Come for the beaches and palm trees, leave because you sweat too much.
I’ve always wondered why Will Smith devoted an entire 90’s chart topper to Miami, and last week I finally got my chance to check out to South Beach. It was snowing back home in Colorado, so 90 degrees with a little humidity wasn’t so bad.
What We Liked: I’m a big fan of an “urban” feel to a city, and Miami has an endless supply of hi-rise buildings. You can get lost in the jungle of 40 story condos and offices, but each is unique and gives a modern feel to the city.
We stayed in downtown Miami, but if you’re visiting find a way to stay in South Beach. It’s worth a couple extra bucks to be able to walk to the beach. Lincoln Road Mall is a great place for shops and food, and is right down the street from the beach. It reminded me a lot of some European cities (for those who have been to Barcelona, think Ramblas), and the restaurants are very nondescript in a good way. You can stroll on that street for a few hours and duck into any restaurant based off the menu on the street (eliminating Yelp reviews, thank God).
What We Didn’t Like: Miami is VERY congested, so be prepared for traffic. And car horns. They honk. All day. All night. 7 days a week. Guess that comes with the urban vibe I love?
What We’ll Do Next Time: Given our proximity to Cuba I was looking forward to some good Cuban food and neighborhoods. We had an authentic Cuban dinner at Islas Canarias, and if you go you have to get the baked plantains and ham croquetas. Great food, but next time I’ll be heading to Old Espanola Way in South Beach. We only drove by, but from what I saw it looked like an old world Havana street. Need to get back there to get some salsa dancing in.
Also on my next visit I’ll be practicing my Spanish. No question about it Spanish is the primary language in Miami. Don’t want to look like a Gringo anymore.
All in all a good, albeit sweaty, visit to Miami. Maybe next time I’ll run into Lebron (he'll probably flop).