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Miami, Florida

Local Details

Learn more about Miami, Florida using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Miami, Florida so great!

Current Temperature

  • 7:03 AM EST Dec. 15

City Guide

Miami is the commercial center of Florida, USA and is located in the southern part of the state on the Atlantic Ocean. The city has over 380,000 people and is the anchor of the South Florida Metropolitan area (Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach) with over 5.5 million people. Popular travel destination Miami Beach is near Miami.

Districts

  • Downtown Miami
  • Miami/Brickell
  • Midtown Miami
  • Wynwood/Edgewater
  • Miami/Coconut Grove
  • Miami/South Beach
  • Miami/Little Havana
  • Miami/Overtown

Understand

The local Latin population is mostly Cuban exiles (which have now become second and third generation locals) with South Americans from various countries gaining ground. There is also a large Haitian community as well, and many signs and public announcements are in English, Spanish and Creole. There are many other Caribbean groups in the community; most of them are originally from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, or the Virgin Islands.

Talk

Miami has the largest Latin American population outside of Latin America itself, with nearly 65% of its populace either Latin American or of Latin American ancestry. Spanish is a language often used for day-to-day discourse in many places, although English is the language of preference, especially when dealing with businesses and government and one will find that almost all locals speak English to a comfortable if not fluent level. Despite this, it is not at all uncommon to encounter a local who does not speak English at all, though this is usually centered amongst shops and restaurants in residential communities and not generally the case in large tourist areas or the downtown district. Even when encountering a local who does not speak English, one could easily find another local to help with translation if needed without much effort, since most of the population is fluently bilingual. In certain neighborhoods, such as Little Havana and Hialeah, most locals will address a person first in Spanish, then in English, rather than the other way around. Many times, although someone may speak English, their preference will be to speak Spanish and will resist speaking to one in English. most locals will address a person first in Spanish before addressing English rather than the other way around. However, some people may prefer to speak in Spanish rather than English. "Spanglish", a mixture of English and Spanish, is a somewhat common occurrence (but less so than in the American Southwest), with bilingual locals switching between English and Spanish mid-sentence and occasionally replacing a common English word for its Spanish equivalent.

Haitian Creole is another language heard in Miami. It is not uncommon for a person to hear a conversation in Creole when riding public transportation or sitting at a restaurant. Unlike Spanish, Haitian Creole is generally centered amongst the Haitian neighborhoods in the North of the city. Most Haitians are more adapted to English than their Hispanic neighbors. Portuguese and French are other languages that may be encountered in Miami. These languages tend to be spoken mainly around tourist areas. Most speakers of these languages have adapted to English as well.

The simplest way to get a response in English is to use the "approach rule," where most locals will only respond in the language they were summoned in unless they are not able to speak it. This rule can be used on anyone whether or not their first language was Spanish, English or any other language.

Get in

By plane

Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA) is located just west of the city in an unincorporated, suburban area. It is an important hub for traffic between North America and Latin America; therefore, Spanish is just as likely to be understood as English. The international traffic makes MIA a large and congested place. Be sure to allow extra time when departing MIA, particularly if flying internationally, as you may face an hour-long line just to check your bags. Curbside check-in is an excellent idea.

The predominant carrier at MIA is American Airlines, which has direct flights to most major cities in the Americas and several European cities as well. European, Latin and Caribbean carriers are well-represented at MIA. The airport has no direct service to Asia, Africa or Oceania. Currently MIA is updating its terminals to give them a more modern look. Be well aware that construction can delay your travel (and possibly a seat, since there are spots in the ticketing areas without seats) in the airport.

MIA also has several restaurants ranging from local chains such as La Carreta to national chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King and Starbucks. Be aware that some restaurants serve beer, wine and/or cocktails; drink too much and airlines can refuse your boarding on a plane. MIA also has several retail stores, including several magazine stands and bookstores (including a Borders). Other retail stores include (but are not limited to) Brookstone, K-B Toys and Ron Jon Surf Shop. There is also a hotel connected to the airport. Money can also be exchanged for US dollars at the airport as well.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport (IATA: FLL) is 25-40 minutes north of Miami proper, depending on traffic, and does not have nearly as many international routes. However, it is smaller and less trafficked than MIA, making customs, immigration and security much easier. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and other low-cost carriers generally use FLL instead of MIA, making FLL a cheaper alternative in many cases as well.

While public transport is available to MIA and FLL, it is not a realistic option for someone arriving with luggage and no knowledge of the area. Your best option is to take a taxi from the airport or rent a car. MIA's car rental facilities are scattered around the airport and connected to the terminal by shuttle buses: FLL's facilities are more conveniently located in the parking garage adjacent to the terminals.

