Miami is intoxicatingly beautiful, with wide boulevards lined with Art Deco buildings and palm trees swaying against the backdrop of lapping waves. Even so, it’s the people largely the Latin American population that makes it unlike anywhere else in the United States. The city is sexy, lively, and welcoming, with a vibrant culture, lush tropical gardens, and exciting cuisines.
Famous for its Cuban influences, trendy nightclubs, fresh seafood, hotels and resorts on the beach, and the colorful art deco buildings in the city, South Beach is a glamorous paradise in Miami. Start your weekend in Miami at the palpitating heart of the city of South Beach. This is the beating heart of Miami Beach, with its hundreds of dazzling pastel-colored 1920s and 1930s Art Deco buildings. By day, the sun blares down on the sand and spearmint waters. By night, ten blocks of Ocean Drive become one of the liveliest stretches in Miami, as terrace cafés spill across the specially widened sidewalk. We recommend booking a hotel in South Beach if you like being in the heart of the action. Bellow if have some recomadations
A long flight stopover brings us a weekend in Miami Florida. In the Winter we usually look for a trip to the sun and if we can combine this with a beautiful city, that's a bonus for me as a photographer. Also this year I received an offer to visit St Lucia an island in the Caribbean in collaboration with a number of hotels. The biggest challenge was how to get there, I had never heard of St Lucia by myself and investigated what kind of island it was and whether there are direct flights from the Netherlands. The only way to get there was via London, Miami, or Toronto. We chose Miami and flew in early April towards sun-drenched Miami.
We all know Miami from the movies and series that were filmed here. After some research, I discovered that there is also a difference between Miami downtown and Miami Beach, two different cities. Because we stayed for a long weekend, we chose to stay in the more expensive Miami Beach directly on the beach and the Beach road in the middle of the Art Deco district.
What is new to me and what I am very dissatisfied with is that in America everyone can include hidden items in their price, so it is quite normal that you have to pay a kind of resort fee of $ 20 a night for a bath towel and a bottle of water in your room, on top of that there will be a breakfast surcharge so pay attention when you book a room in America. Personally, I think this is a scam, but perhaps we should get used to the fact that on top of the internet prices comes a standard 25% as with the airline tickets.
In Miami Beach, there are a lot of restaurants and hotels so you always will find a good place for breakfast, be aware of the price difference sometimes they try to get you in a restaurant with a cheap breakfast but then you will pay 10 dollars for drinks or coffee. We had a couple of times breakfast by Leslie hotel not the cheapest one but the orange juice was fresh and the breakfast was good and the price with a coffee and water was around 10 Dollars most of the time so that's not bad for Miami beach
We arrived in the evening and took a taxi at the airport for 35 Dollars and were within half an hour at our hotel where we could check in quickly. We had a nice room with a sea view and a small balcony where I relaxed every evening with a glass of rum enjoying the sound of the sea and the setting sun. Due to the time difference and the long journey, we were so tired that we immediately went to bed for a well-deserved night's rest.
The next morning we woke up somewhere around 6 and decided to take a walk on the beach where it was still fairly quiet and watch the sunrise, after which we joined breakfast. In the morning we didn't do much and enjoyed the sun by the pool. In the afternoon, when the sun was no longer so strong and less warm, we grabbed the bike at the hotel and cycled along the beach road to the south. A whole experience here by bike, there is so much to see and it lives everywhere. I love it with so many different people. Back away we stopped at a restaurant for some food and drink something in the bar, honestly slow living, fully recharging the battery. In the evening we sat at the bar for a long time enjoying the temperatures outside and the bustle on the street. We spent our days at the beach and the swimming pool and in the afternoon we looked around, we visited Little Havanna, Wynwood walls, Lincoln road with its shopping malls, the Art Deco district where our hotel was, and the many beaches and parks.
