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      08-21-2015, 02:05 PM   #1
Alfisti
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Advice on Miami

Mrs and i have our 10 year anniversary coming up as well as a second sprog on the way so are looking to head somewhere warmish for a quick 4 or 5 day getaway. Mrs chose Miami which sounds as good as anywhere frankly.

We will have three full days tops, maybe as little as two. Any advice on where to stay and what to do? To be more accurate, i am struggling to get my head around where it would be nice to stroll around, as in is it downtown or Miami beach and if so, where do the good times end and the shifty neighbourhoods start?

We cannot walk forever as she is getting kind of round but a few hours a day is doable.

I was thinking finding a place somewhere in Miami beach that is walking distance to a beach then take it from there. If i keep it that simple though, where does "strolability" begin and end?
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      08-21-2015, 02:21 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your anniversary. Miami is an awesome place full of energy, but it isn't for everyone by a long shot. You've been warned to do your research on spots and set expectations properly before arriving. If you're looking for pricey hotels, expensive drinks and nightclubs you'll feel at home in South Beach. Fort Lauderdale Beach / Las Olas area might be more your rhyme otherwise.

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      08-21-2015, 02:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
Mrs and i have our 10 year anniversary coming up as well as a second sprog on the way so are looking to head somewhere warmish for a quick 4 or 5 day getaway. Mrs chose Miami which sounds as good as anywhere frankly.

We will have three full days tops, maybe as little as two. Any advice on where to stay and what to do? To be more accurate, i am struggling to get my head around where it would be nice to stroll around, as in is it downtown or Miami beach and if so, where do the good times end and the shifty neighbourhoods start?

We cannot walk forever as she is getting kind of round but a few hours a day is doable.

I was thinking finding a place somewhere in Miami beach that is walking distance to a beach then take it from there. If i keep it that simple though, where does "strolability" begin and end?
You want to stay in Miami Beach, There's plenty of places to walk around and keep the wife happy like Lincoln Rd, you will also be about 20min driving distance from Wynwood (arts district) lots to see and great eats..
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      08-21-2015, 02:52 PM   #4
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Yeah if you want to stay in Miami Beach and walk I would say any place near Lincoln rd would work.
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      08-21-2015, 03:26 PM   #5
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South beach is noisy. I would go a little bit to the North. Also it's all up to your budget. If you guys like the beach front I would suggest the Ritz at south beach. A little bit north you have the Palms hotel and spa and Trump international hotel at North Miami and then ther is the Diplomat. You need to go to Las olas which is south ft lauderdale and to hollywood blvd. Also I would recommend Del Rey. Driving north on A1A and us1 is really relaxing and fun. Lots of scenery. If you guys have time hit key west and sleep at least one night there or on one of the keys like Marathon. West from Miami you won't find much other than houses and shopping. Fort Lauderdale is a very fun area. Lots of good dining, bars and balance between Miamai beach and full relaxing. Go to Key biscayne and have a Cuban coffee downtown Miami. Driving around Hialeah, little habana, calle 8 is fun but could be too much. Park the car somewhere in downtown and hit bayside and the stadium. South from Miami downtown there is not much. It all depends on your budget and time. If you feel adventureous then hit one of the Orlando parks. And you will be exhausted for one year. Go work earn some money and come back. Good luck

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      08-21-2015, 06:29 PM   #6
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I'd say part of it depends on budget and part of it depends on types of activity / how late you want to stay out. South Beach was great when I was in my 20's got old by my 30's and is a place to avoid in my 40's. It is very young and not really for the conservative type. It is a really late night place. It is expensive unless you stay in a crap hotel (and there are plenty of those).

If that isn't for you, I'd say further north on the beach or Ft. Lauderdale may be better spots if you want to be walking distance to a beach. As suggested above, Las Olas is also nice and only a short ride to a beach. When I stay in Miami (for business) I normally stay at the Colonnade in Coral Gables because there are dozens of restaurants within walking distance (not much else though, and beach is a good ride away).