By train

Amtrak's Silver Service operates two trains daily to Miami from New York, Washington and other eastern seaboard cities. The ride from New York is about 24 hours but is often subject to delays, as Amtrak uses poorer-quality freight lines south of Washington and must cope with slow freight trains along the way.

By car

There are three main highways coming into Miami. I-95 runs along the Atlantic Coast of the United States and terminates in Miami. I-75 comes in from the Midwestern United States and runs through Atlanta and Tampa before terminating in Miami. Florida's Turnpike is a toll road mainly useful for those driving in from Orlando. The only southbound route from Miami is US 1, which runs through the Florida Keys all the way to Key West.

Get around

By bus

Miami has a large and elaborate public bus system which covers the entire county and connects, at northern points, to the bus system in Greater Fort Lauderdale. The bus system was, for a long time, notorious for being unreliable, though recent developments have changed this. Despite these changes, and due to high local traffic, buses tend to have a harder time remaining on schedule, though buses run often enough through each route so as not to be a nuisance. Schedules and routes are available from the Miami-Dade Transit website or by calling (305) 770-3131.

By train

Metrorail is a single-line elevated rail system serving Miami and surrounding areas. Due to low funding, Metrorail has not been greatly expanded since its opening in 1984, and only serves two areas of tourist interest: downtown Miami and the area around Dadeland Mall. Coconut Grove and downtown Coral Gables can be reached via short shuttle bus from various stations. Metrorail operates between roughly 5AM and midnight, with a bus serving all Metrorail stations operating in the overnight hours, effectively providing 24-hour service.

Downtown Miami is served by an elevated people mover system known as Metromover, which connects to Metrorail at two stations. Metromover is free of charge and is the most efficient way to move around Downtown Miami.

Currently a funding boost has set forth an expansion for the Metrorail system including a connection to Miami International Airport to be operating by 2010. Further expansion to the north toward Dolphin Stadium (the home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins) is expected to be operating by 2012. A light rail line to Miami Beach is also under development.

By taxi

Taxis are generally expensive with a surcharge of $2.50 for the pick-up and an additional $0.40 for each sixth of a mile traveled. Almost all cab companies in the area have pre-determined rates for travel into the barrier islands of Miami Beach and other beach and nightclub communities popular with tourists which can range from $30-$60 depending on arrival location. For example, South Beach may be the most expensive while a residential neighborhood in Miami Beach may be the cheapest. The charge is the same regardless of pick-up location on the mainland. All taxis are fitted with maps of the barrier islands which state the cost per location. The same applies for passengers leaving the islands onto the mainland, though normal rates apply for person traveling by taxi within the islands or within the mainland.

Service is available throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties regardless of pick-up location. The normal service charges apply for these four counties, but it is wise to ask for a pre-determined price beforehand if leaving the county as this will in most cases turn out to be cheaper and most drivers are willing to negotiate when leaving the county. If you wish to be taxied to a location outside of those four counties, you must negotiate a price and advise the cab company first. Drivers may refuse to drive outside of the metropolitan area if they are not advised to do so beforehand.

Usually you will have to call a cab company and request a pick-up. Taxis operated by the major companies are not normally allowed to pick up passengers at random locations for safety and legal reasons except at MIA, the Port of Miami and train stations. Some individual taxi drivers will not follow this rule, however. You can try hailing a taxi in the street.

All taxi drivers must have a valid license to operate. It is uncommon to hear of crimes involving unlicensed taxis anywhere in the metropolitan area since Dade County keeps track of all taxi activity in and around Miami and cooperates with other counties in getting this information. If you enter a cab and do not see a valid license placed in front of the passenger's seat, you should not enter the taxi and instead call another cab company regardless of what the driver says. If you willingly enter a taxi without a license or with an expired license and there is an incident or accident, it is possible that you may not be able to hold the driver accountable by law. When entering a cab you should make note of the driver's name, license number and cab number if any problems arise during the trip. This information should be easily found inside the taxi. It may be able to help you identify the cab driver to the police or the cab company.

By car

Unless you plan to stay downtown or in a single location elsewhere, you will find that a car is a major convenience in Miami, and car rentals are cheap in comparison to other major US cities.

Surface roads in Miami are usually easy to navigate. The area's roads are designed around a grid system, where most roads are numbered based on their distance from the city center. Addresses also conform to the numbering of the roads around them. For instance, "9500 NW 30th Street" would be by the intersection of 30th Street and 95th Road, about 95 blocks west and 30 blocks north of the city center.

