Outside every luxury hotel are beach chairs with umbrellas laid out for the tourits..to rent.
Something like $10 (may be by the hour) and more for an umbrella.
Call me cheap, but you have one of the finest beaches in America why not enjoy it by placing your towel right down on it.
Just saw no point to this and watched them chase people off them who didn't realize they were free. Nice enough about it, but just a bit ridiculous.
Guess it should be expected when Starbucks includes a tip on their bill.
Unique Suggestions: steal the chair and take it home with you!
nooo...theft is wrong...if you get caught!
Fun Alternatives: lay your lazy behind down on the sand!
Cocowalk and Mayfair in Coconut Grove are both BIG tourist traps, with touristy overpriced shops and restaurants which only fool the tourists.
Unique Suggestions: There is one restaurant worthwhile however, such as Tu Tu Tango, which serves international "tapas" like meal in an artsy atmosphere and has a nice bar on the outside terrace.
Also my suggestion would be to walk around Cocowalk, taking Main Highway and its side streets. Do NOT take Grand Avenue however: that will lead you to an unsafe and dangerous neighborhood! And now I need to watch my language as I have been accused of racism in the past trying to say this. It is a crack-addict neighborhood, and it so happens to be an African-American community, just as it could be any other, so please don't take this description personally: I have absolutely nothing against African-Americans, I am simply describing the neighborhood....
Fun Alternatives: In Coconut grove, these would be the places I suggest:
To eat, either Anokha, located at 3195 Commodore Plaza which serves Fine Indian Cuisine at very reasonable prices; or Greenstreet Cafe on 3468 Main Hwy
which serves international cuisine.
To hang-out, drink, and play pool go to Barracuda's, a nice local's hang-out bar on 3035 Fuller St, or try to international tapas at Tu Tu Tangos (2nd floor Cocowalk.)
We found walking up and down Ocean, Washington or Collins to all have at least one pushy tourist center that was trying to get people to go on day trips, time shares etc...
Be careful, most of these places are trying to push time shares or "giving you a quick piece of information" takes an hour.
We had other hotel guests mention how they wasted time in the one just up the street, very pushy and their deals were usually more expensive that what you could pre-arrange through a legit. travel agent.
Unique Suggestions: Have some information from your hotel so you can gauge their prices.
The Clevelander is the epitome of touristy kitsch. The bar serves drinks with umbrellas, there is an outdoor pool, dance floor and stage from which unbelievably loud music is usually booming. There is decent overpriced food here and sidewalk seating, but it still lives up to the title of tourist trap.
Unique Suggestions: Sit at a table on the sidewalk and watch the crowd walk by. Actually, this is a must see activity on the Beach.
Fun Alternatives: See nighlife tips and restaurant tips.
If you're a tourist, you've seen it on t.v. and you'll want to see it while you're here. Its worth an afternoon of walking on the beach, window shopping in the tacky tourist spots and sipping a Rum Runner at Wet Willies, but don't waste your time (or money( at the Ocean Drive restaurants.) There are so many better places within a block or two.
Unique Suggestions: Rollerblade on the beach and have a drink at Wet Willies
Fun Alternatives: For nightlife or restaurants, see my tips for suggestions other than the Ocean Drive hangouts. Also, I'd make an exception for Breeze on 15th and Ocean and for Billboard (same location) if you're under 21 and like loud clubs.
This mansion must undoubtfully be THE MOST photographed building in South Beach! Every single time I walk by it there are tourists taking pictures of or in front of it.
Realistically though, if Versace had not been shot here, do you really think this house would be so interesting to photograph? After all, it is not all that, especially with all the very cool art deco buildings that surround it....
Located on Ocean Drive and 12th Street.
Bayside Marketplace is yet another place that was built solely for tourists. Yet it does have its charm because it overlooks the bay and it is mainly an outdoors mall.
Unique Suggestions: So, if you are looking for a touristy place in Miami by all means visit Bayside. Sip a Margarita on its main square, listening to live music, and shop around where you will find all the franchise stores you find everywhere.
Fun Alternatives: Surprisingly enough, they have a great Lebanese and Greek food stand in the food court on the second floor. "The Middle Eastern Connection" actually serves the best tabouleh and lamb Sish Kebab in Miami at very interesting prices. Unless of course you prefer fast food which is all that you can find around it.....
All the restaurants, bars and shops on Ocean Drive are tourist traps. Well not all, there are some rare exceptions such as Cafe Milano, Cafe Pelican, News Cafe. All others are over-priced, cheesy, and don't even serve good food. Of course, they get away with it because Ocean Drive is after all the most famous street on Sobe and a great place to people watch it is.
Unique Suggestions: Do walk up and down Ocean Drive by all means. That is actually a must in South Beach. But unless you REALLY fall in love with an item in a shop and don't care whether you pay more than it is worth, don't shop there.
Eating is not such a problem as there are a few good restaurants. And eating outside on Ocean Drive will provide you with a wonderful hour of people watching! My recomendations: Cafe Milano (Italian), and Pelican Cafe (for sandwiches and salads)
CocoWalk it’s anything but exciting. It’s supposed to be an important tourist attraction, but for me, it just looks like another mall, and trust me, I didn’t cross the Atlantic just to see that place ;-)
When you book a room in Miami it could be an idea to check parking availability and costs. Some hotels have very limited parking spaces, which will result in finding a public parking where you can park overnight. It will cost you about 10 to 15 dollars a night..after you negotiate with the attendent. Parking at the hotel is also billed separate from the price of the room, some hotels offer free parking..this could save you money and it might be worth to book a more expensive hotel where parking is included so you get a beter hotel instead of paying the same for a hotel and a parking place.
Calling home from the US.. There are a few ways to call from the US to your friend and family at home..You can put money in pay-phones, call from your hotel, use your mobile or use a calling card.. You can buy prepaid calling cards at shops, gas stations and newsstands. We us a calling (credit) card it can be used from payphones, private phones and hotel phones (beware most hotels charge you for using their phone even when it's a free number). With this card you call a free number and then your card number after this you can call home at a much nicer rate you would get elsewhere. Just visit telegroup.
to see the costs..
The card itself is free no annual fees you'll only pay when you use it
Any of the cheesy restaraunts on Ocean Drive. Larios on the Beach, News Cafe, the Vandyke cafe, My advise try to wonder off the touristy area go up town to the Argentine and Brazilian neighborhood up in North Beach or go up to 41 street where you can find very good Jewish delis and MiddleEastern restaurants, and even on Collins and 7 street you have a great Cuban place called Puerto Sagua where they've been there for over 30 years, same Cuban cuisine like Gloria Estefan's Larios on the Beach and much cheeper and its also aroud the corner. Most of the other places are just trendy places and the service and food is horrible, so you do the math follow my advise..
Be careful to check your bill to see if a tip is automatically included when you eat at South Beach restaurants so you don't double tip. If the tip is included, there may still be a blank line on your credit card slip.
I lost the count of the times that other tourist asked me to took them a picture in front of Versace’s house (remember, the man was killed in the entrance of his house). Tasteless pictures, imho.
The Women!! Jesus! It was Spring and the beaches still had those Beach-Babes, just like back home in Australia, great atmosphere...Guys Look STRAIGHT!