Anyone no longer in school gets hosed come spring break. Did I really need a week-long break in college? No way! College was like a four-year party. As I approach my ten-year anniversary of entering the workforce, I’m really wishing spring break for adults was a thing. Just one more thing wasted on youth.
Man, I sound old.
Last month, I was fortunate enough to ditch the polar vortex for Miami. Hot, humid and full of people in tiny swimsuits, South Beach offered the two of my favorite things: a natural source of vitamin D & excellent people watching. Plus, there are two convenient airport options, which often means you can score a decent deal on airfare.
I started my trip out with dropping my bags at The Raleigh Hotel. An Art Deco beauty right on the beach, it’s like time hasn’t touched this place since 1940 (except for in all the good ways… like wi-fi). As you walk up the drive, the craziness of Collins Avenue magically disappears and it’s like you arrived in mid-century Cuba.
The lobby boasts a cute coffee shop and an absolutely glamorous, intimate martini bar fit for, I dunno, any member of the Rat Pack. However, the pool steals the show. Made famous by Esther Williams, take a dip and perfect your synchronized swimming skills… or just sip a cocktail and read a trashy book in a lounger (or hammock).
Restaurant Michael Schwartz, a poolside eatery situated beneath the property’s stunning cypress trees, is a fantastic and convenient dining option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Order the ceviche or, if they have them, the shishito peppers. Side note: I’ve never been there and not seen a celebrity; be sure to wear your sunglasses and/or a hat so you can gawk discretely.
You can’t beat brunch at Yardbird, an homage to traditional southern food, with amazing chicken and biscuits and shrimp and grits (who cares if you have to put a swimsuit on later! You are on vacation.) Khong River House does some of the most authentic Thai cuisine stateside. Start out with Burmese noodle wraps, a chili-peanut-lemon-cilantro-soy-Srirracha flavor bomb wrapped in one neat little package. Then move on to Panang curry with short rib; stir-fried eggplant; or Vietnamese-style crispy prawns.
Unlike my college spring break days, I attempt to incorporate some healthy stuff into my vacay routine. Throw on your sneakers, workout gear and sunglasses, then hoof it down to Jugofresh, the best cold-pressed juice bar in town. It’s about a 25-minute walk from the hotel, and worth every step. For people craving more of a scenic walk/run/bike (Miami now has the Deco Bike Share program), hit the seaside boardwalk and cruise to South Pointe Park. It’s about a two-mile trek each way. Bonus: Jugofresh is opening a South Pointe Park location in April, which means those of you with a later spring break can kill two birds with one stone.
About Molly Mogren:
The daughter of a flight attendant and a hippy-turned-real estate developer who toured Europe in a Volkswagen bus, Molly Mogren came into this world with an undeniable sense of adventure. From hiking the Antarctic Peninsula, to outrunning a hyena in South Africa and even driving a street-legal monster truck through Des Moines, Iowa—she never turns down an opportunity to do something crazy. She’s worked as Andrew Zimmern’s right-hand lady since 2007; they’ve co-written three books together and co-host a weekly podcast called “Go Fork Yourself.” Her latest project, Hey Eleanor!, chronicles her year-long journey of tackling one thing that scares her every day. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her fiancé, dog (Patsy) and kitty, Bogart. She likes to drink coffee, do crossword puzzles and is very good at parallel parking.