Miami Beach/South Beach

Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Florida Miami Beach Miami Beach/South Beach

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Introduction

South Beach is a district in Miami Beach from South Pointe Park to around 23rd Street. Give yourself an opportunity to enjoy South Beach while lodging in a condo rental or your own rental villa. Visit sites like Lincoln Road pedestrian mall, considered South Beach's premier shopping area. It is home to many restaurants and several nightclubs, such as Score and Function, as well as many retail outlets. Ocean Drive is the easternmost street in South Beach, and stems from south of First to 15th Street, running in a north-south direction. Ocean Drive is responsible for the South Beach aesthetic that most out-of-town visitors expect. It is a popular Spring Break and tourist area, including the famous, yet predominantly local, Pearl and Nikki Beach night spots. It is also home to several prominent restaurants (including "News Cafe," "Mango's," and the MTV-popularized "Clevelander") and is the site of Gianni Versace's former ocean front mansion. South Beach has a very active club and bar scene. It is host to over 150 clubs and other destinations, most of which close at 5AM.

Dining opens up a great variety for all taste and culinary preferences. With the most known restaurants of South Florida, South Beach has the best reputation in international cuisine. Classic dinners, cafeterias and fast food restaurants give more option to a day by day casual meal. South Beach is also home to all kind of variety of cultural, art and exhibition events. Miami Beach Convention Center hosts most of the events, and conventions that you could find in Miami.

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History

In 1870, South Beach was predominantly unsettled farmland. In that year, the Lum brothers decided to purchase the 160 acres of land to grow coconuts. A daughter of one of the Lum brothers named the land "South Beach", though the name did not stick until later on.

In 1912, two Miami businessmen bought 400 acres of land in the area, with the goal of building “modest” single family homes. Around 1914, a bridge from Miami to the island was finished. Miami's South Beach was incorporated in 1915, and a land boom in the location began around 1920. With car-accessible roads including the famous streets like Collins avenue, 5th street, Washington Avenue and Ocean Drive, these areas were built for the rich and possibly the famous.

During World War II, South Beach became the location for many soldiers as a training location. After the war, many soldiers stayed permanently in Miami Beach, doubling its population. Miami Beach became an area filled with new buildings and had a new reputation as the “Art Deco District” and took on the famous name “South Beach” or nickname “SoBe”. Starting in 1964, the TV comedy show "The Jackie Gleason Show" was filmed from South Beach.

Gleason's endorsement of Miami Beach as a sunny, warm, and relaxing location led to a rise in popularity. Many people from northern states planned on retiring in South Beach. Unfortunately, some of them did not take into consideration the upkeep that would have to be put into a property near the ocean. After a decline in the senior citizen population in the area, South Beach took a downturn and was considered rundown for some time.

However, this reputation in turn lead to the famous gangster movie “Scarface” (1983) being filmed in the town, putting South Beach back on the map. Interest began to rise again due to its beautiful location and status as a playground for the rich and famous. Throughout the rest of the 1980s and 1990s, South Beach infused many more investment opportunities that has helped it transform once again into a destination for business, tourists and others. South Beach is advertised more through television and has adapted to the city for nightlife with many dance clubs, bars, restaurants and shopping. With the help from these investments, South Beach today has a new fun and relaxing reputation.

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Sights and Activities

Landmarks

Art Deco District (Miami Beach Architectural District), 1001 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 672-2014. It only takes a stroll down Ocean Drive and through much of the neighboring blocks to see the world's largest collection of modern Art Deco architecture. The Miami Design Preservation League runs an Art Deco Welcome Center that serves as the base of operations for all things Art Deco: they hold lectures, show films, and other special events here. They also conduct guided walking tours of the district for a fee; call ahead for times and to make reservations.
Casa Casuarina (Versace Mansion), 1116 Ocean Dr. Built in 1930 and remodeled by Gianni Versace in 1993, this famous house is where he was murdered in 1997. It is one of the most photographed landmarks in South Beach, but it is not open to the public. It now houses a boutique hotel.
Espanola Way, Collins West to Pennsylvania. Modeled after Mediterranean villages found in France and Spain.
Star Island (Biscayne Bay). An artificial island within Miami Beach. The houses are colossal and the architecture is worth taking a look at. Most of the houses are gated. The island looks exclusive because there is a guard house, however, it is a public neighborhood and you are able to go on the island and check out the houses. Celebrities such as Will Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Lenny Kravitz, Gloria Estefan, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, P. Diddy and many others have lived here. If you are planning a trip to Miami this is a good bit of free sightseeing for you.