Note that if you cross into Broward County, the roads will be numbered based on their distance from the Fort Lauderdale or Hollywood city center, which is generally the same going east-west but will be very different going north-south. Some street names also change at the county line. The coastline highway, A1A, is known as "Collins Avenue" in Miami but becomes "Ocean Drive" in Broward. Likewise, "Red Road" in Miami becomes "University Drive" in Broward.

Miami has four primary expressways. I-95 runs north from Downtown Miami to Fort Lauderdale and points beyond. 836 (also known as the Dolphin) runs west from downtown Miami, along the edge of Miami International Airport. 826 (known as the Palmetto Expressway to locals) and Florida's Turnpike form "F"-shaped loops around the city. The Turnpike continues north, roughly parallel to I-95, and will take you to Orlando if you keep driving.

I-95, the Palmetto and the Turnpike intersect at a junction in North Miami called the Golden Glades. This is one of the most nightmarishly-designed interchanges in Florida, and is best avoided by newbies unless you have very good lane-changing reflexes.

South of Miami, the main road is US 1, which is not an expressway but rather a very busy multi-lane surface road. US 1 runs through South Miami to Homestead, and if you keep driving south you enter the Florida Keys.

See

  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens European-inspired estate. Includes a main house filled with art and furnishings and ten acres of gardens on Biscayne Bay.
  • Oleta River State Park, 305-919-1846.

Do

There are many things to do in Miami, if not in Miami itself; the travel to Fort Lauderdale and the Keys is not far off. The Miami area is home to many beautiful beaches, such as world-famous South Beach in nearby Miami Beach, and a fun and lively night life. There are numerous dining places and night clubs as well as a drive in theatre for those who want privacy when watching a newly released film. There are lively, outgoing, smiling faces at every corner. For the daytime there are malls, flea markets, and museums to visit. There is also the Sea Aquarium for those who enjoy seeing and learning more about sea life.

  • County Fair & Exposition
  • Tropical Park Equestrian Center
  • Eco-Adventure Tours
  • Canoe Trips
  • Kayaking and Snorkeling
  • Bike Tours

Events

If you are in town the weekend after New Years, do check out the King Mango Strut, a parade/parody of the events of the year, held every year in Coconut Grove.

Learn

  • St. Thomas University
  • Miami-Dade Community College
  • Barry University
  • Florida International University
  • University of Miami

Buy

Some visitors, particularly from South America, come to Miami exclusively to shop. Sometimes it is said that the main two things to do in Miami are to go shopping and going to the beach.

Some popular malls include:

  • Dadeland Mall in South Miami, accessible via MetroRail
  • Merrick Park in Coral Gables (exclusive and trendy stores), accessible via Metrorail and also by trolley (free in Coral Gables).
  • Lincoln Road Mall
  • Bal Harbor Shops has more exclusive and trendy stores, but is much smaller than Merrick Park
  • Aventura Mall in Aventura.
  • Dolphin Mall - Largest Mall in Miami.
  • Sawgrass Mills Mall - Outlet mall located in Broward County, north of Miami. Very convenient if driving in or out of Miami on I-75.
  • Bayside Marketplace in the heart of downtown Miami where you can visit this lovely open-air market, browse the artist's carts, or sip an iced drink and stroll along the pier.

Eat

Foodies and chefs alike herald Miami for its unique New World cuisine. Created in the 90s, the cuisine alternatively known as New World, Nuevo Latino or Florribean cuisine blends local produce, Latin American and Caribbean culinary tradition and the technical skills required in European cooking. Nuevo Latino is said to be the brainchild of four chefs: Allen Susser, Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello and Douglas Rodriguez. All of them still work in Miami and most of them work at the restaurants they created in the 90s. New World is not restricted to these chefs’ menus; this cuisine influences several restaurants around the city to this day.

Miami may be known for its Latin cuisine, especially its Cuban cuisine, but there are other different kinds of restaurants to be found around the city. In addition to stand-alone restaurants offering up various cuisines from Chinese and Japanese and Middle Eastern and Italian (among other cuisines), there are cafés, steakhouses and restaurants operating from boutique hotels as well as chain restaurants such as TGI Fridays and Ben & Jerry’s.

Miami is known for having nightclubs double as restaurants throughout the city. Most of these restaurants, such as Tantra (which had one of their chefs recently appear on Top Chef: Miami), BED and the Pearl Restaurant and Champagne Lounge (attached to Nikki Beach), are located throughout South Beach. However, some of these restaurants/nightclubs like Grass Lounge can be found in the Design District (north of Downtown but south of North Miami).

