a few girlfriends and I are going to Miami in late February to celebrate our friend tying the knot. None of us have ever stayed in Miami! I'm looking for recommendations of hotels to stay, place to celebrate (lounge-style, not really clubbing), and delicious places for group dinners. Thank you!
So this is probably highly dependent on your budget. But let's balance it out so that it's a mid-range budget, and list your best options starting with what will amount to the most expensive:
Hotel: South Beach has the best options of course. If you want fun, hip, active and close to the water, Fontainebleau Resort is the BEST option. Their weekend pool parties are epic and the hotel stops literally at the beach. It also contains the best nightclubs which you'll have access to as guests (something to consider) as well as some of the best restaurants in Miami.
Lounge: The Clevelander Bar is always a hot go to spot for tourists, and locals really. It's on South Beach and is entirely open air. I definitely recommend visiting the Room. It's further off from the beach but worth a visit.
Food: No need to spend tons of money. If I were you I'd avoid EVERYTHING on Ocean, and head to Lincoln Road Mall. The restaurants here are great to just lounge outside and nibble and people watch. Particularly Balans.
Other things to keep in mind are Sunday Brunch at Nikki Beach Club. It's expensive but worth it.
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You girls are in for some fun. I would definitely make reservations for the group dinners as restaurants get very busy. A great part of town is Wynwood/Design District/Midtown. Check out www.wynwoodartwalk.com They have tons of trendy and delicious restaurants, and great ambiance. However, you may want to stay on the beach since February tends to have great weather. This way you can go back home with a glowing tan.