5 Days in Miami

Miami skyline taken from the sea

Miami skyline taken from the sea

Miami is a huge city and I only had five days. It was hard to know where to start.

In the end, I started with a little tour. There were quite a few of them on offer, but somebody told me that the land and sea tour with Miami Discount Tours was the one to do. They took us in a bus around Miami first for two hours, and then we went on a boat ride for around an hour and a half. This cost $35, plus tips.

Tour leaves from the Bayside market place, which is a nice place to spend a few hours

Tour leaves from the Bayside market place, which is a nice place to spend a few hours

I’m not a great fan of these kinds of tours, however it is a good way to get your bearings when you first arrive, and also to suss out the places you might like to come back and visit.

Travelling back to these places without a car is not easy. There are buses, and Google was very helpful with bus numbers. However a wait of an hour or more for a bus wasn’t unusual, so it depends on your patience. I often gave up and rang an Uber.

Miami Beach.
IMG_5222Technically a separate city from Miami itself. I went back to the South beach/Art Deco area for a day. Apart from the beach and the nightlife, you can also see the house where Versace lived (and died).

Versace's Miami Beach house: Gianni Versace bought this house in 1992 for $2.9 million.  Casa Casuarina, the scene of Versace's 1997 murder, is now a member's only club.

Versace’s Miami Beach house: Gianni Versace bought this house in 1992 for $2.9 million.
Casa Casuarina, the scene of Versace’s 1997 murder, is now a members only club.

Also in the South beach:The hotel Cardozo where There’s something about Mary was filmed

Hotel ca

Hotel Cardozo

Many visitors stay in Miami beach rather than Miami itself, and I can see the attraction. However I have seen enough beaches by this point, and one day (plus half an evening) was enough for me.

Coconut Grove
IMG_5176This had been my original choice of somewhere to stay in Miami, until I found my Little Havana room. It still has a bit of a rocknroll reputation. George Michael has an apartment in the neighbourhood apparently.

It has Cocowalk, a 'European style'

CocoWalk, a ‘European style’ outdoor shopping centre.. 

A narrowly missed the arts festival, unfortunately, which was running the following weekend

I narrowly missed the arts festival, unfortunately, which was running the following weekend

Coral Gables

Venetian swimming pool

Venetian swimming pool

Home to many exclusive, gated communities and tucked away in the SW of the city, it yielded this Venetian swimming pool. It’s a public pool and costs $12 to go in. Worth it? I think so. (They keep strange opening hours if you’re thinking of going, so worth a phone call to check).

Also home to the Biltmore hotel, used as a backdrop for many a movie/TV show (CSI Miami, Miami Vice) and boasting many famous former clientele (there is also a claim it is haunted).

One of the most exclusive hotels in Miami.  President Obama stayed here when he visited.

One of the most exclusive hotels in Miami. President Obama stayed here when he visited.

These three places, along with the time I spent in little Havana, pretty much took up my 5 days in Miami. I would have happily stayed longer (the design district in the north of the city was also on my hitlist) but Miami is not a budget destination and I needed to be moving on.

4 replies »

  1. I spent my honeymoon in Miami beach, and I really wanted to go to the Venetian pools, but they were closed. 😦 It looks like a good place to spend an afternoon!

  2. Hi Sarah this looks absolutely beautiful. I would love to go and see all the art deco architecture. I just love the photos. I have been to Miami, whilst I changed planes. I did step outside of the airport door but I don’t think that actually counts as being there. I have a big thing about gated communities. Personally, I could not think of anything worse, but hey, I guess I am never going to have to worry about that xx

  3. No I don’t like the whole concept of gated communities. However if I had a lot of money tied up in a house I’m sure I would want it gated up and protected from the general riff-raff.
    Miami airport is actually really close to the downtown, so if you ever find yourself there again you might actually have time to go into the city for a few hours.
    I really liked Miami; I tried to change my ticket so I could stay longer, but it was ridiculously expensive.

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