I’m so excited to partner up with Carnival Cruise Line to show you the Eastern Caribbean! We’re sailing off on Carnival Glory from Miami to Half Moon Cay in Bahamas, St Thomas, San Juan in Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos Islands.
SEE ALSO: 16 Reasons Why 20-Somethings Should Go On A Cruise
Last summer, I went on Carnival Magic from Galveston for a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise to Cozumel in Mexico, Belize, and Mahogany Bay in Isla Roatan. I wanted to depart from a different port so I picked Miami – one of my favorite spots to vacation! Here is my curated list of top things to do in Miami before and after your Carnival cruise.
COCKTAILS ON SOUTH BEACH
You can’t visit Miami without visiting Miami’s hottest beach, South Beach. Grab an icy cocktail from the local bars and head to the umbrellas on South Beach (also known as SoBe). The clear blue water and white sands make the beautiful beach a must visit! Need to take a break from the sun? Grab lunch at one of the beachside restaurants and then check out the many museums, shops, and historic buildings that line the strip. At night is when South Beach comes alive with the crowds and earns its name as the world class partying hotspot.
South Beach, Miami
BIKE THROUGH ART DECO DISTRICT
Located on South Beach, the Art Deco District has around 800 structures of historical significance that were built between 1923 and 1943. Hop on a city bike or rent a scooter to see all the pastel buildings on Ocean Drive. The Art Deco District is also easily walkable. I recommend coming early in the morning before it gets too hot and grabbing breakfast on the strip, or coming around sunset time to see the hotels turn on their neon signs for an incredible view of the Art Deco skyline.
Ocean Dr between 15th and 6th St
EXPLORE WYNWOOD WALLS
What was once a warehouse district filled with run-down buildings is now a mecca for artists from all over the world to showcase their large-scale works. Wynwood is located minutes away from downtown Miami with the heart of the art situated between NW 25th Street and NW 26th Street. Leave the car behind and explore the neighborhood by foot and be prepared to gawk from mural to mural. You might even see a new mural going up while you’re there!
On the second Saturday of each month, local galleries and shops, and local food trucks gather for a celebration at Wynwood Walls. Wynwood Walls is not to be missed if you’re visiting Miami. Over 50 artists representing 16 countries and have covered over 80,000 square feet of walls in Wynwood.
2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
EAT CUBAN FOOD
Cuban cuisine is a big part of Miami’s dining scene with more than 34% of the city’s population from the Caribbean island. Little Havana neighborhood and Española Way hosts the city’s tastiest Cuban restaurants. Items to order? Cuban sandwich, ceviche, cafe cubano, paella, croquetas, roast chicken with black beans, rice, and sweet plantains, empanadas, and flan.
SHOP ON LINCOLN ROAD
You’ll want to be best dressed on your cruise so make sure to pack plenty of swimsuits, hat, sunglasses, beach coverups, sun dresses, and formal wear (in preparation for Cruise Elegant night on the ship!). Lincoln Road between 16th Street and 17th Street in Miami Beach has a wide variety of name brand stores.
Lincoln Rd Mall, Miami Beach, FL 33139
STAY AT A BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Miami has some of the world’s best hotels in the world – everything from luxury to boutique chic. I like staying near South Beach at one of the boutique hotels (like the one pictured above) with pool and beach access.
I highly recommend flying in early and staying a couple of days after your cruise to fully enjoy Miami. I flew in the night before and will be staying two days in Miami after arriving back from the Carnival cruise.
You know I’ll be devouring all the delicious food onboard, especially Guy’s Burger Joint and the 24/7 pizza. Follow along for my adventures in the Eastern Caribbean!
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.