Meet Me in Miami

 “Party in the city where the heat is on, All night, on the beach till the break of dawn. Welcome to Miami!”

Honestly, I couldn’t not start a blog post about Miami without quoting some lyrics from one of the most identifiable songs about the city. And believe it or not, this was actually only the second time that I ventured down to Miami. Obviously, Miami is known for its sun, fun, and nightlife, and this trip I was lucky enough to be hosted by The Gates Hotel South Beach.

 

The hotel, which is the gorgeous backdrop in my first photo, showed me an amazing weekend in party city and provided the perfect spot to be based for the weekend.

 

 

 I got into Miami late night on a Thursday and sadly missed the grand opening party for The Gates Hotel, however, it was quite the event! They even rolled out the pink carpet to celebrate! That Friday I woke up in one of the extremely comfortable beds in the sleek and modern guest rooms and wandered down to breakfast. There is a great onsite breakfast, either Continental or a la carte, available on property; which you can also enjoy by the pool or grab something and head down to the beach.

 

The Gates Hotel South Beach is of course located in South Beach Miami, where all the action is in Miami, and just a stone’s throw away from the beach. The hotel offers a great service that will “tuk-tuk” you right to the beach, if you aren’t inclined to walk, and pick you up whenever you have the urge to return to the hotel.

 

 

 

We took advantage of the ride to the beach, since we also brought along a cooler full of goodies, and were pleasantly surprised by an incredibly lavish setup on the beach! There was a full group of beach chairs and beds arranged for us, along with Corn Hole and several other games for us to play while there. That along with a couple of mobile hotspots made this the perfect office/relaxation station for us to soak in some rays and truly relax!

 

 

Our press group spent a gorgeous day getting our tans on, at the end of November mind you, in 80 degree weather! The hotel has a prime spot on the beach with numerous chairs for guests to lounge on and, of course, they have beverages and food available while you’re there. All of this was provided by Boucher Brothers, who are a highly lauded Hospitality Management Company that really knows their stuff when it comes to the pool, the beach, food and beverage!

 

After several hours of lounging, which was much needed, we moved back to the hotel to get cleaned up and prepared to take in some art before dinner and hitting the town on a Friday night!

 

 

  The Bass Museum in Miami is one of the most prominent, and in my opinion, fun art spaces in the city! It has a focus on contemporary art, but it also has a wide ranging permanent collection of Renaissance art, that somehow seamlessly fits in with these various contemporary pieces that make for a very experimental journey throughout the museum. For example, these eggs that are fixed upon all the walls in one section of the museum, along with several Renaissance pieces and even an Egyptian Sarcophagus.

 

 

 

 Head upstairs and you leave the Renaissance art behind and are greeted by some really fun, although some may find it creepy, contemporary art. The first room, not pictured, was full of multi-colored mirrors on every single wall (great for Boomerangs and selfies). But from there things get weird. I’m personally not afraid of clowns, but the Bass Museum features an entire room full of clowns (I guess pretty relevant because of the movie IT). Makes for a prime photo opp though. Just find your favorite clown!

 

I personally really loved this museum and give it a MUST visit when you’re in Miami. It’s location is extremely convenient if you’re staying in South Beach and you’ll have a marvelous time if you visit!

 

 

 Flash forward to Saturday, obviously we went out in South Beach and had a grand time, and what was an EXTREMELY packed day.

 

It started with a tour of Little Havana, which is another thing I would highly recommend doing. Culturally, Miami is known to be very Latin influenced. I had no idea that the most spoken language in the city is actually Spanish, not English, and the Cuban as well as Hispanic population, makes up the largest demographics in the city.

 

 

There’s a ton of things to do and see while you’re in Little Havana, and here are a few that I highly recommend. First is that you definitely have to get some authentic Cuban food, maybe a Cuban sandwich. Second, if you’re a cigar aficionado pick up some cigars. Third, get a Cuban coffee for a nice mid-afternoon pick me up. Fourth, check out Domino Park and maybe play a game or two (Domino Park is where this photo was taken). Fifth, stop by Ball & Chain for a snack or more preferably for a drink!

 

The entire tour we went on in Little Havana was conducted by Little Havana Walking Tours and I would highly recommend them if you’re interested in taking part in a tour of this sort!

 

 

From Little Havana we made our way to downtown Miami and the post office of all places. This was for good reason, and not just because I wanted to mail some pastelitos back home.

 

The Young Artist Initiative was hosting an installation here and was completing their setup for Art Basel, which would be the following weekend. The post office was transformed into an interactive art space, which featured the works of numerous up-and-coming artists and would act as an event venue during Art Basel. And of course in true Miami style it made accommodations for numerous bars and several wonderful spots for a photo opp.

 

 

There was so much talent on display and I was really inspired by the works that the various artists presented. I would definitely check out their events and galleries if/when you’re in Miami! The Young Artist Initiative is a cause I can really get behind. And make sure to check out their Instagram page for some stellar content!

 

 

 As their website and Oscar Wilde stated “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” The experimental aspects, combined with the accessibility to the general public, is really making this movement a game-changer in the Miami scene.

 

 

 When we concluded our wonderful tour of the art installation our day was actually finished, at least until the night time festivities.

 

The free time was much needed and I immediately went back to the hotel to soak up some rays by the gorgeous pool at The Gates Hotel South Beach. Relaxation at its finest!

 

 A few hours later (and after a lovely nap in the sun), I awoke and got dressed for a Saturday night in Miami! New York might be the city that never sleeps, but I feel like Miami is the city that never stops partying! And that’s a good thing when you’re in town and ready to explore the nightlife! We started with a tequila tasting at The Gates Hotel and moved to dinner from there. Once we had some food in our systems it was time to hit the bars, clubs, and whatever else struck our fancies.

 

When you think of Miami nightlife, or at least when I do, you think of bottle service (which we had at Story) and wild, uninhibited nights. We definitely got just that when we went out. Our first stop was Faena for a drink or two, and I don’t know of any place that better encapsulates what I think of “Miami nightlife” than Faena does. Just go. Seriously, just do it. Then you’ll understand what I mean.

 

In total, it’s very hard for me to put into words exactly what Miami is like mainly because I’m still trying to get a grip on it; but I can definitely say that I liked what I saw and experienced. The weather and beaches are of course to die for. And I am dying to go back and experience Art Basel, Miami Fashion Week, and their famed pool parties. Until next time Miami!

 

JRL

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