If many of Miami’s premiere restaurants don’t fit into your daily budget, consider eating during Miami Restaurant Month (better known as Miami Spice) in August and September. This year at 80 select restaurants lunch costs $22 and dinner is $35.

Budget

  • Pizza Rustica, 863 Washington Avenue, + 1 305 674 8244 (e-mail: contact@pizza-rustica.com). This small chain, also branching out in LA and locations all over South Florida (in Miami, there are locations in Downtown Miami, Cameo and Lincoln Road Mall), serves Roman-style pizza, big slices of pizza cut made by the foot, cut to a desired length and then folded over like a sandwich. Salads are also served. These places accept cash only. $3-$18.
  • David’s Café, 1058 Collins Avenue, +1 305 534-8736 (e-mail: info@davidscafe.com). Open 24 hours. Cuban. Cheap, legendary Cuban food. Free delivery on South Beach. $2-$19.
  • David’s Café II, 1654 Meridian Avenue (off of the Lincoln Road Mall), +1 305 672-8707. Open 24 hours. Cuban. The same fare as the original David’s Café, but at a convenient location for tired Lincoln Road shoppers en route to the cheaper or the more expensive stores at the mall. $2-$19.

Mid-range

  • Big Pink, 157 Collins Avenue (near and across from Privé and Opium Gardens), +1 305 532-4700. Comfort food. Once you enter this restaurant, head for its large menu near the entrance to see its selection of burgers, breakfasts and other items that have been brought to the present day. Stay if you're interested in what's playing on the televisions. If you’re not in the mood to head to the restaurant, Big Pink offers free takeout in a pink VW bug (and occasionally to bouncers at Privé). $3-$20.
  • News Café, 800 Ocean Drive. Open 24 hours. Breakfast, pizzas, sandwiches and paninis, burgers, Middle Eastern cuisine, appetizers, entrees and dessert. Because of its location on the corner of 8th Street and Ocean Drive, News Café is the perfect place to see anything from models to shoppers to Duck Tour buses. Note: a 15% tip is added to your order automatically. $2-$25.
  • Larios on the Beach , 820 Ocean Drive, +1 305 532-9577. Su-Th 11:30AM-midnight, F-Sa 11:30AM-1AM. Cuban. One of Gloria Estefan’s many restaurants in South Florida, this place is said to have some of the best mojitos in South Beach. $8-$27.
  • Mango’s Tropical Café, 900 Ocean Drive, +1 305 673-4422. Su-Sa 11AM-5AM. Caribbean and American. Mango’s appearance in the cinematic bomb From Justin to Kelly—sparsely populated, well-lit at night and quiet enough to have a conversation about conniving girlfriends—is the exact opposite of how Mango’s is on a typical day. This infamous South Beach spot is known for its dancers/bartenders in cat suits gyrating on the center bar to live music. There are also two side bars and plenty of tables if you want to be away from the action in the middle of the restaurant.
  • Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House, 190 Collins Avenue, +1 305 947-4581, Su-Th 6:30AM-1AM; F-Sa 6:30AM-2AM. Jewish deli food. A Miami institution since 1954, Wolfie’s used to serve the Rat Pack after performances. It’s still beloved today because of its retroactive vibe. $8-$30.
  • Grass Restaurant and Lounge, 28 NE 40th Street, +1 305 573-3355 (fax +1 305 573-5003, e-mail: info@grasslounge.com). Su-Sa 7PM-12AM, but check website or contact the restaurant to verify seasonal hours. Fusion. Although there’s good food in this restaurant/lounge, this place is notoriously hard to get into unless you look like you belong in it. Yes, even with a reservation. $8-$28.
  • La Carreta, SW 8th Street, +1 305 444-7501. Open 24 hours. Cuban. The flagship restaurant of a small chain of Cuban restaurants (including one location at Miami International Airport). Be careful, though, as most people only speak Spanish. $5-$22.

Splurge

  • Joe’s Stone Crab, 11 Washington Avenue, +1 305 673-0365. Lunch and dinner hours depend on the time of year. Appetizers, seafood, steaks, poultry, lamb, vegetables and dessert. Famous for three things: its stone crabs, its key lime pie and the long lines for its dinner service, but there are plenty of other options to order from the menu. Lines are shorter or non-existent when the restaurant is serving lunch or at its sister restaurant, Joe’s Take-Out. The waiters will be dressed to the nines, but you don’t have to be. $5-$69 (prices of stone crabs vary but are between $23-$63, depending on the size ordered and current market prices for stone crab).
  • Joe’s Take Away , 11 Washington Avenue, +1 305 673-4611. Lunch and dinner hours depend on the time of year. Breakfast, appetizers, soups, salads, meat & poultry, seafood and dessert. If you’re not in the mood to wait hours for a table in Joe’s, head to this sister establishment, which has many of the items available in the main restaurant without the long lines. Joe’s will also deliver its food to you no matter where you live (even if it is outside of Miami). $3-$40 (prices of stone crabs vary but are between $23-$63, depending on the size ordered and current market prices for stone crab).
  • China Grill, 404 Washington Avenue, +1 305 534-2211. Lunch M-F 12-5 PM, dinner Su 5-11 PM, M-Th 6 PM-12 AM, F-Sa 6 PM-1 AM. Chinese. The food is good but the portions are small and the price is mainly for the atmosphere. $20-$40.
  • Chef Allen’s, 19,088 NE 29th Avenue, +1 305 935-2900. Su-Th 6-10PM, F-S 6-11PM. Allen Susser was named the best chef in the South in 1994 by the James Beard Foundation. A perfect place to try New World cuisine. Dinner jackets suggested. $9-$46 (the tasting menu is $75 per person).
  • Nobu & Ago Restaurant, 1901 Collins Avenue (located in the Shore Hotel), +1 305 695-3232 (e-mail miamibeach@noburestaurants.com, fax +1 305 695-3246, but reservations taken through the main phone number only). Japanese. One of the many Nobu restaurants around the world known for its amazing Japanese food. Good luck trying to get a reservation, though. $3-$70 (the NOBU signature menu is $110; the Omakase, a meal determined by the chef, is $150).
  • Blue Sea Restaurant, 1685 Collins Avenue (located in an alcove off the main lobby of the Delano Hotel), +1 305 674-6400, Su-Th 7PM-12AM, F-Sa 5:30PM-1AM. Sushi.
  • Blue Door Restaurant, 1685 Collins Avenue (located in the Delano Hotel), +1 305 697-1791, Breakfast Su-Sa 7PM-11:30AM, lunch Su-Sa 11:30AM-4PM, brunch Su 10:30AM-2:30PM, prix fixe dinner 7PM-11PM, a la carte dinner 7PM-12AM. French/Brazilian fusion. Reservations required for the prix fixe dinner. Reservations can be taken online.
  • BED, 929 Washington Avenue, +1 305 532-9070, Dinner M, W-Sa 8-11PM, bottle service M, W-Sa 11PM-3AM. Fusion. BED (which actually stands for Beverage, Entertainment and Dining) is the only small chain club/eatery where patrons can eat food…on beds. The food is excellent, but be aware that BED has a dress code and no signage during the daytime (like most South Beach clubs). BED unfortunately attracts hipsters that may not have the ability to get into South Beach’s more exclusive clubs, but to ensure you at least have a spot at dinner BED accepts same-day reservations. $12-$38.
  • Casa Tua, 1700 James Avenue, +1 305 673-1010, Lunch M-F 11:30AM - 3PM, dinner M-Sa 7PM-12AM. Italian. Casa Tua is proud of the fact that there is no outside signage outside its restaurant; if the restaurant decides to advertise out front, it’s not going to be soon. Reservations are required to get inside, but make sure you can find the restaurant first or you might get a headache attempting to get to dinner. $12-$100.
  • Mark’s South Beach, 1120 Collins Avenue (in the Nash Hotel), +1 305 604-9050, New World/Mediterranean. Mark Militello’s restaurant has people actually trained to work the front of the house instead of models/actors trying to make it big; service is more consistent than other restaurants. It’s also not a celebrity hot-spot, so if you’re looking for the rich and famous, go elsewhere on South Beach. $25-$40.
  • Tantra, 1145 Pennsylvania Avenue (on the corner of Espanola Way), +1 305 672-4765, Su-Sa 7PM-5AM. Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/Indian. This restaurant/club is heavy on the Middle Eastern vibe—grass lines its floors, booths can be closed in this eatery for privacy and hookah pipes and aphrodisiac cocktails are passed around. $24-$52.
  • Ola, 5061 Biscayne Boulevard (in the Sanctuary Hotel), +1 305 695-9125, M-Th 6PM-12AM, F-Sa 6PM-2AM. Nuevo Latino. Chef Douglas Rodriguez’ restaurant, Of Latin America, is a mixture of Spanish and Latin American culinary traditions. Reservations recommended. $20-$35.
  • Ortanique on the Mile , 278 Miracle Mile (near Actor’s Playhouse),, +1 305 446-7710. M-Tu 6PM-10PM, W-Sa 6PM-11PM, Su 5:30PM-9:30PM. New World. One of three Ortanique restaurants (the other two are located in Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas). The food has a mixture of Caribbean and French influences. Reservations are requested. $19-$36.
  • Norman’s, 21 Almeria Avenue (in Coral Gables'), +1 305 446-6767, M-Th 6PM-10PM, F-Sa 6PM-10:30PM. New World. Norman Van Aken fuses Asian, Caribbean, North American and Latin cuisines together to make his renowned cuisine. Reservations requested. $22-$38.
  • Barton G. the Restaurant, 1427 West Avenue, +1 305 672-8881, Su-Sa 6PM-12AM. Experimental American cuisine. Barton G., also a well-known caterer in South Beach, uses the same showy presentation and food in his restaurant as he does with his catering. Reservations are requested. $8-$30.

