Miami was my next stop on my adventures around the US of A. It was everything I could have wanted and more. After months in the cold of New Jersey, New York, Boston and Chicago, it felt amazing to step out into the heat. If you’re a party animal and love the beach (my two favorite things) then Miami is the perfect place. The beaches were better than most in California and the partying could rival that of Vegas. And with year round hot weather, I couldn’t think of a more perfect place in ‘murica’.
South Beach is the place to be in Miami. With all the major clubs, the beautiful beach, Lummus Park next to the beach with an outdoor gym, walking tracks, beach volleyball etc, and Ocean Drive is filled with restaurants, bars and clubs to keep you busy.
Where I stayed…
Miami Beach International Travelers Hostel This was the best value hostel I have stayed at. Not only was breakfast included, but they included a free lunch and dinner, meaning you never had to waste money on eating out. It is also very clean as cleaners were always around cleaning the rooms and halls. It is definitely a party hostel. I stayed there for six nights and they arranged a night out every night. They took us to the hottest clubs and bars for a great price. $20 would get you all you can drink at the hostel, a party bus ride to the venue (if it isn’t within walking distance), entry into the club AND if you’re a lady, bottle service at the club. Sometimes just the entry into the club can be anywhere upward of $50 so it’s a great deal and a great way to meet new people. This hostel is always going off, and I would highly recommend it.
Before you hit the beach, you’ll find this park in the main area of South Beach. Go for a run along the track, hit the outdoor gym or play a game of beach volleyball!
This is the place to be at any time of the day/night. Endless restaurants, bars and clubs and street entertainment fill this spot, and if it’s not on the street, one of the restaurants might be putting on a show (I witnessed a mini drag show out the front of one restaurant during the day).
South Pointe Pier
Get stunning views of South Beach from this pier, a nice place to go to end a morning or afternoon run/walk/cycle.
South Pointe Park
After you’ve seen the pier, walk down this small park for beautiful views of Downtown Miami and the harbor.
Lincoln Road Mall
This is a great place to go shopping and on weekends, there are great markets to check out.
A great club for something different. Situated right next to the beach and out the back of the club was a relaxation area (pictured above during the day). 7/10
Probably my favorite. They had great music and acrobats flying here, there and everywhere and lots of entertainment. 9/10
A great venue! Massive stage with a big dance floor and many private booths with bottle service (we got ours free with the hostel). They have specific nights for different kinds of music which I loved. 8.5/10
This was the one I was really looking forward to, but didn’t get a chance to get to (next time). A more ‘fancy’, exclusive club, even girls must be dressed to the nine’s. One of the more famous ones, I would recommend heading there (or let me know if you’ve been).
Day Trip to Key West
Key West was one of the major day trips Miami offered. The drive over the water and other islands was stunning and I felt like I had stepped out of America and into Cuba. Although if you want to head here for the beaches, I wouldn’t recommend it as I was quite disappointed with the ‘man-mad’ beaches. There was one real one, but it was quite rocky. Consider heading to some of the other Keys or Key Biscayne.
A beautiful beach with soft sand and beautiful blue Caribbean water. It is definitely where all the action is. One day, whilst lying on the beach, along came a beautiful model to have a photo shoot right in front of me. Then along comes some male models right next to her to do theirs. It was an interesting afternoon that’s for sure.
I headed to North Beach for something different, but it was much of the same really. Beautiful again, but very quiet in comparison. Head to North Beach if you want to stay away from the hype of the South.
North Beach township
A quieter town with a nice main street. The North Shore Open Space Park was lovely to walk through on the way to the beach.
For something different, I had a day trip downtown. It’s a nice city to walk around, but to be honest, it’s not all that exciting. There are some nice things to do such as Bayfront Park and the Metromover will get you around Downtown for free and with some great views.
I did feel a little uneasy in one neighbourhood though. I’d been told to head to Calle Ocho (8th street in Spanish) for some delicious Cuban food. I decided to head there for lunch and looked on the map to see ‘Little Havana’. Havana. The Capital of Cuba. It must be around there somewhere. Wrong. As soon as I crossed a bridge out of Downtown something didn’t quite feel right. I got stared at, hit on in Spanish, had men banging on their window telling me to come into their shop and it was quite unsettling. I was a blonde aussie, walking around a Cuban, Mexican etc. dominant area. I stood out like a sore thumb. I walked into a shop where some lovely ladies told me Calle Ocho was very far away and advised me not to walk. It was not a safe place, and I eventually found a bus stop to take me back to Downtown.
To sum it up, I had a great time in Miami. Great nights out, with relaxing days on the beach made for a perfect vacation for me after being in the cold of New York. But it wasn’t all partying (well 5 out of 6 nights aint bad). I also really enjoyed staying in one night so I could get up to watch the sunrise on the beach and then go for a morning run. Miami has won my heart.