Culture

The city contains an opera company, two dance companies, several arts galleries and theaters. When it comes to musical culture in South Beach there are the popular New World Symphony Orchestra, Bass Art Museum, Miami Convention Center plus many more art galleries.

Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Road, ☏ +1-305-674-1026. A state-of-the-art theater, home to local and national artists and institutions from the worlds of theater, dance, music, comedy and film.
Jackie Gleason Theater (The Fillmore), 1700 Washington Ave. Opened in 1950, the theater grew in popularity during the Golden Era, hosting performances from dancers, musicians, comedians and on occasion boxing matches, and featuring figures like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Jack Benny. The television boom in the 1960s led to many shows to be filmed in the auditorium, such as The Dick Clark and Ed Sullivan Show, along with the televised Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. In 1964, the famous comedian Jackie Gleason was given the opportunity to film his weekly comedy hour in the theater, which brought a lot of publicity to Miami. From the 1970s till the late 1980s, the theater became the head theater for many Broadway performances. Today, the Jackie Gleason Theater is known for having the biggest names in the music industry and is now operated by Live Nation. (updated May 2016 | edit)

Museums and Exhibits

Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave, ☏ +1 305 673-7530. Tu-W and F-Sa 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-5PM. This art museum, expanded by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, houses European art from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Baroque and Northern European artworks are the highlights. The Bass Museum also hosts touring exhibitions and the New Information Workshop, a computer laboratory that allows visitors to create their own artwork. $12 adults, $10 students and seniors, children under 6 years of age free. Free admission the second Thu of each month from 6PM-9PM.
The Holocaust Memorial, 1933-1945 Meridian Ave (at Dade Blvd), ☏ +1 305 538-1663. 9AM-9PM daily. Located adjacent to the Botanical Garden, the memorial was created with the help of Miami Beach Holocaust survivors and sculptor Kenneth Treister in 1984, and was funded by a private, non-profit organization. It was opened to the public in 1990. The most noticeable features of this memorial include a sculpture of a giant outstretched arm covered with climbing Holocaust victims and an Auschwitz tattoo; the Garden of Meditation, with a 200-ft diameter reflecting pool with a dedication to victims; and sculptures of a dying mother and her children surrounded by Anne Frank quotes. In addition, there is a memorial wall etched with the names of victims with candles placed by visitors honoring the memory of the dead. Free.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr. A collection of subtropical palms and plants. Includes a Japanese Garden, orchid collection, exotic plants and varieties of subtropical palms.
Miami Beach Cultural Campus, The Beach to Park Ave, between 20th and 22nd St. Known as the museum district which includes the Miami City ballet building, the Bass Museum, Miami Beach Regional Library and Collins Park.
Jewish Museum of Florida, 301 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 672-5044. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. Closed Mondays and civil and Jewish holidays.. This museum, located in a 1936 synagogue that hosted Miami's first Jewish congregation, has a permanent exhibit detailing how Florida's Jews arrived in Florida as well as their history in Florida and their customs. The museum also has videos to view while you’re inside the museum, temporary exhibits in the center of the synagogue and a gift shop. A small and fairly uninteresting museum. Adult admission $6, senior and student admission $5, family admission $12, children under six and members of the Jewish Museum of Florida free. Admission is also free on Sat.
Red Bull Art of Can Miami Exhibit, Ocean Dr. An exhibit showing 47 original pieces all made out of Red Bull cans. The pieces range from shoes to birds to face masks all made from the different cans that Red Bull makes. The show is not always there, but when it is, it is for sure a must see.
Wolfsonian-Florida International University Museum, 1001 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 531-1001. M-Tu and F-Sa 11AM-6PM, Th 11AM-9PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, this building was the headquarters of the Washington Storage Company, a facility where the rich could stash their valuables whenever they were out of town. Movie theater heir and Miami native Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. stored so much artwork here that he bought the storage company, and later gave the building to Florida International University, hence the museum's odd name. The Wolfsonian hosts a large Modernist-era (around 1885-1945) art collection that includes propaganda posters and postcards, Art Deco household items, and other touring exhibits. There is also a café, bookstore, fountain and a modernist-inspired artwork on the first floor. Adults $10, seniors, students with ID and children 6-12 $5.

