Try This: Fly nonstop to Miami from Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) like a local influencer

Celebrating the return of CAE’s nonstop flight to MIA, Soda Citizen Ashley Elsey takes you through the ultimate long weekend. | Photo by Ashley Elsey

Summer is here, and travel is back, y’all. It’s Ashley Elsey, a local content creator in Cola, and I recently partnered with Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) to spend a weekend in Miami celebrating the return of American Airlines’ nonstop flight from CAE to MIA. The trip was incredible, and the flight was a breeze

I have long been searching for a local flight (since CAE means it when they say fly with ease) that takes you to a destination with crystal clear water by lunchtime — and this is it. 🏝 This nonstop flight has you in Miami by 8 a.m on Friday. So, you have the entire weekend to explore the city before returning around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. 

Pro Tip: Fly out Saturday morning, return Sunday night, and you don’t need any PTO. (Yes, I have done this from CAE to NYC; 10/10 would recommend). Ready to book your trip? I have all the recs for the ultimate weekend so you can visit Miami with ease. Here’s how you can Try This.*

What we tried (with pricing): 

Getting to CAE is easy, and parking in the garage is even easier with their parking guidance lighting system. Simply follow the green lights to find a parking spot. Garage parking is $14/day and you can pre-book parking for savings on longer trips. 

Thanks to the lighting system, parking at CAE is stress-free. | GIF by Ashley Elsey

We quickly made it through security, leaving us plenty of time to spare before our flight. Red Eye Express is a must-stop — we got two lattes and a breakfast sandwich for $20.

Enjoying CAE’s Art in the Airport with my Southern Pecan Praline latte topped with crunchy praline morsels. | Photo by Ashley Elsey

Did you know that CAE selects four artists each year to display through its Art in the Airport program? All four artists are female this year (we love to hear it).

We caught a beautiful sunrise from the sky during our ~2-hour flight, perfect for catching up on work or sneaking in a quick nap. | Photo by Ashley Elsey

Beach views before noon, thanks to our quick and easy flight. | GIF by Ashley Elsey

What not to miss:

Miami Beach is known for its Art Deco District, so don’t forget to look up when walking through the area.

Art deco architecture can be seen throughout Miami Beach. | Photo by Ashley Elsey

If you know me, you know I am serious about food. The Miami eats did not disappoint. Try Pane E Vino, Orilla, Swan, or Michael’s + after-dinner drinks at Minibar (The Whig-meets-Miami vibes), Broken Shaker, or Raspoutine. Pro tip: Make reservations for lunch or dinner right after you book your flight. 

One of my favorite meals was at Pane E Vino, an authentic Italian spot with a cute atmosphere that gives Italian grandma vibes. | GIF by Ashley Elsey

For a great way to experience some of the luxuries of Miami without breaking the bank, walk Collins Avenue and check out different hotels or grab a drink at the bar.

A splurge-worthy spot, Jaya at the Setai had a vibrant atmosphere with live performances on Thurs.-Sat. nights. | Photo by Ashley Elsey

What we’re still talking about: 

We took our love for art from the airport walls to the Wynwood Walls, a must-see spot in a hip, artsy district. Pro tip: Purchase your tickets online to avoid entrance lines. Tickets are $12 (kids are free).

Wynwood Walls is a collection of 50+ cutting-edge murals from respected street artists around the world. | Photo by Ashley Elsey

How you can experience this: 

Book your nonstop flight from CAE to MIA online (and explore other nonstop flights from CAE while you’re at it). Bonus: They have travel inspo for your weekend trips to all nonstop destinations. 

Head to my Instagram for more tips for your next trip

Thanks for always making flying local the easy choice, CAE. | Photo by Ashley Elsey

Things to know if you go: 

  • Experience: Fly nonstop to Miami from Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) 
  • Price: Varies based on weekend activities
  • Website: https://flycae.com/ 
  • Address: 3250 Airport Blvd., West Columbia, SC  
  • Hours: 6:01 a.m. -7:48 a.m. CAE to MIA; 9:33-11:43 p.m. MIA to CAE; flight times could vary
  • Social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram*