Who doesn’t love a weekend getaway? And what better place to go than Miami—only a two-hour drive from Naples. We recently headed east across Alligator Alley for a little staycation at the Intercontinental Miami and spent the weekend relaxing, eating and exploring the surrounding areas.

Miami offers a completely different scene than Naples, and we love its vibrant atmosphere. A true lifestyle destination, everything is infused with a taste of arts and culture. And we can’t get enough.

 


WHERE WE STAYED IN MIAMI

This was our first time staying at InterContinental Miami, and it didn’t disappoint. Located in downtown Miami just minutes from the Miami Design District, the InterContinental stands 34 stories tall and overlooks the Port of Miami and Biscayne Bay. Each room boasts a luxurious feel, from bathroom to bed. The hotel has a rooftop pool deck, full-service fitness center, spa and several on-site restaurant options, including Toro Toro, Olé, Bluewater and—for those just looking for a snack or coffee—a Starbucks in the lobby.

In typical TNN fashion, we started our stay with a massage at mySpa Miami and then laid back by the pool. Also in typical TNN fashion, we ordered a glass of champagne. Highly recommend this route for optimum relaxation.

 

INTERCONTINENTAL MIAMI

100 Chopin Plaza, Miami
Reservations: (305) 577-1000 or online  |  Instagram: @interconmiami

Views for days from the room at InterContinental Miami

SUMMER SAVINGS IN DOWNTOWN MIAMI
Much like in Naples, summer in Miami means savings. Spa connoisseurs wishing to experience the city’s best spas for a fraction of the cost can take advantage of Miami Spa Month in July and August, when participating spas offer reduced pricing with treatments beginning at $109 (tax and gratuity not included). mySpa at InterContinental Miami offers a variety of treatments at the reduced price, but be sure to book your treatment in advance; Spa Month appointments sell out quickly.

 


WHERE WE ATE IN MIAMI

Our first dinner was at Toro Toro, Chef Richard Sandoval’s contemporary pan-Latin steakhouse modeled after the eponymous restaurant in Dubai. We started off at the chef’s table, Table 40, located in the kitchen, where we conversed with the chef and learned firsthand how to make our own Ceviche Nikkei.

Want to make Toro Toro’s Ceviche Nikkei at home? We snagged the recipe for you!

We then moved on to dinner, where we sampled a selection of cold and hot appetizers, including the Beet Salad (pistachio, orange segments, ricotta cheese and aji amarillo vinaigrette) and Chicharron de Camerones (crispy shrimp, aji amarillo, avocado and rocoto). Next came the entree:  Chuleta Kan Kan (arañitas, cilantro sauce, tomatillo kimchi, Bibb lettuce, farroto con gandules and chorizo). And for dessert, we couldn’t resist the famous La Bomba—a chocolate bowl filled with dulce de leche, strawberry ice cream, cookie crumbles and fresh berries. A plastic sheet is spread out on the table, and the “bowl” is then dropped and shatters across the surface. As a final touch, the pieces are drizzled with caramel and berry sauces. Yum!

Brunch in Miami at Toro Toro is the perfect way to wrap up a weekend. Offered every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the selection is a seemingly endless collection of small plates and Latin-style brunch specialties, as well as a serving of grilled meats cooked to perfect on the rodizio. Of course, no brunch menu is complete without cocktails, and they’ve got plenty: margaritas, mimosas, mojitos, caipirinhas, pisco sours and micheladas (a traditional Mexican beer-based cocktail made with fresh-squeezed lime juice).

La Bomba dessert at Toro Toro

 

TORO TORO AT INTERCONTINENTAL MIAMI

100 Chopin Plaza, Miami
Reservations: (305) 372-4710 or online  |  Instagram: @torotoromiami

EXPERIENCE TORO TORO’S SUMMER PRIX FIXE MENU
Foodies wishing to capitalize on Miami’s diverse dining scene—without the hefty price tag or long wait times—can take advantage of Miami Spice. Beginning in August and running through September each year, the city’s trendiest restaurants offer three-course, prix-fixe menus at reduced prices. Try Toro Toro’s menu for $39 per person.


For breakfast, we ate at the Club Lounge at the InterContinental Miami, which offers a convenient, full buffet-style breakfast, including eggs, assorted fruits and cheeses, warm pastries and cereal options for those who prefer a quicker meal. The relaxed vibe felt like the perfect place start to the day.


That evening, it was off to Beaker & Gray for dinner. Located only a few minutes away from the InterContinental in Wynwood, this eatery-slash-bar room has a cool, rustic industrial vibe. They suggest that you order several small plates to share, so we did just that.