Parks

Flamingo Park, 11th St. and Jefferson Ave. Lush outdoor park that offers facilities such as tennis, racquetball and basketball courts.
Lummus Park, Ocean Dr. from 5th to 15th St. The famous beachfront park of South Beach located along all the party destinations on Ocean Drive. Huge grassy areas and giant palm trees make for a great backdrop for photo shoots, which happen frequently, alongside volleyball courts and pull up bars. A wavy pedestrian walk called the Promenade weaves through the north end of the park and up along the beach to 21st St, where it turns into boardwalk. The bathrooms, located at around 11th Street, are in a stunning Art Deco boat-shaped building but have rusty fixtures and are dirty.
South Pointe Park, 1 Washington Ave. Good park to sit and watch the cruise ships as they pass by.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

By Plane

Miami International Airport (MIA) is closest, but Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) is only around 40 minutes away by shuttle (depending on traffic) and the plane tickets are often cheaper. Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport offers charter flights to the Miami area.

By Car

Take I-95 North or South to 395 over Biscayne Bay which turns into 5th Street.

Taxi- Initial rate is $2.50, plus $0.40 for every 1/6 mile. There is a flat rate from the airport to Miami Beach based on 5 different zones, ranging from $24 to $52.
Shared Taxi/Shuttle Service- For a cheaper ride to your destination in South Beach, you can opt to use a "shared taxi/shuttle service". This costs about $18/person plus a tip (about $23/person). You can find the shuttles outside of the airport baggage claim area. No need for reservations. For your trip back to the airport, you can contact the company to pick you up from your hotel and take you back at the same rates.

By Bus

From MIA, you can take the J or 150 bus to Miami Beach. The 150 continues to South Beach. The fare is approximately $2.
From FLL, you can take the #1 Broward County bus to Aventura Mall, and transfer there to the Miami-Dade S bus.
From downtown Miami, take the C or S bus.

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Getting Around

Taxis are generally expensive, but available at almost any time and place. Car rentals are the most convenient form of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience regarding return policies and shop times.

By Public Transport

South Beach Local - a shuttle bus that operates in a loop from 19th St to the southern end of Miami Beach (buses travel in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions). Fare is only 25 cents.
Miami-Dade Transit has several routes serving Miami Beach. The most useful is the S, which runs north-south along the entire length of the island, continuing to downtown Miami. The S runs every 12 minutes during the day, and hourly all night long. Schedules and routes are available from the website or by calling +1 305 770-3131.

By Bike

Miami Beach has become more bicycle friendly in recent years with the addition of new bike paths and bike lanes, although not as comprehensive as other major cities. Notable additions to the biking and pedestrian infrastructure include the paved "Beach Walk" which runs parallel to Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue and is directly on the beach, plus the new South Point Park along the bay. In Miami Beach and South Beach riding is permitted on sidewalks, which luckily are wider than average. Pedestrians and drivers tend to be tolerant of bikers and willing to share the right of way. However, be prepared to slow down and go on foot, particularly on the congested streets closer to the beach. Absent heavy auto traffic, South Beach is biking bliss.

There are better attempts at bike-friendliness in the South Beach district, where most of the bike rental shops are located. Lummus Park and Lincoln Road Mall are great for bikers, and have plenty of bike racks throughout; meanwhile, if you are trying to go north or south, go a few blocks west and take one of the roads less traveled. Meridian Ave is a good choice: plenty of interesting Miami-style houses to see and a local park.

If you didn't bring your own bike, bike rentals will run about $8/hour or $30/day (or 24-hour time period).

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Eat

South Beach has plenty of places to eat. Restaurants and cafes along Ocean Drive are convenient for beach-goers and popular amongst tourists, but they can be prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, Lincoln Road offers a wide range of quality food at good prices and cater to locals and tourists alike. For a more European flavor, check out Espanola Way which looks and feels just like an Italian street.

If you plan on eating on Ocean Drive, look for specials: some places offer half off of certain items for lunch, for example, or have promoters out on the sidewalks with flyers advertising deals for the evening.

