I am so excited to bring to you the FIRST travel guide on The Petite Bijou!
Having been lucky enough to take a short trip to Miami for vacation, I thought it would be a lovely thing to share with you all. My trip to Miami and the surrounding areas was a pleasure – I’ve not had this much fun (or relaxation) in quite a while.
And although I couldn’t bring my camera everywhere with us, I did manage to capture some wonderful photography through my iPhone 7 + which provided DSLR quality images and was easy to whip out.
I’ll be sharing where I stayed, what we ate, and what activities we did in the span of 3 days. I hope you enjoy this guide! Please do let me know if you found this helpful or entertaining in the comments at the end of the post. I always appreciate hearing from my readers.
WHERE I STAYED
We stayed at the modern (yet very art deco) Shelborne South Beach. It was such a great experience and I’m counting down the days until I can stay there again. However, before arriving, we were riddled with doubt about our stay there. Here’s why:
Reviews can make or break a business – and the reviews for the Shelborne were not so great. Or, I should say: nightmarish. But as soon as we arrived and spent the night, my mind was changed. It was nothing like what any of the reviews said. By the end of our trips, I knew I have to remember to take those online reviews with a grain of salt. Not everything is as bad or as good as it seems – be your own judge.
Well, the Shelborne blew me away with their care of detail, fun atmosphere, beautiful decor, and gorgeous food. Here are some snapshots from the hotel (and lovely pool):
WHERE I ATE
As I mentioned above, the Shelborne has it’s own restaurant which was very good. We had dinner there twice and each time the food was cooked to perfection. Don’t forget to check out their special dessert cart that goes by (per special request).
The first local place we checked out was kind of a Bijou coincidence! Paris6 Bistro is a cute and lively bistro with a large menu filled with classic french dishes. I picked a very light but tasty dish called canapés. They’re more appetizers – but I eat as I usually do, light and often. I finished off these delicious canapés with a cappuccino that was served with a green macaroon! How Bijou…
But you can (and should) find delicious delights outside of South Beach. Travel down to the heart of Little Havana and experience the rich culture and food of Cubans living in Miami. We dined at the Old’s Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina. For lunch, I ordered a traditional cheese plate and had cuban coffee (which is incredibly strong!)
WHAT WE DID
There are SO many things to do in and around Miami. Honestly, the best thing you can do is just be proactive about walking around, exploring, and just enjoying the atmosphere as it is. Everything in South Beach is very relaxed. Don’t feel like doing anything today? No problem – there’s always tomorrow.
But if you are looking for something to do I have a few suggestions. The first thing to note is that it’s going to be HOT if you go in July and sometimes going somewhere in the middle of the day isn’t the best idea if you’re not used to the heat. You can definitely get sunburned so make sure you have a hat and plenty of sunscreen.
The Shelborne had direct access to the beach and had their own umbrella, drink, and chair rental hutch. We rented an umbrella and the staff found us a spot. We didn’t get the ocean view (those are taken up as it’s first come first serve), but we did get a nice “chair neighbors” each time. So yes, we didn’t have an “ocean view” but we did have a good time at the beach.
The water was divine – warm, salty, and VERY clear. So clear that we could see a few fish and jellyfish (BEWARE of the Jellyfish!). I am not a huge ocean swimmer because I hate cold water haha. BUT the ocean over there was nothing like I’ve experienced.
We booked a tour that took us to the everglades right from Miami! A coach bus picked us up at the hotel and we picked up about 7 different families and off we went. It was an hour long ride out of the city the Safari Park where we were scheduled to go on an airboat tour and see a gator show.
However, we ended up waiting an hour and a half to go on the airboat because of a thunderstorm that was forming out in the glades. It was a very hot and sunny day nonetheless and about 60 people crammed into the gift shops and cafeteria to cool off until we got the all clear.
The airboat ride itself was pretty neat although we didn’t get to any gators out in the wild. I think because of the thunderstorm, the guides were a bit rushed and only took us on a 10 minute trip (originally scheduled for 30).
The gator show however was very informative. If you want to check this out, I recommend renting a car and spending more than an hour there.
WHAT I WORE
I packed three dresses. a bathing suit, sandals, shorts, and one top. You definitely don’t need any long layers if you’re going in July – even some of my dresses were made with material that wasn’t very heat friendly. But they were cute and everything worked out right!
Overall, my trip to Miami was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again. One thing I learned about myself on this trip was just how much better I felt near the salty ocean air. For the first time in a really long time, i felt energized, healthy, and very very happy. Living in the city can drain you, especially when you have a chronic health problem.
Miami was the perfect vacation destination and I highly recommend you take the trip there if you can!
*photos of me with exception to the everglades photo are by @lucciaphotos
Have you been to Miami before? What would you recommend I do/stay next time around? Please leave me a comment in the comment box below and let’s chat!