Drink

Nightlife in Miami consists of upscale hotel clubs, independent bars frequented by locals (including sports bars) and nightclubs. Most hotel bars and independent bars turn the other cheek at your physical appearance, but you have to be dressed to impress (which does not mean dress like a stripper) to get into a nightclub. Also remember to never, under any circumstances, insult the doormen and/or nightclub employees that will grant you entry or touch the velvet ropes or you may as well be sitting on the opposite side of the clamoring masses trying to get in. Attempting to tip the doormen and claiming that you know employees that work in the nightclubs (unless you actually called and reserved a table or a spot on the VIP list) is also considered an affront. Getting to the club unfashionably early and pushing through the crowd (and not the doormen) also can help make you stand out in the crowd. Finally, most nightclubs won’t admit groups of men unless those men are waiting in front of a gay bar. Bring some women or leave the pack if you’re desperate to get in. And once you get in, remember that the charge to get in these clubs can cost up to $20—cash only (some clubs, however, mercifully have ATMs—that can charge up to $7 for a withdrawal).

Popular drinks in Miami include the Cuba Libre and the mojito.

  • Rose Bar at the Delano, 1685 Collins Avenue (located in the Delano Hotel), +1 305 672-2000, Days and times open. Created by Ian Schrager, the bar has several rose-colored glasses surrounding it. Drinks are expensive; be prepared to wear out your wallet.
  • Skybar, 1901 Collins Avenue (located at the Shore Club), +1 305 695-3100, Times vary depending on rooms within the Skybar. Consisting of several places in the space behind the Shore Club with whimsical names like the Redroom, the Sandbar and the Rumbar, the Shore Club is tough to get into for people not on the A-list or guests at the hotel. Another hotel creation by Ian Schrager.
  • Mac's Club Deuce, 222 14th Street , +1 305 673-9537. Su-Sa 8AM-5AM. Miami Beach’s oldest bar, founded in 1926, is not as pretentious as several other bars around Miami. An affordable, local hangout with a jukebox and a pool table.
  • M-Bar, 500 Brickell Key Drive (in the Mandarin Oriental), +1 305 913-8288, M-Th, Su 5PM–12AM, F-Sa 5PM-1AM. The M in this bar’s name refers to its martinis, and this bar serves over 250 of them. The dress code is "Miami Chic."
  • Tobacco Road, 626 South Miami Avenue, +1 305 354-1198, M-F 11:30AM-5AM, Sa-Su 12PM-5AM. Jazz and blues are the sounds that you’ll hear in this bar, Miami’s oldest (established in 1912).
  • Laundry Bar, 721 Lincoln Lane North, +1 305 531-7700, Su-Sa 7AM-5AM (alcohol is served beginning at 12PM). The only bar in Miami where you can wash clothes, play pool and get drunk at the same time. Welcomes a mixed crowd of straight and gay people.
  • Mansion, 1235 Washington Avenue, +1 305 532-1525 (fax 305-604-9726), Tu-Su 11PM-5AM. In its heyday back in the 1930s Mansion was a movie theater. The Opium Group, owners of Opium Garden and Privé, bought the nightclub formerly known as Level and converted it into a club with gorgeous surroundings and intimate spaces. The sounds in this club are hip-hop oriented and the scene woefully includes male hipsters in baggy jeans on given nights.
  • Opium Garden and Privé , 136 Collins Avenue (near and across from Big Pink), +1 305 531-5535 (fax 305-604-9726), Th-Su 11PM-5AM (check with website and/or call club for times open). Opium Garden is a lush, Eastern-inspired outdoor space where the best seats around the dance area (most likely playing hip-hop unless it’s around the time of the Winter Music Conference) can be reserved by hipsters wearing jeans (and a dressy shirt to meet up to the club’s minimum dress requirements) while those without tables can sit on a stair-like resting area—exposing you to any rain in the area. Privé is the lounge upstairs where a reservation for a table can cost around $300. Without a table reservation, it’s tougher to get into Privé than Opium Garden.
  • Nikki Beach Miami, 1 Ocean Drive (behind a gray building that houses Pearl Restaurant and Champagne Lounge), +1 305 531-5535 , Teepees and beds surround this outdoor space, which feels smaller in person than it does in television shows and movies such as From Justin to Kelly. This club is infamous for welcoming the likes of minor celebrities such as Brooke Hogan (Hulk Hogan’s daughter and a singer in her own right). Part of a small chain of Nikki Beaches across the world.
  • Barracuda Bar & Grill, 3035 Fuller Street, +1 305 448-1144. Serves beer & wine only, popular local hang-out.
  • Mr. Moe's, 3131 Commodore Plaza, +1 305 442-1114, Renowned sports bar that is popular with college crowds and serves good food.
  • Sand Bar, 3064 Grand Avenue, +1 305 444-5270, Popular with college crowds.
  • Greenstreet Cafe, 3468 Main Highway, +1 305 444-0244, Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bit more upscale but has a fantastic outside seating area for cocktails.

