Miami Florida

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Highlander
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Miami Florida

Post by Highlander » Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:26 pm

My wife and I are thinking about a 4-5 day getaway to Miami. Not the kind of place I usually travel to as I am definitely not a beach or SE US type person. I've heard Miami is distinctly non southern, however, and I've never been there before and I've always been intrigued by the Florida Keys so hence the idea for a visit.

Plan was to spend a couple of days max in South Beach and then renting a car and heading to the Everglades and Key West. Anybody know much about Miami? How is public transportation? What's to do there other than spend time on the beach which I'm really not interested in? Anybody been to Key West?

Thanks

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by kcjak » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:15 am

I've done the drive to Key West before - it's nice but plan on adding extra time to your drive. The causeways are two lane highways but when you get to a key the speed limit drops to around 30mph and it's like driving through small towns with stop lights. Recommend not doing it on the weekends as traffic can really back up.
Miami has some great art deco architecture - you should check out South Beach even if you don't go to the beach (which is beautiful for an urban beach). I've heard the Viscaya mansion is worth going to if it's open for tours.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by earthling » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:49 am

We enjoyed Key West the most, nice escape and not as touristy as expected. Beaches not as good as along Miami coast but you said not a priority. If going to KW, might stay in core area generally within walking distance of Duval St but that area has priciest hotels/BNBs - or check if hotel further away has shuttle to that area. Enjoyed biking along S side beachfront, various boat excursions, the decent night life along Duval and good eats all over island - N tip of Duval is only excessively touristy area I noticed. Truman wintered near central Duval and can do a home tour, Hemingway too. Also check out HogFish B&G on Stock Island (next island over) - really liked their hogfish.

Hit Miami for work once in a while and visited South Beach a couple times but just dinner, haven't really hit many of Miami best areas. Image is very important in Miami (vibe from work people anyway), not sure how they are with visitors. Miami itself didn't do much for me, never visited Ft Lauderdale area beachline outside airport or rest of that area.

Have only driven through Everglades and didn't seem like much. I hear there are air boat tours that some people get into.

May to Oct is excruciatingly hot/humid in S Florida and the Keys. Might shoot for April if you can, though maybe not a big deal for someone living in Houston. We were in the Keys over New Year a couple years ago and weather was perfect, but also most expensive time of year there.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by WSPanic » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:22 pm

Do it. I had a great long weekend vacation on South Beach a few years ago. Once we were at our hotel, we didn't need a car to get to the beach or to entertainment. We stayed at a place called Z Ocean Hotel - which I thought was perfectly located and very well appointed (balcony hot tub). They had reserved beach chairs on the water just a short walk away. Plenty of cool, small independent hotels along that stretch with great bars/restaurants. Great art deco buildings everywhere.

Go to Yardbirds - great fried chicken and cocktails.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by Highlander » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:34 am

WSPanic wrote:Do it. I had a great long weekend vacation on South Beach a few years ago. Once we were at our hotel, we didn't need a car to get to the beach or to entertainment. We stayed at a place called Z Ocean Hotel - which I thought was perfectly located and very well appointed (balcony hot tub). They had reserved beach chairs on the water just a short walk away. Plenty of cool, small independent hotels along that stretch with great bars/restaurants. Great art deco buildings everywhere.

Go to Yardbirds - great fried chicken and cocktails.
What time of the year did you go?

We made reservations for April but quickly had to cancel due to work travel schedule changing. Now we will try May. In April, it was tough to find an affordable place to stay in Key West - don't know about South Beach - we didn't get that far. Should be easier in May but not looking forward to being there during the beginning of summer.

Thanks to everyone else for the suggestions. Hope to do a couple of days in South Beach and a couple of more in Key West.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by brewcrew1000 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:09 pm

I'm sure plans are already set but would you consider another place? I would consider going to Panama, Panama. Nice hotels are very cheap and I think a 3-4 nights is plenty for Panama. The flights are not that far from Texas. If you have a lot of Airline miles its only like 15,000 each way if using miles.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by Highlander » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:53 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:I'm sure plans are already set but would you consider another place? I would consider going to Panama, Panama. Nice hotels are very cheap and I think a 3-4 nights is plenty for Panama. The flights are not that far from Texas. If you have a lot of Airline miles its only like 15,000 each way if using miles.
Interesting suggestion...I always am looking for somewhere new to go. I have always been intrigued by the Florida Keys and very much want to get down there just to check it out. And South Beach looks pretty cool from an architectural perspective. I've never been a big tropics person but the first Caribbean place I want to visit is actually Cuba although Central America would be pretty interesting - for me, the volcanoes in particular.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by Roanoker » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:29 am

