Healthy Travel Guide: Miami
Ready to for an uber hot vacation? Miami-the mecca of sexy-beach chic, Latin Lotharios, and legendary nightlife-is one of the best cities in America to kick off your flip flops and unwind, whether it's for a weekend or a whole week. While the temperatures in Miami are sky-high in the middle of summer (we're talking upper 80s and 90s on average), airfare is super low in July since it's, well, low season.
And here's another reason to book a trip to the American Riviera stat: July kicks off Miami Spa Month, which means that treatments in a ton of luxe spas across the city-from South Beach to Coconut Grove-are as low as $99 though the end of August. Ready to recharge with a weekend of wellness in South Florida's style capital? Here's a rundown on how to make it relaxing and remarkable.
If you want to be at the center of it all, head to South Beach (SoBe). Iconic Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue are classic Miami with gorgeous Art Deco architecture. Our healthy hotel pick: The Surfcomber (pictured above), an edgy boutique hotel which offers complimentary yoga on the beach each weekend as well as complimentary in-room yoga mats, accessories, and on-demand yoga channels. Yoga not your thing? Hit the sand with regular weekday beach runs led by the hotel's GM, or put the pedal to the metal using one of the free PUBLIC bikes for guests to tour SoBe. After all that fun, enjoy the hotel's regularly scheduled Punch the Clock happy hour at on-site bar The Social Club where whatever the time it is is how much your drink costs (so at 4PM, your cocktail is only $4!)
Prefer the city scene to the shore? Head over the Biscayne Bay Bridge to Downtown, home to Bayside Marketplace's shops and restaurants, as well as Little Havana. Make the most of your wellness weekend by staying at the EPIC, a Kimpton hotel (pictured above, left) featuring a Summer of Wellness program that offers up healthy enhancements for guests such as complimentary Juicera shots, KIND bars, and a trail mix station, as well as free yoga on the 16th Floor Pool Deck (which, by the way, offers not one, but two lavish pools with views of the waterfront). Even better: The hotel boasts its own on-site Exhale spa (pictured above, right) offering up head-to-toe treatments (and yep, they've got $99 facials and massages right now) and body transforming fitness classes. Perk alert: Mention the secret password "Farmer's Market" at the EPIC front desk and you'll not only snag a free core fusion class at Exhale, but you'll also get a comped post-workout cocktail.
Want to stay a little more off the grid? Head north to Coconut Grove where the vibe is decidedly under-the-radar. The Sonesta Coconut Grove is offering a "Rise and Shine" package, featuring a one-night stay paired with a fresh breakfast spread at hotel's Panorama Restaurant & Sky Lounge overlooking Biscayne Bay. The award-winning restaurant offers up a create-your-own egg white omelette station as well as a "healthy start" breakfast of two poached eggs on a bed of sautéed spinach with an English muffin.
Stay in Shape
Take advantage of the gorgeous ocean as much as you can when you're in this city by the sea. Rent a kayak or kiteboard with located near the Rickenbacker Causeway in Key Biscayne, or head to Hobie Beach to try your hand (and footing) at windsurfing. Try an hour of Vinyasa yoga on a stand-up paddleboard at the natural oasis of Matheson Hammock Park. Or learn to ride the waves with surf lessons at SoBe Surf School.
If you can pry yourself away from your beach blanket, head to Third Street Beach Yoga at the lifeguard stand at 3rd street off Ocean Drive to give the sun a proper salutation. Free daily yoga classes are offered on the beach at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Don't forget your towel!) Lucky enough to be in town during a full moon? Check out full moon meditation (dates and times change monthly).
Need to work up more of a sweat? Go for a run on the six-mile long Miami Beach Boardwalk which begins begins at Indian Beach Park at 46th Street and Collins Avenue. Or head over to Sunset Harbor, known as the Flatiron Fitness ‘hood of the MIA. On its oceanfront Purdy Avenue, you'll find a ton of exercise studios, like Flywheel, Green Monkey Yoga, and Barry's Bootcamp, where you can drop in for a class or two.