Sleep

Miami is a tourist town and has many hotels located mostly around the airport area and along Miami Beach. High season (fewer rooms, higher prices) is during the winter months of November through February, with summer being the low season. There are a few hostels; all are located in South Beach.

Budget

  • Jazz on South Beach Hostel in Miami, 321 Collins Avenue.
  • Travel Inn Civic Center, 1050 NW 14th Street. This full-service hotel offers everything you need to enjoy leisure travel in Miami at an affordable price. Services include Miami Airport shuttle, Outdoor pool, Spa, Gift shop, Beauty salon, Pharmacy, Onsite restaurant, Fitness center, Massage center and Free wireless internet.
  • South Beach Hostel in Miami, 235 Washington Avenue.

Mid-range

  • Beacon Hotel 720 Ocean Drive. In the heart of South Beach, rooms equipped with Flat Panel LCD TVs, Cable television, IP-Phones with voicemail and data-port features, in-room mini-bar, and wireless high speed Internet access
  • Doral Resort, 4400 NW 87th Ave., The resort features 5 golf courses (host to the PGA Tour since 1962) and five restaurants. The Spa at Doral offers a range of high-end spa luxuries and facilities.
  • The Mutiny Hotel, 2951 South Bayshore Drive is located in the Coconut Grove area in Miami, Florida. The hotel’s 12-story tower sits on Sailboat Bay. The hotel's 120, one and two-bedroom deluxe suites and penthouse suites all have bay or city views.
  • Carlton South Beach Hotel, 1433 Collins Ave., Miami Beach (305)672-5858.
  • Crowne Plaza Miami - Airport, 950 NW LeJeune Road.
  • Embassy Suites Miami - Airport, 3974 NW South River Drive.
  • Summerfield Suites by Wyndham - Airport, 5710 Blue Lagoon Drive.
  • Wyndham Grand Bay Coconut Grove Hotel, 2669 South Bayshore Drive.
  • Kent Hotel - South Beach, 1131 Collins Avenue.
  • InterContinental Miami Airport West, Conveniently close to Miami's business district and the various attractions, which include Coconut Grove and Miami Beach.
  • Don Shula - Hotel & Golf Club, 6842 Main Street, Miami Lakes.
  • Miami El Palacio Sports Hotel, 21485 NW 27th Avenue, +1 305 621-5801. A sports hotel and conference center close to the International Airport, Pro Player Stadium, and Calder Race Course.
  • Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort, 16701 Collins Avenue., An oceanfront resort located midway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami International Airports. Pool, restaurants, and spa all on site.
  • Miami Airport Marriott, 1201 NW LeJeune Road.
  • Marriott South Beach, 161 Ocean Drive, Steeped in art deco splendor and a high energy atmosphere, Marriott is a stylish South Beach luxury hotel in the trendiest corner of America's Riviera.
  • Marriott Biscayne Bay, 305-374-3900. A luxury hotel located in Downtown Miami’s Arts and Entertainment District. Amenities include elegant waterfront accommodations, onsite dining/catering, a heated pool, and event space.

