Miami Vices – A Florida Adventure

My longing for Miami Beach has only increased with being stuck in quarantine, as it truly is my ‘happy place’. After our time at camp had concluded, my friend and I boarded Spirit airlines to fly along the East Coast to Orlando, staying in Miami for just shy of four days. We enjoyed several ‘vices’ in Miami and relaxed into all the pleasures of the sun, sea and shopping.

We had booked into the Miami Generator Hostel, which was excellent value for money and came with all the amenities we could ask for. I was the top bunk in our room, shared with five other people, and the bathroom facilities offered a lot of privacy. Some of our best evenings were spent winding down in the outside pool area, nibbling on the best snacks America had to offer. My personal favourites were the large cups of tangy orange Fanta, and the raspberry and white chocolate cookies from Subway, just a short walk away.

hotel-pool Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

After our hectic day travelling, our first stop was the iconic Miami Beach, which I can safely say was the highlight of all my travels. It was a short, ten-minute walk away from the hostel which was very convenient. Armed with nothing but a towel and some factor-50, we spent many a happy hour sprawled out in the sand, soaking up the sunshine. It was incredibly peaceful and the ocean was the temperature of bathwater. As someone who had been craving a proper beach the whole summer, this was the perfect remedy.

beach Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

The next day, we decided to partake in a bit of shopping. We strolled around, and stumbled upon Española Way which offered lovely little restaurants and bars along the street.

miami-streets Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

After that, we found Lincoln Road which had rows upon rows of high-end shops to stroll along. It also had this lovely mosaic fountain.

fountain Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

Our first stop was Sephora, where I indulged in some exclusive lipsticks for my friend and I. Also, I was delighted to find a H&M and a massive Victoria’s Secret, and treated myself accordingly. My dress was a steal at $5 and the body spray had been reduced to $7!  Bargain!

dress Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

We spent the entire day exploring the shops, and by the time we walked back to the Hostel, it was dark. While walking, we accidentally stumbled across Miami Beach’s Holocaust Memorial. While it closes at 9pm, we had got there with ten minutes to spare and wanted to have a look around to remember those lost.

From a distance, the memorial looks like a giant hand, but upon closer inspection it has many people climbing up it, their faces reflecting the tragedy of the Holocaust. The memorial was haunting, particularly as visitors are able to walk into the bricked area and view the hand close up. While it was a saddening experience to reflect on the lives lost during the Holocaust, we felt lucky to have found this memorial and to have been able to pay our respects. It is definitely worth a visit.

art-1 Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

The day after, we ventured out to see some of the cultural hotspots of Miami. My friend had recommended a spot called Wynwood Walls, which featured a lot of breath-taking murals. We opted to walk for 45-minutes (to save our cash for shopping) but I would recommend getting an Uber as it was difficult walk in the summer heat!

cat-art Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

Wynwood Walls was free to enter and have a look around. The artwork was vivid and very different from what I had seen. It suited the Miami aesthetic perfectly. Wynwood Walls proved a hotspot for those eager to snap a classic picture for Instagram. Here are some of my favourite pieces.

elephant Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

Our time in Miami concluded with a trip to the famous Bayside Marketplace. We decided to walk there, taking a stroll along the promenade to reach it. Set by the lovely sea air, the marketplace was filled with loads of great shops and attractions, including my favourite restaurant the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.

hotel-view Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

We spent the whole day exploring every aspect of the Miami shopping district, including going in Bath and Body works (where I picked up some pink, glittery hand-sanitiser I’m very grateful for now) and some gifts for friends. We also made a trip to Marshalls (our favourite travel destination) and I scored some bargain eyeshadow!

While we were enjoying browsing around bath and body works selecting our soaps, we had the misfortune of being caught in a flash flood. All at once the lovely weather disappeared, and the heavens opened. From inside the shop, we could hear the thunder rattling and the rain was hammering, drenching everything in sight.

me-in-miami Miami Vices - A Florida Adventure

Thankfully, we stayed inside and safe until it had passed, but it was a memorable way to end our trip around Miami!

Written by Annie Elizabeth

Annie Elizabeth is originally a Yorkshire lass who is currently studying MA Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham. She recently spent twelve weeks in Huntington, New York working as a lifeguard at a summer camp, travelling along the East Coast on her weekends off and after camp. She hopes to continue her travels to seek creative inspiration from all around the world.

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