Miami

We're travelers here. Tourists can be found on that other board.
Post Reply
Cyllarus
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 2805
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:39 pm

Miami

Post by Cyllarus » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:47 pm

First time visit and will be there mid-December for a week. Spending time with my sister who works in the Caribbean but is in Miami for medical treatments.

Have booked a car and thinking of some relaxing drives with her - Key Largo is hour away and Everglades National Park should be doable. Any suggestions for nice drives of no more than couple hours (her treatments are early morning) from Miami? Staying in apartment near Dadeland Mall.

Gracias

User avatar
VinnyD
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 68442
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: Miami

Post by VinnyD » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:05 pm

Not a drive, but Vizcaya, a mansion and garden, is worth a visit for anyone who has the misfortune to be spending a week in Miami. Do the Everglades twice, at least.

Cyllarus
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 2805
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:39 pm

Re: Miami

Post by Cyllarus » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:16 pm

Thanks Vinny.

Why a misfortune to visit Miami? Is it any worse than other North American big cities?

BeatRaven
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 13675
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:27 pm

Re: Miami

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:52 pm

Rod and Gun Club is a very atmospheric tourist trap to eat in at the everglades.

The famous Haitian restaurant located just outside the Art Deco area is the best Haitian food I've had on 3 continents.

User avatar
twodogs
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 9006
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:21 pm

Re: Miami

Post by twodogs » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:01 pm

We like Shark Valley. You can walk, ride a bike or take the tram. Try to go Monday thru Thursday to avoid crowds. Afternoons are better than morning.

https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/svdirections.htm

RF Orchids has tours on weekends.

http://rforchids.com/

Alabama Jacks is still pretty good.

Image

I learned to swim near there, my dad just tossed me in the canal. I didn't think I was ever going to get out of that sack and those damn kittens didn't make it any easier.
More irrational spitefulness coming from twodogs...

User avatar
VinnyD
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 68442
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: Miami

Post by VinnyD » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:13 pm

Not a big fan of Florida other than the Everglades, Cyllarus.

Yes, one day at Shark Valley and one or two on the road that goes to Flamingo (both in Everglades National Park). If your sister is fit for biking, reserve bikes for Shark Valley ahead of time. You may also have to reserve places on the tram ahead of time.

I take it you will be in Miami proper, not Miami Beach, so you will want to see South Beach and maybe the OTT Morris Lapidus hotels at the other end, the Fontainebleu and the Eden Roc.

Cyllarus
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 2805
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:39 pm

Re: Miami

Post by Cyllarus » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:59 pm

Thanks all for the tips.

User avatar
twodogs
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 9006
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:21 pm

Re: Miami

Post by twodogs » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:06 pm

These guys to a good jet ski tour. Afternoons are better than mornings and avoid weekends.

https://www.keyswatersports.com/
More irrational spitefulness coming from twodogs...

BeatRaven
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 13675
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:27 pm

Re: Miami

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:29 pm

If you want to burn some $100 bills, Hakkasan -the best Chinese Food in the world- is at the very 60's Ratpack-ish Fountainbleu.

And of course: Stone Crab Claws.

User avatar
cummy
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 9728
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:17 pm

Re: Miami

Post by cummy » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:06 am

VinnyD wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:05 pm
the misfortune to be spending a week in Miami.
+1. i hate that place. but yet i visit at least once a month. cuz family.

miami is a third world country. well, it's more like fifth world. driving is scary. there are no road rules. and NO ONE uses the car turn signals. no one has any manners or common decency. i find that shocking and appalling. any level of service, well, that just doesn't exist. and it's hot. always hot.

if you can get over the above points, then you might enjoy it. if you're at dadeland, then you can make a quick visit to nearby coconut grove - for a stroll, a coffee and/or a meal. there will be some manners and decency here.

then you can venture to miami beach. see the beautifully maintained art deco hotels along ocean drive. stop and have lunch anywhere along here - and fight the tourists. then head to lincoln road mall for a nice stroll - and a coffee or lunch.

you also also drive to key biscayne. there are nice beaches along there. bill baggs state park is a beach/park at the southern tip of key biscayne.

all of the above can be done with uber.

i will actually be flying to miami on december 16. but i will be staying at a nice hotel on the beach just north of palm beach. palm beach is much nicer.

User avatar
Mike Hunt
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Miami

Post by Mike Hunt » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:43 pm

Go to Miami Beach, walk around for 45 minutes. You've now seen it. Go to Cuba town and eat good Cuban food (i.e. overall mediocre food).

Then rent a car and drive as fast as you can up 95 out of town.

