StayCation Series: Downtown Miami/Wynwood
StayCation Series: Downtown Miami/Wynwood
Starting the #StayCationSeries is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Aside from the obvious that South Florida is a huge tourist hub, how often do we, the locals, act like a tourist and explore our own backyard? Many times when vacation rolls around I’ve opted for going somewhere else. But sometimes you just can’t do that. Sometimes, you don’t want to catch a flight (or spend the money on one). So why not explore our home? The series will include glam staycations, adventurous staycations, places to go, things to see, non-profits to check out and a bunch of other things that you can do while vacationing in our sunny side of the East coast, whether you’re a local or visitor.
This first StayCation is a Miami visit, filled with food and a little adventure alongside some new foodie friends. Stay with me and tag along for the ride.
The staycation started by checking in to the JW Marriot Marquis in Downtown Miami. The hotel is absolutely beautiful, a feeling of luxury as you enter the wide doors of the hotel takes over. This is typically considered a business hotel given its clientele but really, a hotel is a hotel and their amenities and location are great for anyone who likes a great view and wants to be in the heart of downtown. Speaking of the view, that’s part of what made this stay so wonderful for me: a floor to ceiling window with a beautiful intercoastal view. I could really stay in that room for hours just vibing with the curtains pulled aside. The room comes equipped with a half oval shaped desk, a lovely bathroom that has a tv in the mirror (worth mentioning!), both a shower and tub with its accompanying bath salts, AND the room comes equipped with an Illy coffee machine. Not only do you get to wake up to a wonderful view, but also awaken to the best coffee out.
The hotel’s in-house restaurant is Boulud Sud, a vibrant restaurant by Chef Daniel Boulud whose dishes are inspired by the coastal Mediterranean. We stop in for a happy hour and enjoy drinks and small plates before heading out for our Saturday night dinner. Quick bites include a lamb flatbread (a must try), a salmon tar tar and Mediterranean Mezze which comes with Spicy Moroccan Hummus, Herb Falafel, and Babaganoush. More on Boulud Sud to come.
Dinner in Wynwood:
A great dinner spot, especially ahead of a night out in Wynwood is Bakan, a Mexican restaurant with a vibrant and fun atmosphere and a taste for tequila and mezcal. Highlight items of the night were the “Huachinango Entero”, a whole red snapper served open faced, half in an achiote rub and the other half in a garlic, lemon and parsley rub served with rice and beans. The flavor was outstanding, the fish was fresh, and I will probably order this every time I go back here. Another favorite of the night: CHURROS! The churros this night are what set off my current churro obsession, so much so that I ordered them twice that night. (The picture below only shows two churros, more come in the order but its hard to stop a table of hungry bloggers from digging in!)
A Night Out
A couple of us decided to take a night out on the town. (Do I sound like a vieja saying that??) We ended up at very popular taco spot called Coyo Taco thats on the main ave in Wynwood. But we didn’t come for the tacos (well, some of us did but that’s not why we were there!) If you see a long line inside of Coyo and it’s not leading to the register, its leading to the backroom. An infamous Miami club like room, with a packed bar and a DJ setting the tone. If you’re from Miami, you know the vibes, and if you’re visiting, find out for yourself! Take a shot for me (if you’re over 21 – that’s my legal disclaimer 😉)
The next morning, after a relaxing bubble bath accompanied by some coffee, we headed downstairs to Boulud Sud for brunch. The restaurant is beautiful, the décor is very open, bright and welcoming and really just the perfect vibe for brunch. With a vast menu at hand, I seemingly went for a simple, classic breakfast of steak and eggs, and boy was I glad I did. The steak was outstanding, perfectly tender and seasoned. The table filled with various orders that included a Moroccan Shakshuka (Y U M), Belgian waffles served with strawberries, whipped cream, and Nutella (by request), and an excellent grilled octopus that is also available during happy hour. Delicious all around, great atmosphere and drinks, and if you like madeleines, they have mini ones that are just as cute as they are tasty!
Adventure time: Discovering Frost Science
With a some time left in our Sunday, we headed to the The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami. Full of curiosity and eager to see some animals, we headed to the top floor and where the birds and the sting rays are. Child or adult, the museum is a good way to spend an afternoon. There’s a lot of interactive things to do for kids, a planetarium and an array of aquatic animals and birds. The jellyfish are amongst the most popular because they are truly mesmerizing. Take a second when you’re atop the 5th floor, a stunning view awaits.
One of the great things about this general area in Miami is that most everything is a quick Uber/Lyft ride away. In a couple of minutes (depending on traffic) you can be in one place from the next. In Wynwood, most everything is walking distance.
Shoutout to the amazing group I met and a special thanks to Carma Connected for organizing this amazing weekend!
Till next time foodies!