It’s been a crazy busy July for us — hence the lack of recent blog posts. But it doesn’t mean we’ve slowed down on our travels. Kevin has been crunching on a big work project — so as a reward, his company sent everyone on an all-expenses paid vacation to the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. I get excited when my company gets Sprinkles Cupcakes for a staff meeting! So you can only imagine my excitement for a free trip to the super swanky Breakers Hotel.
We aren’t ones to just sit around all day at a resort. During our flight, I went into research overdrive to maximize our trip including stops at the top museums as well as some of the weird and wild things you can only probably find in Florida (live monkeys and Chinese chickens in a hidden strip mall zoo, anyone?). Below you’ll find our favorite spots to plan your next Miami and Palm Beach road trip.
DAY 1: Miami to Palm Beach
We arrived! And made it through the Miami Airport (seriously the most confusing airport I’ve ever been to) and picked up the rental car (which felt like we could have walked to Miami Beach). It took 2 hours to do this, so plan plenty of extra time. We then started a little food trip adventure that I mapped out. First stop, El Palacio De Los Jugos, which is a sprawling outdoor food court and juice bar just about 10 minutes from the airport.
Now this place couldn’t be any further from the detox juice spots in LA like Gwyneth-fave Moon Juice (at $12 a pop). At El Palacio, it is $2 a juice and freshly squeezed right there. The place also has several food stalls with various South American snacks and full-out meals. But this was just a quick juice stop (and told Kevin to put that rice pudding back on the shelf!).
Next stop: A bakery! Yay, my favorite. Little Havana is just another 10 minute drive from the juice stand. Probably my favorite place of all in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami is the restaurant Versailles. The place is a scene and already had a line stretching out the front door. They also have a bakery (across the parking lot from the main restaurant), which is where we went to get a few treats.
Inside, we grabbed our number and waited to be called (in Spanish naturally, so if you don’t speak Spanish, well, good luck!). Kevin is fluent and I have a basic level…and am good at pointing!
Everything is pretty awesome at Versailles – but if you were to just pick one thing, go for the beef empanadas. They were so good that I ended up going back for a few more. And no trip to Little Havana is complete without some Cuban coffee (the intense shot of caffeine and sugar that will jolt you awake). I definitely needed some since I got no sleep on the flight. So we headed to the corner of 17th Avenue and “Calle Ocho” (or 8th Street) in Little Havana full of galleries, gift shops and coffee joints.
You can’t go wrong at any of the places for Cuban coffee. Though, we really enjoyed the coffee at La Colada Gourmet. This is no Starbucks grab and go. This is one of those places you sit, chat and enjoy the relaxing setting.
Now that I’m awake – literally bouncing since (full disclosure) I had a few cups of coffee – we hit up our last stop in Miami to get some culture at the Frost Museum of Science.
The museum stays open late certain Fridays. The night we were there, we saw a 3D laser show at their planetarium with a Michael Jackson soundtrack. Honestly, it was a little underwhelming, but the air conditioning was great! And the museum is very interactive so good if you have kids in tow.
Next stop: Palm Beach. Stay at The Breakers Hotel and enjoy the high life.
DAY 2: Palm Beach, Boca Raton
On the second day, we drove 20 minutes south to Boynton Beach to get in a workout at my new fitness obsession: megaformer pilates. We loved the class at Activ8 Mind & Body, especially since the first session is free! What? You had us at free.
After our 45 minute class (where you burn about 500-700 calories), we went to an unexpected highlight for the trip. Just 15 minutes away in Delray Beach, you’ll find The Girls Strawberry U-Pick. But oh, this is so much more than a strawberry farm. In fact, there were no strawberries available when we went. Head straight to the back of the store where you can walk through their little zoo. Inside, you’ll find tons of parrots, chickens, a monkey and other all kinds of randomness. The place is massive! You really shouldn’t skip it!
After the surprise zoo visit, we had some pizza inside. The portions are huge. And Kevin was only slightly sad (um, very) to not have enough room for the cookie dough ice cream. Next trip!
Next, we headed back to Palm Beach where we went to the Flagler Museum, an absolute must in Palm Beach. Henry Flagler is one of Florida’s most prolific developers – constructing a continuous railroad stretching the entire length of Florida and building massive hotels along the way.
Flagler co-founded Standard Oil with John D. Rockefeller and made a fortune. Today you can tour the estate, which was built for his (much younger) wife. We recommend taking one of the many guided tours offered throughout the day. You get so much more information than the audio guides.
After the tour, be sure to check out Flagler’s private train car. It’s in a separate building and was how he traveled across Florida. It’s incredible – and you can walk through the entire car and imagine what it must have been like during that era.
We headed back to The Breakers where we got expensive massages (but seriously one of the best we’ve ever had). Then hit the road to Boca Raton to one of our favorite spot — the iPic movie theater.
iPic is our absolute favorite theater in Los Angeles – with its comfy seats, assigned waitstaff and free popcorn. So we were thrilled to see that Boca Raton had one. Book early – even 3 days prior most of the seats were already reserved! We ended up going to a late-night showing of The House, the poorly reviewed comedy with Will Farrell and Amy Poehler. Though, we loved it! And this iPic was one of the best we’ve been to. A great way to end the night.
DAY 3: Palm Beach to Miami
We can’t believe it’s our final day. We pre-ordered room service the night before for 7 AM. And promptly the cart arrived with our incredible breakfast. Not cheap, but so delicious (and charged to Kevin’s work, eh hem!).
We’re so sad to leave the hotel, but excited to head South to Miami (1 1/2 hour drive) where we’ll join the food walking tour with Miami Culinary Tours. They offer 3 different tours and we’ve done every one. In fact, we credit our tour of Little Havana as the inspiration for this blog. During our walking tour last year, we met a food blogger (and one of the stars of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off). She mentioned how her blog has been an extension of her brand. And it instantly prompted the idea for me to start this very blog. So it’s a homecoming of sorts (full circle!).
I love these food walking tours – and honestly can say that each have been unique in their own ways. The Wynwood tour was a really fun mixture of food and art. I appreciated the fact that I wasn’t completely stuffed by the end since we got to walk through so many art galleries along the way.
Even with all the art, we got plenty to eat. Among my favorite stops was at GK Bistronomie, where we had Mahimahi ceviche and Peruvian pork rolls. It was also this stop where we had a Pisco Sour (well worth the $5 extra) and the stop where Kevin accidentally spilled his entire glass of water on a German guy’s crotch! It will be a story the family will never forget I’m sure.
My favorite stop on this tour was dessert — we went to Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies and had some key lime pie. I don’t even like key lime pie, and devoured this thing!
After the tour, we checked out the many shops in Wynwood. If you’re a shopper, this is the place for you! Some of the must visit places include Frangipani Design Store (where Kevin spent hours reading) and Plant The Future, a shop that will feel like you’ve entered another planet with it’s stark white ceramics and contrasting greenery. It’s beyond trippy!
And that’s it! We ended up just chilling the rest of our trip at a coffee shop before catching our flight back to LA. Such a great time – I love Miami. And can’t wait for our next big adventure back here again!