Gone are the days when a bachelorette party was a one-night affair. If you or your friends are tying the knot soon, set some extra money aside and make sure your passport is up to date, because there is likely a long weekend away in your future.
And while Miami is a popular destination for brides-to-be and their girl gangs for obvious reasons — sunshine, beach time, and non-stop partying, to name a few — there's more to the Florida hotspot than popping bottles in bandage dresses in South Beach (not that there's anything wrong with that).
If you're longing to stick your toes in that Florida sand but are afraid to be a cliché, we're here to help. These spots will let you revel in all the fun Miami has to offer, while earning bonus points with your bridal party for originality.
Where to Stay
If you can swing it, don't skimp on accommodations when planning a bachelorette weekend. When traveling with a large group (and likely doing a good amount of partying), drama can be avoided if everyone is well-rested and comfortable at their home base.
Luckily, while a luxury Miami Beach hotel can certainly set you back, the surrounding area has some stunning real-estate to offer at surprisingly reasonable prices, especially if you're splitting the cost with friends.
To save a few bucks without feeling like you're settling, try using Oasis, an experience that falls somewhere between a hotel and an Airbnb. You get hotel-like amenities — a personal concierge, professional cleaning service, toiletries — and that insider feeling that comes with staying in an apartment in a less touristy neighborhood. Plus, there are perks like free access to local gyms (including trendy fitness studios like Green Monkey Yoga in Miami) and city guides curated by local experts.
For a spot right between Miami Beach and Wynwood, stay at Baia, a three-bedroom apartment in the Design District with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and wrap-around balconies that offer unobstructed views of the sparkling blue bay. The meticulously decorated, waterfront pad sleeps seven, and there's a pool. It's $314 a night (and just think of all the cash you'll save pre-gaming at “home” while soaking in that jaw-dropping sunset).
If that all sounds great but you have your heart set on staying at the beach, the Miami Beach Edition offers a next-level stay complete with a Jean-Georges food hall, poolside lawn games, outdoor movie nights, and ice skating and bowling in the basement (next to the on-site nightclub, of course). Head downstairs on the second Monday night of the month for the award-winning Gio’s Total Split Show, an interactive speed bowling competition and wild party.
The romantic, outdoor Matador Terrace, covered in lush greenery, is an idyllic spot for a fancy dinner just steps from the ocean, and the spa offers bachelorette-friendly services including blow-outs and mani-pedis, plus a 30-minute “power nap” service that uses biotic wave technology to deeply relax your mind.
And those interested in a dose of history can play their own scavenger hunt around the hotel grounds, finding remnants of the hotel's storied past among its modern amenities and impeccable design. It sits on the site of the first luxury hotel in Miami Beach, the Pancoast, and has kept everything from the original clock on its exterior to the original diving board and swimming pool (adjacent to a more modern one). Doubles start at $399 per night.
Where to Eat
Miami may not be the first city you think of when you hear “dinner and a show,” but nestled between high-end shops in the heart of the Design District is Estefan Kitchen, an ode to two of the things Miami does best: music and Cuban food. Oh yeah, and the 1950s Cuba-themed restaurant does belong to those Estefans — Gloria and Emilio — who just opened it in March.
The menu is Cuban with a twist: Sip on a champagne mojito or Gloria's own Cosmopolitan recipe, and try the lechón crispy moros, a roasted pork, sweet plantain, and truffle oil combo that's like crispy rice sushi in construction, but all Cuban in flavor. When your mouth isn't full, sing along to live music from a pianist, flamenco guitarist, or mariachi band. (The waiters and bartenders have been known to join in on the performance, too.)
For a more down-to-earth dining experience, feast on barbecued meats straight from Florida family farms and veggies grown in an on-site garden at Charcoal Garden Bar + Grill, the first full-service restaurant built at the Wynwood Yard, an outdoor "entrepreneurial hub" where art and design meets food and drink. It's built entirely out of shipping containers, and the menu, which changes twice every season, also includes a roster of 20 sauces inspired by different places around the world, from French tarragon-gribiche and Oaxacan roasted tomatillo to Indian curried coconut.
French and Italian wines are on tap, and the craft beers are served in growlers.
Where to Party
Sure, you'll probably want to hit LIV at the Fontainebleau or one of Miami's many other world-famous nightclubs, but when your feet need a break from dancing, a low-key Miami Beach night can be spent at beachfront The Confidante hotel, where Nina's Game Night is held every Thursday, with arcade games, ping pong, foosball, and throwback tunes.
When you're in the mood to take your tropical-style vacation to the next level, try to catch The Anderson's “Miami is an Island” party. The '80s-inspired cocktail bar, beloved of locals in the MiMo (Miami Modern) historic district, pulls out all the stops one Sunday a month, including a backyard barbecue, a line-up of DJs, and a mini-market to peruse while sipping your choice of craft cocktail in “The Shack,” the bar's Caribbean-themed backyard.
What to Do
While everyone else hits a pool party, head out on the water with your very own boat — and captain. With easy-to-use boat rental site Sailo, you can enter your location and the amenities you're looking for, and sort by price to find the option that's best for your party. Boats in Miami currently start at around $250 for a half-day. Some, like the pictured Victory 35 ($800 per half-day; fits 12) come with extras like swim floats, a grill, a music system, and more to enjoy while you cruise around Biscayne Bay or anchor by a sandbar and go for a dip.
And after you inevitably have too much fun in the sun, it's time to add some culture to your trip. MKT by bazbaz, a massive outdoor marketplace and art installation that just opened in Wynwood in early April (Saturday to Sunday, 1-6 p.m.) is a must-visit for lovers of local art, quirky trinkets, and live music.
Plus, after a weekend of self-indulgence, you'll feel good about grabbing some healthy snacks and giving back to the socially conscious vendors — and you may even stop and learn a thing or two about one of the featured Miami-based charities.