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