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The cultural fusion, public displays of art and architecture, and food scene barely scratch the surface of what makes Miami great. From the Design District, where even parking garages double as modern art, to Wynwood’s art-covered walls, the creativity in this city is tangible. Miami natives and frequent visitors have their own rituals in this city—from evenings spent devouring Joe’s Stone Crabs to a walk through Wynwood with a decadent mid-morning pastry at The Salty Donut in hand. Nonetheless, every Miami faithful needs an escape sometimes, and that’s where these perfect weekend trips from Miami come in:
Palm Beach is just a quick one-hour drive from Miami, and yet, offers a completely different scene. Stay at The Breakers Palm Beach, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, where you’ll have access to their four oceanfront pools and the property’s private beach. Or for a taste of classically Spanish architecture, reserve a suite at American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, the Brazilian Court Hotel—even if you don’t stay here, be sure to stop by for a cocktail at Boulud Bar on property. Start your day in Palm Beach County at two of our favorite museums: the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, which transports guests back in time to the Gilded Age, and the ever-serene Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, near Delray Beach. Have lunch at Piccolo Mondo, known for their fresh produce and Peruvian-influenced cuisine, followed by a beach visit to R.G. Kreusler Park by Lake Worth Pier or Phipps Ocean Park, a favorite spot amongst snorkelers. In the evening, head back to the Brazilian Court Hotel for dinner at Global Dining Collection chef Daniel Boulud’s highly regarded Cafe Boulud, then take in an orchestral concert at the Palm Beach Symphony.
For an indulgent weekend trip from Miami, cruise south down the west coast of Florida’s panhandle to the soft white sand of Naples Beach. Shop on 5th Avenue South, amble through the Naples Botanical Garden, and visit the 125-year-old Palm Cottage, now managed by the Naples Historical Society. For a more secluded beach experience, drive slightly outside of town to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, or visit Lowdermilk Beach Park where beach-going families can post up and relax all day. Stay at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner with a 36-hole championship golf course. LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort is also a verdant golfers’ paradise and an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner. Nestled at the intersection of the Gulf of Mexico and Vanderbuilt Bay, LaPlaya is known for their luxurious treatments and Japanese-inspired relaxation baths at SpaTerra. Beyond the beaches, golfing, shopping, and spa-going to be had in Naples, travelers will enjoy the seafood at Mediterrano, patio dining at The Continental, or a visit Dorona for a mod take on the classic steakhouse vibe.
Marco Island is perfectly situated near the Florida Everglades and Naples and is the only fully developed island in the Ten Thousand Islands. Stay on three miles of private Gulf of Mexico beach at the JW Marriott Marco Island, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, with two private golf courses and an adults-only rooftop pool at Paradise by Sirene. If you manage to tear yourself from luxuriating on JW Marriott’s private beach, hike the six-mile out-and-back Marco Island Beach Trail, or visit Briggs Nature Center, which features a half-mile Marco Island boardwalk where visitors will likely encounter Florida wildlife in their natural habitat. While Marco Island is made for travelers who like to be outdoors—whether on the beach, on the golf course, or hiking the Everglades—there’s shopping and culture to be had here, too. Shop ‘til you drop at Marco Walk Plaza or Marco Town Center Mall, and in the evening, check out CJ’s on the Bay for cocktails and live entertainment or enjoy a sumptuous seafood meal at Fin Bistro.
Little Torch Key
Escape to the Florida Keys without the traffic drama of heading all the way to Key West. The idyllic destination of Little Torch Key, in the lower Florida Keys, is about two and a half hours from Miami. Stay at Little Palm Island Resort and Spa, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, where you can unwind at their poolside cabanas and in an oceanview suite. Off property, visit Veterans Memorial Park, the intersection of history and natural beauty, or charter a fishing boat—complete with all necessary equipment—from Boneafide Charters. Serious divers will be keen on heading to Looe Key; visitors to Little Torch Key can easily book a diving or snorkeling day with Looe Key Reef Resort. As for Little Torch Key nightlife, take in live music at Kiki’s Sandbar & Grille—drink in hand, of course—or head back to Little Palm Island Resort and Spa to The Dining Room, which serves upscale French-Latin cuisine to guests age 18 or older.
What luxury collection of weekend trips from Miami is complete without a mention of Boca Raton? In Palm Beach County, Boca is just an hour north of Miami but south of Palm Beach proper and Delray Beach. One of the state’s best displays of art can be found at Boca Raton Museum of Art, whose permanent collection includes work by Degas, Andy Warhol, and Picasso. For more Boca culture, locals love Mizner Park Cultural Center, which features art exhibits and live music—and offers great shopping nearby. Golf lovers should certainly visit Osprey Point Golf Course, one of the most pristine public golf courses in south Florida, while beach-goers can relax at Spanish River Park or the more tucked away Red Reef Park. Have dinner at Il Mulino if you’re craving Italian, or La Nouvelle Mason if French fare is more up your alley. Finally, stay at Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, where you can play golf on their two, 18-hole championship golf courses, enjoy a delectable Japanese meal at Morimoto Sushi Bar, and pamper yourself at The Waldorf Astoria Spa.