sun! We declared Thursday our beach day.
+ lots of coffee and a few bites of muffin.
The path to the beach was a tunnel of bamboo!
We walked about 2 miles to get the day going and then changed into bathing suits for the afternoon.
It’s a bit hilarious how we can go from being freezing in Virginia to saying it’s “too hot” in the sun. The sun was intense without a $22 umbrella though!
Lunch on the beach
A plus is that you can order food from the hotel delivered to you right on the beach. I had a chickpea salad, guac and chips, and a Corona (!) for lunch.
We read and napped
Happy hour by the pool
I’m not usually a cocktail drinker, but the Strawberry Pool Party cocktails were so good!
Dinner at Ocean Grill
We went to dinner at The Ocean Grill, two doors down. The location is prime with views of the ocean and the walking path for people watching. The prices were $$$$ so you pay for that view!
We got a trio of small plates
Grilled Artichokes Three Ways, Eggplant Parm, and a Tuna Tartar. Plus bread and wine.
Chocolate cheesecake for dessert!
Friday: Our Final Day
The best day includes an active morning and lazy afternoon. We followed that same agenda on Friday!
We walked to Joe and the Juice two blocks away and got really good smoothies.
We walked around while we sipped and then rode the boardwalk on two cruisers. It was great to see more of the area. I loved the outdoor gyms we passed!
Lunch at High Tide
We walked a few doors down from our hotel to the Kimpton Surfcomber hotel where they had an outdoor restaurant and bar called High Tide. The lunch was GREAT here! We actually almost stayed at the Kimpton but opted for the Nautilus because of the balcony, which was a good call. But the Kimpton was a party pad with an amazing DJ and louder vibe. And the drinks at High Tide were 2x as big as the ones at our pool.
Grouper Tacos, Yucca Fries + Fresh Guac
Worth the $22 haha. We had a gorgeous beach day afternoon!
Gratuitous “On the way to dinner” pics!
Dinner at Lure Fishbar
We both live for seafood, so Lure Fishbar at the Loews Hotel was our final reservation. This may have been our favorite meal!
Crispy Sushi with Spicy Tuna
Tempura Shrimp Roll
Recharge + Relax Winter Getaway
This trip was such a great combo of recharge in the sun and relax. We really felt like we had escaped to an island despite still being in the USA. With nonstop flights and no testing requirements, I’d recommend this easy trip for a Miami Beach winter getaway to anyone on the East Coast!