In Vancouver, winter months often mean long, drawn-out stretches of gray, dull days with plenty of rain to dampen our outlook. That got us dreaming of hot spots for sun and adventure worthy of a young professional’s appetite for fun that won’t break the bank.
Right now, our sights are set on miles of oceanfront, dotted with cabanas and hip hotels that encapsulate Miami’s South Beach district and we’ve rounded up some notably cool options for one hot itinerary that may have you booking a quick mid-winter vaycay today.
Getting there from YVR might just be your only dilemma given our city’s airport isn’t exactly the best ‘hub’ around. Fear not; pretty much every major US airline (we recently flew American Airlines) offers an almost direct flight to Miami with a reasonable pricetag.
Alternatively, opt to drive across the border and catch a flight from Bellingham or Seattle in Washington State and score a good deal. All told, you’ll be ditching your UGG’s and parka for a sundress and sandals in less than ten hours.
If you plan well enough ahead, you’ll find some great deals on beach-side hotels such as the W Hotel, The Palms Hotel and, our favourite, The Gansevoort Hotel. You’ll be swept into another world upon setting foot within this well-appointed, luxurious hotel that boasts a stunning rooftop pool, plenty of lounge spaces and an additional infinity pool that offers breathtaking views of the turquoise Atlantic Ocean. Not quite sure if this is the spot for you? No problem. Be sure to head a bit further down Collins Avenue toward Ocean Drive’s Art Deco-inspired boutique-style hotels and check out The Penguin Hotel for a stylish start that might save you a bit.
Grab an oceanside lunch at the famed Fountainebleau’s own French Mediterranean-inspired patio, La Cote, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for famous faces – they love it here. Up for something a bit different? We love The Betsy for its fresh, bikini-friendly cuisine and beachfront ambiance and also suggest you grab a cab and head over to 8oz Burger Bar for some serious eats.
After you’ve sunned yourself to a glowing hue, get dolled-up and head out to take in the Miami Beach scene. Grab cocktails at The Setai’s swanky lobby bar and courtyard with your crew before shifting over to the W’s poolside lounge. If you’re lucky enough (and have a great concierge) try to score a reservation at Prime 112 for dinner. This place is the epitome of cool and boasts huge crowds of Miami’s best-dressed. Be forewarned and prepared for a wait by the bar though, it’s not unusual to wait a few hours for your table. Not your thing? Head over to Smith & Wollensky, an all-American classic steak house that offers one of the most outstanding table-side views. You’ll find it overlooking the Port of Miami and the Atlantic – a great spot to catch a stunning sunset. Other noteworthy dining and lounge options: STK (at the Gansevoort Hotel) is always packed with pretty people, Mr. Chow, for those that want to see and be seen, as well as Wall Lounge for late-night drinks and dancing.
Get outta town (or away from the beach during the days if you can) and book a sightseeing tour to visit the Everglades. This full-day trip offers hotel pick-up and drop-off to the center of it all and will give you a glimpse of some of Florida’s prized, pristine waterway. A mere $50 will also get you a tour via airboat where you’ll take in the picturesque scene, view wildlife and see plenty of alligators. An added bonus for booking the trip at this time of year? No mosquitoes to contend with. Alternative activities that might pique your interest are city, Art Deco and Botanical Garden tours, visiting the high-end shops of Bal Harbour, and boat and float plane tours to explore the Florida Keys. Our favorite has to b visiting the famed home of Ernest Hemmingway in Key West.
Explore and learn more about Miami’s endless options, brush off your planning negotiation skills and score some serious deals by clicking here. Just be sure to send us a postcard and your most colourful stories.
Photo courtesy Starwood Hotels