The best way to get around Miami Beach is on foot. South Beach is especially pedestrian-friendly, and how are you going to people-watch or get a tan if you're in a car? Another option, bikes, can be rented from a number of vendors or from the bike-sharing system, Citi Bike. Plan to pack or purchase a strong lock as bicycle theft can be a problem. Driving will bring headaches, particularly when parking is limited at peak hours. If your feet begin to tire, there are buses run by Miami-Dade Transit. The South Beach Local is ultra-convenient and cheap for visiting travelers. Still, hailing the occasional cab (or Uber or Lyft) rather than waiting at a bus stop is preferred. You'll probably also use a cab to get from Miami International Airport (MIA), located about 12 miles west, into town. Expect to pay a flat rate between $35 and $55 for trips to Miami Beach. There is also a shuttle bus that provides service between the Miami International Airport Metrorail station and Miami Beach (from 41st Street to South Pointe Drive) for $2.25.
Miami South Beach, often abbreviated as SOBE, is an artificial peninsula off the coast near Miami. The vast, wonderful sandy beaches on the Atlantic Ocean attract many thousands of visitors every year. The many historic Art Deco buildings that SOBE is famous for are also a real draw. You go out for dinner on Ocean Drive, the Lincoln Road Mall, at Espanola Way, or at one of the many other places in this part of the city. You can easily explore this part of Miami by bike.
Miami is hip and trendy, it's seeing and being seen here. Miami South Beach, also known as the Art Deco District, is one of the attractions of this multicultural city. Downtown Miami, Little Havana, and Wynwood Walls are also nice neighborhoods to explore. Due to the many Spanish-speaking immigrants, Spanish is spoken in many places in Miami. This gives the city an extratropical touch. Miami is full of great restaurants, bars, nightclubs, museums, and much more. Even if you like shopping, Miami is "the place to be".
Have Dinner at Española Way
As the sun sets, head to another charming pedestrianized street in South Beach: Española Way. Designed to resemble a Spanish village, the street is flanked by colonial architecture, Mediterranean restaurants, and lush bougainvillea-covered facades.
Mercato Della Pescheria Espanola Way is one of the most popular restaurants along Española Way and we highly recommend coming here for authentic Italian food and fresh seafood. Havana 1957 is a fixture of the restaurant scene here and serves the best mojitos in Miami.
What to do:
South Beach Miami Beach has miles of sandy beaches with beautiful names such as Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside, and Bal Harbor Beach. According to most, however, South Beach cannot match anything, so-called because of the geographical location of this beach. South Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Here photo shoots are done for major brands, athletes come to train and beautiful shaped men and women admire themselves.
Art Deco District
The Art Deco Historic District is a neighborhood within South Beach where Art Deco and Streamline architecture determine the street scene. Ocean Drive is very well known (and photographed a lot) with the beautifully designed hotels with pastel shades, beautiful sleek style elements, and matching neon lighting in the dark.
The nightlife in Miami Beach is among the top of what you will find in Florida and all of America. Most entertainment venues are concentrated in South Beach. Popular among tourists are bars such as Mango’s Tropical Café and the Clevelander Bar on Ocean Drive.
Lincoln Road Mall
The car-free part of Lincoln Road is a series of shops and restaurants. Since the end of the 1990s, the Lincoln Road Mall, as this pedestrian area is called, has been one of the hotspots of Miami.
To the west of the long headland that is seen as the mainland of Miami Beach lies Biscayne Bay, containing artificial islands with expensive names such as Star Island, Palm Island, and Hibiscus Island. The capital villas on the waterfront of these islands are all worth at least a few million to many tens of millions of US dollars. You have the best view of these villas and islands by taking a boat trip. Most cruises depart from Bayside Marketplace.
Originally from 1954, the Fontainebleau Hotel is one of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels on Miami Beach. The more than fifteen hundred-room hotels are a true masterpiece of architecture and design. Even if you are not a guest here, you just have to take a look in the lobby.