User avatar
2wilzgood
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 15354
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:51 pm

Re: Miami

Post by 2wilzgood » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:48 pm

The last time (1987) I was in Florida I said aloud,

"Never again."

Since then Hiaasen is as close as I've been.

Hideous.

You'll see.
I used to feel empathy for the poor. Now I just want them all to die. - ScottBaio
You will die like a dog for no good reason. - Hemingway
My efforts here are wasted. - wilz

User avatar
VinnyD
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 68442
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: Miami

Post by VinnyD » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:01 pm

Little Havana was a disappointment. Pretty much every city in the US has a Hispanic neighborhood that is at least as interesting.

User avatar
Mike Hunt
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Miami

Post by Mike Hunt » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:30 pm

I agree.

I understand why people of a certain inclination would love Miami, and there's nothing wrong with the place. It's just not for me. But it beats, say, Melbourne Beach, or Orlando.

Cyllarus
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 2805
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:39 pm

Re: Miami

Post by Cyllarus » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:16 pm

Well, I'll go with low expectations and maybe will be surprised.

BeatRaven
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 13675
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:27 pm

Re: Miami

Post by BeatRaven » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:28 pm

It's not falling down great-great, but you have to be pretty cynical (and I am) not to be upper-medium impressed with Miami.

A first timer can fill 3 days without the Everglades. For such a touristy place, it feels local.

As per Vinny, don't bother going to the famous Versailes cuban restaurant, which is basically a cuban diner. A cuban sandwich, tho, is worth seeking out in Miami.

User avatar
twodogs
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 9006
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:21 pm

Re: Miami

Post by twodogs » Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:20 am

I hope I never get so jaded I don't enjoy a week in Miami.

This site lists good day trips from Miami but make sure you head to Lincoln Road or Lummas Park to people watch for a while or better yet spend one afternoon at each.

https://www.florida-backroads-travel.co ... trips.html

We live two hours west in Naples and only make day trips so I can't help you with nightlife but here are a few other places we like in Miami.

Wynwood has one of the few tours I would take more than once and it has above average cuban food.

http://www.thewynwoodwalls.com/officialtours

This place is right in the middle of little Havana and is the only place in the world to try a scoop of Burn in Hell Fidel.

http://www.azucaricecream.com/
More irrational spitefulness coming from twodogs...

User avatar
Annotated
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 22375
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:20 am

Re: Miami

Post by Annotated » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:23 am

Miami/Miami Beach is gorgeous.

Just driving across MacArthur Causeway on a bright, sunny day with the water sparkling green and blue all around you might have you convinced it's the most beautiful city in the world.

There's plenty to do in Miami/Miami Beach.

A few things:

Miami Beach

Take a tourist boat around Biscayne Bay. On a good day it will beautiful.

If you're in town Dec. 6-9, then Art Basel Miami will be on. Lots of celebs and jet setters and wankers come in for it. It will make the traffic terrible, but if you're an wanker that at least pretends to like art, you might cream your jeans.

Ocean Drive: What you always see pictures of, the Art Deco hotels, etc. (Mostly between 5th & 15th.) A tour with an informed tour guide would probably be good.

South of Fifth: everything south of 5th Avenue on Miami Beach, which used to be the cut off point for "South Beach" but has now been turned into super glitzy condos and nice, big parks by the beach (South Pointe Park).

Little tropical neighborhoods west of Ocean Drive are interesting to see. Some interesting architecture here and there. Some not-so-interesting architecture too. But this was always the neighborhood where the young partiers would come to live for a year or two. It's gotten a little more expensive now, but there are still a number of younger people there mixed in some more established people. South of Fifth is probably a little more established people.

Lincoln Road: A bricked over road with shops and restaurants that runs East/West off Collins Avenue (the main road that runs N/S along the beach).

Espanola Way: Similar to Lincoln road but smaller, more quaint, maybe a little more touristy. Just a few blocks away from and parallel to Lincoln Road.

Of course there's the beach at any spot, but going a little farther north to the Mid-Beach area may be a calmer experience. There are little public parking lots dotted up and down Collins Ave. Right around 35th Street is a good one.

A number of the hotels in the Mid-Beach area (like the Fontainebleau) might have nice outdoor restaurants, but you'd have to know where you're going because there's no way to know from the street.

Just driving up Collins is something you should do just to see the different parts of the Beach. Drive all the way up to the end, and then you will cross over a bridge. Go ahead and cross over it. If it's a sunny day, the water views will be amazing. Then you'll be in Sunny Isles Beach. (3 Trump Towers, baby!) That might be worth a drive up through, but then you'll probably want to turn around and go back, though just beyond Sunny Isles is Golden Beach -- super ritzy neighborhood the house Eric Clapton stayed in and put on his album cover for 461 Ocean Boulevard is. The house, by the way, is at 461 Ocean Boulevard. (You can't really see much of the house from the road.)