11th Street Diner, 1065 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 534-6373. Really cool and is on the corner of Washington and 11th St in South Beach. They serve breakfast all day. $8-$15.
Big Pink, 157 Collins Ave (near and across from Privé and Opium Gardens), ☏ +1 305 532-4700. Comfort food. Once you enter this restaurant, head for its large menu near the entrance to see its selection of burgers, breakfasts and other items that have been brought to the present day. Stay if you're interested in what's playing on the televisions. If you’re not in the mood to head to the restaurant, Big Pink offers free takeout in a pink VW bug (and occasionally to bouncers at Privé). $3-$20.
BLT Steak at The Betsy, 1440 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 673-0044. BLT Steak, Laurent Tourondel's iconic modern American steakhouse, occupies the Betsy's beautiful lobby. Combining the highest quality ingredients with enticing, exacting French technique, Chef Tourondel and BLT Steak have won an array of awards from experts at Esquire, Travel & Leisure, Saveur, and Wine and Spectator magazines.
David's Café, 1058 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 534-8736. Open 24 hours. Cheap, legendary Cuban food. Free delivery on South Beach. There is a second location near the Lincoln Road Mall, at 1654 Meridian Ave. $2-$19.
The Frieze Ice Cream Factory, 1626 Michigan Ave (one block south of Lincoln Road), ☏ +1 305 538-0207. This self-designated "world's greatest ice cream company" is something of a local favorite, and though you might not consider it any better than your ice cream shop back home, their selection of homemade flavors are fairly creative and varied. They also have a large selection of "healthier" sorbets, an important component for image-conscious Miami. If you're hankering for something cold, this is a better choice than the chains on Lincoln Road that overcharge. $2-$7.
ISHQ, 530 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 532-4747. SHQ serves the best Indian and vegetarian/vegan cuisine in South Beach. They have a great brunch on Sundays, and serve delicious cocktails $5-$23.
Mi Ami Italian Cafe, 444 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 532-2441. 7:30AM-3AM. Friendly atmosphere, beautiful terrace, 100% Authentic Italian food & Pizza $9-$30.
News Café, 800 Ocean Dr. Open 24 hours. Breakfast, pizzas, sandwiches and paninis, burgers, Middle Eastern cuisine, appetizers, entrees and dessert. Because of its location on the corner of 8th St and Ocean Dr, News Café is the perfect place to see anything from models to shoppers to Duck Tour buses. Note: a 15% tip is added to your order automatically. Internet access also available here for a fee. $2-$25.
Pizza Rustica, 863 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 674-8244. This small chain is also branching out in LA and locations all over South Florida. In Miami, there are locations in Downtown Miami, Cameo and Lincoln Road Mall. It serves Roman-style pizza. Pizza is made by the foot and cut to a desired length and then folded over like a sandwich. Salads are also served. Accepts cash only. $3-$18.
Van Dyke, 846 Lincoln Rd, ☏ +1 305 534-3600. Serving a good range of salads, sandwiches and pastas at a reasonable price. $7+.
660 Mediterranean Kitchen at The Angler's, 660 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 786 594-5811. Cozy indoor and outdoor spaces provide for a romantic and intimate dining experience, full liquor bar, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Blue Door Restaurant (located in the Delano Hotel), 1685 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 697-1791. Breakfast 7PM-11:30AM, lunch 11:30AM-4PM, brunch (Sundays) 10:30AM-2:30PM, prix fixe dinner 7PM-11PM, a la carte dinner 7PM-12AM.. French/Brazilian fusion. Reservations required for the prix fixe dinner. Reservations can be taken online.
Blue Sea Restaurant, 1685 Collins Ave (located in an alcove off the main lobby of the Delano Hotel), ☏ +1 305 674-6400. Su-Th 7PM-12AM, F-Sa 5:30PM-1AM.. Sushi.
Larios on the Beach, 820 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 532-9577. Su-Th 11:30AM-12AM, Fr-Sa 11:30AM-1AM. Cuban. One of Gloria Estefan's many restaurants in South Florida, this place is said to have some of the best mojitos in South Beach. $8-$27.
