How To: Miami, the City of Parties

I recently visited Miami, Florida for the Spring Break of my senior year. Some of my friends and their friends gathered together to find an affordable Airbnb to house all 10 of us. We flew from LaGuardia to Fort Lauderdale to save some money, and then we stayed in North Beach to avoid the overbooked hotels and split Ubers to visit South Beach, a.k.a. the party zone. There’s a lot to do all over Miami, but I can only recommend the best of what I saw, and this is what I think you should see, do and eat:

From the balcony of the American Airlines Arena, where the writer watched the Miami Heat play the New Orleans Pelicans, yachts are visible against the Miami skyline. (Francesca Colturi/The Daily Campus)

Things to Do:

Take a break at North Beach

You will never believe how blue the beaches in Miami are. They are stunning and decently clean, and there’s a convenient sandbar 20 feet from the edge perfect for tossing the football. The nice thing about North Beach is its casual and comfortable feel. It’s not crowded or loud and gets just as much sun as South Beach. Plus, if you stay in North Beach, it’s much closer than the party beaches.

Tailgate on South Beach

All the fraternity brothers and party animals congregate on South Beach in front of Ocean Drive. With big speakers, plenty of drinks and activities and even those cool, collapsible flags from tailgates that make locating your friends a bit easier. The scene here is a bit more about fun and flirting than just chilling, so wear a cute coverup or your sexiest sunglasses. Definitely a social place with bars and ice cream just across the road.

Visit Little Havana

On the other side of the waterway is the downtown area of Miami, where there is a nice strip of authentic Cuban restaurants, cigar shops and bars. There is plenty of art, especially where the border blends with the artsy district of Wynwood. Perfect place for a yummy lunch and some stogie souvenirs.

Attend a Heat Game

The professional basketball team of the city is the Miami Heat, with major players like Goran Dragic, James Johnson and Hassan Whiteside. Even though the drinks are $8 minimum, the stadium is cool to see and there will most likely be massive yachts parked outside. Plus, the team they play might have some more talent to see.

Places to Drink:

ITO’s

Five specialty mojitos during happy hour at ITO in North Beach, Miami. (Francesca Colturi/The Daily Campus)

This is a cute little place we found that is attached to a hotel. The happy hour has $5 drinks, and there are $6 tapas with traditional Cuban food. I tried fried conch and delicious yuka bites. The mojitos are great – even though they take some time. The bartender is very talented.

Voodoo Rooftop Bar & Lounge

This place was definitely my favorite. So chill and no cover, there are couches and tables on the roof with a bar area always filled with dancing. It is usually filled with other Spring Breakers and has a pretty cheap hookah option if you want to reserve a table. The drinks go up in price on the weekends, but it’s also not too bad because the drinks are tasty. It’s open until 5 a.m.

Coconut milk Hookah+giant beverages=great nights at #VoodooRooftop

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Nikki Beach Club, LIV and E11even

All of these nightclubs are pretty fun for girls. It’s a bit harder for guys to get in since there is cover, and the promoters are trying to fill the club with girls and put drinks in their hands before the club even opens, but it’s still fun. With lots of Spring Breakers there’s lots of conversation, dancing and occasionally a light show. These places sometimes have performers like rappers or DJs, but caution: E11even is primarily a strip club, so even though it’s lit, you might see some “tits.”

Places to Eat:

Pubbelly Sushi

This restaurant is so yummy and has a great happy hour special. The drinks and gourmet sushi rolls are so much cheaper. The beef tartare roll comes with a poached-egg-and-truffle dipping sauce, and the octopus ceviche roll was so fresh it made me want five more. The specialty drinks were also influenced by Latin American and Asian cuisine with ginger, jalepenos and sake.

Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar

Taco Tuesday 🌮 Have you try our special taco "Lengua"? Oaxacan delicacy Beef Tongue! Try this next time :)

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This place was the best! They have a bottomless mimosa option for only $20 and even if they run out of champagne due to another large table of college kids, they might provide you with top-shelf free tequila shots, complete with lime wedges and barbecue salt. True story! The food was delicious with a massive guacamole appetizer made at your table and a mind-blowing Oaxacan beef tongue taco. Plus the whole place has very cool vibes and trendy art on the walls.


Francesca Colturi is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at francesca.colturi@uconn.edu.