18 Aug Anticipating the Perfect Miami Vacation
If you don’t want to leave the U.S., but want to be immersed in different cultures, Miami could be your ideal destination. Enjoy the amazing nightlife and beautiful sandy beaches while the sun embraces you. This trip will take some forethought, so consider the following.
Timing Your Visit
It may come as a surprise to you that the summer months are the best, least crowded time to visit Miami. The tourist season peaks in December through April; a lot of people go to find some much-needed sun and warmth during winter and early spring.
Miami traffic is not for the faint of heart. If you want to avoid the stress of navigating through the chaos, an Uber is probably your best option. Using Lyft Line or Uber Pool services, you can save money while meeting new friends, be they locals or fellow tourists. If you drive and get in a wreck in Florida for example, it would probably be a good idea to find attorneys locally for immediate assistance.
Miami has several public transportation services including Metromover, Miami Trolley, buses and Metrorail. The Metrorail doesn’t run all night, so it’s not an option after a certain time. The Metromover and trolley are free, but will only take you within mainland Miami. You’ll have to find another way to travel between and within Miami Beach and South Beach. While the Metrobus is the most far-reaching, it has to deal with traffic congestion just as do other vehicles on the road.
If you’re considering driving your own car or renting one, you may reconsider after finding out about the headache that is Miami’s parking. Parking is strictly enforced all over Miami. It can also get expensive quickly. Hourly rates can be as costly as $7 per hour on some streets and in some parking garages. Full-day parking in a parking garage will be somewhere between $20 and $30. Make sure you follow parking rules and restrictions to avoid getting a ticket or having your car towed.
Going Out on the Town
Miami, like New York City, really never sleeps; sometimes it can seem like a never ending party. Some of the most popular clubs don’t even open their doors until after midnight, and the party doesn’t get started until 2 or 3 AM. However, some places are open earlier to suit a more conventional crowd. Miami is also home to several seasonal parties that run nonstop for days at a time, festivals, as well as numerous major events.
Miami is different from the rest of Florida. Beachwear is viewed as only suitable for the beach or your hotel pool. Dress codes are enforced at many clubs, bars and restaurants, especially in the main parts of Miami such as Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road. People dress to impress, so you might want to research some of the dress codes and buy some new clothes in advance of your nights on the town.
Miami is brimming with Latin American and Caribbean culture. Get a glimpse of these cultures without having to visit the locations themselves. Cuban-born residents make up over 25% of Miami-Dade County, and that doesn’t include Cuban immigrants. You’re also likely to meet people from the Bahamas, Haiti, Colombia and Venezuela.
Experience these communities by going to hear live music, dining at restaurants with authentic cuisine and strolling through the many art galleries.
Several beaches boast their unique advantages. Miami Beach and South Beach are worth a visit. However, you should hit some of the others. Virginia Key Beach Park tends to be much less crowded than some of the other beaches. Plus, you can kayak through wetlands at this park. If you and your family enjoy water sports, Key Biscayne is a must. Northern Haulover Beach allows nude sunbathing, while the southern portion is a dog-friendly area.
Miami is one of the most expensive places in the U.S. Booking flights and hotel accommodations well in advance will save you money. Then, you’ll have more money to spend on Miami’s many activities. In the meantime, brush up on your Spanish for easier communication and an even richer cultural experience.