First, I need to preface with this: I have been an inland Miami resident for 4 years and I've loved every minute of it. The following is my opinion from my previous visits to Miami and also living here.
I feel like this is an appropriate time to post this article. In the past month, there have been hundreds, if not thousands of arrests in Miami Beach due to riot-esq tourists who are disobeying not only Covid-19 mask requirements, but also the law. As a Miami resident, every February and March I tell myself that I:
- A. Want to stay away from the beach unless I'm surfing early in the morning
- B. Am very happy I don't live in South Beach (which is a shame because it's such a beautiful place)
Sadly, this is only one of my issues with the area, and it strictly applies to the hot spot, the area between 5th street and 20th street. There are other great neighborhoods on the beach. I personally think the area South of Fifth, aka SoFi, is lovely and north of 20th street isn't so bad! I'll avoid 5th-20th like the plague but visit SoFi as often as I can.
Here are the 5 worst things about South Beach
These aren't the fun-loving spring break visitors that you'll experience in Panama Beach or South Padre Island. These are individuals who can be destructive in their attempt to bypass the law and take control over the way things are handled in Miami Beach. 2021 isn't the first year that there have been issues, this has been a recurring trend for over a decade which seems to get worse each year. This is usually where Miami gets most of it's negative reputation.
Sales Tactics at the Ocean Drive Restaurants
There is a big difference between good service and feeling like you're being sold to.
Ocean Drive is the main drag in South Beach with Art Deco hotels and cheesy restaurants who add too much salt to their food. There's nothing more unappetizing than taking a walk along Ocean Drive and having staff members of each spot trying to lure you in with food and drink specials like it's a car dealership (I used to sell cars so I'm allowed to say that). Yet, it's because of this tactic that a lot of people end up eating or drinking at one of these places. If you are visiting Miami Beach for the first time, go for it. You need to experience a cheesy restaurant and a wild night at just The Clevelander once in your life. When you gain experience of doing this, you'll will be aware that the food is poor and the drinks are too sugary and way overpriced. An $80 margarita for two? Why?
As this entire article is my own opinion, I believe most of the Art Deco boutique hotels on Ocean Drive are not worth it. Their location is great for access to the beach, but you won't sleep. Even with Covid-19 restrictions looming, people manage to pull all nighters drinking somewhere. The hotel room walls are thin, small, and the service you receive is far from boutique (for the most part).
This is mostly stressed during Spring Break each year, but Miami Beach police have their work cut out for them 24/7. The hot spot area between 5th and 20th streets can be crazy and it's good to have eyes in the back of your head. From roofied drinks to pick pocketing, your night can end up differently than you had planned.
Luckily, due to Covid-19, Ocean Drive has been closed and is used strictly for pedestrians. Ocean Drive usually has an average speed of 3 mph (a joke, but probably true) so this is great, but now it pushes all of the traffice to Collins Avenue. Combine that with the Covid-19 testing lines at the convention center and you might be in for some heavy congestion. However, there is rarely any poor traffic in SoFi!
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