I have decided to put together series of travel guides called Travel Like a Pro for sharing my travel experiences. The first one of the series is Travel Like Completing a Puzzle – Miami Travel Tips. I wanted to start with Miami as it has been one of the most touristic locations across the world. Moreover, unique beaches and non-stop nightlife of Miami Beach is so charming that it prevents visitors from discovering the area. Of course, I am not going to leave nightlife and beaches out of my guide either. However, I would like to focus on the neighborhoods I liked the most.
In these travel series, I will focus more on the neighborhood and general information. Once I finish these, I will create top-ten lists for different categories and purposes.
Before jumping into specifics about Miami, I would like to point out the importance of the time of the year. During summer time, Miami gets too hot which is nearly impossible to enjoy day time due to unbearable humidity. Right after hot summer, the famous “hurricane season” starts. Believe me, it’s not fun to experience horrible weather in Miami. I believe that spring is the best time to visit the area to enjoy the beautiful Miami Scene.
Additionally, I must mention that your experience would be much better if you speak Spanish as its primary language spoken. The whole area makes you feel more like you are wondering around in a Cuban city than an American state.
Let’s start by discovering the most well-known areas of Miami that you must see including Miami Beach and Downtown, etc.
Miami Travel Tips – Miami Beach
One of the most significant islands with an amazing beach starts from the south point to all the way north. Miles-long beach is always a good option for tourists who are seeking summer vacations to enjoy beautiful ocean blue. Although the beach consists the huge part of it, attractive part of Miami Beach is not limited to its shores. In my opinion, if you are having a short trip, it’s the best that you enjoy the beach & sun to the fullest as you can rarely have this opportunity.
Honestly, I don’t really like the settlement of the city itself. If the city wasn’t labeled “Miami”, I don’t think it’d be this popular. Let me briefly explain what I don’t like about it. I certainly believe that Miami Beach doesn’t have certain characteristics. In the South, there are numerous high-rise buildings while one or two-story houses lined up just few blocks away. If you go to the beach on the East, there are major Hotel Buildings standing next to each other. It feels like a touristic vacation spot trying to become a major city. Anyways, it’s time to get into fun stuff about the region.
No doubt, Miami Beach is a place of rhythm with its lively restaurants, bars, and nightclubs offering limitless fun. The most significant characteristic of Miami Beach is whether you’re alone or with a group, you can easily blend in. As most of the crowd in the Beach is on-the-go, everyone is looking to meet new people. Although it sounds like fun, sometimes it can become overwhelming if you are looking to enjoy a little company.
In Miami Beach, there are few must-see touristic locations giving actual Miami sense such as Ocean Dr., Lincoln Rd. Mall. However, you need to explore beyond this! Let me start with Ocean Dr. as it’s the most popular destination in the Beach. Walking down the road, you have the sandy beach on your one side and countless restaurants, bars, and hotels on the other side. Just like any other touristic area, you might be aware not to get ripped off by overpriced food & drinks. Most restaurants in the area has huge portions for share option including outstanding food mixture. For sure, you would like to enjoy this amazing food and the scene with a gigantic cocktail.
Lincoln Road Mall is also very similar to Ocean Drive. Just like the name states, it’s simply an outdoor mall lined up on a road. There are hundreds of restaurants offering sidewalk seating for visitors. Sometimes, it’s just get crazy by being approached by the hostesses trying to convince you to choose their place, but it’s the beauty of it. There are few places that have met the international fame and you might never see unoccupied like Pizza Rustica. Yes, it’s worth to eat a slice of Pizza there! Besides restaurants, there are also many stores for you to enjoy outdoor shopping experience.
If you’re looking for good food and cozier area, my suggestion would be the Espanola Way, only few blocks away. I think the Espanola Way is much livelier and Europe-like. In my opinion, the restaurants here offer better food than most of the places in the Miami Beach.
