We are not into the exciting, energetic South Beach – sure it’s nice to visit, but when it comes to finding activities to fill our days, we’d much rather have a bit of peace and quiet. Surfside and the surrounding area meets that expectation perfectly, so we went back to the same hotel(ish) for the third year in a row (I’ve raved on my blog before). I love the area and would definitely go back – we had a couple of frustrating experiences at our hotel which has put us off staying there again (I’m now on the look out for somewhere new) but the tiny north Miami Beach town remains as awesome as always.
There is genuinely nothing that Surfside is missing for me – restaurants, a Starbucks, a good Publix (where I finally had a chicken tender sub – I had American cheese, mayo, lettuce, olives and pickles. Forgot to ask for toasted though) and a CVS for me to stock up on SPF 100. The beach is right there and it’s only a $20 Uber ride to all the main tourist hotspots.
When we weren’t visiting the stores on Harding Avenue multiple times in one day, we took a couple of trips to Bal Harbour – both the incredibly upscale shopping mall and also to our favourite burger restaurant – BH Burger Bar at the St Regis hotel. The burgers there are crazy good, and despite only visiting once a year, the staff seem to remember us so we get such a great welcome.
We also splurged on a meal at the Grill at Bal Harbour and immediately wished we’d found this place before. The restaurant was very calm – that sounds like an odd thing to say about a restaurant, but that’s the best way to describe it. The food and service were excellent and we had a really relaxed meal. It’s gone right to the top of our favourites list.
Of course, I had to visit the Aventura Mall which has expanded since our last visit. It was a ridiculous size before, but now it’s even bigger – according to Wikipedia, it’s the second largest mall in America. I lost my mind in Sephora again, Mum lost her mind in Henri Bendel and poor Husband lost his mind just waiting for us to finish shopping. I think we ended up walking almost 15000 steps which is too much for a mall. We briefly considered slumming it at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch, but the queues put us off so we tried the Grand Lux Cafe instead which I LOVED. It’s like a slightly fancy Cheesecake Factory!
I did find it odd that the Aventura Mall has America’s first Carsten Holler slides. I don’t really understand why. No one was going on them because they were wet, but I guess they’re popular?
We also did a couple of other trips away further afield on this trip, but more on that later.
For us, the most important thing after wandering around Aventura, down at South Beach, or back on the mainland, was that we had some tranquility to come back ‘home’ to, which is something Surfside excels at. It’s not for everyone, but that just makes it all the better for us.
Surfside, you are my perfect vacation town – never change.