Miami Weekend Itinerary: Fun Things to do in Miami

Fun things to do in South Beach Street Art Miami

I had the chance to visit my best friend in Miami for a weekend trip without our kids (GASP). I love traveling with my son, but it’s also nice to travel with my friends – it keeps the pace more mellow and you can experience a city in a whole different way. I put together our itinerary for the weekend – these are all things that could be done with kids, and we’ll probably check them out again WITH our kids the next time we’re in Miami.

Where to Stay: South Beach Miami Hotels

We stayed at the Impala Hotel, right on Ocean Drive. This is a super cute hotel a block from the beach and walkable to Lincoln Road. It was clean and quiet, even though it was right near restaurants and the busier area of South Beach. I would definitely stay here again on our next visit!  

I booked the hotel on United Airlines’ hotel partners site to earn miles on my stay. The hotel itself doesn’t appear to have a website, but you can get an idea of the location but you can see the listing here.

courtyard at night with patio lights

Miami Weekend Itinerary: Things to do in South Beach

Friday Night: I arrived from Philadelphia around 7pm. We checked into our hotel and went to Planta South Beach for dinner. We loved our meal at Planta so much that we made a reservation for the next night while we were waiting for our dessert course.  

Planta is a plant-based restaurant and they have some really creative meal options, like a watermelon ahi tuna roll. Since we were there both nights, we were able to sample a lot of the menu items. Their dessert is phenomenal as well – I loved their charcoal soft serve with coconut.

We were lucky enough to try a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie that was on special the night we were there. It was so good it sold out by the next night – but if it happens to be on the menu when you’re there, DEFINITELY try it.

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel to get some rest for the next day. 

Fun Things to do in Miami: Wynnwood Walls and the Miami Art District

Saturday Morning: We grabbed coffee at the Starbucks near our hotel and then headed straight for the beach. The Impala Hotel is only a block from the beach, so we just walked. We hung out there until we had to leave for our brunch reservation at Plant in Downtown Miami.  

Plant is also plant-based, with a lot of amazing options. We split a Forbidden Roll and got the Rain Bowl Grain Bowl. The ambiance is super chill and there is indoor and outdoor seating available. For the menu and more information, see their website.

vegan sushi
vegan grain bowl
yellow sign that says "love yourself" next to a green bush and blue sky

After our brunch, we took a walk down to Wynnwood, Miami’s Art District. There’s a lot of great murals and graffiti art on the buildings and the sidewalks. There’s also a lot of artsy shops and good restaurants. We did some shopping and got  donuts at the Salty Donut and ice cream at Dasher and Crank – both places have delicious vegan options (see my post on vegan eats in Miami for more).

railroad tracks next to street art in wynnewood
street art in Wynnewood: Frankenstein that says "Run" and the word Love next to it.
street art that says "RIP Love"
street art that says "Risk Love" in Pink
street art: Blue Envelope with a Pink Paper that says "Care too much."
wynnwood walls miami

After, we headed back down to South Beach to spend the rest of the afternoon on the beach before dinner. 

Saturday Night: We went BACK to Planta for dinner. So good.

Miami Weekend: South Beach and Lincoln Road Mall

Sunday Morning: We went for breakfast at Joe + the Juice, which was near our hotel. They have fresh juices and açaí bowls. Then back to South Beach, where we hung out until lunch time.

organic juice and açaí bowl
footsteps in the sand on south beach

For lunch, we headed over to Lincoln Road Mall. We did some shopping and went to Books and Books, an independent book seller and outdoor cafe, for lunch. Lincoln Road Mall has a great vibe, and it’s fun to people watch while you eat!

After that, we headed back to my friend’s house so I could get ready to head to the airport and head home! All in all it was a GREAT weekend.

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My Favorite Vegan Restaurants in Miami Beach for 2020

Vegan Restaurants South Beach Miami

Miami is a really great city for FOOD. And it’s one of the most vegan-friendly cities that I’ve been lucky enough to visit. Whether you’re looking for something light for lunch or something trendy to experience the Miami restaurant scene, there are so many great, completely plant based or vegan-friendly restaurants to choose from.

