After a stressful end of the semester what better way to kick off summer than with a mini vacation. Two weekends ago I returned from a much-needed getaway to Miami, where I spent the majority of my stay relaxing on the beach. If you’re thinking about visiting here are some travel tips.
Where to stay
To cut down on costs and because I was with my family, we stayed in Fort Lauderdale and rented a car. Hotel prices are significantly lower in surrounding cities. It was only a short 30-minute drive to get to Miami without traffic.
The great thing about renting a car is that you’re able to explore more. We ventured out to Palm Beach Island. The streets there are lined with European styled mansions and perfectly shaped shrubs. The beach was significantly less packed, and got me feeling like I was Kim K.
Many people also travel to other South Florida destinations like Key West, Del Ray and the Everglades because of its close proximities.
On the other hand, renting a car can get annoying because of traffic in and out of the city, and parking gets really expensive. There is no free parking and hardly any parking garages, if you’re lucky enough you might be able to find on-street parking but that is limited so you might have to circle the block a few times before you find anything. There are also valet services outside of most restaurants so if you’re looking for convenience you can drop your car off there.
If you plan on only staying in Miami and are traveling with your friends, then I highly recommend staying at Freehand. It’s a hotel and hostel that is located right downtown and close to the beach. It is completely inexpensive and very welcoming to young travelers.
Where to go & what to see
Lincoln Road – A pedestrian only street with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars. It is the perfect location to go to after spending the day at the beach. Cool off with some gelato, an air-conditioned store or a cocktail.
Espanola Way – Just a few blocks away from Lincoln Road, is another time worthy street. Espanola Way is decked out in string lights and Spanish architecture with lots of cafes and other places to dine, as well as a handful of boutiques.
Little Havana – For a slice of Cuban culture, this neighborhood is all for you. Visit 8th-Street, better known as Calle Ocho, for an authentic Cuban experience. A popular restaurant on the south end of the street is Versailles Restaurant that is adored by both locals and tourists. Afterwards, take a stroll through Domino Park known for hosting domino games.
Wynwood Walls – Located in the Wynwood distract, this is an absolute must see for street art. Artists from all over the world come to show off their craft.
Vizcaya Muesum & Garden – Formerly the home of James Deering, businessman for Deering McCormick-International Harvester, one of the most sought out places to visit. It’s location on the Biscayne Bay and Italian Renaissance inspired garden and architecture, makes it a popular spot for photography. I had no idea of this until I went to visit and witnessed five different photo shoots going on.
South Beach & Art Deco District – With crystal clear waters and white stand, South Beach is one of the best beaches in all of Florida. The colorful lifeguard stands along the beach are also a must here as no two stands are alike. A step from the shore is the Ocean Drive strip known for its art deco styled architecture.
Miami is a truly remarkable city with so much to do and see. Whether you are looking for a vacation spot to soak up the sun and relax or a destination with a vibrant nightlife, Miami has it all.