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How to make your next Miami vacation the ultimate holiday. Miami is a beautiful city, but it can be a little intimidating for first-time visitors. Everyone looks so good and they know it. The famous Ocean Drive seems like a given, especially since it is the city’s iconic strip. But what about the rest of the city? Miami truly has everything. It’s a laid-back beach town, a dynamic cultural city, a beautiful tropical paradise and a world-class destination. So how do you make your next Miami vacation the ultimate holiday?
What to Know Before You Go
Are you traveling with children? It’s likely you will want to include a beach day or pool day, plus some time in an amusement park, but remember to keep it kid-friendly, including hours and open-space for age-inclusive play. There are kid-oriented museums, like the Miami Children’s Museum, along with parks, playgrounds, and fun water spots like Marriott’s Sugar Sand Park. For a more laid-back option, there are plenty of low-key parks to roam around. The travel time to Miami is about four hours with traffic. If you plan on staying in South Florida, consider flying or catching a train to get around. Miami is also served by several modes of public transportation, including Metromover, city trolleys, and Metromover extended hours, such as until 2 a.m.
The views from the top of the iconic Miami Lighthouse is beautiful. Since its construction in 1926, this beachfront icon has served as the symbol of the city, welcoming all visitors. Today, it still houses a fully operational lighthouse, including lighthouse keepers who perform daily tours. The view is unparalleled – from the iconic Ocean Drive and the curvaceous shape of downtown to the clear Caribbean sea.
The AmericanAirlines Arena is a world-class sports and entertainment venue that has hosted several major concerts. The lights of downtown are just visible beyond the arena and there’s also a golf course on site. The arena is surrounded by the well-known City Place and Cultural Park District and while it can get pretty busy, the views from the open-air bowl are still spectacular.
The Best Miami Hotels
First, you must visit some of the city’s hotels. There are more than 100 hotels in the city and most of them are incredible. No matter what you are looking for, you will find a hotel in Miami. One of my personal favorites is the famous Fontainebleau Hotel. This hotel boasts a stunning Art Deco facade, richly decorated in a lavish Art Nouveau style. There are beautiful chandeliers, sparkling crystal chandeliers, opulent art-deco-inspired furniture and the works. There are beautiful views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. The serene nature of the lobby and the resort's elegant ambiance make it an unforgettable hotel. Another top choice is the Beach Club Hotel.
Miami for Families
There’s no better way to make a trip to Miami more accessible for children than to go with an entire family. Not only will you enjoy plenty of time together, but your kids will have their own designated “fun guy” who will take them to the beaches and teach them how to fish. Kids love fishing, especially when they catch a big fish. They also love the ocean, whether they’re snorkeling or swimming in it. There’s plenty of value in a family vacation. For example, many hotel accommodations, especially in the downtown area, include two complimentary kid’s meals per room night. Even if you don’t stay at a participating hotel, your children can eat free for the rest of the week at a restaurant in the area. Miami Style Miami is a world-class city, and your children will want to be a part of it.
Miami for Couples
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that for many, Miami is not a destination in which to spend a whole vacation. There’s too much to do, but the main goal is to get to know the city. Why not take a break from dating and focus on meeting new people? Sure, you can take a boat trip around the city, go on a plane with your significant other and check out some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. The high-end hotels and restaurants along Ocean Drive are sure to impress, but you’ll discover that the real gems in the city are the myriad of clubs, museums, art galleries and more. It might not be your first choice for a romantic getaway, but Miami is a city for those who prefer to live life on the go.
The Ultimate Miami Vacation
First, it’s important to remember what makes this city so special. It’s big, it’s cosmopolitan and it’s lively. Most importantly, though, is that it’s fun. What you see on Ocean Drive is what you get in the rest of the city. It’s a laid-back paradise. The high-rise high-life of Miami is perfect for a different kind of traveler. The high energy of Ocean Drive gets you into the mood of the place and it’s fun to be here. But in the rest of the city, you can have some time to yourself. Just walk down South Beach, for example, and you’ll see the vibrancy of Miami. You’ll have time to yourself while catching up on work and doing whatever it is you need to do. There’s plenty of things to do in Miami, and it’s easy to travel.
The answer is to plan. No two people have the same sense of style, taste, and expectations. If you go into a trip with some ideas of what you’d like to see and do, there is a better chance you’ll have a memorable experience. Vacations are made to be shared with friends and family, and this is no exception. In my experience, our most memorable vacations usually involve doing everything with family and friends, and, if you can’t make it happen in person, having them join you on the journey.