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Miami Beach vacation guide Do-s & Don’t-s

by Sofija Knezevic from United States

miami-beach
Miami, beach by Sofija Knezevic

It sound amazing to be able to take a week off from everything and go on a short vacation with your partner, but when you don’t have much time, and play tennis, you kinda tend to choose to spend it somewhere where there is an ATP tournament going on if possible.

Of course, being the residents of a cold New York City in springtime (read extended winter every year) we looked for somewhere where it’s nice and warm, where we could also swim and enjoy the beach.

miami-open
Miami Open  by Sofija Knezevic

This time we picked Miami – or rather Miami Beach. We have been to Miami Beach a few years ago, and it seemed like good enough quick vacation that wouldn’t cost that much so we can splurge on good food and great seats for the Miami Open.

It was my choice for this years birthday gift ( turned 27, old woman).

miami-beach
Miami, beach by Sofija Knezevic

Since we were there at the end of a Spring Break (yes we are crazy), it was still kind of crowded, but we still got to enjoy great sights, food and have had some great experiences as well as terrible ones.

Below  I will write some more about what to do and what not to do when you’re going to Miami Beach for a week long vacation.

miami-beach
Miami, beach by Sofija Knezevic

Do’s 

Hotel

When you’re picking a place to stay at, do an extensive research or ask people that you trust about their experiences. The photographs of the hotels on places like Booking and Expedia etc., are really not how it looks in person. Which majorly sucks – I know. But trust me on this one, the first time we went to Miami Beach, we stayed at what is now called Number 1 Hotel, and that was amazing, big rooms with huge bathrooms and a gorgeous private rooftop pool (+ the hotel was also on the beach) and it’s not in the center of the crazy but close enough walk.  I looked at Air BnB’s as well, but no luck there really. If you have a little money saved go to the Number 1, or another nice one is The Z Hotel, if you can get a room with a hot tub on a private terrace.

miami-confidante
Miami, Confidante by Sofija Knezevic

Transport

We actually got a great deal on our airfare because we booked it together with a hotel on Expedia, and I highly recommend it. Just make sure you pick

miami-street-art
Miami, street art by Sofija Knezevic

Don’ts

Do not stay at the hotel Confidante, we made a terrible choice by staying there, because the photos were very deceiving. The hotel is super expensive, the pool is tiny, service terrible, rooms are only able to fit a bed in, and they have not been cleaned in years. I don’t even want to talk about the interior design, it was put together by a blind person. The charge for the umbrella on the beach is 19$(!) off season. But anyone can come and sit next to you smoke marijuana and play really loud music and be rude, and the staff will not do anything about it, even though it is highly illegal. On top of everything the walls are so thin that they vibrated when the person next to us who had their alarm on every morning (AT 7AM!) wouldn’t turn off their phone for 30 minutes.

miami-church
Miami, church by Sofija Knezevic

The best time for traveling to Miami is off peak because the flights get very cheap, and they are not completely full and cramped. I don’t suggest American Airlines unless your closest airport

the hotel that you like, they have PLENTY of options there.

As far as transport IN Miami Beach, use Uber and Lyft they are super SUPER cheap there, our Lyft ride from the top of Miami Beach, to the island of Key Biscayne, that was 53 minutes long was only 22$ !!

And from and to the airport off peak if you leave at right time is 18$ wherever in Miami Beach you’re getting dropped off.

miami-yuca-restaurant
Miami, Yuca Restaurant by Sofija Knezevic

Food

My favorite part is the food. I am a food critic, and both me and my husband appreciate good food and good service, and are not afraid to splurge on something spectacular.

We tried some phenomenal food while being there. Some of the restaurants include:

1. Rosetta Bakery ( these donuts on the photo and the pastries are from there), and we literally went there every evening to get dessert as well as breakfast for the next day.

has  the only direct flight through them.

Once you arrive there, do not use the actual city cabs, because they tend to steal from you and scam a lot, especially from and to the airport. It is very easy for them to do so since there are so many tourists, and really a lot of them don’t speak English that well, or use our currency.

Miami Beach has plenty of hidden gems, so don’t waste your time on restaurants that are on Ocean Drive or Collins, and when you go down the Lincoln Road, skip places like Pizza Rustica, Sushi Samba and other touristy spots. Read some reviews and check out their stars before you dine. It will be worth it.

miami-rosetta-bakery-donuts
Miami, Rosetta Bakery donuts by Sofija Knezevic

2. Doraku Sushi – some of the best sushi we’ve ever had. Spicy lobster roll is a MUST!

3. Mio Mare – this is an Italian seafood restaurant we went to our first night there, and we were starving and chose it for their good reviews on Yelp, but also a nice hostess, who wasn’t rude or obnoxious. Their Grilled seafood platter is amazing ( the shrimp!).

4. Yuca – Young Urban Cuban American. D E L I C I O U S. Get the goat cheese appetizer and the crabcakes !

5. Spris – Italian Pizzeria down on the Lincoln Road, excellent pizza.

6. Gelateria 4D – Yummy ice cream!

7. News Cafe – Great Breakfast & Brunch

The only bad thing about this restaurant, is that the service can be a bit slow, apart from that, exquisite!

Stay away from Mio Mare pasta, not worth your money.

Don’t order Melon & Prosciutto, the melon was hard, and green.

miami-lincoln-road
Miami, Lincoln Road by Sofija Knezevic

Things To Do

Everything is really close if you are a walker just start from around 50th street down the boardwalk, it is quite a sight. Then you can continue down the Ocean Drive if you are brave and patient, because it gets extremely crowded.

Visit the Flamingo Park they also have a lot of sports courts there as well, so you can visit the Tennis Center (20$pp) or play Basketball, soccer etc.

miami-farket-flowers
Miami, Market Flowers by Sofija Knezevic

Make sure that if you are in Miami Beach on the weekend, you go to one of their open food markets close to South Beach, the fruit and vegetables are incredible, and the sights are very colorful.

If you are in Miami Beach, don’t restrict yourself to its own beaches only, there are other islands around, with less tourists, crowd and even nicer beaches like Key Biscayne. It’s only a 15$ Uber away, plus while you’re there if you are there in March, you can get some tickets and go to Miami Open and see some incredible top 20 players battle for the title.

miami-open-cinema
Miami, Open Cinema by Sofija Knezevic

One of the most romantic yet free things to do while in Miami Beach is the open air  SoundScape Cinema Series that screens free films on the 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall at the New World Center’s ExoStage, on Wednesdays at 8pm. Just grab a blanket and some ice cream or treats from Rosetta Bakery and enjoy a wonderful date night. Here is the schedule for the next few weeks:

miami-boardwalk
Miami, Boardwalk by Sofija Knezevic

April 12 “Great Balls of Fire” (1989) Director: Jim McBride

April 19 “Catch a Fire” (2006) Director: Phillip Noyce

April 26 “Reign of Fire” (2002) Director: Rob Bowman

May 3 “The First Monday in May” (2016) Director: Andrew Rossi

May 10 “Mother’s Day” (2016) Director: Garry Marshall

May 17 “A Raisin in the Sun” (1961) Director: Daniel Petrie

May 24 “Zootopia” (2016)Directors: Byron Howard/Rich Moore

May 31 “Life of Pi” (2012)Director: Ang Lee*Schedule subject to change

miami-flight-back-to-NY
Miami, flight back to NY by Sofija Knezevic

You can see and listen other about Sofija Knezevich on sofijazz.com and on youtube.com/user/sofijazzz

1Comment
  • Janiarto Paradise
    Posted at 12:11h, 14 August Reply

    the beach is amazing, what camera you used to take the picture?

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