I’d like to dedicate this Miami layover guide to Florida and all residents of the Caribbean who have been impacted this week by Hurricane Irma. If you’d like to donate or volunteer, you can find a link at the bottom of this post to help.
When travelling to or from Cayman, unless you snag one of those hard-to-get direct flights, you’re likely connecting through Miami International Airport. If you’re really lucky, like Ben and I were last year, you’ll have an overnight layover with 24 hours to explore Miami. We had a super lengthy stop in Miami and decided to instead make lemons out of lemonade and stay overnight. This was such a great call, and made the last leg of our trip exciting instead of long and tiring!
Blanc Kara, Miami
We booked Blanc Kara in the South Beach area through Expedia after scouring Airbnb’s and hotels. At under $175CAD for the night, including breakfast, this place was a great find! We walked almost everywhere from here, they had great cocktails in their cafe, and I loved the bright retro design. It was close to the beach and the restaurant I’ve been wanting to try since my family went without me on a family trip… to be fair, I was with friends in Dominican. But still. Joe’s Stone Crab!
This was literally our exact room, and when we found champagne flutes in the cupboard, we knew we’d made the right choice!
After checking in to our hotel, we hit the pavement and quickly found sand. The sky was overcast, but we were greeted with the most amazing rainbow!
While we got caught in some pretty serious tropical rain, I loved the way it made the neon lights and bright colours pop.
Joe’s Stone Crab
I’ve literally been wanting to try Joe’s Stone Crab for 10 years. My family visited Miami and ate here while I was in Puerto Vallarta on my high school grad trip. The way they described the food made me regret my pizza-and-french-fry-filled week. When we decided we were spending the night in Miami, I knew I wanted to eat here, even after reading about the legendary wait times.
Despite the long line, our wait was only as long as it takes to drink a cocktail. We put our names in with a man behind a wooden podium with a bronze microphone. As we waited, he called out the names of those lucky enough to be seated next. When he called ours, we walked through a nondescript door and travelled through time. A sea of reddish wood and white tablecloths filled the room while servers in a mix of red and white dinner jackets swam between them. It looked like it hadn’t changed since the 60s and was easy to imagine why Frank Sinatra and Al Capone dined here back in the day.
We started with a round of oysters, which we ate what I call “Florida style” on saltine crackers with pepper and cocktail sauce. We followed this with Joe’s Classic Dinner with their famous coleslaw, hashbrowns, creamed spinach, and, of course, stone crab. It’s not typical of Ben and I to order anything like this at all (like creamed spinach? wut?). But it was divine!
After Joe’s (and spilling my glass of red wine all over the table but somehow missing my white jeans 🙈), we walked the 30 mins north up to Lincoln Road. I loved seeing all the art deco buildings lit up! We popped into one of the many bars on this pedestrian-only street to enjoy mojitos before heading back to our hotel.
Wynwood Art District
The next morning, after enjoying our complimentary breakfast and some much needed post-mojito coffee, we packed our roll-alongs and head off to Wynwood Art District. Our flight wasn’t until 2pm, so we Ubered to the Wynwood Walls right for opening at 10:30. We were a week after Art Basel, and the area was still alive from the previous week’s festivities. If you’re in to modern, contemporary, street art, or colours, you’re going to love Wynwood!
After Wynwood Walls, we meandered down NW 2nd Ave admiring all the coffee shops and cafés. But this particular one caught our eye. Dr Smood was the perfect place to grab a healthy bite and juice before we left. It was the perfect topper to my first visit to Miami!
Have you ever extended a layover into an overnight? What cities have you found worth it to stay? I’d love to hear your thoughts as we plan our (extensive) air travel over the next year with most connections through the US! Let us know in the comments 🙂
Much of Miami suffered from a massive storm surge while several islands in the Caribbean have been devastated by Hurricane Irma. There are many organizations that need your help, from the Red Cross to the SPCA, and I urge you to donate if you can by clicking here.