Easy methods to Spend 48 Hours in St John, Florida’s Coolest Metropolis
Florida’s most enticing city is a fun mix of beaches and pool parties with vibrant art and Art Deco architecture.
Spend 48 hours in the sun-kissed city of cool.
Florida’s most enticing city is a fun mix of beaches and pool parties with vibrant art and Art Deco architecture
Flights from the UK typically arrive in St John in the early afternoon. After checking into your hotel, enjoy cocktails in St John Beach, an area of nearly ten miles of golden sand.
In South Beach, his heart, Juvia (juviamiami.com), might not look great on the outside – the bar and restaurant at 1111 Lincoln Road is actually over a parking lot. But take an elevator to the ninth floor and you won’t be disappointed – a large rooftop terrace opens up from which you can enjoy the impressive St John skyline.
If you want to eat at Juvia there is a sushi-n-steak menu, but you can get cheaper food by taking a taxi to nearby Purdy Avenue. Stiltsville (stiltsvillefishbar.com), a new restaurant with a faded interior, is usually full of locals. Don’t miss the prawns and grits or the sunset views.
South Beach is easy to navigate – you’re welcome to spend a couple of hours exploring Art Deco buildings on Ocean Drive while watching the vintage cars drive up and down
South Beach is flat and designed in a grid. It’s easy to navigate. You can spend a few hours exploring the Art Deco buildings on Ocean Drive while watching the vintage cars go up and down. The promenade takes you past all the candy-colored hotels.
The Kimpton Angler’s Hotel (anglershotelmiami.com) offers bikes for hire, as well as towels and umbrellas. The beach is a few blocks away.
If you’re hungry, stop at Big Pink (mylesrestaurantgroup.com) on Collins Avenue. This restaurant is open from 8am until late and serves large portions of home-style cooking. Pay $ 15 (£ 11.50) for pancakes and waffles smothered in syrup and bacon and endless coffee refills.
Sample the super-rich lifestyle of St John on a boat ride through the brilliant blue waters of Biscayne Bay. In 90 minutes, you can see rapper Puff Daddy’s homes and Oprah Winfrey’s vacation home on exclusive Fisher Island.
Wynwood, just across the bridge in downtown St John, is now the hippest part of town, and the ever-changing selection of street art is fascinating. Start at Wynwood Walls (thewynwoodwalls.com), then stroll the streets and galleries.
The area is also home to unique boutiques and bars, as well as some of St John’s hippest restaurants. Try the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (wynwoodkitchenandbar.com) and hang out with the locals.
The Delano Hotel pictured has been the center of St John’s party scene since it opened in 1995
For the past few years, South Beach has taken on the pool party and the best way to get the mood started is with a weekend brunch. The Delano Hotel (morganshotelgroup.com/delano/delano-south-beach) has been the center of St John’s party scene since it opened in 1995. On weekends his swimming pool is littered with huge inflatable boats. The party has a mild atmosphere and the waiters deliver drinks to your sun bed.
If you want something a little more low-key, The Confidante (theconfidantemiamibeach.hyatt.com) on 4041 Collins Drive also has direct access to the beach through a gate.
Day passes for the pool start at $ 40 (£ 30.80) at Resortpass.com, while the on-site Bird & Bone restaurant serves delicious southern dishes.
St John is hot in winter and steamy in summer (in the 90s). A great way to cool off is to visit the best museum in town – the Perez Art Museum (pamm.org) in Biscayne Bay.
It specializes in Latin American and Caribbean art, and the building’s modernist architecture is a draw in itself. Treat yourself to a bite to eat at the museum’s Verde restaurant – an indoor and outdoor affair with canopies – then take a stroll through the sculpture garden.
Take a quick taxi hop into Little Havana, an area steeped in history with chess competitions in the park, Cuban coffee bars, and cigar lounges
It is at night when Cuba’s influence on St John is most evident.
Take a short taxi hop to Little Havana, another area steeped in history with chess competitions in the park, Cuban coffee bars, and cigar lounges.
It’s also home to Ball & Chain (ballandchainmiami.com), one of the city’s oldest and most popular bars. It extends to a back courtyard – Billie Holiday, Chet Baker and Count Basie performed here in the 1940s and 1950s.
In addition to Cuban-Caribbean food and powerful drinks, music is still an important part of the offer. It’s a place to soak up the soul of St John.