Nexxt Cafe, 700 Lincoln Rd, ☏ +1 305 532-6643. European sidewalk cafe offering a choice of excellent value international cuisine. Save room for one of the delectable fresh French pastries Nexxt concocts daily.
Pascha's, 900 Lincoln Rd, ☏ +1 305 673-3919. Healthy Mediterranean fare that is as tasty as it looks. Good location on Lincoln Road and the staff are attentive.
Rice House of Kabob, 1318 Alton Rd, ☏ +1 305 531-0332. Clean lined decor inside serves plentiful and filling Iranian cuisine. Great for a lunch time bite.
The Van Dyke Cafe, 846 Lincoln Rd, ☏ +1 305 534-3600. This alfresco style restaurant serves an eclectic, moderately priced menu of dishes such as grilled fresh tuna and pasta with portobello mushrooms, artichokes, spinach and roasted peppers. The umbrella shaded tables are located right on the sidewalk, which is prime for people watching! Located right on Lincoln Road, you can put your name in for an outside table and go shopping while you wait. Upstairs there is an amazing jazz club, quite possibly the best in town. Every Sunday they start a week of nightly jazz. As the week rolls on, big-name regulars like pianists Brian Murphy and Mike Orta, vocalist Nicole Henry and drummer Don Miller make appearances and rock through the night. The cover charge at the door usually runs from about $5 to $15.
A Fish Called Avalon, 700 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 532-1727. Fresh seafood restaurant that has locals and visitors raving. While the service can be better, the food is impeccable. Be sure to try the Lobster Cavatelli or the Cilantro Cured Swordfish. $12-$45.
Barton G. the Restaurant, 1427 West Ave, ☏ +1 305 672-8881, ✉ reservations@bartong.com. M–Th 6:30PM–9PM, F-Su 6PM–11PM. Experimental American cuisine, with plates and drinks outrageously designed by chef Barton G., South Beach's most famous event planner and caterer. He uses the same showy presentation and food in his restaurant as he does with his catering. Reservations are requested. Dine with socialites and celebrities, and don't forget your credit card, it's quite expensive. $8-$30.
Casa Tua, 1700 James Ave, ☏ +1 305 673-1010. If it's good enough for Sting then it might be good enough for you. If you want to go up-market for dinner, it's hard to beat--but be prepared to pay for the experience.
Joe's Stone Crab, 11 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 673-0365. Seasonal hours. Opened in 1913, this Miami landmark is famous for three things: stone crabs, which they claim to have discovered, key lime pie and the long lines for its dinner service. Lines should be shorter or non-existent during lunch or at its sister restaurant, Joe's Take-Out. Stone crab claws can cost as much as $60 per serving, depending upon the size and current market prices. If you're looking for something different, there are plenty of other seafood and meat entrees on the menu in the $20-$30 price range.
Mango's Tropical Café, 900 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 673-4422. Su-Sa 11AM-5AM. Caribbean and American. Mango's appearance in the cinematic bomb From Justin to Kelly—sparsely populated, well-lit at night and quiet enough to have a conversation about conniving girlfriends—is the exact opposite of how Mango's is on a typical day. This infamous South Beach spot is known for its dancers and bartenders in cat suits gyrating on the center bar to live music. There are also two side bars and plenty of tables if you want to be away from the action in the middle of the restaurant. After 6PM, it is a 21+ only establishment, and there will be a cover charge that ranges from $5-$20 depending on the entertainment.
Porcao, 801 Brickell Bay Dr, ☏ +1 305 373-2777. A fixed price ($41) offers a variety of food options, but vegetarians beware, this is a meat lovers mecca. Although you can snack on healthy options at the buffet - Caesar salad, sushi, pasta, and various vegetables and cheeses, the main event is the meat. Roaming waiters present you with various types of meat carved for you at your table (rodizio service). All cuts of meat are exceptional and tastes even better accompanied by Chilean wines offered on the wine list.
Tantra (on the corner of Espanola Way), 1145 Pennsylvania Ave, ☏ +1 305 672-4765. Su-Sa 7PM-5AM. Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/Indian. This restaurant/club is heavy on the Middle Eastern vibe—grass land its floors. Booths can be closed in this eatery for privacy and hookah pipes and aphrodisiac cocktails are passed around. $24-$52.