It's been a while since I lived in Miami and I haven't spent much time in the newer revitalized areas of town like midtown and Brickell. They may also be worth investigating. Both impress me to be younger crowds as well, but I'm not entirely sure.

Finally, there are some nice spots in Aventura and Hollywood near Dade / Broward line but you'll need to be selective. There are some older places in Hollywood and Aventura is pretty congested. Hope this helps.

BTW when is this trip? It is hot as shit here now. November through March are really the best months weather-wise.
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      08-22-2015, 08:03 AM   #7
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Happy Anniversary! Congratulations too on your years of wedded bliss. I wish you many, many more lovely years together.

I don't know Miami well enough to suggest a "regular" place. I can say that if you want a really nice place to stay, check out the lower priced offerings you'll find here: http://www.thetopvillas.com/miami/. I've rented booked with them for several vacations. They've been quite accommodating, everything from maid service, cooks, transportation, you name it.

Surprisingly, the cost (at the low end) is comparable to a high-end hotel, but what you get in return blows places like the Ritz or Four Seasons out of the water. Take a look at this property: http://www.thetopvillas.com/miami-41/ . For ~$3200-$4000 (~$500-$600/night) for a week, look at what you get.









If you want something that's one block off the beach (across the street from Heritage Park -- they may even have a free outdoor concert while you are there), check out this flat: http://www.thetopvillas.com/miami-36/ .






I'm not at all suggesting that it's inexpensive; ~3800/week isn't. There are less pricey places to stay. By all means, if you don't want to do the "luxury thing" on your trip, you can have a perfectly good time nonetheless. It's your anniversary and the company not the accommodations is going to make it wonderful.

Of course Top Villas aren't the only service of their kind; they're just one I'm familiar with and have found to have what I was looking for on a few occasions. I don't have a reason to prefer one over another; it just depends on who has a property available where I want one on the dates I want it.

Sometimes booking a vacation apartment/house leaves one entirely on one's own in a strange place, and that can be daunting, particularly where one doesn't speak the language (or speak it well). That isn't going to be so in Miami for you, but even so, getting good "411" on where to go, along with having a local (usually the cook and/or the driver if you arrange for them) on hand for "whatever" is a blessing.

I especially like having a local cook or driver because unlike the "concierges" at hotels (or even with the vacation rental services), cooks and drivers don't presume I want to spend "an arm and a leg" on everything every time I want something. I'm never disappointed with the input I get when I ask them, "Where would you go if you wanted....?" I can't tell you how often questions like that have landed me in the most charming restaurants and/or bars and clubs, interesting places to visit that I'd never have found on my own, quaint little boutiques, even just nice places to hang out or take a stroll.

Well, anyway, that's my suggestion. Make of it what you will. I'm sure you'll have a lovely trip whatever you do, and no matter where you stay.

All the best.
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      08-22-2015, 11:24 AM   #8
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Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! What's your secret?

Miami Beach is a good destination. These are some areas you may want to consider when booking your hotel. Lincoln Rd (17th St) area is touristy and there is an outdoor mall there with several good cafes and restaurants. Espanola Way is another street a few blocks south of Lincoln Rd that is a nice place to check out as well.

South Pointe (southern most area on Miami Beach) is another, less touristy area and has a nice park behind the Smith & Wollensky. This is also where the cruise ships enter and leave Miami's port. You could set up a romantic picnic here .

Bayside in Downtown Miami is also another popular destination. It's another outdoor mall with several restaurants and a nice marina. I would not recommend going more than a few blocks west at nightime from this location.

Brickell is another area that is more common for residents and people on business trips being that it's the financial district of Miami. In this area, there is a special location called Brickell Key which is my favorite location for walking, strolling, and exercise. The views are the best in Miami, IMO. You get amazing views of the city skyline, Key Biscayne (another location you should check out), and the Biscayne Bay as you walk the key. The entire walk takes about 30 mins.
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      08-22-2015, 12:03 PM   #9
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Miami Beach-

South Beach / Ocean Dr / Collins Ave towards Ocean dr
Lincoln Rd
Espanola Way
Star Island / Hibiscus Island (Just to see)

Miami -
Brickell / Bayside
Wynwood / Midtown / Miami Design District
Coral Gables / Village at Merrick Park / Biltmore / Coconut Grove

Key Biscayne


Google all of these things and see what you like... all of these areas are very safe. I would say Miami all in is very safe in the touristry areas. Ghetto is overtown, downtown and moving towards FT lauderdale / west of I95.
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      08-22-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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Where to you stay depends on how much you want to spend. But if you want to be within walking distance of everything, I definitely say south beach is the place to stay.

