There is certainly no shortage of incredible hotels in Miami, but we just can’t get enough of The Raleigh. Unlike many of its neighbours that jump up and down to get your attention, this hotel is understated and quietly, effortlessly glamorous. We love having dinner under the stars at The Royal Restaurant, with its canopy of trees overhead, and if we’re ever in search of a great martini then there’s nowhere better than its very own Martini Bar (and you know they’ll be good if they name the bar after them!).
For a more relaxed and casual dining experience, however, we head to Joe's Stone Crab on Washington Avenue. Its signature stone crabs in mustard sauce are to die for, and if it was good enough for Al Capone and the Kennedys, then it’s certainly good enough for us! There’s a no-reservations policy, which means we often have to wait at the bar for a bit before we can pull on a bib and get to work with our crab cracker – but, we promise, it’s definitely worth the wait.
Miami is known for it’s outrageously, unashamedly energetic nightlife, and when we want to get the party started, our first stop is Tantra on Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s beautifully decadent (cocktails and champagne are favoured above everything else here!) and girls tend to dance on the bar rather than on the dance floor! Try to go on a Monday night, their main club night, to mix with Miami’s highest-fliers and you’ll be sure to have the time of your life – if not the worst headache come the morning…
If you find that you’re craving some interaction with the locals that doesn’t involve elbowing through them at a packed bar, then there’s nowhere better to go than Sun Life Stadium. If we’re in Miami between August and February (the American football season), we always try to catch a game and watch the Miami Dolphins battle it out on the field, cheering along with the local, loyal football fans. Don’t worry if you’ve never watched a game before, the atmosphere is electric and you’ll get swept up in the action before you know it. We always make a few friends there!
Miami is a great place for some retail therapy, too, but be warned, in Miami Beach, Ocean Drive is not the place to splurge (unless you have unlimited funds). We always go to Washington Avenue instead, which has some great shopping at good prices.
Have you got the hots for Miami, too? Tell us about your favourite bar or club!
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About the author: KatieKatie Manning
Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning