#TRAVEL | My 48 Hours in South Beach #MIAMI 🌴 Beach, Bites, Sips & Sights ☉ #FoundInMiami

Last week this time I was flying Delta airlines to make my way back to a city that I lived in for almost 19 years, Miami Beach. My reason for going was to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration ‘On the Road’ conference[stay tuned for my recap], however while there I made this trip into a mini Momcation. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when a Mom travels solo without kid(s) or husband in tow and goes away on a much needed break! As seen in my Miami Beach Family Travel Guide, South Beach with Kids can be done, but this time I was back to enjoy some solo fun. I saw some friends, got some sun and of course dined at some restaurants! With just 48 hours in the Magic City, I made sure to enjoy 4 things: BEACH..BITES..SIPS..& SIGHTS!

BEACH

I moved away from South Beach three years ago and the number one thing I miss is being able to walk to the beach. After meeting up with a friend/former neighbor at Beach Taco for lunch [I’ll tell you more about that in a bit], we walked over to the sand behind Nikki Beach, known for its day parties and Sunday Brunch. The temps of the water can be a bit cold in March, however don’t let that deter your from playing or taking selfies by the shore! Plus I had some new sunglasses from my friends at SunglassWarehouse.com to break in! 😎 I love these over-sized sunshades for great sun protection.

BITES

Since I arrived on a Tuesday, it was only right for my first bite to be tacos! Beach Taco Miami was the perfect place to celebrate #TacoTuesday while enjoying a variety of tacos for lunch. My fave were a tie between the shrimp tacos and korean bbq. Take a look at the yummy pics I took ….warning you may be dreaming of tacos after! 🌮

SobeSavvy Tip: Every Tuesday, get an order of queso dip and handmade chips FREE with your order at Beach Taco Miami!

Breakfast was provided at the conference and since I was staying with a friend, I enjoyed the comforts of home and eating in. However, I was able to enjoy a lovely dinner on my final night at Barceloneta. Located in Sunset Harbor [which is where locals dine away from Ocean Drive], this place is known for its amazing Spanish tapas and flavorful mediterranean dishes. I used to dine here for brunch often, but this was my first time coming for dinner. Feast your eyes on these tasty bites:

SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy Happy Hour specials every day from 5-8pm and also late night Sun- Thurs, 11 pm-12 pm & weekend happy hour 12 am-1 am Fri & Sat in the bar/lounge area at Barceloneta Miami Beach.

SIPS

As formentioned, Barceloneta is a great spot to enjoy some sips. They have an extensive wine, beer,and cocktail list. I highly recommend getting a pitcher of their ‘Verdajo Al Sol’ Sangria[pictured above]. It’s made with sparkling wine, verdajo, gin and passionfruit.

Every tourist must check out Wet Willie’s on Ocean Drive/South Beach for their infamous frozen drinks! Mix and match your flavors and head upstairs to enjoy the view. SobeSavvy Tip: Not sure which flavor you want? Just ask the bartender to give you tasting samples before making your choice. Keep in mind there are more flavors located on the second level.

My favorite sip is a cocktail that I enjoy during Happy Hour at Doraku. It’s a ‘Lychee Martini’ and I try to have one or two each time I visit. It’s that good! This restaurant is popular for its sushi and their happy hour is the perfect time to try a variety of things from their menu at a great price. I don’t know about you, but I’ll drink to that! CHEERS!🍸

SIGHTS

No matter where you look there are always sights to see in Miami. From the beautiful beaches to the palm trees, the best place to take it all in when you have a short amount of time is Ocean Drive on South Beach.

With the right shoes, sunscreen and cold beverage in hand, you can walk and take in so much scenery on the 15 blocks that make up Ocean Drive. My friend took me to the newly renovated Muscle Beach area where men [and women too] and their muscles are on display during workout sessions on the sand at 9th/Ocean, Lummus Park.

Have you been watching the FX TV series: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story? This crime happened in 1997 and we had just moved to Miami Beach in 1996. Can you imagine how sad/scary that was to say the least! The Versace mansion which is located on Ocean Drive, is now a hotel & restaurant. It’s worth stopping by just to see the beautiful villa adorned with the iconic Versace symbol on the outside.

SobeSavvy Tip: Take the opportunity to get off the beach [via a short bus ride, taxi, or use UBER and get $5 off each of your first 4 Uber rides. To accept, use code ‘2ackv’ to sign up. Enjoy!]. Head to Downtown Miami to see views by the water at Bayside Marketplace. Also check out the Wynwood Walls to see some amazing street art. Find a mural and get your pose on!

Thanks for reading all about my fun-filled 48 hours in South Beach Miami. Special thanks to Beach Taco Miami and Barceloneta for hosting me. I enjoyed trying items from your menu and sharing about my experiences. I hope you all plan to check them out as well as my other suggestions your next visit to South Beach- Miami Beach, Florida! See more beach,bites, sips and sounds on my youtube recap video. Enjoy!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO MIAMI BEACH? WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE BEACH BITES, SIPS & SITES? SHARE BELOW😎🌴🍸☉

#TravelTuesday | Top 4 Reasons to Visit @WilmingtonNCoast for #FamilyTravel #WilmingtonNC

Disclosure: Thank you to Wilmington and Beaches CVB for your assistance with itinerary and attractions to facilitate this review. 

Leslie Heigh, Raleigh-based freelance lifetyle/travel writer/blogger at Wilmington and Beaches CVB Visitor Center’s main office~505 Nutt Street

I planned to visit Wilmington, NC for my 44th birthday this year and met up with family & friends to enjoy my birthday themed weekend: #44bytheshore. Why Wilmington? It is an easy 2 hour drive from where I live in Raleigh, NC plus I love the city and all it has to offer. From the beautiful beaches and shores, variety of attractions, restaurants and tours, Wilmington, NC has alot to explore!

Welcome Bag courtesy of Wilmington and Beaches CVB

My family did a daycation here last year (see travel guide here) and we had so much fun! Now that our daughter is older, we looked forward to an extended stay and having her revisit some places we went to before while also discovering new family friendly activities to do. 

STAY |The Hilton Wilmington Riverside, located on the Cape Fear River in historic downtown Wilmington, was our hotel for our two night stay. We loved how convenient it was to restaurants (such as The Basics, located in The Cotton Exchange across from the hotel) as well as attractions (like the Wilmington Railroad Museum). Stay there for enjoyable river views from their renovated rooms, the pool /tiki bar and access to the 1.75 mile Riverwalk! For more of a look inside the Hilton Wilmington Riverside, click here.

Inside the Hilton Wilmington Riverside

If you are planning a visit to Wilmington and not sure if it is a good fit for your family, I’d like to share with you my         Top 4 Reasons to Visit Wilmington,NC for Family Travel 

  1. BEACHES

    #outandaboutAva & her Mom at Kure Beach   

    Did you know that Wilmington, North Carolina has 31 miles of pristine shoreline with luminous sandy beaches? During our visit, we enjoyed 2 out of 3 island beaches: Carolina Beach Kure Beach. The sun played hide and seek during our 2 nt stay but we still found time to play in the area known as, Pleasure Island . 

    Carolina Beach Boardwalk                            

    Since we arrived on Thursday, we got to check out the Carolina Beach Boardwalk Blast concert with fireworks and also the seasonal amusement park. There’s plenty of sweet treats on the boardwalk but if you love donuts save room for Britt’s Donut Shop!

    Britts Donut Shop

    Kure Beach Pier                                                  

    Kure Beach, North Carolina is known for its Kure Beach Pier , oceanfront park and four miles of uninhabited beach. The award winning aquarium is there also so this beach is kid-friendly. To get here was an easy 20 minute drive from our downtown Wilmington hotel. Check out more photos from our visit to both of the beautiful beaches >>>> here.

    Enjoying a Mommy and Me moment

  2. FOOD 

    Visit Wilmington, NC aka ‘Foodie Paradise’

    See more food pics from this trip>>here. Wilmington, NC has alot of great restaurants and notable chefs making this city a foodie paradise. During our visit to Carolina Beach, we enjoyed Kate’s Pancake House for breakfast. This restaurant is popular because it serves some of the most original pancakes and waffles. It’s only open until 1pm but this is a great place to fuel up for the day on the way to the beach or Aquarium.