I realize the location I will mention here is nowhere near where you are going. However, my interested-in-geology son (like you) wanted to visit the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Arco, ID, when our vacation plans took us somewhat close to that location. It still wasn't all that close, as it seems to be two hours or so away from everything else. But, boy, is it ever worth the extra drive time. That place has every conceivable volcanic formation you can imagine. It really does feel like you are on a different planet. Remember how you liked my previous suggestion that you visit Paradise on Mount Rainier to see a wonderland of wildflowers? You will like Craters of the Moon even better. Of course, you will have to make a point to visit that place at another time. Hope you have fun in and around Miami.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by Highlander » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:26 pm

Roanoker wrote:I realize the location I will mention here is nowhere near where you are going. However, my interested-in-geology son (like you) wanted to visit the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Arco, ID, when our vacation plans took us somewhat close to that location. It still wasn't all that close, as it seems to be two hours or so away from everything else. But, boy, is it ever worth the extra drive time. That place has every conceivable volcanic formation you can imagine. It really does feel like you are on a different planet. Remember how you liked my previous suggestion that you visit Paradise on Mount Rainier to see a wonderland of wildflowers? You will like Craters of the Moon even better. Of course, you will have to make a point to visit that place at another time. Hope you have fun in and around Miami.
Thanks. I've been to both those places and they are indeed great. And interesting from a geological perspective.

That said, I've never been to Florida and looking forward to seeing the Keys - also interesting from a geological perspective. Miami was initially just included on the itinerary as a kick off point but I like what I hear above about South Beach. So planning to spend some time there.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by WSPanic » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:48 am

Highlander wrote:
WSPanic wrote:Do it. I had a great long weekend vacation on South Beach a few years ago. Once we were at our hotel, we didn't need a car to get to the beach or to entertainment. We stayed at a place called Z Ocean Hotel - which I thought was perfectly located and very well appointed (balcony hot tub). They had reserved beach chairs on the water just a short walk away. Plenty of cool, small independent hotels along that stretch with great bars/restaurants. Great art deco buildings everywhere.

Go to Yardbirds - great fried chicken and cocktails.
What time of the year did you go?

We made reservations for April but quickly had to cancel due to work travel schedule changing. Now we will try May. In April, it was tough to find an affordable place to stay in Key West - don't know about South Beach - we didn't get that far. Should be easier in May but not looking forward to being there during the beginning of summer.

Thanks to everyone else for the suggestions. Hope to do a couple of days in South Beach and a couple of more in Key West.
Went Memorial Day weekend. Which, unbeknownst to us, is "Hip Hop" weekend in South Beach. Made for good people watching.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by brewcrew1000 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:44 pm

Highlander wrote:
brewcrew1000 wrote:I'm sure plans are already set but would you consider another place? I would consider going to Panama, Panama. Nice hotels are very cheap and I think a 3-4 nights is plenty for Panama. The flights are not that far from Texas. If you have a lot of Airline miles its only like 15,000 each way if using miles.
Interesting suggestion...I always am looking for somewhere new to go. I have always been intrigued by the Florida Keys and very much want to get down there just to check it out. And South Beach looks pretty cool from an architectural perspective. I've never been a big tropics person but the first Caribbean place I want to visit is actually Cuba although Central America would be pretty interesting - for me, the volcanoes in particular.
I've never been intrigued by florida, its the only state I refuse to visit and I only have 8 more states left to visit. It just seems full of old people, trailer trash, and people who care about what you drive or what you wear and how much money you have. The people are really what makes me never want to visit Florida. The keys I could probably do if I was forced to visit florida.

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Re: Miami Florida

Post by Highlander » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:56 am

Guess I'm not going on this trip. :( Work just got too crazy - but as a consolation prize, one of the reasons I have to cancel Miami is to attend a meeting in Edinburgh Scotland.

Maybe try again in the fall after hurricane season.

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