And forget taking a cab or renting a car (and then trying to find parking); this town participates in a Citibike sharing program. Find a station near you at citibikemiami.com or by downloading the app. Rental rates range from $5 an hour to $24 for eight hours.
Fuel Your Trip
Whether you want breakfast, lunch or dinner, refuel right at Basil Park (pictured above), a new casual restaurant in Sunny Isle that focuses on fresh, local fruits, vegetables and whole grains, hormone-free meat selections, sustainable Florida seafood, as well as goat's milk dairy. Basil Park also boasts a juice bar and a sustainable, biodynamic wine list. For a relaxing afternoon break, stop by the Essensia at The Palms Hotel & Spa, which serves up "Garden to Glass" conscious cocktails made with fruit and herbs from the on-site organic Chef's Garden.
This city is an art aficionado's dream (in case you didn't know, famed Art Basel happens the first week of December), so be sure to soak up the culture by heading to the Wynwood Arts District and the Design District. In Wynwood, former warehouses have been turned into galleries and studios, while the Design District also boasts a ton of art galleries, home decor shops, and design showrooms. While you're out and about, check out Fendi Casa in the Design District. It's totally worth a visit just to see their incredible collection of home goods.
Love a museum? Pop into the Wolfsonian-FIU, a Miami Beach art and design museum, which has a cool new(ish) exhibit entitled Women, Art and Social Change ('nuff said).
Pop into local designer Julian Chang and get yourself a one-of-a-kind dress worthy of South Florida nightlife. A super unique experience, you'll get to work directly with the designer himself in his chic showroom. Looking to replicate your mall experience from home? Drop some dough and soak up the sun while you stroll at Lincoln Road Shopping District, an outdoor pedestrian shopping district spanning multiple blocks in SoBe. It touts all our stand-alone store faves, like Lucky Brand, American Apparel, J.Crew, MAC cosmetics, and Ricky's NYC.
As we mentioned, summer in Miami is Spa Month, so you really can't go wrong at any of the area spas with luxe treatments costing either $99 or $129. A few mentionables:
For a facial: Acqualina Spa by ESPA at the five-star, five diamond Acqualina Resort & Spa (pictured above, left) in Sunny Isles Beach offers a 50-Minute Refining Enzyme Facial that boosts cell regeneration and gives an instantly smooth, radiant complexion, while also providing an intensive cleansing and skin-brightening treatment to dramatically improve the appearance and texture of the skin for $129. While you're there, you can enjoy a wealth of spamenities including multiple saunas, a crystal steam room, and ice fountain.
For a massage: Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau Miami Beach (pictured above, right) lets 50 minute treatments (we recommend the Hot Rocks Massage, which incorporates warm basalt lava stones and aromatic oils to ease stressed muscles) turn into a day of relaxation with the spa's water journeys, which include an Immersion Mineral Jet Pool, followed by a plunge in the Bleau Rain Room, an Elements Rain tunnel, and Eucalyptus Infused steam room. The mineral-rich waters are infused with a red seaweed extract farmed from the coast of Brittany, which when absorbed by the skin and hair, forms an invisible, long-lasting barrier that acts as a shield from harmful UV rays allowing the skin and hair to retain moisture. And the calcium and magnesium in the seaweed helps to repair damage caused by environmental conditions.
Start the night by watching the sunset with a cocktail in hand from Area 31, which overlooks Biscayne Bay from the 16th floor of the Epic Hotel (check out that view, pictured above, left). Then get cozy with your honey in one of the mid-modern designed booths or at a table for two at the Seagrape at the Thompson Hotel (pictured above, right). You'll enjoy a romantic-and sustainable-dinner set amongst warm lighting and soft music. The culinary team sources all of their ingredients from local farms including Jackman Ranch for their grass-fed, all-natural Wagyu steaks. Afterwards, hit one of the city's many famed bars or nightclubs. Our pick: Grab a martini at Bleau Bar inside the iconic The Fontainebleau lobby, where The Rat Pack ruled and Elvis performed. Then make a beeline for LIV, the on-site, ultra-exclusive mega club. PS: The door policy is strict, so dress to impress!