Wednesday, 18 January 2017

South Beach, Miami

I first visited Miami, Florida, in the United States, with a friend in August several years ago. We had a good time despite the hot and very humid weather. I returned to South Beach, Miami the second time in April and the weather was sunny with much less humidity. Miami is not an inexpensive destination. However, I managed to keep my overall expenses low and still had many enjoyable experiences while I was there for three full days.

My favourite and low cost experiences in South Beach, Miami:

1. Enjoying a cup of coffee at Starbucks on Ocean Drive, facing Lummus Park where the palm trees sway with the Atlantic ocean breeze.
Lummus Park, South Beach, Miami
2. A self-guided walking tour of the Art Deco buildings along Ocean Drive and Washington Avenue, between 8th Street and 14th Street. Here’s a sample of the pictures that I took:
The boxy-shaped and yellow Leslie hotel

The Cardozo hotel with its round edges

The Tiffany hotel with its deco-style neon spire

The 1935 Edison hotel
3. Reasonably-priced and good eats for about US$10 at La Sandwicherie, Pizza Rustica, 11th Street Diner, or Cuban food at Puerto Sagua. 11th Street Diner looks like a shiny aluminium, deco style Pullman car.
11th Street Diner, Miami
4. Sun, sand and swim at South Beach - The aquamarine water and the sandy beach were calming and rejuvenating.
South Beach, Miami
5. Taking pictures of the lifeguard stations along South Beach.  This is “colour therapy” after seeing mostly white and grey in Toronto for three winter months.
14th St. Lifeguard station, Miami
13th St. Lifeguard station, Miami
12 St. Lifeguard station, Miami
11th St. Lifeguard station, Miami
6. A visit to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden - Green plants, butterflies, beautiful flowers, and water fountains that sooth the soul. Free admission Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden entrance
Bougainvilleas, Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Pink bromeliads, Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Butterfly, Miami Beach Botanical Garden
7. Jogging along the oceanfront promenade, or I could cover more distance if I had a bike like this postal worker.
8. Window shopping in South Beach and at Lincoln Road outdoor pedestrian shopping mall. Some of the store displays showed wonderful and artistic creativity.

9. Strolling South Beach in the evening to see the nightlife and night lights.

10. Taking the express Airport-Beach Flyer Bus 150 to get from Miami International Airport to South Beach and vice versa. The ride took about 30 minutes each way. For US$5.30 return tickets, this bus route was definitely speedy and inexpensive. Once in South Beach, the best way to get around is to walk.

I used my “frequent flyer” points for my return tickets from Toronto to Miami. There are frequent, non-stop flights between the two cities that take about three hours.

Have you been to Miami? What were your experiences when you were there?

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