    Breakfast Time at Kate’s Pancake House

    Looking for a quick lunch in Downtown Wilmington ? Chop’s Deli: a Boar’s Head Delicatessen would be that destination. They offer made to order salads and classic deli sandwiches, as well as soups and spectacular paninis. Their walk up window serves the hungry masses from 11pm to 3am on summer weekends. We decided to sit outside for some sunshine and people watching as we enjoyed a salad, some soup and a sandwich. Don’t forget to wash it down with their homemade lemonade. Everything was fresh and delicious! 

    Chop’s Deli, Downtown Wilmington                    

    No trip to the coast would be complete without a visit to a quintessential seaside seafood restaurant. Michael’s Seafood, founded by it’s namesake, the late chef Michael Mcgowan and his wife Shelly in 1998, is that place. We had a bowl {2 bowls actually} of it’s international award winning seafood chowder. My 6 yr old basically inhaled the first bowl! This restaurant is not only family-friendly but a perfect dinner option if you are looking for amazing seafood and great service. 

    Michael’s Seafood Restaurant ~Seafood Chowder

    Since we were in Wilmington to celebrate my #44bytheShore birthday, we were delighted to dine at The Basics. They serve simple dishes made with basic ingredients, however, they still manage to elevate our tastesbuds with amazing flavors. Our server took good care of the table and we never felt rushed as we lingered over great food, wine and conversation. If you are staying at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside, this restaurant is conveniently located across the street in The Cotton Exchange. Take a look at this drool-worthy pic I shared on IG of the Filet Mignon w/goat cheese at The Basics : 

    The Basics, Filet Mignon Entree, IG@SobeSavvy

  3. Historic River District

    The majestic Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

    Travel to Wilmington, the biggest city on North Carolina’s coast, to learn about its unique history, which predates the civil war. There is no better way to learn about it than to take one of their myriad of tours. This visit we took a Wilmington Trolley Tour, which for over 19 years has been providing visitors with a colorful tour of the city. This 8 mile tour highlights architecture, civil war history and also speaks honestly about the racial strife that was a part of Wilmington’s history. Our driver was excellent. He was informative and entertaining at the same time. I highly recommend this family-friendly tour! 

    All smiles after the Wilmington Trolley Tour

    We also went on self-guided tours and walked along Riverwalk Downtown Wilmington and Cape Fear River. We made many discoveries on foot, like the City Market, a great Saturday morning Riverfront Farmers’ Market and many more shops and stores Downtown. See more photos of where our feet led us>>>here

    Taking a walk along the historic Riverwalk, Downtown Wilmington

  4. Family Fun Attractions

#outandaboutAva gets ready for some family fun at the Fort Fisher/NC Aquarium

When it comes to family fun, we let our daughter, #outandaboutAva lead the way to places where she can imagine, learn, explore and play! Wilmington, NC has some great options that everyone would love to visit such as the Fort Fisher NC Aquarium

SobeSavvy.com at Fort Fisher NC Aquarium

The Wilmington Railroad Museum , a great place to explore family-friendly activities in Wilmington’s River District. 

SobeSavvy.com at the Wilmington Railroad Museum

…and the Children’s Museum of Wilmington, which served as a perfect place to play indoors on a rainy day. 

#outandaboutAva #CMoW #PlayToLearn at The Children’s Museum of Wilmington

Visit & Follow my Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/soBEsavvy as I will continue to give you an inside look and share more details plus photos from these 3 family fun attractions. 
Those are just some of the great reasons to visit Wilmington, NC’s Historic River District & Island Beaches. Check out www.gowilmingtonandbeaches.com before you go and see the many ways to explore and to get information for your next family getaway. My family & friends enjoyed our short but sweet 48 hours here and are already making plans to return next year. Hope you are inspired to make memories there soon!

#44bytheShore Family & Friends Getaway to Wilmington, NC Historic River Distict & Island Beaches