Ocean Drive is the epicenter of cool. But it's also the epicenter of thuginess. This area really attracts all types, and many who come here don't fit the wealthy, pretty South Beach stereotype.
Ocean drive runs right along the Atlantic Ocean. With sandy beaches on one side of the street and high-end trendy bars, clubs, restaurants, and hotels on the other, this is the most popular area of South Beach. Some of the key landmarks include the Carlylse Hotel (c. 1939), the Clevelander club, and the mansion formerly owned by Versace.
We spent New Years Eve in the area, and wandered down Ocean Drive a few times. Ultimately, we didn't enter a single established because all either had lines, dress codes, or cover charges. Many had all three.
New Years at Miami Beach offers lots of greasers, posers, pretty boys, and tramps alonside hoochie mammas, gangbangers and more. For the other 90 percent of us, there are fireworks on the beach!
We went to Miami Beach just to hang out for New Years, and we were a bit disappointed by the area around the beach. The bars and restaurants were way too trendy and crowded, the people way overdressed. We ended up spending most of our time away from the beach except for when we wanted to see the water and when it was time for fireworks.
The fireworks were a great show, and we stood about as close as I've ever been to fireworks. In fact, just minutes before the show started we were walking on the beach and the police came and yelled at us for being in the wrong place!
Beautiful Ocean Drive with its many hotels, restaurants, art deco buildings is a great place to hang out.
When you think of Miami Beach or South Beach Ocean Drive is what comes to most people's mind, That is because Ocean Drive is jammed packed with great food, ambiance, strolling and just people watching.
First, let me tell you the best food in Miami is generally found off of Ocean Drive. That said, Ocean Drive still has some very tasty plates to offer. One unique experience Ocean Drive has to offer is the abudance of its Cafe's and openly viewed menus. You'll be hounded by pretty waitresses trying to get you in with a 1/2 price or 2 for 1 Happy Hour, and they'll gladly show you their menu as well as some of the prepared dishes. So, if you're on Ocean and hungry, start on 6th Ave walk to 10th Ave., and inbetween you should see an entree that catches your eye- no reservations needed!
On Ocean Drive, you can have just as much fun strolling up and down the road and watching the interesting people, as you would if you were to actually go inside one of the bars or restaurants and do something. I suggest Mango's on the strip, a salsa club and restaurant with wonderful dancers, a fantastic drink menu and waitstaff and beefed up door men that would make ANY woman drool!!! Definitely try some of the restaurants as well, and there are also plenty of chic boutiques to browse around in...or if you have enough cash on you, you may even come out with a purchase!!
Every March some of the more cutting edge musicians and DJ's from around the world gather in South Beach for the winter music conference. This place transforms into an even- more energetic and euphoric stage for a 24 hour world-class party with the newest and brightest faces in dance and music. This event usually happens mid-March, the weather is usually perfect then and the South Beach atmosphere will be at its climax!
Ok, for pool players, this is the only billiards hall that I couild find.... so if you are a local and know a better one in South Beach please tell me, but I think this might be the only one. It has very cool blue felt tables and a full bar, and has just reopened after a full renovation. Its called FELT and should be easy to spot, look for the blue glow.
If you're into it, Miami is one of the best people watching places in America, probably only bettered by parts of L.A. and New York. I have seen Matt Damon in Crobar, Britney Spears on Ocean Drive, J-Lo a few years back, last year an all-pro football player for the Eagles actually was out with a group me and my friends were with..... and if you don't really care about celebrities, then watching all of those beautiful bodies can't hurt the eyes.....
Every Saturday afternoon the Clevelander has a hot body contest. In the offseason it kinda sucks because the models are of a lesser caliber, but you come here in the spring and WOW.... get here early and you'll be up front to have some fun, and there are usually some liquor reps giving out trinkets and prizes at each one. This is a great atmosphere for guys 21-25 who love that spring break attitude.
One of the things I really enjoy about South Beach is Lummus Park. On one side you have this serene park with the breeze blowing through the palms, the ocean running through your toes, and on the other side of Ocean drive you have the party mecca exploding with bright lights and exotic people. Sometimes its nice to take a step away and take a walk through the park.
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