Friday, November 22, 2013

WANDERLUST WITH KIDS~ Miami

W≜NDER LUST~ Miami



Miami With Kids

 I just love this city so much! Most parents might not think to add a city known for it's partying lifestyle and scantily dressed residents to the top of their family vacation list; but I think it's perfect! Miami screams fun with it's lively beaches, Latin flair, neon shops, Cuban cuisine, and family friendly attractions.  You may not be bar hopping every night, but believe me... kids do belong in sunny, festive Miami. =)


We decided to road trip to Miami since we don't live that far away and we hate leaving our Wrangler behind for beach trips. If you fly to Miami, renting a car is a must if you want to explore all of the different areas.

We stayed in Coral Gables at the pet friendly Hyatt and asked for a balcony room overlooking the pool. It was gorgeous and perfect in every way. The staff at the Hyatt are wonderful and put in 110% to make our stay comfortable. They provided an adorable crib with plush bedding, toddler snacks, and even dog treats and toys for Brooklyn. I highly recommend this hotel in Coral Gables. I feel that Coral Gables is more kid friendly then other areas of Miami but you will have to give up the beach front hotel and drive to see the Ocean. The Hyatt is walkable to The Miracle Mile where you can find shopping and dining options to make any mommy happy! ;)
We decided to have a date night and yes it can be done without a babysitter! We spent all day exploring Miami and had enough fun to tire our son out. When we got back to the hotel, we ordered Jax a meatball pizza from Pomodoros Pizza and he loved it!! They deliver to the hotel and I'm not going to lie, I had a little slice too and it was delicious. ;) After Jax went to bed, the hubby set up our balcony with candles and Champagne for our romantic date and picked up dinner from "The World's Most Famous Cuban Restaurant"  I had the Chicken and Yellow Rice and the hubby had the Ropa Vieja. The food was out of this world and just thinking about it right now makes my mouth water. The balcony comes in handy if you need a little time alone with your significant other and at least one meal without the kiddos around.

We visited all beach locations in Miami and our favorite beaches are 
*North Beach- If you want a quiet and clean beach with pristine water and easy, cheap parking, then this is your beach. We would come here in the late afternoons and let Jax play with his beach toys and go for walks up and down the beach.
*Miami Beach- Start your day on the boardwalk and go for a bike ride, take the scooters out, or just enjoy a family stroll enjoying the tropical paradise around you. You will not find food or shopping on this boardwalk, but there are a few bathroom stops along the way. If you are looking for food, there are tons of options in Miami Beach for all budgets and tastes. We loved La Sandwicherie located near the beach entrance... we ordered our sandwiches and salads to go and ate them on the beach under our beach tent. I highly recommend renting a Beach Tent for the kids; they can seek shelter from the hot sun, take a nap with the ocean wind cooling them off, and what is not fun about having your own little fort on the beach? We rented ours from Boucher Brothers Beach Rentals. They have decent pricing and will set everything up for you. 
*Lummus Park on South Beach- A gorgeous clean park stretching the length of Ocean Drive. South Beach can be extremely crazy, crowed, and overwhelming for a family with children. Lummus Park allows some breathing room from the crowd and is a mecca of outdoor activities. Families can roller blade, bike, play sand volleyball, shoot some hoops, or just relax with the family dog and people watch. Just be aware of horrible parking and the occasional topless sun bather. 


We spent a lot of time in Coconut Grove and I can't get enough of the sidewalk al fresco dining trend of  this charming little bayside village. The sidewalks are lively with decorated patio furniture and trees covered in lights. There are several fine dining restaurants to chose from; each having their own outdoor decor style. We dined at LULU in the Grove on these super comfy couches and shared tapas. Tapas are perfect for a light family sharing meal and for getting to try several things on the menu. It's my favorite! If you are not into tapas or want something on the budget friendly side, we  enjoyed El Taquito a few nights before. We were blown away at how yummy food can be at such a reasonable price! With authentic, made to order "magical" tacos; you will not be disappointed! Dining Al Fresco is always a must when traveling. It makes the kiddos feel that they are part of the city's energy while they people watch and engage in the lively atmosphere. If this doesn't work, it may be time to hand over the ol' iPhone to keep them entertained so you can finish those last few bites. ;-)



On our last day in Miami, we drove to an amazing palm tree nursery with miles and miles of every species of palm you could imagine. It looked like a tropical forest and I was in heaven! After hours of exploring, I picked out my favorite palms for our patio by the pool. If you wish to bring a little piece of Miami home with you, please stop by The Richard Lyons Nursery, but be careful... you might just bring a few friends back with you. 

Meet Salsa... our new outdoor roommate from Miami who hitched a ride north.



3 comments:

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