I fell in love with Miami Beach.
Let’s go to Miami
End of 2010 two of my friends said: “Girl let’s go to Miami”
I was like: “Ok let’s do it”
I thought this was going to be another big plan we would end up not doing.
But on March 26th 2011 we were sitting on a Luxair plane to Paris to catch the onward connection to Miami. I have been there three times since.
I was pretty excited. I had never been to the United States of America before and it was a dream coming true, and also the beginning of my travel life.
So after ten hours with some minor turbulences we arrived in Miami International Airport.
Passing through Immigration was crazy. I don’t remember exactly how long it took but depending on the affluence of planes it can take hours. One thing I thought was funny is that you can’t take pictures in that area. If you do be sure that someone will see you and get you to delete it!
I was seeing the American flag on American soil for the first time in my life. It’s like you’re in a movie.
Passing immigration you get a “mugshot” and they take your fingerprints. The oh so careful american government…
Once we were out there we got our bags right away and just had to go through customs where we were asked some more questions about what we intended to do in the States. “Just vacation” Always say that!!
Sooo we got around the Airport and found the bus stop to Miami Beach. Our hotel was the Continental Oceanfront on Collins avenue. We had a room for 4 and paid approximatively 150 dollars each for 10 days, which was pretty cheap. It provided everything we needed: 2 big comfy beds, a bathroom with bath, a hairdryer, an iron and a pool. Unfortunately (for our wallets) this hotel has been closed, completely renovated and is now called The Nautilus. Still a very nice hotel according to the hotel booking sites.
As soon as we got off the bus with our huge luggage we got greeted by a girl offering shots on the sidewalk. We started off right. We were exhausted but happy to be there.
The hotel staff was really nice. All americans working in touristic jobs usually are because it gets them tips, it makes the most of their incomes so be generous if you can.
So after we showered and pampered ourselves we made our way out for dinner. We didn’t really know where we were going but be soon found the lively Espanola Way with its multiple South american cuisine restaurants. The food was pretty nice.
It was a quiet first night because we were very tired.
Where to eat and have a drink
We had breakfast there almost everyday but Ocean Drive is very nice to get breakfast also. You have all the bars and restaurants that offer great american breakfasts at very affordable prices. You can eat there with view on the Lummus Parc right across the beach and beautiful cars and pepole passing by in the heart of the Art Deco District. You know the scene in the small Miami Hotel from Scarface? That was right on Ocean Drive! As far the food is concerned you get nice dishes anytime of the day anywhere in Miami Beach. We spent most of our time on Ocean Drive, especially at the Mango’s Cafe where you get delicious cocktails served by gorgeous waitresses in a very colorful outfit with live latino music. I recomend you go there. But always make sure to take your id with you if you have to have some drinks because no id equals no alcohol! I mean you can still get one without alcohol but you’re on vacation right?! For more cocktails make sure to visit Wet Willies right next to Mango’s. Clevelanders, on Ocean Drive also, is a very popular spot also, to eat and to drink. They have a pool and dj’s playing regularly day and night.
If you are vegetarian or vegan there is a lot of choice also. Typically all restaurants have vegetarian choices. You can find a list of the best ones on the internet, my favorite is Juice and Java on Washington Ave or Moaz accross from Lincoln Rd is pretty delicious also if you’re in a hurry.
If you crave a really good restaurant with a groovy atmosphere then visit Prime 112 and make sure to taste their famous dessert “The fried Oreos”.
The tourist stuff
We did two excursions.
The first was to the Everglades Gator Park . We booked the trip in a small place where thew sell tourist trips on Collins Ave. So on the next day we sat on the bus to go meet the Alligators. It was pretty impressive. We sat in that Airboat you can see on tv riding through the wetlands where we only saw very small reptiles.
After that they have a sort of a show with a big Alligator, you sit just a few steps away and Watch them wrestle. But don’t worry you’ll be safe.
If you are very courageous you can even take a picture with a huge snake. Just one recommendation: take an anti mosquito bite creme with you.
The second excursion was to Disney World, The Magic Kingdom.
It’s a 3 hours bus ride from Miami to Orlando so we had to get up early and be ready by 6 a.m.
We only had one day to visit the Magic Kingdom so we were a bit upset when the lady who was supposed to get us in delayed us because she had forgotten her pass. But we were happy when we eventually got in. It was magical. I mean it’s Disney…even as adults you get all emotional experiencing the shows in the Streets of the Magic Kingdom. We slept very well that night.
If you love art make sure to visit Wynwood and it’s colored walls. Actually South Beach is a work of art itself. If you like to walk don’t hesitate to just walk around and enjoy its beautiful Streets and buildings. If you want to see someting a bit more “special” go to the World Erotic Art Museum on Washington Av. I’ve been there twice.
We went out on parties almost every night.
Washington Ave is the hotspot and has Miami’s most popular Night Clubs for the Rnb an Hip Hop scene. The famous Mansion Night Club, The Dream, Cameo and many more.
Entries are pretty expensive, around 25 dollars but girls can get in for free if they get on a promoter’s list. So ladies if a guy comes up to you at the beach or in the restaurant and gives you his number saying you should text him if you want to get in for free to a specific party just do it. It’s not a tric to get girl’s phone numbers. It’s actually their job. Each club has a day when it’s really grooving. If you spend your day at the beach you will see advertising planes flying around informing you where you need to go out that night and which star will be at that club.
Make sure not to miss Liv on Sunday, the famous club in the Fontainebleau Hotel, but be there early for a chance to get in.
And if you’re hungry after the club you will always find something to eat at any time.
You can find pizzas, burgers, salads and delicious bakeries waiting at night for hungry clubbers.
If shopping is your thing you will be pleased. South Beach has multiple boutiques with gorgeous clothes and shoes to buy. You also have several big souvenirs shops where you can get the classic “I love Miami” hotpants and t-shirts for your friends. You can find also essential stuff in case you forgot to bring them, like a selfie stick.
Lincoln Road on Miami Beach is actually a shopping mall. You have all the stores you will need, from Zara to Guess and Mac Cosmetics and many more. If you go downtown you have the Bayside Mall by the American Airlines Arena. It’s a huge open air shopping mall where you have a food court and famous places like Hooters and the Hard Rock Cafe with a beautiful view on the Miami Bay. Maybe you can choose a game day to go there and also go see a Miami Heat basketball game.
The Aventura Mall is also great for shopping, allthough a bit further north but easy to access.
Why I love Miami Beach
I always love to go back to Miami.