A few months ago, my mom and I took a little mother-daughter trip to Miami and Key West. We flew into Miami, rented a car, and drove the three and a half hours into Key West. We spent two days/three nights in Key West and then drove back to Miami where we spent three days and three nights. We had the best time and I’m excited to recap everything we did in today’s post!
Mother-Daughter Trip in Florida: a Complete Travel Guide to Miami and Key West
We had a rental car in Key West but decided to drop it off before our extended stay in Miami. It was the best decision and we ended up walking or taking an Uber anywhere we needed to go. We stayed mainly in the South Beach area. What I didn’t realize was how bad the traffic in Miami is and how long it would take to go to different areas. Next time I go to Miami I want to stay in a different area and explore! But South Beach was great and had plenty of restaurants and fun.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Moxy South Beach. I have a full recap here but it was the perfect location! They have a pool with a restaurant and rooftop bar and mom and I spent most evenings there watching the sunset.
What do Do
Explore the Miami Design District – After brunch at Little Hen, mom and I walked over to the Miami Design District. They have high-end stores like Gucci, Dior, and Louis Vuitton with fun art installations all around. They also had cool stores like Ganni, Reformation, Alice & Olivia, and Fendi. I loved walking around and seeing the murals and statues in between shops.
Walk Around the Art Deco District/Ocean Drive – Near the Moxy in South Beach was the Art Deco District. You can visit the welcome center or walk around on your own. There are some seriously cool buildings with the most beautiful architecture. It’s a great free thing to do!
Wynwood Art District – Close to the Miami Design District is Wynwood. Wynwood Walls is an outdoor museum showcasing large-scale works by some of the world’s best-known street artists. The surrounding streets have converted warehouses housing craft breweries and funky art galleries. I recommend going in the morning to beat the heat! Grab an iced coffee and walk around, it’s so cool to see all the artwork.
Shopping at Bal Harbour Shops – If you’re in the mood for a little high fashion retail therapy, head to Bal Harbour Shops! They have stores like Chanel, Gucci, Ferragamo and more. Plus walking around, it’s so lovely. They have palm trees and ponds with open air. They have a bunch of restaurants but I recommend putting your name in and then going shopping. It was a two hour wait anywhere while we were there and you’ll work up an appetite with all the shopping.
Where to Eat
Limonada Bar + Brunch – A cute spot in South Beach for brunch is Limonada. Limonada is a sports bar experience with cocktails, an all-day brunch menu, happy hour specials, drinking games, live music, and more.
Mama’s Tacos – We were starving by the time we got to Miami so we went to Mama’s Tacos down the road from our hotel. We enjoyed chips and guac, margaritas and tacos. Everything was so good!
Little Hen – My favorite place that we ate in Miami was Little Hen. It was so instagrammable, gave me all the Bridgerton vibes, and had great brunch options! I had a waffle and coffee and mom had coffee with french toast. We took a Lyft here and then walked to the Miami Design District. I 100% recommend going and making a reservation!
Il Pastaiolo – We had the most amazing Italian food at Il Pastaiolo. Good bread, wine, pasta, you name it! The staff was also so fun and friendly and made you feel right at home. We sat on the patio and people watched while enjoying our dinner.
Versace Mansion – We weren’t able to go to the Versace Mansion since they didn’t have any reservations but I have it on my list for next time! As a fashion girl, I’m dying to go and have a drink where Gianni Versace lived. You can go for dinner or just get a drink.
Yardbird – You can take the girl out of Nashville with the fried chicken but you can’t take the fried chicken out of the girl! Of course, I found the best chicken in Miami at Yardbird. This restaurant is a house of worship to farm-fresh ingredients, classic Southern cooking, hailed bourbon selection, and top-notch hospitality. Who doesn’t want chicken and waffles at brunch!
Oliver’s Bistro – American bistro fare features global twists at this wood-accented restaurant with a great patio. We had a yummy brunch on their patio with mimosas, pancakes and avocado toast.
