A Budget Weekend Trip to South Beach

We've rounded up a weekend itinerary that comes in right under $500 without sacrificing any of the glittering SoBe lure—beachside hotel and umbrella drinks included!
Story by Stephanie Granada and Caroline McKenzie

Friday
Check in to the Raleigh Hotel (raleighhotel.com), a style icon since 1940. Its pool has been the backdrop for movies and hosts Miami Fashion Week runway shows in July. Rates run $285 in summer, but our SL Reader Deal brings the price down 39% to $175 a night through September 30. Use code SOUTHERN. (Bill: $350 for two nights.)

At Pubbelly Sushi (pubbellysushi.com) no dish costs more than $15. Sit at the bar to see itamaes (cooks) roll your yellowtail with green soy paper and snowcrab nori flakes. (Bill: $50 for two with drinks.)

Saturday
Make your way down Collins Avenue to the glam Fontainebleau Hotel (fontainebleau.com) for a coconut Key lime pie donut and coffee at SOLO. (Bill: $12 for two.) Back at the Raleigh, cabana boys will equip you with chaise longues and plush beach towels for a day on the beach. (Bill: Free!)

At The James Royal Palm's Florida Cookery (florida-cookery.com), dinner entrées run $30, but lunch costs half that. Try chef Kris Wessel's empanadas stuffed with alligator, oxtail, and oyster. (Bill: $30 for two.) For dinner, order prosciutto-and-salami sandwiches to go at French bistro La Sandwicherie (lasandwicherie.com) and take a blanket to the lawn of the New World Symphony Center. (Bill: $16 for two.) Have a nightcap at The Broken Shaker (thefreehand.com), a bar in the hip Freehand hostel. No $20 watered-down cosmos here—try a King James: rum, toasted Thai coconut milk, and house-made pineapple-and-coffee bitters. (Bill: $22 for two.)

Sunday
Wake up with a cortadito ($1.25)—equal parts espresso and milk—and a pastelito (90 cents) at the cash-only Las Olas Cafe (305/534-9333). (Bill: $4.50 for two.) Stroll down Lincoln Road, and browse the Alchemist (shopalchemist.com), where the high-concept fashion exceeds mosts budgets but looking costs nada. (Bill: Free!)

Grand Total: $485