Officially a separate municipality that belongs to the Miami Beach area is Bal Harbor, a luxury part of Miami Beach where the most expensive apartments are located. The main attraction within this part of Miami Beach is the Bal Harbor Shops, an open-air shopping center that focuses primarily on the higher segment. This is mainly where the stores are located where customers do not look so much at the price tag before they purchase something.
South Pointe Park
At the southern end of the main island of Miami Beach, you will find South Pointe Park. In addition to a pleasant beach, there is also a beautiful green area with hiking trails. There is a miniature water park that kids love on a hot day. You can enjoy contemporary art sculptures and watch cruise ships sail by while you peer over the ocean. It is also a popular place with filmmakers and photo shoots, so don't be surprised if recordings are taking place. On the sandy beach, you might see movie stars or supermodels mingle with the common people.
Beyond the glitz and glamour of the Magic City, Miami has a colorful and artsy Wynwood neighborhood. Wynwood has become a haven for aspiring painters, graffiti artists, creatives, and young innovators alike. Just minutes from Downtown Miami, near Midtown and the Miami Design District, this thriving neighborhood centers around Wynwood Walls. A collection of giant walls from six buildings, Wynwood Walls has since become a blank canvas for famed artists from across the globe.
You haven’t fully experienced the Magic City until you’ve visited Little Havana. Miami Cubans (and pretty much every local) take great pride in this neighborhood just west of Downtown Miami, where the famed Calle Ocho strip remains a testament to the American dream pursued by the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who settled it. More than being a place to find incredible Cuban restaurants in Miami, Little Havana is teeming with culture, plus places to discover the art and knock back a few cocktails at several of the best bars in Miami.
South Beach & Lummus Park
South Beach is the part of Miami Beach that you have certainly heard of and know about TV. This is America's party beach. Thanks to the non-stop promotion you will never be bored here. South Beach attracts a live audience that is attracted to the energy that this place exudes. If you are looking for peace, then look even further. Lummus Park, where the beach overflows, is the perfect place to find some shade from the palm trees. You will also find historic Art Deco buildings for which Miami Beach is so famous. South Beach and the surrounding streets are an ideal place to spot celebrities. You may see a celebrity in one of the better clubs or restaurants, but the staff is trained to keep the crowd at bay.
The central strip of Miami Beach, Mid-Beach, which runs from 21st Street to 78th Street, is ideal for walking, jogging, or skating, thanks to the elevated promenade that runs from 21st Street to 46th Street. Although the beach is equally beautiful there, this part is slightly less crowded than South Beach. This makes it ideal for sun lovers who want to rent a beach chair or umbrella to enjoy the soft, white sand.
Things worth knowing:
How to get there:
From the Netherlands or Germany, you can fly directly to Miami International Airport.
Miami Beach has a subtropical climate with a fairly dry and very mild winter and warm, damp, and relatively humid summers. During the period from May to October, the maximum temperatures are between 28 and 34 degrees and it feels clammy and stuffy with high humidity. During this period the chance of a rain shower is also quite large. Usually, it stays with some showers and the air clears up quickly after the rain where the feeling temperature also quickly reaches values of about 40 degrees. Because the winter months are sunnier, drier, and warm, this is the high season in Miami Beach. This is particularly noticeable in the prices of hotels and rental cars that are considerably higher in the period from December to March than during the rest of the year. During our summer vacations, it is not high season in Miami Beach and the prices are relatively low. It is more likely to score a last-minute offer for a hotel room than during the winter months. The period from June to November inclusive is the so-called hurricane season. During this period, the warm ocean waters of the Atlantic Ocean Depressions arise that can grow into hurricanes. Every year there are about 4 to 10 hurricanes and twice the number of tropical storms in the Caribbean. Due to its location, Miami Beach also has to deal with heavy rainfall and strong winds during the hurricane season. During the heaviest showers, roads can become partly blank and the beaches have to cope with it thanks to high waves and strong gusts of wind. There is also a chance of a hurricane, although that is not something that happens annually. Hurricanes, unlike earthquakes, are easy to predict and because Florida has plenty of experience with this natural phenomenon, timely measures are always taken to limit or prevent damage, injuries, and deaths. In the worst case, evacuations are possible and the airport is closed (temporarily) during the storm or hurricane. This makes it possible for a flight to be canceled or delayed.