Here are some of my favorite spots that I’ve had the chance to experience:

Vegan Restaurants South Beach: Planta South Beach

This restaurant is more gourmet and on the pricier side, but it was so delicious I came here twice with my best friend during a kids-free weekend. Highlights include their vegan watermelon ahi sushi, charcoal soft serve, dumplings, spring rolls and buffalo chicken pizza. They also have some really fun mocktails, like a matcha mojito.

For more details and the full menu, see Planta’s website.

Healthy Restaurants Miami: Vegan Brunch at Plant

We came here for Saturday brunch. Just like Planta South Beach, they also have a vegan sushi option that goes beyond the normal avocado roll. We sampled the golden milk lattes, grain bowls and split the forbidden roll. Everything was amazing.

For the menu and location information, see Plant’s website. There’s a special brunch menu and they also offer vegan cooking classes, if you’re local or want to carve out time during your trip for a class!

turmeric latte on wooden table
vegan sushi with dipping sauce and chopsticks
colorful grain bowl

Vegan Restaurants South Beach: Joe and the Juice

This spot is near Lincoln Road Mall and South Beach. It’s a great spot to grab breakfast or an after-beach juice. They have fresh pressed juice, ginger shots, smoothies and some vegan-friendly food items.

We came for breakfast and sampled their ginger shots, juice and I tried the Açaí Bowl. Everything was amazing – I’ll definitely come back here next time I’m in Miami!

For more on the location and menu, see the Joe and the Juice website.

organic juice, ginger shot and açaí bowl

Vegan Donuts in Miami: The Salty Donut

If you’re craving donuts, this is the spot to check out. The Salty Donut is not completely vegan, but they do have one great vegan option – a peanut butter and jelly donut. Basically, a modern day take on the classic jelly donut. If you’re not vegan, or traveling with people who are not vegan, there are lots of creative artisanal donut flavors to choose.

I visited the shop located in Wynnwood, Miami’s Art District (read more about Wynnwood here), but they also have a location in South Miami. See their website for more.

vegan peanut butter and jelly donut

Vegan Miami: Ice Cream at Dasher and Crank

This shop is located in Wynnwood, the same neighborhood as the Salty Donut. We stopped by both shops after lunch, which madefor a delicious (albeit filling) afternoon.

Dasher and Crank is not exclusively vegan, but they had four vegan flavors on the day I was there. From what I understand, flavors do rotate, but some of the flavors are on the menu more consistent.

I sampled the Ube, which is coconut ice cream with Filipino purple yams (THIS was my favorite) and the Salty Beach, which is coconut ice cream, sea salt and graham crackers.

Check the menu before you go, just to make sure there’s something that looks appealing to you! For menu, location and hours, see the Dasher and Crank website.

vegan Ube and Salty Beach Ice Cream from Dasher and Crank

Vegan Restaurants Miami Beach on Lincoln Road: Books and Books

Books and Books is a locally owned independent book store that has an outdoor cafe. It’s not exclusively vegan, but they have some decent options, including a delicious avocado toast and guacamole with freshly made corn chips. You can check out the book store after lunch or while you wait to be seated. If you opt for outdoor seating, you can enjoy some people watching while you eat!

For more, see the Books and Books website for menu and hours.

Vegan Restaurants on South Beach at Lincoln Road Mall: Time Out Market

We took a walk through here after eating lunch at Books and Books. There’s a great-looking, plant-based cafe in this cafeteria style market called Love Life Cafe. They sell vegan baked goods and comfort food lunch/dinner menu items. We didn’t get firsthand experience because we were stuffed from lunch, but it looked tasty enough that it’s tops on my list to visit when we come back.

For more on the menu, locations and hours click here for the Love Life Cafe website.

Vegan Ice Cream Miami Beach: The Frieze

The Frieze is an ice cream and non-dairy sorbet shop located at Lincoln Road Mall. It’s a great spot to get a frozen treat. There are vegan and non-vegan frozen dessert options. For the full menu, visit The Frieze’s website.

