Destination Florida – 48 Hours in Miami

48 Hours in Miami with Viv and Jill

48 Hours in Miami with Viv and Jill – at the Conrad Miami Hotel

Destination Florida – 48 Hours in Miami

WAVEJourney Explores Miami, Florida – Highlights of Our 48-Hour Stay

Miami, Florida is located in the southeastern part of the Sunshine State and is home to over 2.6 million residents from more than 120 countries. It is also well known as the “Cruise Capital of the World”, is the global headquarters of five leading cruise lines, and the world’s busiest cruise port. Our visit to Miami was to join a cruise to the Caribbean, so we purposely planned our arrival early to allow us 48 hours beforehand to explore the city. We recommend anyone flying into Miami for a cruise give themselves at least this much time to arrive in advance – there’s so much to do and see in the city.

DAY 1

Our flights from the west coast of the USA had us arriving in Miami on time just after 7AM. As soon as we collected our luggage we stepped outside the airport terminal and connected our mobile to call a Lyft (our first time using this service and it was quick, simple and much cheaper than a taxi). Within 20 minutes we were dropped off at our hotel – Conrad Miami on Brickell Avenue – and were thrilled to receive an early check-in at no extra charge by 9AM as the hotel had the availability. The red-eye flights hadn’t allowed us much time to sleep so we decided to take a nap for a few hours allowing us to hit the city and explore by 1PM.

Bayside Park in Miami

Bayside Park in Miami

Our plan worked perfectly and we awoke adequately refreshed and enthusiastic. First we walked 30 minutes from the hotel to Bayfront Park and Bayside Marketplace. The latter was a hum of activity with live music, lots of shops to peruse, cafes and restaurants to grab a drink or bite to eat, and plenty of people watching. Walking around Bayfront Park and Downtown Miami was a good way to stretch our legs, get the lay of the land, and feel the local vibe.

Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventures

Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventures

A 45-minute Thriller Miami Speedboat Tour that departed from Bayfront Park was a terrific way to get on the water, and have some high-speed excitement on one of the three Supercat 55ft power catamarans. The tour took us to Flagler Monument Island, Star Island (Ricky Martin’s house was just one), Millionaires Row, past PortMiami cargo vessels, and out towards South Beach. This is a fun activity for those that love the feel of the wind through their hair at high speed on a boat.

The Langford Hotel

The Langford Hotel

Dinner was in Downtown Miami at the charming 126-guest room and suites boutique hotel, The Langford Hotel. This definitely is a hotel we must stay at on our next visit to Miami, and we would love to dine again at their Pubbelly Station American restaurant – the meal we had was last-meal worthy, and service was excellent. The hotel also has one of Miami’s hippest and hottest cocktail lounges – Pawnbroker Roof Top and Lounge – which is on our list to experience.

We each kicked off our dining experience at Pubbelly Station with a cocktail. Viv had the Damned & Beautiful – a refreshing Champagne, St. George Vodka, Blackberry gastric with a pink peppercorn rim. Jill sipped on the Scarlet Ibis – Apostles Gin, mate tea syrup, drunken cranberries, grapefruit juice, Florio Branca, and Peychaud bitters.

French Onion Soup Dumplings

French Onion Soup Dumplings

For starters from the menu we enjoyed the BBQ Dates – with bacon, mustard BBQ, smoked brisket and coleslaw – that immediately had us drooling. Our server enticed us with his claim that the French Onion Soup Dumplings were one of his favorite starters – and we were not disappointed by this creative rendition of a popular classic that combined braised short rib, gruyere cheese and brioche croutons.

Cox Family Farms Dry Aged Pork Chop

Cox Family Farms Dry Aged Pork Chop with candied cabbage, smoked bacon tater tots, gruyere crust.

Jill had a main course of Atlantic Cod with caramelized cream, cherry stone clams, bacon, red bliss potato and leeks. Viv had the Cox Family Farms Dry Aged Pork Chop with candied cabbage, smoked bacon tater tots, gruyere crust. A side dish of Brussel Sprouts with salted caramel, smoked house bacon and peanuts was the ideal accompaniment to our entrees. Both were perfectly prepared and delicious enough that we’d return for a repeat performance.

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake served warm.

To call it a wrap, we ended our meal with the warm red velvet cake dessert – do NOT miss this! Chef Jose Mendin certainly created one of the most interesting and delightful menus we have experienced in a very, very long time.

Another Lyft ride back to our hotel had us sitting at the bar on the 25th floor with magnificent city and bay views.

 

DAY 2

Viv and Jill at Frost Science

Viv and Jill at Frost Science

Our morning’s activities included a private tour of the under-construction Frost Science Museum which is scheduled to open May 8, 2017. This facility will house many exhibitions including an aquarium and planetarium. It is located in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park adjacent to the Perez Art Museum Miami.

Aquarium Mezzanine at Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Aquarium Mezzanine at Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Frost Planetarium Interior at Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Frost Planetarium Interior at Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Once open, the museum will be fun and informative for all ages – we can’t wait to return and experience the finished product. But, we suggest you add a visit to spend at least 2-3 hours there and see Frost Science for yourself.

A 3-hour Little Havana Food Tour with Miami Culinary Tours occupied our afternoon. This walking tour with a small group of about a dozen travellers from the USA and other parts of the world.

Little Havana Culinary Tour with Miami Culinary Tours

Little Havana Culinary Tour with Miami Culinary Tours

With guide, Marie, it was a fun, informative and tasty way to explore Little Havana and learn the local history.

Little Havana with Miami Culinary Tours

Little Havana with Miami Culinary Tours

We visited 7 foodie stops and ate Cuban beef empanadas, croquettes and Cubano sandwiches, guava pastelito, and ice cream. Drank café Cubano, Guarapo cane juice, and Mojitos.

Ball & Chain and Azucar

Ball & Chain and Azucar Ice Cream Company – Two Stops with Miami Culinary Tours

Finishing off our evening with a 2-hour Miami Sunset Cruise on a catarmaran with Play Time Water Sports (they have lots of other tours to choose from) was another highlight of our time in Miami.

Miami Sunset Cruise with Playtime Watersports

Miami Sunset Cruise with Playtime Watersports

The dock was only a 10-minute stroll from the Conrad Miami Hotel, so ideal for our plans. Drinks and snacks were included on the cruise and it was a splendid way to celebrate the evening, and take in the nearby sights and Miami skyline under a brilliant sunset.

Viv and Jill enjoying a Miami Sunset Cruise with Playtime Watersports

Viv and Jill enjoying a Miami Sunset Cruise with Playtime Watersports

Initially, we thought our itinerary gave us lots of down time and space to chill between activities. In reality, it kept us quite active and occupied. So if you want to follow in our footsteps, know you’ll be kept busy and learn a lot about the things you see. Have fun exploring!

Cheers,
Viv and Jill – AKA: WJ

Getting Around Miami

We tried Lyft and Uber for the first time and made three trips with each service – no problems, inexpensive and hassle-free. It worked for us.

Where To Stay

Where To Dine

What To Do

Miami Tourism Information

 

Note: WAVEJourney were guests of some of the above businesses during our time in Miami in April 2017. Read our full disclosure statement to see that this has no effect on our opinion and/or recommendations and/or reviews.

 

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