Our top picks: the Cheeseburger Croquettes and the Shrimp & Polenta—you won’t be disappointed. Cocktail connoisseurs will love the Lavagave (Don Julio Blanco, Gracias a Dios mezcal, lavender, egg glair, grapefruit and vanilla bitters) or the F.O.M.O Arigato (Remy 1738, Mount Gay Black Barrel, amaro and clarified spiced matcha milk), which is also shareable.

Next was dessert (our personal favorite!) We had to get the Cookies & Milk: three little chocolate chip cookie doughnuts and three mini milkshake shooters served in tiny mason jars. SO. CUTE. And the perfect way to wrap up the evening.

 

BEAKER & GRAY

2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Reservations: online  | Instagram: @beakerandgray 


OTHER TOP BARS IN MIAMI WE RECOMMEND

BLACK MARKET
A Miami sports bar that calls upon the nostalgia of 1980s Miami, Black Market Miami marks the ultimate sports lounge and nightlife destination for game night eating, drinking, parties and events.
168 S.E. First St., Miami

LOST BOY
A clothing-store-turned-bar located in the heart of Downtown Miami. Lost Boy‘s owners combined their love of English pubs with the feel of an old captain’s tavern in a Colorado miner’s saloon. (Bet you’ve never seen one like that before.)
157 E. Flagler St., Miami

 


WHAT WE DID IN MIAMI

The urban core of Miami is home to a multitude of attractions, parks and cultural experiences. It’s hard to beat our beaches in Naples, so for this trip, we decided to focus on “Miami without the beach”—a convenient endeavor when you’re staying at the InterContinental and downtown Miami is right outside your door.

We set out to explore, and our first stop was Museum Park. We toured the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, a leading science museum divided into four buildings: the Frost Planetarium, Aquarium, and North and West Wings. Journey through outer space during a planetarium show, or pet a stingray, or walk underneath an aquarium as sharks and schools of fish swim above you.

 

PHILLIP AND PATRICIA FROST MUSEUM OF SCIENCE

1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Online  |  Instagram: @FrostScience


Next, we walked next door to the Pérez Art Museum Miami, a modern and contemporary art museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art of the 20th and 21st centuries. We loved the guided tour, during which you learn detailed information about the concepts behind each art piece. There’s also a restaurant, Verde, located in the museum, with modern, casual cuisine and those sweeping views of Biscayne Bay we can’t get enough of.

 

PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI

1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Online  |  Instagram: @PAMM


Later, we walked around Brickell City Centre, an ultra-chic outdoor shopping center that spans three city blocks of shopping, dining and entertainment. It’s the best of both worlds: feels like you’re outside, but you skip the direct sun and rain Florida’s known for. This is the perfect destination for those who love a good shopping spree, with everything from Zara and Sephora to Saks Fifth Avenue.


While there, we took a cooking class inside the cooking studio at La Centrale, Miami’s premier Italian food hall. Dubbed a “gastronomic emporium,” it’s 40,000 square feet of Italian-inspired restaurants, bars, cafés and markets, plus a wine shop and cooking studio. There, we made Neapolitan pizza with the chef and learned that the trick to the perfect pizza is paying close attention to the crust!

With an array of class options to choose from, you can learn to make anything from French macaroons to pasta. Weekday classes start at 7 p.m., with earlier options on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Pricing per class ranges from $60-75.

 

LA CENTRALE

601 S. Miami Ave., Miami
Online  |  Instagram: @lacentralemiami


Watch a 60-second recap of our arts and culture-filled weekend in downtown Miami:


MORE THINGS TO DO IN DOWNTOWN MIAMI

MOVIE THEATERS & PERFORMING ARTS

Downtown and Brickell are home to two state-of-the-art movie theaters, both ideal locations for staying cool and keeping entertained during the summer. Silverspot Cinema in downtown Miami is a dine-in theater created for the true film lover and features a delectable selection of food and beverages that are delivered straight to your seat. Similarly, CMX Brickell in the Brickell City Centre, known for a VIP experience, also serves dinner and drinks tableside. The movie theater also provides complimentary popcorn with each movie ticket purchased.

For performing arts lovers, the Adrienne Arsht Center is a few blocks away. All three venues are minutes from InterContinental Miami, by foot, bike, car or downtown’s free Metromover service.

 

MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT

Located only a short drive north of downtown Miami is the Miami Design District, a neighborhood dedicated to innovative fashion, design, architecture and dining experiences. Those seeking trendy, affordable shopping can spend a day in Wynwood, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of galleries and merchants. Ten minutes south is Coconut Grove, Miami’s Bohemian enclave that rivals some of the world’s most colorful neighborhoods, home to sidewalk cafes and boutiques.


Thank you to InterContinental Miami for hosting us.

 

Text and images by Mary Field

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