Visit Miami!

Miami has been on my list of places to visit since my teen years. I’ve been dreaming of lounging in a cabana on the white sandy shores of South Beach, taking a stroll along Ocean Drive, doing some shopping at Lincoln Road Mall, and visiting the Art Deco district for ages. So I thought Miami would be the perfect destination to kick off our One Thousand Dollar Travel Destinations series! With a little time and a little patience, I was able to come up an awesome itinerary for a trip to Miami from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Let’s get right into it.

First things first. Let’s choose a date and make some flight plans! I want it it still be pretty warm so let’s shoot for the last week of September. September 28-October 1st to be exact.

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Here is the cheapest flight I found. $249 would be the cost for 2 adults but if you plan to travel solo or with a friend, the cost would only be $124.50. We are packing in a carry on. It’s only a 3 day trip ladies and gents.  Ain’t nobody got time for those checked luggage fees!

So that leaves us with $751 to spend on lodging, food, transportation and attractions.

Lodging options: The affordable options are endless!  It was tough but I was able to narrow it down to 2 choices based on location, price, and traveler reviews. Luckily both hotels are right on South Beach!

Option 1: Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 9.57.52 AM

The Room Mate Waldorf Towers is stunning! The photos alone made me want to book this getaway now. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Waldorf hotel.  This historical hotel is right on the beach on Ocean Dr.  You have to see the photos for yourself here.  This option will leave you with approximately $368.42 for transportation, food, and attractions! (I say approximately because I don’t know how much the room deposit for incidentals is so I took out $50 to be safe).

Option 2: This option is for the traveler who plans to spend a lot of time relaxing and enjoying the hotel.

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The Hyatt Centric South Beach is gorgeous as well. It has really great reviews on TripAdvisor. The hotel features a third floor roof top pool, on-site restaurants, a fitness center, and even a library! On top of that, the resort fee covers the use of two chaise lounge beach chairs, towels, bottled water, and use of the hotel’s bicycles to get around. The beach is only a minute’s walk from the hotel lobby. This option would bring you to a total of $703.19 for flights and lodging.  Again I subtracted $50 fee for incidentals to be on the safe side. We now have a little less than $300 for food and transportation and fun!

Next up, we have to get to and from the airport and the hotel. There are 2 inexpensive options for that.

Option #1. Take public transportation AKA the bus. For a mere $2.25 per person one way. If you plan to take the bus more frequently a day pass will run you $5.65 per person. Some of the perks of taking a bus ride, you get to experience different neighborhoods in Miami, it’s cheap, and you’ll get to people watch. Bus rides and train rides are some of my most memorable experiences from traveling because you never know what you’re going to see. According to Google Maps, it will take you between 50 mins to 1 hr each way to arrive at your destination.

Total cost round trip $22 

Room Mate remaining balance: 346.42

Hyatt remaining balance: $271.19

Option #2. Maybe you’re not about that bus life. No worries, you can take an Uber. Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 6.02.09 PM

 

To get to the Room Mate hotel, it would cost you between $14-19 each way.

Remaining balance: $340.42- $332.42

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Travel via Uber to the Hyatt would cost between $15-21 each way.

Remaining balance: $266.81- $254.81.

Whew! Now that all the big expenses are out of the way, lets focus on some food options. Miami has some amazing restaurants! If you’re like me, you like to sleep in a little later than usual while on vacation. To be honest, I don’t usually manage to get out of the hotel room until about 10:30-11 am so a brunch is always a good idea.

Here are some good breakfast/brunch spots on Miami South Beach based on reviews from Yelp.

  •  News Cafe South Beach: I have 3 words. Hello belgian waffles! { News Cafe 800 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Oliver’s Bistro: The All-American breakfast platter would be right up my alley { Oliver’s Bistro 959 West Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139}

If brunch is not your thing, here are a few affordable lunch restaurant options on South beach:

  • La Sandwicherie: : Most of the items on the menu are under $10.  {La Sandwicherie 229 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Mario The Baker (South Beach): Currently a special on Living Social that allows you to spend $10 for $20 on Italian food and drink.  {Mario the Baker 1837 Bay Rd #2, Miami Beach, FL 33139}

Dinner options for the low are endless with deals from Groupon.

