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Welcome to Miami

TravelCason Rainwater

Last week I shared with you the photo booth highlights from our trip to Miami. Check them out here! (I randomly look at them several times a week but I understand if you don’t want to.) Let’s be real though, that wasn’t much help for any of you actually planning or thinking of planning a trip to Miami. Believe it or not, we actually DID leave our hotel room. For those of you ready to party in the city where the heat is on, here are my eat, play, and stay recommendations!

[ STAY ]

Fontainebleau | There are a million hotels in Miami but it’s all about location, location, location. We wanted to be in the center of the Miami scene so we chose the iconic Fontainebleau in the heart of the action. You honestly didn’t need to leave the property at all! They had great restaurants and nightlife right on the property. Because there were 5 of us, we splurged on a junior suite in the main Chateau tower. Our views were INCREDIBLE! We could see the ocean, the main pool, and all the way down to Miami beach. Warning: The hotel is Vegas-style huge. If we were in any other tower I think there would have been a lot of walking. In the Chateau building we were literally an elevator ride down to the lobby, nightclub, and restaurants.

[ PLAY ]

It was the 4th of July weekend and we had amazing weather so of course our days were spent lounging by the pool. We rented a cabana and it was SO worth it! Pool chairs are a hot commodity and if you sleep in past 8am, you’re out of luck. With a cabana, we had a space reserved just for us whether we woke up bright and early or stumbled out there around noon. (Mum’s the word on which one describes us.)  Y’all, we felt so VIP. If anybody even so much as put a toe in our cabana they were immediately approached and told “If you are not with this party you need to leave.” (OMG. We died. And loved it.) With a cabana you get a small refrigerator stocked with fresh fruit, soft drinks, and water. We had to put the flat-screen TV to use so Holly enjoyed watching the World Cup!

The staff regularly came around with surprises like popsicles, chilled towels, and baby mango smoothies. Add in the awesome music playing and it was more like a swanky club than a hotel pool. We didn’t hate it.

Y’all know we love to dance so we hit the club scene at night. I’ll be honest though – tons of house music. If this isn’t your thing, I hear most of the clubs have a hip-hop night so do your research before you go. We ended up at LIV (at the Fontainebleau) on Thursday, Mansion on Friday, and Cameo on Saturday. We only went to Cameo because we saw an airplane banner advertising that Soulja Boy was going to be there. It was different…. BUT when you’re with 5 of your besties and the drinks are flowing, honestly anything is fun!

[ EAT ]

We did our research before our trip and loved every restaurant we picked! By accident we chose 3 different tapas restaurants but didn’t go wrong with any of them.

Yardbird | If you’re from Atlanta, think JCT kitchen. We ordered Mama’s Chicken Biscuits, the Big Ol’ Cheddar Waffle, Macaroni & Cheese, Deviled Eggs, and Shrimp N’ Grits. Y’all. SO GOOD. The award-winning restaurant also delivered a trendy southern atmosphere and quirky cocktails. Try the Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade or Strawberry Balsamic Daquiri! Check out the full menu here.

The Bazaar | Honestly this place was just downright swanky. The menu was a mix of traditional Spanish tapas as well as a “Miami meets the World” section that included ceviche and Singapore street foods. I think we ordered one of everything on the menu, including 2 pitchers of their incredible sangria but every single bite was to die for. Some of our favorite dishes included the Mediterranean Mussles, Patatas Bravas, Sauteed Shrimp, and Not Your Everyday Caprese. This was definitely my favorite restaurant! If The Bazaar is any inclination of what other Chef José Andrés dining experiences are like then I can’t get to his other restaurants fast enough. Check out the entire menu here.

Michael Mina 74 | This restaurant was located in the lobby of the Fontainebleau so we loved the location. Again, more creative and inventive small plates that did not disappoint. MM74 included fun American tapas like Lobster Corn Dogs, Maine Lobster Pot Pie, Garlic Duck Fat Fries, and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. The resident DJ kept the atmosphere energetic and although we didn’t partake, the seafood cart looked very tempting!

Well that’s our weekend in a nutshell. (At least the stuff we’re willing to share!) I’m missing this posh little hot spot already. Have a great weekend!

[ images via Fontainebleau, Yardbird, The Bazaar, and Michael Mina 74 ]