We were lucky enough to be back in-person as a team this winter to party in the city where the heat is on. Because Kibou’s Marketing Director Rachael lives there full-time, Steph and Nell begrudgingly ventured down for a few days away from our kiddos to basque in the sun for poolside meetings and al fresco work lunches.With many years of Miami travel and living amongst us, we’re excited to share some of our very favorite parts of the Magic City with you all in our latest Travel Diary. The list we’re sharing below is inspired by our time together this February, as well as time-tested bests and local favorites for families when you have your little ones in tow.Best family-friendly accommodations:
- InterContinental Miami Hotel A more cost-conscious option (for Miami hotel prices), the InterContinental has super comfy beds and many different room options for families to choose from. Though it’s a 20 minute walk to the beach, it’s in a great central location downtown. It’s also a 2 minute walk to the Metromover station and right next to Bayfront Park where there’s a playground.
- Loews Miami Beach Hotel High-end, impeccable rooms that have space! Beautiful views with suites to accommodate the whole family. It’s steps to the beach, has an awesome pool area both of which make it easy for the kids, and Exhale Fitness & Spa holds yoga and barre classes on-site if you’re hoping to keep up your routines while away.
- The Ritz Key Biscayne It’s the Ritz, how could it not be amazing? But added bonus: they often advertise family rates (like the one they have right now for 50% off your second room) and they hold regular events on the property. The only luxury hotel on the bay, the Ritz is 20 minutes south of Miami Beach and near family-friendly attractions like Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and Jungle Island. Plus, there’s a spa on site…
- Rent a house! This is our go-to move with the kids, especially if you don’t care about being right on the beach. Consider staying in beautiful family-friendly neighborhoods like Coconut Grove, Surfside, or Coral Gables.
- The Standard Spa Miami Beach Looking for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of Miami and spectacular people watching? Look no further than The Standard. Located on Biscayne Bay, this hotel is centrally located and just a short ride from South Beach, Wynwood and the Design District. The grounds feature lush, tropical gardens against a backdrop of the bay. An added bonus? The on-site restaurants are top-notch.
- Faena is the hotel of choice if you’re looking to splurge on your trip to Miami. The decor is whimsical and over-the-top, but somehow just right. This hotel truly captures the essence of Miami. The service, food, drinks and ambiance are all top-notch – don’t miss brunch as Los Fuegos by Fancis Mallman.
- Good Time Hotel Located in the heart of South Beach, this upscale hotel has an art-deco vibe and decor that is Instagram gold.
Places to Play & Family-friendly activities:
- Miami Children’s Museum The Miami Children's Museum is located on a little island between downtown Miami and South Beach. The museum houses 14 kid-friendly interactive exhibits – think 6-foot piggy banks and colorful, life-size sand castles. The museum also organizes daily programming for the whole family. Admission is $20 for adults and children.
- Brightline Train Take a ride on the Brightline both for the journey and the destinations. Kids love riding this brand new, state of the art train line that goes between several cities in South Florida. Our vote is to go from Miami to West Palm or Ft Lauderdale for a quick trip and hop off to enjoy a meal or some time strolling around a different town. And–at least until March 31, 2022–kids under 12 ride free!
- Jungle Island Opened in 1936, Jungle Island is a Miami landmark. This Miami mainstay reopened in early 2022 after undergoing significant renovations following Hurricane Irma. The main attractions? An intimate zoological park with some of the world’s most exotic animals and informative – all amongst a lush setting of streaming waterfalls and a canopy of tropical trees.
- Vizcaya Museum & Gardens The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, previously known as Villa Vizcaya, is the former villa and estate of businessman James Deering, of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune. The main house and gardens have been restored and preserved and feature 32 rooms filled with art and decor from around the globe and 10 acres of formal gardens.
- Frost Science The Frost Science Museum includes a planetarium, aquarium and has regular live science demonstrations. They’re also open every single day of the year, which is such a bonus for last minute rainy afternoons or an engaging change of pace.
- The Berry Farms Drive south and get a little piece of country in Miami. Pick berries, dance to live music, take a hayride, and jump on a massive trampoline, all before grabbing some BBQ for a low-key lunch or dinner outdoors.
- Sugar Sand Park Picture the biggest, most well-kept playground you’ve ever seen–water and music features included–and that’s just one part of Sugar Sand Park. There’s also a carousel and an awesome hands-on science exploration center.