Image


You could also keep driving a little farther north and see Hollywood, Florida, which still very much has an "old Florida" vibe with it's 50s/60s style motels. There's also a long beach boardwalk there with lots of restaurants, etc.


In Miami Proper:

The downtown/Brickell area.

Coconut Grove (not far away from that). Used to be known as an "artist colony" but is mostly shops and restaurants now.

Bayside (kind of touristy, on the water, shopping outdoor shopping mall, but one that locals go to).

Coral Gables - Beautiful Spanish style homes (nice to just drive around the tree-covered streets), the University of Miami, Biltmore Hotel, Venetian Pool (nice public swimming pool made from an old quarry). Books and Books Bookstore -- nice courtyard cafe area, owned by Mitch Kaplan who started the Miami Book Fair (largest book fair in the US, or at least used to be).

Wynwood - Newish "hip" neighborhood with a number of outdoor murals and hipster bars/restaurants

Little Havana - As someone mentioned, not that impressive. Mostly it will just look like normal streets, but if you research it before you go, there will be a few interesting places to check out. Old Cuban dudes still actually play dominoes in the park there.

Vizcaya Museum, as mentioned.

Driving North

You can't really drive north along the beach uninterrupted. Somewhere between Hollywood and Ft. Lauderdale there's a national reserve, and so you're forced to turn inland and get on a road like Interstate 95.

You could get right back on a coastal road in a few miles at Ft. Lauderdale, and that may be something to do. Ft. Lauderdale beachfront is nice. The towns north of Ft. Lauderdale tend to be more old-style for a while. But that might be interesting just to see, even though they won't necessarily be so impressive.

Something else to maybe do is to get on I-95 and drive north to Delray Beach. Take the Atlantic Avenue exit and just follow that east toward the beach. Delray Beach is a happening little town with a ton of restaurants and things along Atlantic Avenue.

Once you hit the beach at the end of Atlantic Avenue, you could drive north along the coast up to Palm Beach. Eventually you'll pass right by The Donald's house (Mar-a-Largo). Palm Beach will be the end of the road. You can drive around and look at some mansions (well, somewhat, many are behind tall hedges), and you could go to the Breakers Hotel for a little swanky life. Also, Worth Avenue (the Rodeo Drive of Palm Beach). If you go there, the most interesting places are courtyards "behind" the main row of shops on the street front.

You might also then cross over into West Palm Beach, and then either turn around and get back on the coast road heading south or get back on 95 heading south back to Miami (about 70 miles away). But you won't want to do it during rush hour, of course.

Anyway, don't let any of these assholes tell you that Miami ain't shit. It happens to be THE shit.

Venetian Pool

Image

Little Havana Dominos

Image

Biltmore Hotel

Image
Coconut Grove

Image

Espanola Way

Image

Some good footage here:




South Pointe Park (although it's a real estate video)



Cyllarus
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 2805
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:39 pm

Re: Miami

Post by Cyllarus » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:09 pm

Thanks for the info. I’ll skip mar a lago but might try for cape canavaral.

User avatar
Mike Hunt
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Miami

Post by Mike Hunt » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:47 pm

You could visit Naples, and hang out with twodogs and the Great American Bluehairs.

User avatar
twodogs
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 9006
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:21 pm

Re: Miami

Post by twodogs » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:17 am

Naples is a couple of hours west and nice if you have the time but for afternoon trips there is more to do in Miami.
More irrational spitefulness coming from twodogs...

User avatar
strife
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 18059
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:51 am

Re: Miami

Post by strife » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:40 pm

I really like Miami. It's the capital of Latin America. I'm still second-guessing the job I turned down there.
I am Stalking you.

Cyllarus
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 2805
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:39 pm

Re: Miami

Post by Cyllarus » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:18 am

We are in Dade south of Miami...... a suburb? Wonderful modern cancer centre.

Roads are packed with cars. Makes me think of Bangkok but on smaller scale. Drove down to Key Largo today and had lovely seafood lunch on th3 water and then a great salt water Everglades tour for a few hours in afternoon. Really interesting. Saw 5 manatees as well. Gracefull and dignified.

User avatar
twodogs
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 9006
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:21 pm

Re: Miami

Post by twodogs » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:40 am

Key Biscayne is usually less crowded than Largo and closer to south Miami. The Lighthouse Cafe has a nice view but Boaters Grill has better food. That area has half dozen cancer centers and all of them are highly rated.
More irrational spitefulness coming from twodogs...

Post Reply