If you look up “vacation” in the dictionary, you might see a picture of Miami, Florida. Beaches, booze, boutiques that are just to die for– the city seems built for a weekend away, and is absolutely perfect for an iconic mini-vacation with your BFFL or bae! But in the summertime, the city gets overrun with tourists, and it can be hard to figure out how to maximize your fun without getting caught in traffic. Keeping that in mind, here are ten non-basic tips to help you slay your break from adulting in America’s #1 beach town!
And remember… what happens in Miami, stays in Miami!
1. Check out the beaches
“Beach” and “Miami” are basically synonyms, and for good reason; people from all walks of life come from across the world to visit Miami’s 35-mile stretch of beachfront. The beaches are a great way to spend your daylight hours, and a perfect place to rock your brand new Rebelle Bikini– use my discount code for 10% off to look totally on fleek! And believe me, there’s nothing like a Miami beach. White sand and gentle aquamarine waves make you feel like you’re walking around in a postcard. Rent an umbrella or bring your own, sprawl out on the sand, and soak up some rays to perfect your tan. Take a look around… Feel the sand, hot from the sun, beneath your bare feet. Feel the hot breeze kiss your face. Smell that? Saltwater, sunscreen… it smells like summer. There’s something almost unnerving about a place so perfect. Something magical AF!
2. Hit the clubs
It’s no secret that Miami’s nightlife is highkey incredible. Northeast Eleventh street in particular acts as the mecca of the Miami club scene; known for its wide array of innovative and interesting places to get turnt, the party here goes 24/7, and if you want, you can stay lit from well before sundown until well past sunrise. Some of my personal favorites are the Fishbowl, a super lit circular club where the walls are covered in fishtanks and the drinks come in– you guessed it– actual fishbowls; Singapurr, famous for its world class light shows and fire house music; and T4RG3T, a club with multi-levelled dance floor famously frequented by Pitbull and Jason Derulo that will leave you shook. So, what do you think? I’ve heard good things about Singapurr, but I think we could take really cute pictures at The Fishbowl. They're, like, crazy expensive though, and I hear they water down their drinks, and I want to get as fucked up as I possibly can while we’re here. I mean, that’s the whole point, right?
3. Make new friends
People talk down on “tourist” attractions– and sure, to locals, out-of-towners must be annoying AF. But TBH, it’s not as if there are no upsides to being a tourist in a city full of tourists. For one, everyone you meet is on vacation, just like you, and therefore is just as likely as you to be on the hunt for a good time. There’s no bad place to make vacation friends: the pool, the beach, and yes, at one of Miami’s many iconic clubs. The dance floor is the perfect place to run into romantic and platonic prospects alike. Actually, I was dancing just now, and I met this girl, Daniella, and she’s super fucking cool. We did lines in the bathroom, and she did like, six in one go. It was like she was Kate fucking Moss or something. I think you guys would really get along. Seriously, I’m not just saying that. You know, you guys are both nursing aides, can you believe that? She actually has bud, if you want to come outside and smoke with us?
You sure? I told her you’d want to, I’m gonna look weird if you don’t come. Why not?
Okay, whatever, it’s fine. Text me if you need anything.
4. Keep the party going
Hey, Daniella’s gonna come and chill in our hotel room for a bit before we head out again, if that’s cool with you.
5. Don’t be afraid to try new things
Vacations are all about a change of pace. You never know if you’re going to like something until you try it, right? Like, one time, when I was a little kid, I went to Rochester to visit my grandparents, and we went out to eat at some, I don’t know, some random shithole, and they had something called a garbage plate on the menu. And my grandpa ordered it for me even though I said to him, I said Grandpa, I do not want to eat something called a fucking garbage plate. But he said that if I tried it, I would love it. And I thought that he was just full of shit. But he ordered it, and the waiter brought over this plate covered in, like, beef, and fucking macaroni salad, and a whole bunch of other shit, and I was like, grandpa, you’re trying to poison me. And he was like no, no, just try it, like, trust me. And so I did. I tried it. And you know what? It was delicious. So my point is that sometimes other people have to make you try things. And then you find out that you really like them. You know? Sometimes you need someone to push you. So don’t be boring, and take a fucking hit. Come on, you want to have fun, right? We’re in fucking Miami! Dani took like, twenty, and she’s fine. God, I love her.
Yes! There you go! Doesn’t it feel crazy? I feel like a fucking superhero right now. Like, I swear to God, if I jumped high enough, I could fly. We don’t need our plane tickets back tomorrow. We can just fly home. Here, take another. We can Venmo Dani later, I’m sure she won’t mind. She seems super chill. Oh, shit, I dropped some. My hands are kinda shaking, see? I don’t– you don’t think it matters if it gets in the carpet, right? I mean, this is Miami. I’m sure the drywall’s like, thirty percent coke, or something. The maid service won’t even notice, probably. Look, I can just– rub it in with my shoe and– there, see? It’s like it’s just gone. Poof. Magic.