Splurge

  • The Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables. One of Miami's best-known "grand old hotels," most famous for its enormous outdoor swimming pool and attached 18-hole golf course.
  • Four Seasons, 1435 Brickell Avenue. Located in a 66-story gray glass tower in the Brickell business district. Has a large pool deck at the seventh-floor lobby level with a view of Biscayne Bay.
  • The Shore Club Hotel, 1901 Collins Avenue. Hotel features the Beach House, two pools, a spa, the Skybar, Nobu & Ago restaurant, penthouse suites, and meeting facilities.
  • Delano Luxury Hotel, 1685 Collins Avenue. Hotel features the poolside Bungalows, the Blue Door restaurant, the Blue Sea restaurant, the Rose Bar, the Agua Bathhouse, the Water Salon, penthouse suites, and meeting facilities.
  • The Setai, 2001 Collins Avenue. Contemporary Asian style hotel in a reconstructed Deco building. Managed by GHM hotels, operator of the high-end Chedi chain.

Stay safe

The emergency telephone number for fire, police and rescue emergencies is 911. If one requires non-emergency assistance, do not call 911 as that number is reserved for emergencies only. To contact police in a non-emergency situation one may call +1 305 4POLICE. For non-emergency medical or fire situations the number for police will be able to contact these services.

Personal security

Miami, despite being heralded in the news as a center of crime and drug smuggling, is relatively safe for the passing tourist. One should use the same precautions as when traveling anywhere - try not to travel alone, avoid deserted areas at night, etc.

Traveling by day is almost completely innocuous though infrequent purse-snatching does occur in downtown. It is important to note that downtown Miami is quickly becoming increasingly gentrified with the construction of trendy, expensive high-rises and an influx in high-class European and South American buyers.

Some parts of Little Havana, Central Hialeah, and portions of Northern Dade-County, especially around Liberty City and Allpattah, can be especially dangerous due to high crime rates. It is unlikely that tourists would visit these areas since they are mostly residential suburbs and not part of the general attraction of the metropolis.

Public transport operates 24 hours in most tourist destinations and is generally safe at all hours. Waiting for a bus in an isolated area, however, should best be avoided. It is also probably wise to avoid the using the Metrorail north of Downtown Miami after 10PM. Traveling alone anywhere late at night, except for the strip on South Beach, Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, and most western and southern suburbs, is not prudent. Though it is unlikely that much will actually occur, it is better to be safe, especially for a tourist unfamiliar with the geography of Miami.

Most of South Beach (Ocean Drive, Collins, etc.) are frequented by tourists at all hours, even until dawn, and are safe to peruse, as are the 'hot spot' areas of Coconut Grove. However, much of the rest of the Beach is not recommended to traverse after hours, and the beach itself is closed from midnight-5AM. It is not recommended to walk down empty areas of the beach at night, as purse snatching and muggings are known to occur on the beach itself by persons who hide in a nearby area, or walk down the beach behind tourists seemingly acting like another innocent person, slowly approaching the person or couple before attacking randomly. This occurs to locals and tourists, and usually occurs right as tourists decide to take a nighttime walk down the beach.

Brickell Avenue in downtown is mainly safe to frequent at most hours of the night, but downtown is host to a large homeless population and mugging is a possibility especially for a woman.

Also a threat is Grand Avenue, directly adjacent to Coconut Grove. The late Coconut Grove party-goer should never travel Grand Avenue at night by foot or risk being mugged.

Cope

Newspapers

  • Miami Herald, 1 Herald Place, +1 305 350-2111. The city’s main newspaper that is read throughout the city, state and various places such as university libraries across the nation.
  • El Nuevo Herald, 1 Herald Place, +1 305 350-2111. Spanish-language version of the Herald.
  • South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, +1 954 356-4000. News concerning South Florida (including Miami).
  • Miami New Times, 2800 Biscayne Boulevard, +1 305 576-8000 (fax +1 305 571-7677). An alternative, free weekly newspaper which focuses on lesser-known news as well as movies and local events ranging from current theatrical productions to the Winter Music Conference.
  • Miami Today News, 710 Brickell Avenue, +1 305 358-2663. Miami business news.
  • Diario Las Americas, 2900 N.W. 39 Street, +1 305 633-3341 (fax +1 305 635-7668). Spanish-language news focusing on Latin America.
  • Biscayne Times , 9325 Park Drive, Suite C. News concerning Northern Miami communities and some Miami communities located in the city (i.e. the Design District).
  • Miami Living Magazine, 1602 Alton Road, Suite 50, +1 305 538-4282 (fax +1 305 535-6531). Magazine focusing on food and nightlife.
  • Home Miami, 445 North Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, +1 305 673-2112 (email info@homemia.com, fax +1 305 673-2101). Homes for sale and interior design.

Get out

The Port of Miami is a major cruise ship embarkation port.

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