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By: Patricia Azze

Greater Miami & Miami Beach is a romantic place. It’s a destination steeped in salty breezes, breathtaking vistas and international flavors – and it overflows with both natural beauty and endless options for luxury, too. If you’re wondering how to spend a romantic three-day weekend in Miami (and why not extend your romantic weekend getaway by a day?), here is a three-day itinerary for the ultimate romantic weekend for you and your love.

Waterfall & tropical foliage at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden
Stroll through lush gardens at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Day 1: Gardens & Gourmet

Start your romantic trip to Greater Miami & Miami Beach with a visit to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. You’ll take a scenic drive underneath a canopy of oaks through Coral Gables and enter a fairytale world featuring 83 acres of lush landscaping, tropical gardens, winding paths and wide-open green spaces to discover. You’ll feel like you’re traveling the world together when you visit the Spiny Forest of Madagascar, the Palm Savannah Exhibit, the Jewels of the Caribbean and more.

Palm trees, sky & atoll
Bring a swimsuit or just sit & relax by the atoll pool

Your next stop is Matheson Hammock Park, located right next to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. This county park covers a peninsula and is designed by the same landscape architect who designed the botanical gardens. Matheson Hammock’s property juts into the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay and provides ample opportunities for long walks, biking and swimming in the “atoll pool,” a manmade saltwater lagoon fed by the bay’s water. Pack a swimsuit and towel; you’ll want to lounge here overlooking the city views for a while.

View of the atoll beyond Red Fish's outdoor dining area
Red Fish by Chef Adrianne is breezy & romantic

When it’s time for that romantic dinner, Red Fish by Chef Adrianne is the delightful on-site waterfront restaurant where the menu is inspired by the proximity to the ocean and the cocktails are mixologist-crafted. Order oysters and champagne and then move onto local seafood and Key lime pie to end your first romantic day in Miami the right way.

Aerial view of Vizcaya and the bay
Luxurious & romantic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Day 2: History, Beach Beauty & Hip Dining

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a must-visit. You’ll conjure up visions of old-world luxury and step into a bit of Miami history at this gorgeous Gilded Age estate located in lush and historic Coconut Grove. The mansion, a subtropical interpretation of an Italian Renaissance villa, is located on Biscayne Bay and surrounded by 10 acres of formal Italianate gardens and natural beauty. The Vizcaya Café, between the Swimming Pool Grotto and Orchidarium, is perfect for a quick bite and beverage after all that exploring.

vkoc kayaking on the water
Outdoor fun at Virginia Key

Cross the beautiful Rickenbacker Causeway, taking in the views of the water, the city and barrier islands on both sides. Virginia Key, a hidden gem, is your next stop. The 863-acre island between mainland Miami and Key Biscayne is a perfect place to stop and get some sun in a relaxing, romantic setting that’s also a got a rich history (during segregation, it was the only local beach for Black residents and visitors). At Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, you’ll find a mile-long natural beach, nature trails aplenty, gazebos for picnicking in the shade, a vintage carousel with a view of the ocean and train rides to take you around the park. If your idea of a romantic getaway involves an active nature adventure, find activities through the Virginia Key Outdoor Center, including sunset and full-moon paddling excursions, bike tours, manatee photo safaris and more.

After a day spent enjoying the sun, it’s time to enjoy a chic dining experience. Check out nearby Downtown Miami and Brickell’s many romantic dining options, from five-star, white-tablecloth dining to small, hip eateries. Or consider going the rest of the way across the causeway to explore the restaurant scene in Key Biscayne.

Crescent chairs carved out of stone
Discover the romantic history of Coral Castle

Day 3: Offbeat Excursions & Wonderful Wine

Your final day of romance in Greater Miami & Miami Beach has arrived, but there’s still so much to do and see. Today, you’ll be heading south to explore the enchanting South Dade area. First stop: Coral Castle Museum, a romantic and quirky place with a mysterious backstory. Legend has it that Edward Leedskalnin built the site himself between 1923 and 1951 as a love letter to his former fiancée, carving more than a thousand tons of coral rock by himself into this monument. To this day, scientists can’t explain how he managed to accomplish this feat.

Head out to the Fruit & Spice Park next, where more than 500 species of tropical and exotic fruits, herbs and nuts have been cultivated in an homage to the area’s abundant ecosystem; consider this a different kind of love letter. Walk along the lake and learn about the more than 180 varieties of mangoes, 40 kinds of bananas and so much more. You can even pick up freshly fallen fruit and taste it together.

People tasting tropical wines at the bar
Try the tropical wines at Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery

Toast your romantic weekend during a visit to Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery. There’s rosé and sparkling wine available in the Grand Tasting Room but it’s the avocado, carambola, passionfruit and guava wines that are the main event at this tropical fruit-based winery and brewery (lychee-habanero is a choice). Miami Brewing Company is also located on-site, serving their flagship beers and seasonal specials like a café con leche stout. Try something new and then enjoy your beverage in a tiki bar overlooking a waterfall. What could be more romantic?

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