Is it just me, or has Dani been in the bathroom for like, a long time? I can’t tell. Time is moving really weird right now. Do you think I should knock? I don’t want to interrupt her if she’s, like, taking a shit or something. Maybe I’ll give it a minute, and then I’ll knock. I’m gonna take another hit.
Oh my god, this shit hits so hard. What did Dani say it was called? Also, exactly how much did she say we owe her? I kind of blew through like, my entire checking account just getting here, so I hope not a lot, cause if it’s more than like, twenty bucks, I’m walking home.
Aw, thanks, but it’s fine. I’m exaggerating. And anyway, I get paid next weekend, so I’ll be balling again soon, don’t worry about me.
Do you want to go to another club after this? Or just like, smoke again and go to bed? I know it’s late but like, I can’t even tell if I’m tired or not, you know? My feet fucking hurt, though. If we go out again, I’m probably gonna wear sneakers. Can I borrow yours? Your Air Forces, the pink and white ones? Oh my god, thank you so much. I literally love you. I heard about this club on eleventh street, which has like, an indoor pool, so we could go swimming, which would be so much fun. And also, it’s supposed to be, like, boujie as fuck. Maybe we can find sugar daddies. Nice little souvenir to bring home, right? An 80 year old man who buys you shit. Do you remember Jeanette McDowell? From high school? She wore that giant fucking retainer? Yeah, apparently she has a sugar daddy. Like, a legit one. I mean, she says that they married for love, but like, come on. Who marries a 75 year old oil baron for love?
Okay, Dani’s been in there a long-ass time. I’m knocking.
Dani? Are you good?
She’s not answering.
Daniella, I’m opening the door.
6. If things go wrong, don’t panic!
Holy shit. Holy shit, I can’t fucking breathe. I think I’m having a fucking panic attack. Check for a pulse. How long was she in there? Was she– check for a fucking pulse! Jesus Christ. Jesus fucking Christ. How much of that shit did she take? And how long was she fucking in there? Ten minutes? Twenty? I don’t– I can’t– Fuck. Fuck, her hands are cold. Fuck. Fuck. Should we– fuck, we can’t call 911, we’re gonna get fucking arrested. Fuck.
I think I’m gonna fucking throw up. I’m gonna be fucking sick.
What do we do?
What do we fucking do?
7. Go for a night-time stroll on the beach
There’s nothing quite like the beach at night.
Come on… put– put her arm around your shoulder… yeah, like that… no, see, I’ll get the other one… there… now we– stand– and, great, she just looks passed out. Notice how different it feels from daytime. It’s almost like you’re on a different planet. Let’s– okay, can you walk? And she– don’t let her head tip. Great. Great.
The starry sky reflects in the ocean… the sand is almost translucent in the moonlight…
Don’t– don’t let her fall– we’re almost there, next right…
Feel the sand, still warm from its day of sunbathing, beneath your bare feet. Shit, we’re leaving footprints. Do you think it matters?
Feel the warm breeze caress your face.
Thank fucking God, there’s no one else here.
It smells like saltwater, and still, faintly of sunscreen…
Here, come on, let’s get her in the water.
Maybe you’ll get lucky. Maybe you’ll come down just in time for the full moon. Further in… just a little further… so she… so the current gets her…
But even if you don’t, even if you catch Miami on a rare cloudy night, there’s still something spellbinding about the beach after dark.
That’s it. Now just… let go.
There she goes.
8. Get plenty of sleep
9. Check out Sunny’s Diner for breakfast
Sunny’s is a totally fire hidden gem in Coconut Grove that, unlike much of Miami in the summertime, won’t be crawling with tourists. The diner tucked behind a line of palm trees, and super cute! They’re famous for their delish Chickasaw plum and pecan waffles and their key lime pie pancakes, but if you’ve had a long night and aren’t feeling v adventurous, their Atlantic omelet, stuffed with salmon, cheddar cheese, bacon, and green pepper will totally give you life.
No? How about just some oatmeal, then? Or a bagel?
Well, you have to get something. It’ll look weird if you don’t order anything. How about some eggs? I’ll–
Hi, yeah, we’ll get two coffees, to start. Yes please, cream and sugar. Um, well, I’ll have the key lime pancakes, and she’ll have two eggs, scrambled. With bacon. Yes, thank you. Can you– can you try not to look like that? Like you’re going to cry. You look like you’re about to start sobbing. Okay, well, if you do have to cry, go to the bathroom first. It’s okay if your face is puffy after, people will just think you’re hungover.
