Greeted by a stunning purple sky during sunset at 33,000 feet in the air, our girls weekend in Miami had begun. With shooters in front of us and giddy chatter among us, we quickly became those girls on the flight.
The city of Miami is much larger than one would think. Split up into numerous neighborhoods, from South Beach to Coconut Grove and from Little Havana to Little Haiti, Miami has entertainment and culture for everyone.
Our home-base destination was Coconut Grove, Dinner Key Marina to be exact. That’s right, we took advantage of a friend’s offer and spent our three-day getaway on a sailboat in the harbor.
A couple things to note when vacationing with your two best friends on a sailboat…
- Plan your heftier bathroom trips accordingly. It’s a long walk to the boat house and you never know when nature is going to call
- Get comfortable in close quarters – sharing a bed is inevitable, especially after a night of boozing
- Your clothes are no longer yours. They are now community clothes. You’ll likely never wear anything you brought, but it’ll look great on your bestie at lunch
- Finding a quiet space for yourself is not impossible but it does become a challenge. Communication is key.
- Space is limited. Much like packing your suitcase, space on a sailboat is minimal, so keep that in mind when grocery shopping. Besides, Miami offers so many restaurants to experience, so don’t go overboard – literally and figuratively
Eateries and Thirst Quenchers
For three girls who pride themselves on eating more than their bodyweight in carbs every day, we sure did very little eating. The drinking portion of the trip however, that we nailed. When we did decide to eat, our selections were based solely on hunger driven last-minute decisions.
In contrast to other Miami areas, Coconut Grove doesn’t have much of a nightlife. That being said, Barracuda Taphouse and Grill knows how to party late into the night. We hangerly stumbled upon this gem after touching down in Miami late night with nothing but airplane liqueur in our stomachs. Unfortunately, much like the rest of the restaurants in Coconut Grove, the kitchen was already closed. Instead, we decided to make the most of it and drink our hunger away like professionals.
Thursday nights at Barracuda are home to karaoke and WOW, they don’t disappoint. The locals are inviting, encouraging you to sing, even if that means they have to join you on stage. If healthy competition is more your speed, this taphouse also offers a pool table, darts and beer pong.
After a couple drinks and quite a bit of persuading, we finally got up to sing karaoke. Of course we had to belt out our girls weekend in Miami anthem, Shania Twain, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”
Our girl gang album will be coming soon, don’t you worry.
In the event of a girls weekend… Mimosas and Bloody Marys are a sacred and cherished activity that MUST be completed with the utmost enthusiasm.
Mimosas are a MUST.
Cue Greenstreet Cafe, located at the corner of Main Hwy and Commodore Plaza. Serving extensive options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant is the place to be. You’ll find yourself mesmerized by the greenery that surrounds you under a beautiful white canopy; a large outdoor bar to boast. When venturing inside, a smaller bar area awaits you to quench your thirst while you wait for a table. Sporting a library vibe, with bookshelves to the ceiling, the indoor dining space invites you for a more intimate setting.
Even though Greenstreet Cafe is known for it’s breakfast, we decided to dive right into lunch. Of course we ordered Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s to go with our tuna tartar and calamari. To finish, a grilled chicken salad and specialty cocktails. Everything was delicious, and our drinks were made with the utmost love and affection… highly recommend the espresso martini.
Now, what girls’ weekend is complete without a boozy lunch?
Girls weekend in Miami wouldn’t be complete without spending the day on Ocean Drive. We sat on the patio of On Ocean 7 Cafe, where our day-drinking festivities began. Here, you’ll become completely overwhelmed by the menu that jumps from burgers to pasta and seafood to pizza. In addition to the large menu selection, guests can choose to make their boozy lunch a bit more interesting with a cocktail list dedicated to 64 oz. drinks. Decide from an array of mojitos, margaritas, daiquiris and Pina coladas, while embracing the shade provided by colorful umbrellas.
Let me tell you, boozing with your besties beach side in 90 degree weather is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. We ended up eating more food than we anticipated, made friends with the girls sitting next to us, who were also having their own girls weekend in Miami, and laughed so loudly we became those girls again.
Where’s The Beach?!
After indulging in a 64 oz. margarita, head across the street to one of the most popular attractions in South Beach. THE BEACH!
Stretching over seven miles, the beach of Miami boasts some of the bluest water and provides a variety of activities, including sand volleyball courts, muscle beach, hotel beach clubs, and Art Deco pop-ups, just to name a few.
Of course, if none of the above activities sound like your cup of tea, there’s always the option to have a beach party with your friends. Nothing says Miami quite like a day of loud music, snacks and your favorite boozy beverage. Bring some fun games to play like corn hole or beers-bee, and I guarantee if you bring a beer pong table, you’ll make some new friends throughout the day.
Pro tip: Fill your beer pong cups with sand. This will stop the wind from blowing them down the beach.