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Drink

Nightlife in South Beach starts late and ends early in the morning. Getting to a club well after midnight is common. If you're not famous, wealthy, or not with someone famous or wealthy, expect to be charged full price for cover (that includes the ladies!) at some of the swankier clubs. If there's a cover, make sure you find out what the crowd is and what kind of music or DJ is playing on any particular night before you buy in to anything you might not enjoy. No matter how exclusive the location is, drinks anywhere will be plenty expensive, which is why anyone without money to throw around will have had a few drinks already before they show up anywhere else.

Caffè Tramonto, 235 Washington Ave (between 2nd and 3rd), ☏ +1 305 672-2137. Daily 6PM-Close. A bar with a fun international atmosphere in South Beach.
Clevelander, 1020 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 532-4006. Beautiful, Fun, and a great night life spot. The Clevelander Bar is fun for all ages over the age of 21. They usually begin the night with a live band and then as the night goes on the DJ is spinning all the latest tunes. They have a stage that is designated for dancing and right behind the stage is the pool bar. They have fun tropical drinks along with classic drinks that many are used to at home. At night the bars are lit up with beautiful neon lights to set it apart from the other bars that line the Ocean Drive. Drinks range from about $10-$14 dollars, but gratuity is included.
Laundry Bar, 721 Lincoln Ln, ☏ +1 305 531-7700. Daily 7AM-5AM, happy hour at 4PM-9PM.. True to its name, this one of a kind bar lets you do your laundry while dancing playing pool and drinking with friends. (Note: alcohol isn't served until after midnight.) Welcomes a mixed crowd of straight and gay people. edit
Mac's Club Deuce, 222 14th St, ☏ +1 305 673-9537. Su-Sa 8AM-5AM. Miami Beach's oldest bar, founded in 1926, is not as pretentious as several other bars around Miami. An affordable, local hangout with a jukebox and a pool table.
Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 532-1525. 10PM-5AM. Large popular nightclub set in the heart of Washington Avenue. Set over two floors, the slightly-pretentious yet buzzing club is a display of urban chic and is popular largely with tourists and locals depending on the night. The club has big name DJ's that you would find in any Ibiza superclub, such as Roger Sanchez. The club is part of the Opium Group which owns some of the other clubs in South Beach. There are a mixture of nights ranging from techno/commercial house to hip hop and RnB. If you are visiting Miami, your hotel should be able to provide you with concierge passes which will get you to the front of the line, although on big events expect to argue with the doorstaff about the wait. Expect to pay $50 for entry when big names appear, $15-30 midweek, well worth a visit.
Nikki Beach Miami, 1 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 531-5535. Teepees and beds surround this outdoor space, which feels smaller in person than it does in television shows and movies such as From Justin to Kelly. This club is infamous for welcoming the likes of celebrities such as Brooke Hogan (Hulk Hogan's daughter and a singer in her own right). Part of a small chain of Nikki Beach clubs, others most notably in St. Tropez and Hollywood, Ca. The nightclub has a fun yet pretentious vibe, the doorstaff often operate a strict 70/30 rule on women to men on busy nights, which can often mean male groups having difficulty gaining entry. The only way to ensure entry is to purchase a table costing anywhere between $500-$1000. The clientele is a mix of socialites, models and some tourists. Sundays are the most popular night, definitely worth a visit.
Opium Garden, 136 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 531-5535. Th-Sa 11PM-5AM. This 32,000 sq. foot Asian inspired nightclub is a well-known hot spot in South Beach. With two levels, this nightclub has a capacity of up to 2000 guests. There is always a line to get in so get there early! If you make it through the doors, there is a $20 cover charge. This beautiful Zen-like nightclub plays dance, hip-hop, and Top 20s music all night long. They feature 16 different specialty drinks and they offer table service with a $200 minimum. Opium is a little pricey, but it is worth the experience!
Purdy Lounge, 1811 Purdy Ave, ☏ +1 305 531-4622. M-F 3PM-5AM, Sa-Su 6PM-5AM. A funky local dance joint, the world famous Purdy Lounge is open till 5AM every day of the year. Daily drink specials, live reggae on Mon and live local bands on Tuesday. The joint gets packed on the weekends and most of the crowds starts coming in at 11PM. Drinks are inexpensive and pours are generous.
Rose Bar at the Delano, 1685 Collins Ave (located in the Delano Hotel), ☏ +1 305 672-2000. Created by Ian Schrager, the bar has several rose-colored glasses surrounding it. Drinks are expensive, so be prepared to wear out your wallet.
Skybar, 1901 Collins Ave (located at the Shore Club), ☏ +1 305 695-3100. Times vary depending on rooms within the Skybar. Consisting of several places in the space behind the Shore Club with whimsical names like the Redroom, the Sandbar and the Rumbar, the Shore Club is tough to get into for people not on the A-list or guests at the hotel. Another hotel creation by Ian Schrager.
Tantra, 1445 Pennsylvania Ave, ☏ +1 305 672-4765. 7PM-5AM. A sensual Middle Eastern atmosphere complete with real grass on the floor, Tantra is the place to feel sleek and sexy. Aphrodisiac martinis add to the ambiance, while the house music playing makes you feel that you've found the 'it' spot in South Beach. edit
Wet Willy's, 760 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 532-5650. 40+ different Daiquiri flavors. What is there no to love while/after soaking up the sun in this beautiful city. Wet Willy's is known for their delicious daiquiris and exotic mixed drinks. A great fun atmosphere. They also serve food.

