Yes, Miami supports spring break, but there's also a lot of fun stuff - movies on the beach, art deco walks, nitrogen cocktails, biking with gators, kayaking under the moon – that doesn't involve hysterical college kids. They do see a lot of random rainfall, though, so there's a good chance your trip will involve wet t-shirts after all. PS: Public transport here isn't great and cabs are expensive, so we suggest you make your stay short (200 USD can get you a flight ticket from New York to Miami) or find a cousin with a car like this Scouter did.
If you can splurge, the Delano Hotel in Miami's art deco district is fancy, and imbued with character. From arty chairs to a gorgeous pool and giant chess set, this property is beautiful and a stone's throw away from the beach. For cheaper options near South Beach, see hotels such as The Chelsea Hotel and The Anglers Boutique Resort at Washington Avenue. Air bnb operates here as well.
Delano Hotel, 1685 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; Chelsea Hotel, 944 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; The Anglers Boutique Resort, 660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach.
Barton G serves playful food like lobster pop-tarts and Mousetrap mac and cheese, as well as extremely potent nitrogen cocktails. Sample Sabrina-tini, made with orange vodka, watermelon liqueur and served with a champagne popsicle and chocolate monkey hanging off the side of the glass. Yes, it can get pretty crazy. Tantra, with its delightful dinginess and Indian accents will remind you of Veda back home, but with an indoor grass floor. The drinks here aren't great, but an aphrodisiac-influenced menu serves some good dishes like Love Apples, lobster risotto and wild basa. For Florida stone crabs—you can't leave without eating some—head to River Seafood and Oyster Bar that also has delicious cheese baked oysters on the menu. Situated in the work district, the place is buzzing during happy hours.
Barton G, 1427 West Avenue, Miami Beach; Tantra, 1445 Pennsylvania Avenue, Miami Beach; River Seafood and Oyster Bar, 650 South Miami Avenue, Miami Beach.
If you're in Miami on a Wednesday, pack a picnic and go for an outdoor movie at Lincoln Road. If it's raining, the movie theatre at Dolphin Mall serves fancy dinners and potent cocktails at your seat. We watched Skyfall while drinking martinis. Bond drank Heineken.
Nick-named 'Dirty Purdy' by the locals, Purdy Lounge is the grimy bar you should hit to escape Ocean Drive tourists. There's also Chalk, with cheaper drinks, pool and ping-pong tables. If you need some more action, try Lucky Strike, a bowling alley with a DJ and bar. And our personal favourite— Avenue D, a department-store-turned-jazz-club with improv acts and lots of whisky.
Purdy Lounge, 1811 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach; Chalk, 1234 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; Avenue D, 691 Michigan Avenue, #115, Miami Beach.
While Clevelander is Miami's most popular out-of-towner club, we preferred Mangos, a few doors down. Also touristy - this entire stretch of cafes and clubs is - Mangos plays Spanish music that instantly draws you to the dance floor. Here, the skill of the others may drive you to take a weekend salsa class at Yuca on Lincoln Road. For the more upscale (and slightly pretentious) South Beach scene, you should visit Club Bamboo and Wall.
Clevelander, 1020 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; Mangos, 900 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; Yuca, 501 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; Club Bamboo, 550 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; Wall, W South Beach, 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.
A different kind of nocturnal activity in Miami, the Blue Moon Outdoor Center offers full moon kayaking at Oleta River State Park, during which this Scouter may or may not have spotted a shark. For more wild things visit the Everglades to see Miami's alligators. You can either take a two-hour tram ride around the park or a 15 mile bike ride. Although it's touristy, we recommend you do a boat ride at Bayside, just to glide past Millionaire's Row, a cluster of celebrity houses (Jennifer Lopez, Julio Iglesias, Naomi Campbell) that will make you re-assess what you're doing with your life.
Oleta River State Park 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach; Everglades, 26700 Southwest, 8th Street, Miami.
Culture vultures should take an Art Deco walk in South Beach. While you're there, you may want to get a pricey but awesome Swedish-Thai massage at Agua Spa at the Delano Hotel If you're in Miami on a Wednesday, pack a picnic and go for an outdoor movie at Lincoln Road. If it's raining, the movie theatre at Dolphin Mall serves fancy dinners and potent cocktails at your seat. We watched Skyfall while drinking martinis, and Bond drank Heineken.
Dophin Mall, 11401 NW, 12th Sreet, Miami.
Shopping in Miami is mostly restricted to the malls. Our favourite is Aventura, with brands like Apple, Urban Outfitters, BCBG, All Saints and all the other usual suspects.
Aventura, 19501 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura
PS: Special thanks to local guides Puja Solanki and Dina Adler.
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