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6 Things to Do in in Miami with Kids in 2020

Family Things to do in Miami with Kids

My best friend has lived in Miami for almost 20 years, so I’ve had the opportunity to visit Miami a LOT over the years. But it’s been a whole new experience exploring Miami with our kids together. Here are some of the things that we’ve done together over the past few years:

cherry blossom mural in Miami

Miami Beach with Kids: Visit South Beach

This one is obvious – go to the beach! Every time we’ve visited Miami, we’ve made at least one trip to the beach.

South Beach is a great spot to visit with kids. If you’re not staying in South Beach, park (we parked around 7th Street) at one of the lots and take a walk to the beach. There are a lot of great shops and restaurants to grab a snack or lunch after – and some places even deliver to the beach! We stopped at a Gelato shop after the beach for a treat.

If the weather is good and it’s not too windy, the water is perfect for kids. The only downside is that it’s super crowded because everyone goes to South Beach.

We’ve also visited beaches more toward the Northern end of Miami Beach. This was great, because there were NO crowds and the kids had plenty of room to play. The water was still very calm.

The only downside here is that we had to leave to go eat lunch, as there were no restaurants that were walkable for us with our kids! Both beaches are a great experience, and if it’s your first time in Miami, it’s definitely worth it to stop by the iconic South Beach. 

south beach at sunrise
ocean drive Miami
Ocean Drive in Miami Beach
close up of a colorful crosswalk on Ocean Drive
little boy in the water at south beach Miami
palm trees in front of Art Deco buildings on Ocean Drive
path to south beach Miami

Fun Places to Go in Miami: The Miami Children’s Museum

For my son, the children’s museum is always a hit. We went during the week, so there were no crowds. The museum had some great exhibits – grocery shopping, a giant boat and a fishing area, a police motorcycle they could sit on and a fire house, complete with a pole to slide on, a model fire truck and cute little miniature firefighter costumes to wear.

It’s in the same direction as South Beach, so it’s a great activity to do in the afternoon after you hit the beach when the sun starts to get really hot. For more visit their website.

little boy sliding down the fire pole at Miami children's museum fire fighter exhibit

Fun Places to go in Miami: Lincoln Road Mall

This isn’t just for kids, but it’s fun. There’s ice cream shops, restaurants and places to go shopping. We came here for lunch at Books and Books, which is a local, independently owned bookstore with an outdoor cafe. After, we took the kiddos for ice cream at The Frieze.

There’s a great ambiance on Lincoln Road – there is often artwork displays and there are pretty fountains. For more on Lincoln Road, click here here.

green wall on Lincoln Road
Green wall on Lincoln Road

Family Things to Do in Miami: Ride an Air Boat in the Everglades

When we tried to do this for the first time, the Everglades National Park was actually closed from damage from the Hurricane that hit in Fall 2017.

However, we went on an Airboat tour with a company just outside the National Park. We did it on the fly, as we didn’t find out the park was closed until we got to the entrance. One day we’ll make it back!

For information on Everglades National Park, click here.

Everglades marsh
everglades marsh
everglades marsh

Miami Fun: Look for Lizards + Cool Tropical Flowers

One of the things that’s cool about Miami, is that there are beautiful tropical flowers and plants everywhere. I love seeing a gorgeous orchid – or even just the plants that I can only grow as houseplants up in Pennsylvania – just growing in people’s gardens.

Even more fun than plants, is spotting the little geckos and lizards that hide in the plants. This is probably my son’s favorite thing to do anywhere.  

white wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
purple orchid
white red and yellow orchid
white Plumeria rubra (frangipani)

Miami Family Attractions: Explore Miami’s Art District in Wynnwood

This neighborhood is really cool – there are a ton of different murals and graffiti art on the buildings and sidewalks. It’s beautiful to look at, and there are also cute shops and some delicious food options, including ice cream at Dasher and Crank (vegan options available) and Donuts at The Salty Donut (one vegan option available and it was delicious).

There’s a full art walk you can do through the Wynnwood Walls. You can learn more about that here.

For more, see my post on vegan eats in Miami.

railroad tracks in wynnwood art district
street art: Dream to Live written in pink three times

Weekend Trip from Miami: Key West with Kids

We’ve gone down to Key West with our kids twice, and it was a lot of fun both times. There’s a lot of stuff to do in the Key West and on the drive. See my post on Key West for more!

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palm tree silhouette sunset