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Sleep

While some of the most famous and well-known hotels and resorts are located in South Beach, the area can be noisy, crowded and expensive. Hotels and resorts are located along the entire length of Miami Beach, so travelers should also consider places further north of 23rd St.

Adjacent to the beach (on Collins and Ocean streets, south of 23rd street), pretty much every building is a hotel, so there are many not listed here.

The Clay Hotel, 1438 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 534-2988, toll-free: +1-800-379-2529, fax: +1 305 673-0346. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. 120 rooms. Some rooms have balconies, TVs, phones and baths. Kitchen, laundry, TV, refrigerator, air conditioning. $74-133 per night (off-season), $150-240 per night (winter). edit
Jazz on South Beach Hostel, 321 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 672-2137, fax: +1 305 672-4227, ✉ southbeach@jazzhostels.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Backpackers hostel in Miami just 1 block from the beach. $21-35 (dorms), $135 (privates).
Miami Beach International Hostel, 236 9th St, ☏ +1 305 534-0268, toll-free: +1-800-978-6787, ✉ info@hostelmiamibeach.com. Check-in: 3:15PM, check-out: 11AM. This hostel has 100 rooms. Dorm rooms have four beds. Half of the non-dorm rooms are private. Kitchen, internet access (on a dated computer), video rental library. $13-15 per bed (dorm rooms), $32-59 per night (regular rooms, low season), $49-89 per night (regular rooms, high season).
SoBe Hostel, 235 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 534-6669, fax: +1 305 672-5495. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. The hostel offers shared or private rooms for 4, 6, and 8 people. Security lockers in-dorm, large kitchen and TV area with pool table and internet access. They also have a large bar that is open until 5AM for the party animals with lots of great drink specials. Free transportation to Miami International Airport offered twice a day. If you are traveling on a tight budget, this is a great opportunity to experience South Beach without going overboard. $40 (2 bed room), $24-$28 (single bed).
Tropics Hotel & Hostel, 1550 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 531-0361. Dorm rooms have four to eight beds per room. Private rooms have TV and phone. Barbecue, pool. $27-39 (dorm rooms), $90-180 (private rooms).
Villa Paradiso, 1415 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 532-0616. Rooms have queen sized beds, double beds or couch-beds. Air conditioning, TV, kitchen, refrigerator, coffeemaker. $99+.
Albion Hotel South Beach, 1650 James Ave, ☏ +1 305 913-1000. Modern Art Deco hotel ideally situated a couple of blocks to Collins Ave, Ocean Drive. The hotel is stylised as an Ocean Liner and is excellent value for money. The hotel has a large mezzanine level pool, hotel bar and rooms with very comfortable beds - you have been warned! The concierge staff are very helpful and will organise most things for you, there is also valet parking available.
Beacon Hotel, 720 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 674-8200, toll-free: +1-877-674-8200, fax: +1 305 674-8976. Rooms are equipped with flat panel LCD TVs, cable television, IP-phones with voicemail and dataport features, in-room mini-bar, and Wi-Fi. $140-$460.
Clevelander Hotel, 1020 Ocean Dr. Known as one of the hottest party places to stay while in South Beach. The pool is surrounded by glass blocks and neon bars, while the dance floors and outdoor stage are often filled with fantastic entertainment. Situated right on Ocean Drive, the sexy outdoor bars are always hopping and they have the highest liquor sales of any bar in Florida. The rooms are well furnished and are all equipped with AC and cable TV (if you have time to watch TV at all). The rooms average at about $120/night, depending on time of travel. If you are ready to party, this hotel won't let you down. Due to the party scene at this hotel, no one under 21 can stay here.
The Hotel of South Beach, 801 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 531-2222, toll-free: +1-877-843-4683, fax: +1 305 531-3222. Formerly the Tiffany Hotel (as implied by its spire on the top of the building), it was renovated by clothing and home decorating designer Todd Oldham. The Hotel has a blank facade on the outside but a multi-colored space on the inside. The 53 rooms are decorated with mirrors rather than artwork and have plenty of storage space around the room to compensate for room size. There is also a gem-cut swimming pool and lounge on the upper decks, room service, air conditioning, TV, stereo, and Wish, The Hotel's French-Brazilian restaurant which also has a bar. $245-$285 (winter rates), $144-$245 (off-season rates).
