Julia Jamieson Swenson

Designer, manager, and creative working and living life in Durham, NC.

3 Nights in Miami

3 Nights in Miami


A Reasonable Getaway

Beautiful, full of culture, and easy to get to, Miami is an ideal long weekend destination. 

Last spring my husband and I spent our spring vacation in Floridaโ€”three nights in Vero Beach to visit family, and then three nights just the two of us in Miami. Miami chock-full of personality, and has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a plush resort or a cultural trip, a visit to Miami a great way to feel like you've left the country while staying on the East Coast. 

You could spend an entire visit in art galleries, bars, restaurants and other cultural institutions. However, we didn't go to Miami for the museums (thought Art Basel Miami is on my list). This trip was mostly about relaxing by the beach, and soaking up a few of the endless unique things Miami has to offer.

Day One: Beach, Bodega & 1920's Glam

Most of our first day was spent by the beach at The Confidante. The hotel's brightly colored umbrellas and decor make for a picturesque day by the pool, though the buckets of coronas also helped. After relaxing by the water for most of the day, we recommend getting cleaned up and heading to Bodega for tacos. Post devouring legit Mexican food, slip into the speakeasy bar in the back for a cocktail. After, stroll the strip of grand hotels along Collins Avenur and pop into one of the big old hotels for another drink or two. We loved drinks by the pool at the Delano. The steep prices are worth it for the swank ambiance. 

Day Two: SoulCycle, Beach & The Freehand 

After more than a couple beverages the night before, we headed to SoulCycle for a morning detox. SoulCycle is always an experience, but in South Beach, it's in a league of it's own. Our instructor was amazing. After getting our sweat on, we walked back down the boardwalk to The Confidante and got geared up for another afternoon by the water. You can probably detect a theme hereโ€”we like to relax on vacation. After afternoon numero dos of Coronas by the beach, we headed to the Freehand for cocktails by the pool. The Freehand is a different side to Miami (opposite of the glam of hotels along Collins Ave right on the water). Bohemian and very chill, The Freehand is a hostel and hotel a few blocks off the ocean. Picture a bungalow beach vibe combined with a hostel. Lots of natural wood, lots of pattern and antiques. The restaurant at The Freehand, 27, is where we enjoyed dinner. Highly recommend, this was our favorite dinner while in Miami. 

Day Three: Wynwood Arts District, Beach & Byblos 

On our last full day in Miami, it was time to do something with our day besides just hit the beach. We woke up and headed inland to the Wynwood neighborhood. We checked out the Wynwood Walls, and walked around the neighborhood where you can see street art that is constantly changing. The neighborhood is home to trendy boutiques and shops (and would be great for brewery hopping). After we got our art and coffee fix, we enjoyed our final afternoon at the beach (yes, more Coronas) before heading to a fancy dinner at Byblos


The Value of Getting Involved

Athens, Mykonos, Milos & Santorini

Athens, Mykonos, Milos & Santorini