- Everglades If you’re looking for a quintessential Florida experience, then the 90 minute drive to the Everglades will be worth the trek. Book an airboat tour with a local guide and you will learn all about the wildlife and landscape while you explore the mangroves.
- Gumbo Limbo: Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation + Nature Center Our little ones were super into seeing the sea turtles being nursed back to health–learning about the dangers in the ocean and how rescuers can help get them back on their feet. Gumbo Limbo also includes toddler-friendly “hikes” and a butterfly garden. Great for nature-leaning kiddos.
Best Family-Friendly Restaurants
- Mandolin Aegean Bistro is another Miami staple that will transport you straight to Greece. At Mandolin, you will dine in the garden of a converted 1940s bungalow right on the edge of the Design District. The food is fresh, shareable, and something you will likely think about for days to follow – there are no wrong choices on their menu full of eastern Mediterranean dishes.
- Glass & Vine is a beautiful, lush outdoor/indoor restaurant in Coconut Grove that not only offers a very yummy brunch, lunch and dinner but also boasts an on-site playground where kids can play while parents relax on the patio and enjoy drinks or food without the task of entertaining their littles. Sheer brilliance.
- Uchi Miami is the Miami outpost of Austin’s legendary sushi restaurant opened by James Beard award-winning Chef Tyson Cole. This acclaimed eatery serves a non-traditional take on Japanese food with a menu that features omakase-style chef’s tastings, assorted raw and cooked Japanese tapas style dishes, makimono, sushi and sashimi, as well as an assortment of other Japanese delicacies.
- Kyu Like Uchi, reservations at this delicious spot are a must if you’re hoping to eat at a certain time or day. The Asian-style meals here are as beautiful as they are impossibly delicious and the menu categories are enough to make you drool. From Fresh & Bright to Wood-Fired and Snacky Snacks to kick off any meal, you’ll thank us for this rec later.
- Stubborn Seed is the creation of Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford. Located in the South of Fifth neighborhood of South Beach, this restaurant features an ever-evolving menu of seasonal dishes and cocktails – perfect for celebrating a special occasion.
- Doya is an upscale restaurant with a menu of shareable Aegean dishes – think Mandolin’s younger, bougier brother. This spot is perfect for date night or a girl’s night out.
Best places to go for a stroll
- South Pointe Park is a green space located at the southern tip of Miami Beach. Here you will find the best views of the South Beach shoreline, PortMiami’s cruise ships, Downtown Miami’s skyline and Fisher Island. The park has direct access to the beach as well as walking trails, picnic and barbecue areas, benches and a cafe.
- Wynwood is an eclectic district in the urban core of Miami, Florida. It is home to art galleries, boutiques, concept shops, bars, restaurants and one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world – the Wynwood Walls.
- Design District is an international destination for fashion, art, architecture and fine dining. Known for its modern architecture and upscale luxury fashion and jewelry boutiques, this outdoor shopping destination one of the fastest growing areas of Miami.
- Cocowalk is located in Coconut Grove, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Miami. About a 20-30 minute drive from South Beach, this outdoor shopping district is a mix of independent boutiques and popular restaurants.
- Bill Baggs State Park is a hidden gem, just a 15-minute drive from Downtown Miami. This state park is a natural paradise located at the southernmost tip of Key Biscayne, and is filled with hidden trails and beaches. Climb to the top of the lighthouse for fantastic views or check out the waterfront bar, The Cleat for a refreshing beverage after exploring the trails.
Best grown-up entertainment
- R House If you’re looking to turn up on a weekend – look no further than R House. This legendary brunch features performances from Miami’s best drag queens. Expect bumping music and an all out dance party.
- Faena Theater Described as “luxurious in velvet, gold leaf and chandeliers” by Miami New Times, Faena Theater hosts a diverse lineup of acts – pop stars to magicians, music legends to cabaret stars. This supper club is perfect to start a fancy night out on the town.
- Boho Hunter is an upscale boutique featuring a curation of clothing and accessories from Latin American designers. Looking for a unique statement piece to take home as a souvenir? This is your spot.
- Faena Bazaar is described as “retail reimagined.” This four-floor shopping destination houses a collection of stores that sell a highly curated selection of international labels and emerging designers.
- Ochie Boutique is perfect if you are looking for something special to wear while on your trip to Miami or on your next island vacation. Their curation of island-inspired looks and designers are unique and well-crafted – well worth the splurge.