Financial Goals

Budget Travel: A Romantic Miami Beach Getaway

photo: lonnypaul

Most people think Miami Beach is for singles, and while there is much to offer for the footloose and fancy-free single, Miami Beach is also great for romantic couples getaways. As you think about your plans for Valentine’s Day, consider these Miami Beach options.

Things to Do

According to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, here are the top 5 activities to ignite or rekindle romance in Miami Beach:

1. Strap on your dance shoes and check out one of the hip nightclubs and lounges. Listen to live music, enjoy great food, and experience the thriving late-night bar scene. Popular clubs include Louis Bar Lounge, Ta-Zin and the Blue Martini Lounge, serving 25 different martinis in an outdoor patio bar.

2. Miami has a zillion spas, and having a couples massage or mani-pedi together is a fun way to kick off a weekend of relaxing. Set aside $40-$250 per treatment. For discounts, check out Spa Finder, where you can purchase gift certificates and find a spa close to your hotel. And if you are really on top of details, you can start trolling the social coupon sites a couple weeks before your trip; spa deals always seem to come up on Groupon and Living Social.

3. Romantic moonlight walks – finally, an activity that won’t break the bank. Relax while you walk hand-in-hand along the boardwalk.

4. Take a picnic to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens ($25/adult; check the website for a $2 coupon)– spread out a blanket under the ylang-ylang trees and enjoy your well-stocked picnic basket. Find all the supplies you need at the Epicure Gourmet Market & Café, including bakery, deli and fresh items.

5. Tour the Art Deco District, Miami’s now-famous neighborhood of historic buildings. Pick up free informational material at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1200 Ocean Drive) and create your own tour, or join up with the Miami Design Preservation League and one of their self-guided audio or guided tours with local historians and architects ($15-$20 per person).

Restaurants

Urbanspoon’s best restaurants in Miami Beach is a good place to start your search for a romantic restaurants. The top of the list is Sazon Cuban Cuisine ($10-$15 entrées), which features live entertainment on the patio on Friday nights from 8pm to 10pm. Top-rated Zagat’s restaurants for romance include Nobu Miami Beach ($85/person) and OLA ($64/person). For something a little less expensive, check out A La Folie, a cute Parisian-style café serving lunch and dinner with reasonable prices ($20/person). Nothing more romantic than Paris!

For cheap eats (along with evening entertainment) check out Miami Street Food Court, which brings local street food trucks to changing locations around Miami. Check the schedule online and grab your honey for a fun evening of small bites and great tastes of local cuisine, $5-$10/plate.

Hotels

South Beach hotels just scream romance during February with suites and deals for everyone. The Mayfair Hotel & Spa offers an interesting twist on the holiday package, with their “Let’s Make a Deal” promotion. Call the reservation department and make an offer on a nightly rate for any of their luxurious suites, and they might just accept your deal! Or go for one of their many hotel and spa packages and share the romance. Rooms start at $260/night.

With the large amount of hotels and rooms in Miami Beach, you might also be interested in Name Your Own Price through Priceline, which can save you up to 60% off regular room rates. A couple tips stick to the 3 ½ – 4 star properties, concentrate on 1-2 geographical areas, and start bidding at about half the average room rate. In Miami Beach, the median retail price for a 4-star hotel is $445 and 3 ½ star hotel is $437. Involves a bit more work, but isn’t your romantic weekend worth it?