24 Hours in Miami Beach

Last weekend we took a quick one night trip down to Miami to go to a concert (how great is it that we are day tripping distance from SO many places now!). We spent a few hours on the beach, this time of year any more than that and you want to keel over. Still, it was relaxing and the view was great. After our European vacations the past few years I am now spoiled when it comes to beach-going and I love that Miami Beach has chair and umbrella rentals, definitely beats lugging all your stuff to the beach!

After some post beach shopping and a FANTASTIC lunch at My Ceviche (please please let them open a location in Delray Beach someday!) we headed to our hotel to check in. Thanks to a surplus of Marriott points we scored a free room at their Winter Haven Autograph Collection Hotel. The hotel originally opened in 1939 and they have done a fantastic job restoring it, also the location right on Ocean Drive can't be beat. Thanks to some frequent work traveling by the Hubs we have platinum status with Marriott and were upgraded to an ocean front room on the top floor. The views were amazing especially when coupled with a glass of champagne upon check in and a plate of cheese and olives waiting for us in the room!

Because of our concert tickets we were out on the town a bit early for drinks and dinner. Sadly the bar I wanted to try (The Rum Line in the Loews Hotel) wasn't open yet. Some quick yelping and digging back through my notes of places to try led us to The Social Club. I LOVED the all of the design elements in this bar! It was funky and eclectic but still classy and swanky feeling. The drink selections got good reviews from the Hubs who had a Pisco Punch (I was sadly in the midst of a self-imposed no drinking August). Their menu looked pretty good as well, I'd like to come back here sometime and try a bite to eat.

After a few drinks at The Social Club we were off to my most anticipated stop of the night - dinner! It's taken me a few trips down to Miami Beach to learn (the hard way) that I really need to put in the time and do my research on where to eat and drink. Not a great hardship for a librarian thankfully! I've had good luck recently scoping out places on thrillist.com. I really like their themed lists of bars and restaurants and it's a bit easier and more enjoyable than sifting through a million places on yelp or similar sites. That being said as I am a librarian I always look at multiple review sites as well as articles blog posts etc. . . I really enjoy reading bad reviews to see if they are in fact bad or just left by crazy people. Anyway, on to the amazing dinner. I'm pretty sure that the Hubs thought I was crazy when our Uber stopped and dropped us off in a tiny strip mall next to a Subway. Thankfully Subway sandwiches were not on the dinner plan instead it was delicious Korean BBQ from The Drunken Dragon.

The pictures do not even begin to do justice to the fantastic food we had (duck confit and chicken skin Bao anyone?) We sat at the bar as we tend to like to do. I was certainly bummed out to not be drinking here as their cocktail list looked amazing - tiki inspired with lots of punches and fruity drinks but each with a unique twist - right up my alley. Our fantastic bartender saved the day and made me a very tasty strawberry thai basil lemonade so I didn't feel totally left out of the fun (why have I never made cocktails with thai basil before?!?!). We ordered a bunch of different things and shared - galbi, short ribs, tuna tataki pizza (I need to try to recreate that at home), something called crack ribs - I have no idea what was on them but I'm pretty sure they are named correctly and there is indeed crack involved. Last but not least we ordered the BFR (Big Fucking Rib) because how could we not? It was true to description a big fucking rib, very tasty with three sauces, some pickled vegetables and steamed buns to go with it. Overall a truly fantastic meal and definitely someplace we will be going back to. The larger tables in the dining room had grills in the middle so you could cook your own food - getting back here with a group and one of those tables is now at the top of my to do list!

Next up was the original reason for our trip down, an Umphrey's McGee concert at the Fillmore Auditorium. I had never been to the Fillmore before and it was a really great venue, I'd love to go back. The concert was good, not the best I've ever seen but a nice venue and an excuse to go to Miami for the weekend I can't complain.

We woke up the next morning walked around for a bit checking out some of the architecture before it got too hot (spoiler alert - it got hot fast!) I really love the buildings in Miami and am excited to come back down in the fall when it's a bit cooler and take one of the walking architecture tours so I can learn a bit more about Art Deco and take some photos too. Overall a great weekend and a fantastic reminder what a good thing this move to Florida is, we are spoiled to have so many places to explore right in our backyard!