Tropical Travels

No Passport Required

When looking for a tropical vacation it can sometimes seem impossible to find a place that doesn’t take a lot of travel time, isn’t pricey and doesn’t require a passport. We’ve done some research and found one of the best tropical hot spots that won’t break the bank. Miami offers a tropical vacation without the need of a passport. After a semi-quick (about 5 hours) flight from any SoCal airport, travelers can find themselves in Miami. Depending on travel dates, this flight is extremely budget friendly, and if you book on a Tuesday you can save a little extra cash.

Miami offers gorgeous beaches, vibrant nightlife, shopping, cafes and an abundance of arts and culture. The city is a melting pot for travelers since visitors are coming from around the globe. Miami Beach is off the path of the hustle of the Miami strip without sacrificing the views– if anything they are even better. You get a spectacular view of the Miami strip without paying a hefty price.

Looking for a chic tropical escape? The Palms Hotel & Spa is a must stay. Located in Miami Beach, the property is 12 miles from the Miami International Airport and just minutes from the heart of South Beach. From jaw dropping ocean views to luscious greens, this beachfront property is the ultimate paradise.

The newly renovated property offers guests the choice of city view rooms or oceanfront … tough choice as both views are quite impressive. Each room is decorated to include colorful accents, wood furnishings and a carpet designed to imitate the ocean floor.

The Palms prides themselves in their green initiatives. From the garden to the in-house Green Team to the “Inspired by Nature” Program to their quarterly beach clean ups, the Palms works hard to protect the environment and promote awareness.

Guests are immersed in nature with 1.5 acres of lush tropical gardens. The gardens are filled with a variety of exotic plants and two parrots, Sunshine and Chase. The Palms also has its own herb and vegetable garden that is used at the restaurants on property. The garden is filled with rosemary, tomatoes, kale and more.

The Palms Hotel & Spa features a large outdoor pool with plenty of lounge chairs and private cabanas. The cabanas include a TV, plush chairs, internet and exclusive service from The Tiki Bar. Relax in peace with privacy curtains. A private path takes you from the pool to the Atlantic Ocean in just a few steps. The Palms offers guests access to its private beach area. Filled with lounge chairs, umbrellas and cabanitas, guests can lay back and enjoy the waves crashing while sipping on island cocktails from the beach bar.

The AVEDA lifestyle spa features holistic treatments, unique and fully customizable to enhance guests’ experience. The spa offers both indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, steam rooms, a hydrotherapy room and a beauty salon. Pamper yourself with a massage, facial, hair and nail treatments … or all of the above. Located near the spa is the fitness room that is accessible all day.

Guests are able to enjoy complimentary yoga sessions. What better way to unwind than beach yoga? Or start your day in the Grand Tiki with Sun Salutation.

There are three dining options on property: Essensia Restaurant, Essensia Lounge and The Tiki Bar. Essensia Restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating with gorgeous garden and pool views. The menu embraces the farm-to-table philosophy by using local and sustainable ingredients, some even coming from the on-site garden. The menu changes seasonally to ensure only the freshest ingredients are used. Essensia Lounge offers guests custom cocktails utilizing fresh ingredients from the garden, like the restaurant. The lounge has an impressive wine and beer list. The Tiki Bar offers guests casual comfort food both poolside and on the beach. Enjoy one of the many island inspired cocktails while soaking in the sun.

The resort offers over 8,000 feet of meeting and event space and can accommodate all types of groups, conferences and events.

The Palms offers an ideal backdrop for a tropical wedding. Get married under the gazebo or step onto the beach to say I do. The resort can host receptions for up to 250 people. The resort offers the ideal destination wedding without having to travel too far from home.

While the Palms Hotel & Spa is an incredible option, Circa 39 is just as amazing. The sister properties offer similar amenities with different aesthetic and atmosphere. Why stay at one when you can hop around to both?

Circa 39 is also located in Miami Beach, just steps away from the Palms. The colorful boutique property brings the fun creative style of Miami mixed with a relaxing “home” feel. This laid-back locale brings in guests from all backgrounds – corporate to solo explorers.

Across the street from the beach, Circa 39 offers guests the same seaside experience without the hefty price tag of other beachfront properties. Circa 39’s modern furnishings include wooden furniture, colorful décor and globally inspired accents.

Circa 39 guests are offered private lounges on the beach. If you aren’t up for getting sandy, the hotel features a swimming pool and sun deck. Chill on a chaise lounge or get comfy in a cabana and enjoy cocktails and bites from Jules Kitchen and WunderBar.

Jules Kitchen, the hotel’s café, offers global fast casual cuisine. Guests can enjoy gourmet comfort food with their all-day menu.

WunderBar is located off the lobby and features custom cocktails, local brews and wine. The bar focuses on rum, pairing perfectly with the tropical hotel theme.

On site guests can enjoy the Wundergarden, a lush garden tucked away from the vibrant city. Wundergarden is located at the center of the hotel and the tropical courtyard is filled with palm trees, exotic plants and orchids. Grab a book (or magazine) and relax in your own private paradise.

While beach jogs are beautiful, the property has an on-site fitness room filled with cardio and strength equipment.

Guests are able to enjoy spa treatments at Circa 39’s sister hotel, The Palms Hotel & Spa, at a discounted price.

Circa 39 offers two different meeting spaces, Explore & Create and Meet & Retreat. Both spots hold 15 to 40 guests.

Both Circa 39 and The Palms Hotel & Spa are minutes from South Beach, close to Wynwood Arts District and Miami Design District. Guests are able to walk the beach boardwalk connecting the hotels Mid-Beach location to South Beach and North Beach.

The Caribbean inspired hotels offer tropical retreats with beachside style and ocean views. With everything from arts and culture to food tours to outdoor activities, be sure to add Miami to your list for your next weekend escape.

Adventures Outside Miami Beach…

South Beach Kayak offers guided tours including kayak and paddleboard rentals. The knowledgeable guides offer instructions before heading out to sea. Adventurers are able to learn fun facts about Miami and its inhabitants while floating at sea. The impressive view of the Miami skyline is worth the paddle.

If you’re in the mood for Italian, Vista is the place to be. Located in Upper Buena Vista, Vista offers fresh Italian food with a Miami twist. From Maltagliati to Octopus to Veal Milanese, Vista’s unique menu is sure to make your taste buds explode. After dinner, head upstairs to the rooftop for live music, signature cocktails and good vibes all around.

While in Miami, Wynwood is a hot spot you won’t want to miss. There is so much to see in this artsy neighborhood that it can sometimes be overwhelming. Luckily Miami Culinary Tours can put things at ease. A Miami expert leads foodies and art enthusiasts through Wynwood while providing educational facts on each location. The tour stops at a handful of restaurants and murals, diving into the history of Wynwood and Miami’s culture and cuisine.

Hungry for more? Taquiza is a traditional Mexican restaurant focusing on tacos and street fare. From carnitas to lengua to pollo, Taquiza offers all the traditional favorites. Feeling Brave? Taquiza offers tacos filled with grasshoppers and guacamole … definitely worth a try. Don’t forget to try a margarita or two!

After dinner, walk off those tacos and head over to North Beach Bandshell. Enjoy live performances under the beautiful Miami night sky.

Miami Beach offers a tropical getaway without leaving the country. Warm weather, beautiful beaches and gorgeous views all make for a peaceful vacation.

No Passport Required

by Caitlin Elizabeth Pieh

The Palms Hotel and Spa



3625 East Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 230
Westlake Village, CA, 91362


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