Havana 1957 South Beach – You can’t go to Miami and not have cuban food and sangria at Havana 1957! They have such a fun vibe with live music, dancing and yummy drinks!
This was my mom and I’s first day in Key West. We didn’t stay in the historic area because it was expensive, so we stayed in a hotel outside of town. But our hotel had a shuttle that would take us into Old Town Key West, which was great! I will also say Key West has a lot of outdoor water activities. Kayaking, snorkeling, etc. I’m not a huge water girl but think it would be fun if that’s what you’re into!
Where to Eat
Moondog Cafe – We had breakfast here our first morning in town! It was a highlight with a great, filling breakfast. We ate every bite and were energized and ready for a day of exploring in Key West.
Banana Cafe – Another great breakfast spot was this adorable creperie. I had a strawberry banana Nutella crepe with me coffee and my mom had the veggie scrambled with cheese. It was all delicious and I’d go back in a heart beat!
Wicked Lick Ice Cream – When you’re walking down Duvall, stop at Wicked Lick for some liquid nitrogen ice cream! It was such a refreshing stop and I’d never had Liquid Nitrogen ice cream before! Nitrogen is non-toxic, non-flammable, and there is no taste or smell. In its liquid state, it is minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s this extremely cold property that allows anything that comes in contact with it to freeze immediately. Definitely need to try!
First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery – Another place that’s great to stop for a beverage is First Flight. They have a gorgeous outdoor space and yummy drinks! We had the spiked strawberry lemonade and some apps to revive us after walking so much. If you like beer they have a full brewery and three brews on tap; Havana Red Amber Ale, Maverick IPA Medium Pale Ale, and Main Squeeze Citrus Wheat.
Firefly – Need a sweet little spot for dinner? Firefly is the place! They have southern inspired cuisine with fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, fried green tomatoes, and skillet mac and cheese. You know it was an amazing meal when you forget to take photos because you inhale your food! Also, definitely make a reservation before going.
Little Pearl – You can’t go to Key West without getting some delicious seafood! Little Pearl is currently open Monday-Saturday for dinner with three seatings; 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. Stop for dinner for a truly amazing meal!
What to Do
Hemingway Home & Museum – Ah Hemingway. It was so cool to see his home there and learn about him and his time in Key West. It’s cash only for admission and takes about an hour. You can also wait for a guided tour or do it self-guided. My favorite part was exploring the outdoor gardens and seeing the kitty cat’s all over the property!
Danger Charters Sunset Cruise – One of the coolest things to do in Key West was the wine sunset cruise from Danger Charters. This cruise lets you experience the spectacular Key West sunset while enjoying fine wines, premium beers, and delicious appetizers aboard an authentic 65ft skipjack sailing schooner. This top-rated sunset cruise leaves Key West in the evening and glides toward the horizon under a cloud of sail to provide an unforgettable adventure at sea.
A few things before going:
- If you get seasick, wear these armbands. They were a Godsend and helped me not toss my cookies!
- Take an Uber or Lyft there. You might get a little tipsy trying all the different wines.
- Wear flat shoes and pants of some kind.
- Bring cash to tip the crew!
Southernmost Point – Key West is an easy town to walk around. The Southernmost Point wasn’t far of a walk and a fun place to stop for a photo! It’s a little wet around there so walk carefully.
Mile 0 – Another cool, random thing in Key West is Mile Marker 0. It’s something to see and snap a quick photo of! A photo here is proof that you have made it to the end of the road.
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory – One thing I didn’t expect to like as much as I did was the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. They have over 50 different types of butterflies flying around you along with beautiful flowers, birds, waterfalls and trees. They also have a learning center where you can learn all about the butterflies you just saw. This would be great if you’re traveling with kids!
Walk Around Duval Street – Duval Street is home to shops, restaurants, and bars. It leads pretty much anywhere in Key West and fun to walk and pop in and out of shops and explore Key West.
Walk Around and Explore – Some of my favorite finds from a trip are when I just walk around and explore without an agenda. Walk around Old Town Key West and look at the amazing homes, the architecture and cool shops and restaurants you can pop in and out of.