Some of my favorites are ritz carlton, loews, setai, raleigh, and delano. All of these are a little pricey but that keeps the younger crowd out. The trump is nice but there is not much in the area worth seeing.

Definitely make reservations for prime 112 for dinner one night too.
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      08-22-2015, 01:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by direwolfM3 View Post
Where to you stay depends on how much you want to spend. But if you want to be within walking distance of everything, I definitely say south beach is the place to stay.

Some of my favorites are ritz carlton, loews, setai, raleigh, and delano. All of these are a little pricey but that keeps the younger crowd out. The trump is nice but there is not much in the area worth seeing.

Definitely make reservations for prime 112 for dinner one night too.
Ritz Carlton- super overpriced.
Loews- sucks in many ways
Prime 112- typical South Beach expensive rip-off. $250 or more for dinner for 2. Good though but I prefer Red for steak.

I agree with staying in South Beach but find a boutique hotel not one of the chains. For dinner consider A Fish called Avalon, casa tua, front porch (breakfast), cafe Prima Pasta (north beach where locals eat so reasonably priced). Lincoln Road is nice for shopping and hanging out at night but do not eat there total tourist trap. Consider going to bayside marketplace in miami for boat ride. Touristy but a fun thing to do once. Definitely check out Espanola Way at night.
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      08-22-2015, 01:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaster400 View Post
Ritz Carlton- super overpriced.
Loews- sucks in many ways
Prime 112- typical South Beach expensive rip-off. $250 or more for dinner for 2. Good though but I prefer Red for steak.

I agree with staying in South Beach but find a boutique hotel not one of the chains. For dinner consider A Fish called Avalon, casa tua, front porch (breakfast), cafe Prima Pasta (north beach where locals eat so reasonably priced). Lincoln Road is nice for shopping and hanging out at night but do not eat there total tourist trap. Consider going to bayside marketplace in miami for boat ride. Touristy but a fun thing to do once. Definitely check out Espanola Way at night.
Well overpriced is all relative. Hotels in Miami are relatively more expensive then other parts of the country. I agree some boutique hotels are nice and have a certain charm but keep in mind they were built in the 1930's and 1940's so the rooms are usually incredibly small. Service also, at these hotels is not the greatest. Ill pay a little extra for the service any day. Also, the hotels that I mentioned all have their own beach access, which is a huge plus for me.

As far as restaurants go, eating out in south beach is pricey just about everywhere and there are probably better places then prime 112. But prime 112 is such a "south beachy" place to go; that its worth going if you've never been. Joe's stone crabs is another such place to try.
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      08-22-2015, 01:59 PM   #13
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There are also huge differences in hotel prices now vs. winter.

Edit: Also, Joe's is not open all year round.
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      08-22-2015, 02:12 PM   #14
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It's only worth going to Joe's during stone crab season.
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      08-22-2015, 02:21 PM   #15
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There is an event called Miami Spice going on until the end of September. They feature 50+ upper tier restaurants in the Miami area where you are treated to a three course lunch or dinner at very affordable prices. Check out the website and see which restaurants will be by your hotel and check out their reviews.

http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/speci...mi-spice-month
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      08-22-2015, 03:43 PM   #16
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There is an event called Miami Spice going on until the end of September. They feature 50+ upper tier restaurants in the Miami area where you are treated to a three course lunch or dinner at very affordable prices. Check out the website and see which restaurants will be by your hotel and check out their reviews.

http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/speci...mi-spice-month
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      08-22-2015, 03:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickFLM4 View Post
Also, Joe's is not open all year round.
Joes is closed until October 15th. Another fun place to go is Smith & Wollensky. It is located right at the tip of South Beach on the water. On Friday nights the cruise ships go right by your window as you look out over government cut to Fisher Island. Very cool.
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      08-24-2015, 09:56 AM   #18
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Thanks very much for all the responses, sorry for the delay in replying but I was busy all weekend.