Time difference: It is 6 hours earlier in Miami Beach than in the Netherlands. Because summer and winter time are also known here, the time difference is almost the same throughout the year.
Shopping is excellent in Miami Beach. Those looking for real outlet malls will not find them here. Nice shops, however, all the more, especially Lincoln Road has a very wide range of different shops with a nice assortment. You can find luxury brands in Bal Harbor Shops and a number of nice clothing stores are spread across South Beach. If you are looking for an indoor shopping mall with big things like Macy’s, Sears and Bloomingdales then you should visit Aventura Mall. It is located just outside of Miami Beach and is easily accessible via NE 192nd Street from Sunny Isles in the north. With no fewer than three hundred shops and eateries, you can have a great afternoon or morning here.
Explore the Everglades
If you have a bit more time here you can explore Everglades National Park. It is one of the unique and largest public parks in the United States. Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage site, it is home to 14 rare and endangered species including the Florida Panther, American Crocodile, West Indian Manatee, and more. Over 350 species of birds, 300 species of fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles also live in this unique environment. Admission is $30 USD per vehicle. Taking an airboat is a popular activity to do here. Tours cost around $25 USD.
Where to stay:
I'll be breaking down the best places to stay in Miami. This city is not just confined to South Beach. There is a beach called Mid Beach where a lot of beachfront properties are located, as well as Brickell and Downtown Miami. Each area has its pros and cons. It’s best to know what you plan on doing in Miami so you can better choose a neighborhood.
South Beach & Mid Beach: If going to the beach is your #1 reason to visit Miami, then it’s best you stay on South Beach or Mid Beach. You’ll be within walking distance to the beach and have your ocean as your front yard. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops in this area as well.
Brickell & Downtown Miami: These neighborhoods are mostly new development high-rises located in the downtown area. Most of the hotels have a lot more space to work by adding modern buildings and larger spaces for amenities with amazing views. However, if you plan on going to the beach, expect to be in a car/ Uber for 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
Hip art-deco-style hotel that features a pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In an area filled with hotels desperately trying to be hip, the 4-star highly rated Hotel Victor Miami Beach keeps it chic and stylish courtesy of French designer Jacques Garcia. Housed in an Art-Deco building in Downtown Miami and decorated with tasteful colors, rich fabrics, and offering gorgeous sea views the result is a luxurious hotel without the exorbitant room rates. Rooms are around 200 Eur depending on the season.
Step inside glamorous Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Faena Hotel Miami Beach provides guests with a truly over-the-top experience. When it opened in 2016, it was awarded a Forbes Five-Star rating the first time a resort has received the honor within its first year. In 2020, Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards named it the best hotel in Miami and the number-two property in the country. Rooms start at 500 Eur a night depending on the season
Luxury spacious apartments 15 minutes walk to the beach.
Rooms around 150 Eur a night
Unique beachfront boutique hotel in Miami, With its stunning and historic Art Deco frontage, the 4-star highly rated Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is a trendy and popular boutique hotel situated in the heart of Miami’s South Beach. It’s just a short stroll away from the high-street stores at Lincoln Road Mall, the beach on Ocean Drive, or the Mediterranean vibe of Espanola Way. Among palm tree-lined gardens, you’ll find a beautiful pool area that’s great for relaxing, dining outside, or enjoying a cocktail in the sun. If you’re a party goer, the Surfcomber is a great place to stay, especially on weekends when the pool becomes a hive of activity. Rooms around 300 Eur a night depending on the season