Sunday, October 11, 2015

Travel Diary: Miami South Beach

I recently had a two week vacation in Florida (Miami and Orlando) and the Bahamas and I'm so excited because this means I can continue my Travel Diary series.

I'll be splitting up the recaps by city and first up is South Beach in Miami. I'll be sharing what I ate, where I stayed, what's happening and any tips I picked up. These are not comprehensive guides to the city but merely my reviews and tips of my experience!

Where I Stayed

The hotels in South Beach are pretty pricey starting off around $150CAD per night up to $300CAD per night. I picked Lincoln Arms Suites which is part of the South Beach group. 

The main things that drew me in are
1) free shuttle from airport (this will save you $30USD and runs every hour)
2) no resort fees (most other hotels have an extra $20USD per night for resort fees)

The front desk people were nice but not very helpful. However, what makes this hotel so awesome is the value. Our rooms are HUGE! And it comes with a kitchenette too.

The rate I booked at was $118CAD per night, which is a bargin! I booked it about 7 weeks in advance which is probably why I was able to get such a great price. Also, I collected 10 nights on so I was actually able to get this night for free. The nights never expire, so if you do travel, I'd definitely suggest that you try to book all your hotels with ONE website so you can collect loyalty points.

You do need to pay taxes&fees even for the free night but in total I paid $40CAD for a night's stay in a studio suite which is fantastic! I would definitely recommend this hotel.

Where I Ate

We didn't have too many culinary adventures in South Beach as the CAD was so bad to the USD we decided to be more savvy for this portion of our trip.

We went to Shake Shack in the Lincoln Road Mall which was quite close to our hotel. I surprisingly did not think Shake Shack was all that it's hyped up to be. But for Canadians, it's always fun to visit spots like that.

A more local eatery we went to was Le Sandwicherie. It is very highly rated and features lots of fresh, healthy options. They absolutely loaded our toppings to the brim and everything was fresh. The only things I disliked was that they do not toast the bread so the sandwich is cold.

If we had more time and budget, I would have liked to try these restaurants as well: Yardbird, Joe's Stone Crab , Huahua's Taqueria.

What to Do

We only had an afternoon to explore and we decided to go to the beach. And holy crap is it ever the beach/ocean I've been to! The sandy area stretched for miles and the ocean water is so warm!

So much white sand! It wasn't too crowded which was nice and it's a must do if you are going to be at Miami Beach. We were planning on going to a club but there was a thunderstorm and we got lazy. Some big names are Mansion, Liv, and Mynt.

Other Tips

*Getting from the Port of Miami from South Beach: We asked the hotel for a taxi and we ended up getting a van that was not even a taxi. He charged us a flat rate of $25 which is probably market price but I was not so pleased to ride in a non-taxi car.

* If you are looking for beer/wine, make sure to get it from CVS or a grocery store. We bought a bottle of wine from a liquor store and later realized it was ~$4 more expensive than at CVS

* Although on the map South Beach looks small, it is FAR to walk to places. Each block takes us about 2-3 minutes to walk to. So if you are planning to walk up and down Ocean Drive/Collins Ave, make sure to allocate enough time.

*If you are too lazy to walk, theres a bus that only costs 25 cents. I believe it's called the SoBe local?

So that's about all I have for South Beach! Hope you enjoyed this and if you have any questions, feel free to leave in the comments below! Let me know if you've been to Miami before and what are your favorite things!

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