Do you need more than just restaurants and cafés? Do not forget to visit the Jungle Island which is right by the bridge going to Miami Downtown. As its name states, it is a zoo with different species being presented.
Miami Travel Tips – Downtown Miami
In order to explain Miami Downtown better, we need to break it down to different neighborhood which already have worldwide recognition such as Wynwood, Design District, and Brickell. The most important thing for the Miami Downtown Neighborhood is each area is completely different than the other.
I think my favorite neighborhood is Brickell as its being newly built in comparison to its neighborhoods. The number of high-rises in Brickell would probably compete with most of the metropolises across the globe. Great portion of these are high-rise buildings serve for corporate companies while some of them serve as hotels. Although hotels in Brickell Miami focus on business people, they are still highly suitable for leisure purposes. Out of all the options, the best hotel in Brickell Miami is East Hotel for sure. East Hotel takes a place in one of the Brickell City Centre Towers. Brickell City Centre is a high-end shopping mall offering outstanding style and variety for shoppers. In this area, there are many luxurious restaurants and bars. Worldwide known Saltbae’s restaurant Nusr’et Steakhouse has recently opened up a branch in Miami Brickell. Saltbae is stepping up his game and spreading fame across the world.
Downtown area is more about nightlife and residential places in the northern part. The Downtown area is home for Miami’s most visited nightclubs such as Hearth, Space, and Club 11. Simply, if you are looking for a non-stop night out, Downtown is a definite place to visit for you. If you go to Southern part of Downtown, you might likely to see more business centers, banks, and other attractions. There are numerous different landmarks and areas interest people too. No doubt, Miami Heat’s Stadium, Bayside Marketplace, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science would be on the list.
If you are interested in Science, you cannot miss out the opportunity on seeing Museum of Science. Check out the official website for upcoming events that you might be interesting.
Definitely, when you ask locals where to hang out, the most common answer will be Wynwood. Wynwood has already reached to great deal of visitors with its unique Graffiti’s taking place every street in the area. Even if you don’t do anything special, taking a long walk around the area will become a great experience. You will be certainly amazed with graffiti-covered walls by highly talented artists. It’s a unique place to hang out though not every street is lively and charming as others. In addition to its style, Wynwood also offers outstanding cafés, shops, and nightclubs. Nightclubs in Wynwood are much relaxed and way cheaper than nightclubs in Downtown. However, the style of the music also shows difference according to its style. You are likely to hear more Spanish and Hip-hop music in the Wynwood clubs & bars.
SEE ALSO: Las Vegas Travel Guide for Students
Miami Travel Tips – Design District
This artificial neighborhood has been formed to welcome modern architecture, high-end design stores, art galleries, etc. Can you recall any high-end fashion brand advertising? A lady walks out of a fancy shop with diamonds on, walking down the street with a great smile. Yes, Miami Design District is exactly like that place on commercials. Expensive cars passing by, people window shop on worldwide-known & high-class brand stores.
Whether you like shopping or not, I certainly think that the design district is a-must-see place in Miami. You can also get more information about the event on their official website.
Miami Travel Tips – Little Havana
There is not much to explain about this neighborhood. Although I haven’t had a chance to visit Cuba YET, I’m sure this is how it’d make me feel. Cuban restaurants are on the side of the street with live music going on. On the other side you can see a Salsa Club where hundreds of people matching up to enjoy their nights. You see chicken statues on the sidewalks.
I have had a chance to try a few restaurants here and I really loved the food. I don’t know if it’s because of the music, but you’re always in the mood to enjoy your time here. So, if you have time, you should certainly visit the neighborhood and enjoy some Spanish culture!
Of course, Miami is not all about only 4 districts. However, these are the primary neighborhoods that I preferred to include in my Miami Travel Tips article. Even discovering these districts will take a lot of time, so make sure you plan before going one after another. I finish my article here, but as I promised in the beginning of the article I will start creating top-ten places to visit and publish them as soon as possible.
Now jump on the plane and enjoy Miami to the fullest!