Why South Florida?
Typically in this section, I would tell you about some awesome flight deal I took advantage of or about a friend from out of town who opened up their home to me so I could visit, but this month the roles were reversed, and I was the one playing host/tour guide. First, I returned the favor to my friend Courtney who hosted me when I went to New Orleans for my first ever Mardi Gras experience. Then, a day after Courtney left my best friend from high school arrived. Needless to say, I was a busy bee.
I could have rushed to do a quick trip somewhere or gone on a day trip from here, but since I’ve always been an advocate of the idea that you don’t always have to go very far in order to travel, I set my focus on my own backyard. Plus, as much fun as I had this month, it was a very hectic few weeks so I was way too tired to travel anyway.
More posts about my newish home are definitely in the works, but in the meantime, here are some highlights from my monthlong south Florida staycation.
Where I Stayed
My house, duh! Eventually this section will include some nice hotels or hostels when I decide to travel somewhere where I don’t have friends or family to visit. In the meantime, I’ll be happily saving my money on accommodations.
What I Ate
Every day I’m realizing more and more how incredible and diverse the south Florida foodie scene really is, and having friends over was a great excuse to eat out and explore that even more.
Hollywood Beach is definitely the most underrated beach in south Florida, which is a shame because it’s actually my favorite beach here. Unlike most beaches, it has a restaurant-lined boardwalk just a few steps away from the sand as opposed to being separated by a busy road. What could be better than dining with a perfect view of the beach and a nice sea breeze? Munching on deliciously fresh and authentic Mexican food with a strong cocktail in one hand while enjoying that view and the breeze. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with the Taco Spot, one of my favorite restaurants on the beach.
Although I’ve been on a mission lately to avoid chain restaurants, RA was definitely worth the exception, especially because of their happy hour specials. Intricately made sushi rolls for $8 ?! I’ll take three, please. And a refreshing spin on sangria made with sake and a touch of white peach? Oh yea, I’ll take two of those.
The Royal Pig is 50% bar, 50% restaurant and 100% scrumptious. The place may have its bar atmosphere, albeit a slightly classy one, but they food is far above and beyond the typical, barely edible stuff usually served at a bar. With dishes like spicy duck nachos, truffle fries and creamy shrimp and sweet potato grits, you’ll be able to get your drink on with some high quality food to absorb the alcohol.
Obviously with people visiting throughout the entire month basically, we ate at more than just these three restaurants. These were just some of my favorites.
What I Did
Wynwood aka Miami’s art district is one of my favorite places to hang out in south Florida so of course I had to take my friends there. We browsed through art galleries, did some window shopping, admired the murals painted on pretty much every single wall, grabbed a bit to eat and just soaked up all the hipster-y goodness of the area. It’s just a fun place to be!
Once a month on a seemingly random patch of grass just outside of Lynwood, Miami Flea comes around to make my Sunday afternoon a little brighter with amazing food trucks, live music and unique, funky products all from local vendors. They sell all sorts of random goods from vintage clothing and art to jewelry, homemade jams and notebooks.
I love when people come to visit and I can take them to the events and activities that I love to do on a regular day, and Miami Flea definitely falls into that category.
The Jungle Queen riverboat cruise is one of the best ways to explore a side of Fort Lauderdale (south Florida’s other major city) that a lot of people don’t get to see. The city is known as the “Venice of America” because of the long river that runs through it with houses, restaurants and other business lining both sides. With a ride on the Jungle Queen you get a tour of what is known as “Billionaire’s Row,” the part of the river with some of the most impressive yachts and homes in all of south Florida. The tour may induce some jealousy, but it’s still fun to see the homes and boats while hearing about their history and their owners.