Miami Journals

A Week in Miami

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A May 2011 trip to Miami by Joy S

Miami skyline Photo, Miami, Florida More Photos
Quote: We spent a week in beautiful Miami, exploring the different neighbourhoods in this unique city and taking a day trip to the Everglades

Overview and Highlights

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Story/Tip

Miami skyline Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
Sunny Florida skies, buzzing nightlife, the rhythm of Cuban culture and celebrity drenched South Beach - this is Miami.Miami has a hedonistic reputation. There are lots of nightclubs, blaring Latino beats and steamy weather with plenty of neon swimsuits. Look beyond all this though, and there is a cultural side - South Beach has some of the best Art Deco architecture in the world and there is a great local arts scene.Miami is a young city. It is hard to believe that little more than 100 years ago, it was a citrus farming town surrounded by mosquito infested swampland. Today it is thriving and multi-cultural and is said to be the most Latin city in the world, north of Mexico...Read More

Tips and Hints

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Story/Tip

Quote:
* Hurricane season is June to November. Ideal weather conditions exist between December and May with average temperatures ranging from 16 to 30 degrees centigrade and not much rainfall. Summer tends to be hot and humid with afternoon thunderstorms. August is the rainiest and hottest time and you have most chance of a hurricane. It is rare for hurricanes to hit Miami, but not unheard of. During the summer, temperatures can top 90 degrees fahrenheit and there are lots of mosquitoes.* Pack swimwear and light cover up to take you from the beach to the cafes. Wear high factor sunscreen even if it is cloudy and have a hat and comfortable sandals or flip-flops (the only thing I wore). Abov...Read More

Residence Inn Miami Airport South

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Hotel | "Residence Inn by Marriott, Miami Airport"

Residence Inn Miami Airport South  Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
We decided to stay here on our first night in Miami. We had flown in from Europe, jet lag and inflated South Beach hotel prices on a Saturday night contributed to this decision, but it was a good one. We thought this hotel was a great place to crash out and get a good night's sleep before starting to explore Miami.The hotel has a shuttle bus to and from the airport which runs constantly. We did not have to wait and caught the bus straightaway, as soon as we left the terminal building.Check-in was a bit slow, the queue was long and the receptionist seemed to take an excessive amount of time, but we got there in the end. Staff were not particularly friendly or helpful....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 21, 2011

Residence Inn Miami Airport South
1201 NW 42nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33126
(305) 642-8570

Gray Line Miami Hop-on Hop-off Tour

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Attraction | "Hop On / Hop Off Bus Tour of Miami"

Gray Line Miami Hop-on Hop-off Tour Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
We booked this tour on-line before we left the UK and were glad we had done so - it was a great way to see Miami's most popular sights in one day. You can get on and off at different locations throughout Miami and South Beach - there are 21 stops in total. It is useful for avoiding getting lost and means you do not have to look for parking spaces. It enables you to create your own itinerary and see what you find interesting. Most buses have air-conditioning and low floors, the windows are large and the door entrances are wide. The narration is also by live guides, which I much prefer. There was a pick-up point right in front of our hotel - Loews on South Beach. The bus went from her...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2011

Gray Line Miami Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Miami, Florida

Coral Gables

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Story/Tip

Biltmore Hotel Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
This part of Miami is famous for its wide boulevards lined with magnificient Mediterranean style mansions, coral rock pool, graceful fountains, tropical gardens, quaint shops and charming restaurants.It is a very wealthy and luxurious area with a strong emphasis on conformity. The houses are large and beautiful and come with a lot of rules attached. Your grass has to be a certain length; your garage door is only allowed to be open half an hour at a time; for sale signs outside the property are to be no larger than a postcard; trees either side of the road must be the same type - the list goes on. Breaking the rules means a fine is imposed. The Venetian Pool has cascading wa...Read More

Little Havana

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Attraction

Little Havana Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
The impact on Miami by Cubans is huge. They are the largest and most visible ethnic group in the city. The initial home of Miami Cubans was a few miles west of Downtown, in what became known as Little Havana.They say that if you have never been to Cuba, come here, and you will have come close. The sounds, tastes, smells and rhythms are all reminiscent of Cuba.Predominantly a working class area, it is the core today of Miami's Hispanic community. Many successful Cuban Americans have moved elsewhere in the city to be replaced by immigrants from other parts of Central America, especially Nicaragua.Spanish is the language that predominates - street signs are in Engl...Read More

Little Havana
Miami River, Sw 11th Street, Sw 22nd Ave. And I-95
Miami, Florida

Island Queen Cruises

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Attraction | "Island Queen Cruise Around Star Island"

Island Queen Cruises Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
We booked this cruise on-line - a fully narrated, bilingual sightseeing cruise along Biscayne Bay and around Star Island. During the 90 minutes onboard, you get to see Miami's spectacular coastal sights, including the Downtown skyline, the Port of Miami, Fisher Island and Millionaire's Row - homes of the rich and famous.The yacht was very modern and had the capacity to take up to 140 passengers. There was an air-conditioned lower area with picture windows and an upper deck which was open-air.Island Queen Cruises is inside Bayside Marketplace - through the main entrace and straight towards the water. The ticket booth is near the music stage in the centre of the mall, next to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 23, 2011

Island Queen Cruises
401 Biscayne Boulevard (in Bayside Marketplace)
Miami, Florida
(305) 379-5119

Bayside Marketplace

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Attraction

Bayside Marketplace Photo, Miami, Florida
Quote:
Bayside Marketplace is next to the marina where the Island Queen cruise around Biscayne Bay leaves from. It can be explored either before or after the cruise, depending on timings. It is an open air marketplace with everything from chain stores to local trinket and shell shops. You can souvenir hunt while enjoying the waterfront view. The complex wraps around the banks of Biscayne Bay. It opened in 1987 and was frequently featured on Miami Vice.When we were there, there was a band playing on the main stage. Apparently this is not always the case, but there are always plenty of street performers. It is also nice to just sit by the water and watch the boats go by.There are...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 24, 2011

Bayside Marketplace
Fourth and Biscayne Blvd
Miami, Florida 33133
(305) 577-3344

Everglades Alligator Farm

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Attraction

Everglades Alligator Farm Photo, Everglades National Park, Florida
Quote:
The alligator farm is located on the outskirts of Everglades National Park. It took us about an hour to drive here from South Beach, and was easy to find using sat nav.The farm gives you a great taste of South Florida's alligator filled wilderness. There are more than 3,000 alligators and crocodiles in pens or breeding ponds. Trainers wrestle alligators and display colourful, exotic snakes. Entrance was $21 each for us and $9 for our son. The farm is in Homestead and is open daily 9am until 6pm. We arrived at midday and left just after 3:30.It started here as a family owned attraction and became a commercial alligator farm in 1985. At this time alligators were facing ext...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 25, 2011

Everglades Alligator Farm
40351 Southwest 192nd Avenue
Everglades National Park, Florida 33034
(305) 247-2628

About the Writer

Joy S

Joy S
Manchester, United Kingdom