  • Front Porch Cafe is currently offering a Groupon for $27 that covers a meal for 2 up to $50! That saves you $23. {Front Porch Cafe 1458 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Otentic Fresh Food Restaurant is also offering a Groupon for $30 for French cuisine for 2.                      {Otentic Fresh Food 538 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139}

Or you could try something outside of your comfort zone! Miami is a hub for different cultures and lots of exotic cuisine.

  • Tap Tap Restaurant is rated one of the best Haitian restaurants in Miami. The stewed oxtails sounded appealing to me.  {Tap Tap Restaurant 819 5th St Miami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Cleo Restaurant offers a mix of Mediterranean and Arabic inspired cuisine. It was named one of OpenTable’s 50 Hottest Restaurants in the US. Prices are pretty reasonable.                                       {Cleo| 1776 Collins AvenueMiami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Bolivar Resto Lounge offers Peruvian and Columbian food. They offer $9.99 lunch specials from 12-4 daily. Great reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor so it would be a great spot for lunch or an early dinner. { Bolivar Resto Lounge 841 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139}

Of course these are not the only restaurants in town. I would suggest budgeting up to $80 per day to meals and drinks. This is approximately $27.75 per meal for 2 people and there are 9 budgeted meals for this trip at a grand total of $250. You could spend more if you like but that would leave less for activities and attractions.

Room Mate + bus + food remaining balance: $96.42

Room Mate + Uber + food remaining balance: $ 82.42 – 90.42

Hyatt + bus + food remaining balance: $21.19

Hyatt + Uber + food remaining balance: $4.81-16.81

Lastly what are we going to do while we’re there? If you picked the Hyatt +Uber option you’re probably thinking I’m going to be twiddling my thumbs on South Beach. But luckily for you big spender, there are a LOT of free things to do in Miami Beach.

Here are just a few options.

  • Relaxing and people watching on South Beach, of course!
  • If you like to par-tay, these clubs in South Beach usually do not offer a cover charge: HaVen South Beach, Mondrian’s Sunset Lounge, FDR Lounge at Delanos, and Jazid.
  • Take a photo tour of the iconic Art Deco District, Lincoln Road, and Ocean Drive.
  • Purchase a bus pass to get off Miami beach and take the free Metro Mover around the city of Miami. There’s more fun things to explore. Check out these websites for other amazing ideas here and here!

That’s it folks. An entire 3 day getaway for one thousand dollars or less depending on which option you choose. Of course, these options do not include spending money. So I would definitely plan to bring a little more for shopping. It does cover all the necessities.

Disclaimer: Prices are subject to change without notice. These are the prices I found over the course of days of research. 

Could Miami be an option for your next vacation? Did you enjoy this post? Leave a comment down below and let me know. 

 

Stay inspired,

Brittany

 

 

12 thoughts on “Visit Miami!

    1. Awesome! That’s the same way I felt as I was writing this post. Take me with you lol. 😀

    1. You should totally do it. Depending on the month, you may be able to get this trip even cheaper! Ready, jet set, go! 🙂

    1. Thank you! October is actually the best month to travel to Miami so you should totally make it happen 🙂

  1. I’ll just call you head lady for lavish traveling logistics lol. You broke this down perfectly, which makes planning so much easier! I’ve never been to Miami beach, but who can resist a travel plan that’s already made?? Gotta talk to Josh about this lol! ❤️

    1. Oh I like that title. I’ve never been to Miami either but I am tempted to book a flight before the end of the year!

    1. Thank you so much! Definitely save it. You never know when you and the boo will have the urge to jet set !

  2. i LOVE how you broke this down. My hubs and I do this with spreadsheets to see what we have left, but I love that you wrote a blog to show us how you travel <3

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