It’s that time of year where we take our kids on a little vacation to enjoy summer a bit, away from home. Unexpectedly this year, I ran into passport issues with two of the kids so my international plans quickly had to be changed to domestic travels. I was NOT excited about that but, a promise is a promise and I wanted to give the kids a quick getaway.
The shift kind of threw me for a loop and frustrated me. So, I did what any mom would do in that situation, I procrastinated until it was almost time to go, missed our flight to another city and ended up going to Miami. It was a last resort and I was sure the girls would not have as much fun because Miami, is after all, a party city!
Let me tell you, I was SO wrong. This was the first time that I really got to SEE Miami. The culture, the food, the melting pot of people. Miami gave me a family experience that I was ill prepared for but that I appreciated greatly!
I found a great Airbnb for a VERY reasonable price in the Opera Tower Condominiums. (Disclaimer: Prices will vary depending on the events in the city and time of year)
The drive through Florida was beautiful and when we stopped in cities along the way ALOT, remember I have a toddler! The people were so nice an
d very diverse. I think we met people from 4 different countries that were in the US visiting. Culture while traveling, I love it!
Upon arrival we checked in and got settled. The view was amazing. Again, I’ve only ever stayed either in Fort Lauderdale with my bestie at her house or on South Beach, never in downtown Miami so I didn’t realize the view was just as beautiful as it is on South Beach.
For the next 3 days we packed in so much that I needed a vacation from the vacation!
We visited the Butterfly Conservatory in the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden the first half of the day. The admission was reasonable: Adults $25, Student with ID’s or between the ages of 6-12 $12, 5 & under FREE! The grounds are breathtaking, literally. You are able to experience exotic plants and you will undoubtedly stumble upon a variety of lizards from Iguanas to Geckos. As will most gardens or museums, there are little informational stands at each plant and animal area that describe what you are viewing. The place is large so definitely wear good walking shoes.
The BEST part is the butterfly conservatory. I might be biased though because I have a special relationship with butterflies. Twice a day they release new butterflies into the conservatory and you can hold them all if you want. Its beautiful and serene. I visited quite a few butterfly gardens but this was my favorite not only because of the many different species they had but the staff was amazing as well.
Next up, we went to the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. This was Zee’s pick because she is into history. The cost wasn’t as reasonable especially since it is NOT stroller friendly: Adults $22, Teens (13-17) $15, Child (6-12) $10 and Children 5 & Under FREE. The grounds are beautiful and you have an amazing view of Biscayne Bay, its breathtaking. There is a ton of history and the tour guides are very knowledgeable. (Nope, I didn’t pay for a tour on top of those high-ticket prices and limited stroller access… we tagged along at a comfortable distance to “overhear” … just being honest) While I stayed downstairs with the little, my two older kids toured upstairs and came back to tell me all the cool stuff they saw.
You may have heard of the Bayside Market Place in downtown Miami, but if not let me share some highlights. It’s an outdoor mall with all the standard shops like Bath & Body Works, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, etc. as well as small business kiosks featuring local gems. On a hot summer day in July, I was baking. I’ll be honest. The kids loved the views of the bay with all the boats and there were many tour buses that passed through. IT was like a Chicago/New York tour through the city moment.
I saved the best for last…. The Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science! Admission for Adults (12 & Older) $29.95, Children (3-11) $20.95 and Toddlers (0-2) FREE! The cost may seem like a lot to some but it is so worth it. Not only is there an amazing aquarium with a few petting/touching areas but there are several play and learn spots focused on different areas of science, including motion, special awareness, and animal artifacts. The museum is awesome and I highly recommend it
Additional places around the city that we spent some time or drove past😊:
All in all, each was a success and I finished every HOT and busy day, after the kids were asleep, on my balcony with the amazing view enjoying a nice glass of Merlot and my vape pen from ReLeaf Health. (Totally legal Hemp CBD, check it out!)
I have been to The Licking Miami before and it’s a little pricey but the food is so good to me. The collard greens I
promise come from somebody’s Southern Grandma… Perfection! (As you can tell I was not on any sort of healthy eating kick while on vacation!)
At the Bayside Marketplace we tried a little place called Largo Bar and Grill. It was just OK, nothing to write home about and a little expensive. T did really enjoy the Chicken Marsala but the crab cakes were the size of a quarter and weren’t that tasty. I’ve definitely had better but I also realize food is definitely a subjective topic. Some better options at the Bayside Market are The Knife & The Mojito Bar.
We bought groceries, too, and cooked at our Airbnb, one of the many reasons I enjoy a resort or Airbnb as opposed to a hotel. I always end up wanting a home cooked meal on vacation… I know I know but I do!
By far, Versailles, was our FAVORITE place while we were on this trip. Talk about authentic Cuban food! Ladies, throw caution to the wind and go to this place. The people are beyond friendly, the lines move quickly and the food is absolutely incredible at a VERY reasonable price.
From 18 – (don’t worry about how old I am now), Miami has always been my place to meet up with my girls, get away with my hubby and adult! I mean clubs, drinks, beach… repeat. Now, Miami is our new quick getaway with the kids because it has so much to offer families. My girls had a great time and we can’t wait to go back.
Have you been to Miami on a family vacation? Had you even CONSIDERED Miami? Let me know your thoughts and experiences.
Love & Light,
Mommi Trese … Unapologetically