OK you guys are freaking me out. I have always loathed the douche scene, even in my late teens and 20's I avoided clubs like the plague, as we get older we end up in lounges of course but i find it just as obnoxious. Anyone stay at the Thompson in Toronto? Yeah, that's what i mean, nothing but fucking posers. I grew up on a farm ffs, i ain't got no time for that.

The mrs on the other hand, is your typical white woman, every now and then wants to do something a little ... i dunno ... cool i suppose. The brother in law and her sister are childless and he's a flat out metrosexual so loves lounges and expensive cocktails, i just want to watch Indycar. In any case, she feeds off of that a little and wants to do a little of that for this trip, mind you she's really starting to show so gonna be a bit hard to look cool

So sounds like south beach doesn't it, maybe hit the beach one day, grab a nice dinner, find a roof top bar then the next day maybe stroll around a bit.

I am gonna spend $300 a night on a hotel aren't I. Bleh. By the time I factor in flights, hotel, food, drinks and the exchange we are out near $4K. Fantastic. i'd prefer to spend that on renting a nice car (say a Boxster S for some topless fun) and driving somewhere nice but Toronto sucks arse for "somewhere nice", there really is nowhere to go.

I guess I just need to narrow it down to a place that allows us to walk to the beach as well as stroll about a little, I don't want to be in an area that is too quiet.
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      08-24-2015, 10:49 AM   #19
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If you want to avoid the club scene, I'd recommend Fort Lauderdale beach or Florida Keys over Miami. I'm not a huge fan of Miami.

You don't have to go all the way to the bottom of the Key West, there are nice places about half way down.
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      08-24-2015, 11:12 AM   #20
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If you want to avoid the club scene, I'd recommend Fort Lauderdale beach or Florida Keys over Miami. I'm not a huge fan of Miami.

You don't have to go all the way to the bottom of the Key West, there are nice places about half way down.
OMG! I don't think even at my somewhat advanced age I could see myself actually being in Miami and not partying and taking in a bit of the club scene. It's one of the best party places in U.S.; it may be the best.

To each his own, of course. I'm sure there are folks who don't like the 'club scene' but, Lord, don't let me get stuck in Miami with them.

All the best.
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      08-24-2015, 11:16 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti
Thanks very much for all the responses, sorry for the delay in replying but I was busy all weekend.

OK you guys are freaking me out. I have always loathed the douche scene, even in my late teens and 20's I avoided clubs like the plague, as we get older we end up in lounges of course but i find it just as obnoxious. Anyone stay at the Thompson in Toronto? Yeah, that's what i mean, nothing but fucking posers. I grew up on a farm ffs, i ain't got no time for that.

The mrs on the other hand, is your typical white woman, every now and then wants to do something a little ... i dunno ... cool i suppose. The brother in law and her sister are childless and he's a flat out metrosexual so loves lounges and expensive cocktails, i just want to watch Indycar. In any case, she feeds off of that a little and wants to do a little of that for this trip, mind you she's really starting to show so gonna be a bit hard to look cool

So sounds like south beach doesn't it, maybe hit the beach one day, grab a nice dinner, find a roof top bar then the next day maybe stroll around a bit.

I am gonna spend $300 a night on a hotel aren't I. Bleh. By the time I factor in flights, hotel, food, drinks and the exchange we are out near $4K. Fantastic. i'd prefer to spend that on renting a nice car (say a Boxster S for some topless fun) and driving somewhere nice but Toronto sucks arse for "somewhere nice", there really is nowhere to go.

I guess I just need to narrow it down to a place that allows us to walk to the beach as well as stroll about a little, I don't want to be in an area that is too quiet.
When are you planning this trip?
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      08-24-2015, 01:52 PM   #22
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Any time in the next two months.
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