While back home in Florida, I took another trip across the state to visit one of my best friends in college (last summer's trip here and here). Ironically, he grew up in the town next to mine, but now lives close to Miami. Admittedly, I never spent much time in South Beach during my childhood— it's not a exactly a family-friendly vacation destination— so we drove down for the day to enjoy the beach (and for me to ooh and ah at all of the colorful art deco architecture).
While South Beach is known for its night life, there's still plenty of things to do and see during the daylight. Although Ocean Drive is a bit of a tourist trap, most of the hotels are located near this strip, complete with an abundance of striped umbrellas and drink service right along the beach. Lincoln Road has a great variety of high-end shopping and restaurants, but we preferred to grab lunch at Casa Claridge's. Since renovated last year, the Spanish-style boutique hotel has a beautiful hand-cut pink woven art installation hanging ascending above the lobby in addition to hand-painted murals in the dining room, tiled staircases, and carefully curated bookshelves making it a true hidden gem with lots of little interior details that are a must-see for design enthusiasts.
Who: Definitely not as fun for those under 21
What: White sandy beaches, iconic art deco architecture, shopping, and night clubs
Where: South Beach, Miami
When: Any time of the year, although summer is the hottest (and most humid) time in Florida
Why: If you're looking for the perfect Miami experience, South Beach has it all
Tyro Tip: Be sure to visit the nearby Wynwood Walls