We spent over six hours on the beach hanging out, tanning, swimming and meeting new people without ever being bored. Grab your favorite oversized sun hat and choice of alcohol and head to Ocean Drive, because South Beach is definitely something you don’t want to miss.
Nightlife Is a Wild Life
At the end of each night, we obviously had to hit the dance floor.
Our first night, we dressed up to go to a fan favorite, E11EVEN. Centrally located in the heart of downtown, E11EVEN is the world’s first 24/7 ultraclub. This 20,000 sq. ft. social playground offers guests an over-the-top experience, hosting cirque-like performers, adult entertainment dancers, and some of the most well-known DJs in the world.
Things don’t start to get exciting until after midnight, so you have plenty of time for a nap and a coffee beforehand. Or, in our case, a pre-game party before the real party. We arrived a little before 11 P.M., looking to avoid the long entry line and found the club nearly deserted. However, by midnight, more people started pouring in, and by 1 A.M., the entire club was packed.
I’m talking shoulder to shoulder, look up at the ceiling to breathe type of packed.
The DJ played everything from the Jonas Brothers to Dillon Francis, the light shows made you feel like you were in the heart of a Vegas strip show, and the two-tier dance floor was covered with sweaty young hopefuls looking to get lucky.
The rumors are true, Miami is still one of the greatest places to get wasted.
After screaming, I LOVE MIAMI, over and over, getting desperately close to the center-stage, throwing dollar bills at ridiculously flexible strippers, and having too many drinks accidentally spilled on us, 3 A.M. HIT HARD. Let me tell you something… when you’re stumbling back to your hotel, in our case, sailboat, you need to quickly hydrate, snack and get some sleep… because you’re going to do it all over again the next night.
From now on, I’m wearing flip-flops to the club. My feet hurt so bad, I feel like an amateur.
The answer to your question is YES. If you don’t wear heels often, like myself, your feet will be screaming for the foreseeable future of your trip. But, beauty is pain, right ladies? Put on that sexy outfit and show ’em what they’ve been missing.
Nightclub Round Two
For our final run of the nightclubs, we decided to go to Story, known as the little sister of LIV. This extravagant club features over the top bottle service, dancers in masks, massive drops of confetti and laser shows. When entering the premises you get the immediate feeling of exclusivity, which becomes more apparent with the amount of VIP areas throughout the space.
On the roster for this evening’s performers… DJ Khalid… but not until 4 A.M. Insert three disappointed women who so badly wanted to dance barefoot while hearing ANOTHA’ ONE in the background. Story provides you the option to purchase lower or upper section tickets, much like a concert would. Unfortunately, with the lack of space to dance in the upper level, where we purchased tickets, and the evident overcrowding that was happening, we decided to leave before seeing the infamous DJ.
Make note when purchasing tickets to see a headliner, they won’t DJ all night long and typically only perform the last hour or so of the club being open. Be sure to look closely at those details before determining your arrival time.
We didn’t pay attention to that fact, so by the time we got through the entry line, bought an excessively overpriced drink and found a spot to stand, our feet were killing us and our “party ’till the sun comes up” attitude was fading.
But Wait… There’s More
Miami time is much like Vegas time; 11 P.M. is the perfect time to start getting ready and 2 A.M. is too early to go home. Since we didn’t want to call it an early night, we headed over to The Wharf, a premium open-air event space, located riverside on the Miami River. This massive 30,000 sq. ft. space offers up seven different bars, six unique food concepts, a dance floor, and a green space featuring an array of yard games.
Whether you choose to dock your boat and come have a few cocktails with friends, or make a night out of it, The Wharf offers something for everyone.
Might I suggest taking off your painful heels, which is exactly what I did, and dance the rest of the night away.
A Walk of Shame Should Be Celebrated
A walk of shame is defined as “a situation of walking back home on the day after an unplanned sexual encounter, typically dressed in the same clothes as the night before.” In our case, a walk of shame is referring to three women who fell asleep in the Uber ride home at 6 A.M. and didn’t wash off their makeup before face planting into a pillow. Regardless of how you define it, both versions of a walk of shame deserve a round of applause.
Please do yourself a favor and learn from our mistakes… set an alarm the day you have to catch a flight, especially if you went out the night before. Our beautifully hungover bodies scrambled to pack up our backpacks, catch an Uber and make it to the airport all within an hour of our flight departure. Based on our appearances, everyone, and I mean everyone, knew we had an awesome time the night before.
If you crack jokes at security about last night’s makeup still smeared across your desperately tired eyes, it makes the hangover seem less brutal – but only slightly. Besides, I’m sure they’ve seen worse… it is Miami after all.
Our girls weekend had moments where we got cranky or hungry or just simply too hot. But those little moments were easily outweighed by the amount of carefree fun we had together. We didn’t have a plan, just knew we wanted to laugh and bond with one another, and that’s exactly what we accomplished.
The only question we’ve been asking ourselves since we got back… where do we go next?