From a Local Expert: Go Off the Beaten Path in South Beach

South Beach may be known for its stylish Art Deco architecture and glamorous nightlife, but there’s more to this glittering destination than meets the eye. When you stay at Marriott Vacation Club Pulse®, South Beach, you’re ideally located to explore the area’s top attractions as well as off-the-beaten-path activities and offerings that only locals know about.

As a South Beach resident for five years — born and raised in Miami — I love sharing my favorite places and activities with guests, whether they’re discovering South Beach for the first time, or they’re repeat visitors looking for new ways to enjoy this sunny destination.

Off the beaten path South BeachDine in Style or on a Budget

If you’re seeking a sophisticated dining spot or a convenient but tasty grab-and-go meal, you’ll find a range of culinary delights in South Beach. Here are a few of my favorite foodie destinations:

  • Yardbird Southern Table & Bar: This farm-to-table eatery is known for its authentic southern food, but I also enjoy the craft cocktails ­­­. The Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade is a must-try.
  • Huahua’s Taqueria: For a local-approved snack on-the-go, visit this Lincoln Road eatery and order delectable elote corn (also known as Mexican street corn) or the grilled steak nachos.
  • Pizza Rustica: Located in the middle of nightclub central, this award-winning pizzeria has been making incredible pies since 1996. Order up a Roman-style, square pan pizza after a night out on the town.
  • La Sandwicherie: Only one and a half blocks from the property, this is a staff favorite and has been a South Beach staple since 1988. The outdoor counter serves up freshly baked French bread sandwiches 24 hours a day.

off the beaten path south beachFrom Happy Hour to a Night Cap

Of course, no trip to South Beach is complete without sampling the local nightlife, which ranges from hole-in-the-wall dive bars to chic lounges. You can’t go wrong at any of these great watering holes:

  • Smith & Wollensky’s: For a great cocktail with a view, walk through the restaurant to sit at the outdoor bar on the inlet side; you’ll discover people-watching at its finest. And during happy hour, watch the large cruise ships as they head out to sea from the Miami Port Terminal between 5 and 7 p.m.
  • Lost Weekend: A true local establishment, this no-frills pub offers vintage video games, billiard tables and some of the best craft beer in Miami. You’ll see a wide spectrum of clientele, from hipsters to tourists and service industry staff stopping by after work shifts.
  • Foxhole: Located on the west side of South Beach, this upscale speakeasy is a hot spot for models, the LGBTQ community and locals alike. There’s no signage –– the entrance is only marked by a dim red light over a door in a back alley
  • Kill Your Idol: This eclectic spot opened in 2012 as an antidote to the overly populated bars on Ocean Drive and the ntz–ntz of trendy nightclubs. The decor showcases quirky local art like a statue of Bruce Lee hanging off the wall, an astronaut in a space suit and a chandelier made of Coke bottles.
  • Do Not Sit On The Furniture: This cozy nightclub offers an intimate setting with affordable cover, giving Miami locals and music enthusiasts the chance to see high-quality DJs without the crowds. You can also chill out on the patio (where you actually can sit on this furniture).

off the beaten path south beachHistoric Highlights

Located in the heart of the Art Deco District, Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, South Beach is surrounded by hundreds of charming mid-century modern style buildings that date from the late 1930s. Step outside the property and get an eyeful of the colorful, stylish architecture that gives the area its unique artsy-yet-beachy vibe.

You can also delve more deeply into local architecture and history with these activities:

  • Art Deco Welcome Center: Located near Lummus Park, this informational hub on Ocean Drive is a seven-minute walk from the property. You can pick up a map or check out the exhibits to learn more about the city’s architectural gems.
  • Complimentary Guided Walking Tour: Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, South Beach, offers guests an exclusive, complimentary 1.5-hour walking tour led by a knowledgeable guide. Along the way, you’ll step back in time to learn about the history of South Beach and discover interesting facts about the local culture. It’s a great way to get acquainted with local Art Deco gems and iconic landmarks, from Villa Casa Casuarina, the longtime residence of Gianni Versace, to Gloria Estefan’s Larios on the Beach restaurant and bar.
  • Mac’s Club Deuce: Miami’s oldest bar, this legendary dive bar opened in 1926 and has become a local institution. A filming location for Miami Vice in the 1980s, the bar’s pink and green neon interior and unpretentious vibe attracts diverse clientele from all walks of life. It’s also famous for its 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. happy hour.


Where to Stay:

Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, South Beach