13 March 2013

Spring Travel: 24 hours in Miami

When most people think of South Beach, they think of the artificial side with all the clubs and wild parties, but there is also a lot of history, great food and architecture. Cameron and I visited South Beach last May and although it was only a couple day stop over before we continued onto Central America, we found there is a whole lot more to see and do than the party scene.

Money saving tip: To save a ton of money select a hotel in downtown Miami, not in South Beach. You can hop on the bus and be down to where all the action is in no time. Downtown Miami is sleepy on the weekends, so you can stay away from all the noise of South Beach and enjoy a good nights sleep.
1. Beach time- There is no shortage of sand for sun bathing, surfing or having a picnic lunch. Bring your own towel/mat and save yourself from renting a pricey chair and umbrella from a hotel. If you don't like the sun, it can be a bit intense, so make certain to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. I cannot tell you how many times we have had to purchase sunscreen on vacation and it is usually expensive and extremely annoying when we forget to plan ahead.

Surfers have to keep their eye out for more than just waves, there are plenty of people darting to and fro.

2. Lifeguard Towers- colorful lifeguard towers dot the Atlantic seashore and provide not only eye candy, but great photo opportunities. Walking down the beach to visit each of them will not only give you a good workout, but plenty of beach time.
Each tower has a different theme and color scheme.
3. Restaurants- After you get your fill of the sun stop over at Big Pink, they are the perfect place to grab brunch and offer a wide variety of dining selection. They also have the largest (physical) menu of any place I have ever been. Plan ahead for dinner and make sure to visit Joe's Stone Crab, which has existed for over 100 years and provides the highly sought after stone crab. While vacationing, we try to only frequent the local establishments. Half the fun of visiting a new place is experiencing their unique cuisine. By doing your research ahead of time, it allows you to be informed and pull from a list of highly recommended dining options.

4. Art Deco Tour- If architecture, in particular Art Deco is of interest to you, South Beach is a gold mind. You can enjoy an afternoon of hotel hopping and check out all these iconic places. Typically, I prefer to do my research and take my own tour, but you can also take a well informed tour from the experts: Art Deco Tour.
Park Central Hotel
The Carlyle Hotel
5. People watching- People come from all around the world to live and visit Miami. A majority of Miami's visitors come to go on a cruise, lay on the beach or as a stop over between heading to/from Central and South America. South Beach is truly a melting pot.

1 comment:

Cameron and Lisette said...

That picture of me on the beach holding the surfboard makes me realize how much I miss my long hair and tan. Come back SUN!