Oh my god, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. The fucking police. Are you insane? Did all the drugs you took last night fry your fucking brain? We can’t go to the police. They won’t– we don’t have any proof that this– that we didn’t do anything to that girl. We didn’t. No, we didn’t. We didn’t do anything to her. She was an adult. She made the choice to take so much of that shit, okay? We weren’t her parents or her babysitters or anything. We barely even knew her. Was I supposed to knock it out of her hands? Give her a lecture like a goddamn D.A.R.E. officer? She was probably just another crackhead. They’re all over the place here, have you noticed? There’s fucking sunbaked junkies all over the fucking streets. No one– I bet no ones even going to know that anything happened to her. I doubt there’s even gonna be an investigation, even if they find her. They’ll think that she got high, and went swimming, and drowned. And you know, I bet she was lying about being an aide, too. You can’t do all that shit and– believe me, believe me, she was no one.
Yes, I know, yes, yes, I know that I said I liked her, Jesus Christ, I remember, I was fucking there, okay? I didn’t– I couldn’t tell who she was then. I didn’t know what kind of person– Yeah, she seemed normal. At first, anyway. I don’t know. No, I don’t know if she had a fam– why are we talking about this? This is pointless. Don’t ask me stupid shit. How would I know if she had a fucking family? I barely knew her. We barely knew her. We had no responsibility for her. She–
Oh wow, this looks great! Thanks so much! Yeah, the pancakes are mine, and the eggs are for her. Thank you!
Try and eat some of your eggs, at least. Please. It’s gonna look weird if you don’t touch your food at all. See, I’m eating my pancakes. It’s not that hard. And stop– let’s talk about something else, okay? Are you all packed?
I said if you have to cry, go to the bathroom. And stop talking about the fucking police. You think you should what?
Jesus Christ, that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. It doesn’t matter if you go alone to the police, even if you don’t mention me once, because they’re gonna figure out you didn’t come down here by yourself. You bought our fucking plane tickets, remember? You think they won’t check that? Best case scenario, they test us for drugs, they figure out we were with her, we get wrapped up in court proceedings, I go to jail, and the state takes Matthew. Yeah, they’ll fucking take him. Do you want to lose custody of your son? Because you fucking will. And that’s the best case scenario. Worst case scenario, we get charged with capital M murder, and then we’re in prison for the rest of our goddamn lives for something we didn’t even fucking do. Do you want that? What would that do to your grandma? Your sister? Your fucking son?
Eat your eggs. Seriously. They’re going to get cold.
10. Reminisce on the way home
Wow! What a weekend that was! On the plane ride home, take a moment to think back. You lived, you learned, you might have been complicit in the death of a person, and maybe it was a person you barely knew but Jesus Christ, that was someone’s daughter, sister, mom, and I mean, fuck, you could have done something, right? You could have called an ambulance, or tried to do CPR, or tried literally fucking anything to help that girl, that poor fucking girl, but no, you were too goddamned stoned and too stupid and too much of a shitty, shitty person to think about anything but yourself, too selfish, just like always, just like fucking always, and they’re going to figure it out, they’re going to find her body and they’re going to catch you and you’re going to end up in fucking jail, jail, jail jail jail jail jail jail jail jail jail jail jail, you made memories that will last a lifetime– in short, you slayed! Let it wash over you. Let it soak in, girl! Let it hit you like a fucking tsunami! Think about it– but not too much! Take a deep breath. Maybe look out the window for a while. Watch the clouds far below you. They look like snow, thick and a half-mile deep. It looks like you’re on some strange, frozen alien planet, galaxies away from Florida.
A billion light years away.
Actually, maybe you shouldn’t think that hard about what happened at all.
Because– listen to me. What happened, happened. It’s over. Maybe it was bad, but you can’t– why are you crying? Don’t fucking– stop crying, seriously. People are looking. Just listen– listen to me. Please. You can’t change the past, right? You can’t– stop fucking crying. Seriously. Seriously. Just– Listen, we did what we did, okay? I did what I did. You did what you did. We can’t change that. We can’t control that. But what we can change– what we can control– is now. The present. The future. Right? We can control what we do next, and if we do the right things, then it’ll all be fine, right? We’re going to go home, and everything’s gonna go back to normal, and it’ll be like none of this ever happened. Forget what I said before, okay? We won’t think about it. None of it at all. We’ll both forget about– about everything that happened, won’t we? And it’ll be like nothing happened at all. Doesn’t that sound good? And if, and if someone asks you how your weekend was, how Miami was, you’ll just say it was fun, and leave it at that. Okay?
Can I hear you say it? “I had fun in Miami.” Just like that.
Good! Great! That sounds great!
One more time. Please.
I had fun.
I had fun in Miami.
Rosalind Margulies grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Find her on Twitter at twitter.com/rothalind.