Hotel St. Augustine, 347 Washington Ave, ☏ +1 305 532-0570. A "boutique" style hotel in the SoFi District with Art Deco architecture and 24 loft-style rooms.
The Kent Hotel, 1131 Collins Ave. A boutique Art Deco hotel offering cool stylish elements of Miami Beach including modern themes, unique colors and furniture.
Marriott Stanton South Beach, 161 Ocean Drive, ☏ +1 305-536-7700. Oceanfront hotel that features a full-service spa, Deco Blue Restaurant and is pet friendly.
Pelican Hotel, 826 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 673-3373. Pelican Hotel claims it is a “toy-hotel” rather than a hotel because every one of its 30 rooms and suites is designed around a theme rather than the hotel itself being designed around a theme. Magnus Ehrland, a Swedish designer, created rooms like the “Psychedelic(ate) Girl,” “Jesus Christ Megastar” and the “Best Whorehouse” (which is said to be the most popular, and hardest to score, room in the hotel). Ehrland used his imagination and a lot of flea market goodies to design the rooms. The hotel also has a restaurant that serves breakfast well into the day, a bar, a concierge, laundry service, air conditioning, TV, refrigerator, hair dryer, iron, safe, and a stereo. $180-$440 per night (winter rates), $155-$310 per night (off-season rates).
The Raleigh, 1775 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 534-6300. The 105-room Raleigh hotel is a masterpiece of Art Deco grandeur, designed by legendary architect L. Murray in 1940, and has been a staple of South Beach since its renovation in the 1980s. The pool is fantastic.
San Juan Hotel South Beach, 1680 Collins Ave.
Townhouse Hotel, 150 20th St. Modern design & old-fashioned comfort.
The Bentley Hotel, 501 Ocean Dr. Yet another Art Deco Hotel in an oceanfront building dating back to from 1934. The Bentley's meticulously restored art deco architecture provides a luxurious, yet intimate environment. One of few upscale options on Ocean Drive.
Cardozo Hotel, 501 Ocean Dr. The Cardozo hotel, owned by singer Gloria Estefan and her husband, producer Emilio Estefan Jr., offers a variety of deluxe suites, as well as superior ocean view, and standard accommodations.
Delano, 1685 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 672-2000. Hotel has poolside bungalows, the Blue Door restaurant, the Blue Sea restaurant, the Rose Bar, the Agua Spa, penthouse suites and meeting facilities. Known in the past for Madonna hanging around the hotel, nowadays you may find the likes of Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis in the hotel whenever she's in town. The famous hotel lobby has become a nightclub destination in its own right, which is great if you want somewhere to party, not so much if you're just trying to get back to your room. $315-$925 (standard room), $1,000-$2,100 (suite), $1,500-$3,000 (bungalow/two bedroom), $2,400-$3,800 (penthouse).
The Setai, 2001 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 520-6000. Contemporary Asian style hotel in a reconstructed Deco building. Managed by GHM hotels, operator of the high-end Chedi chain. Quite possibly one of the most expensive boutique hotels in Miami (let alone South Beach). $950-$9000+ per night (ask about their prices for their four bedroom penthouse).
The Shore Club Hotel, 1901 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 695-3100. Hotel has the Beach House (a private villa), two pools, a spa, the Skybar, Nobu & Ago restaurant, penthouse suites and meeting facilities. $450-$1500 per night.
The Tides South Beach Hotel, 1220 Ocean Dr, ☏ +1 305 604-5070. An icon of Art Deco architecture. Debuted a provocative new design in the fall of 2007 by trendsetting designer Kelly Wearstler. The glamorous new design re-dresses the hotel's interiors incorporating elements from the sea, rich textures, sunset colors and vintage recreations with a nod to its illustrious past while setting new standards for future hotel design.
1 Hotel South Beach (1 Hotel & Homes South Beach), 2341 Collins Ave, ☏ +1 305 604-1000, toll-free: +1-866-615-1111, ✉ 1sb-contacts@1hotels.com. A 426-room hotel, each room designed using reclaimed materials. The property has four swimming pools including a beachfront, rooftop, hotel pool. The Lobby has a farm-stand and the restaurant is farm-to-table cuisine with chef Tom Colicchio. $699+.
Versace Mansion. Gianni Versace was an Italian fashion designer, known for creating fashionable clothes influenced by the infamous Andy Warhol and historical Roman and Greek art works. At the age of 50; Gianni Versace was murdered in front of his South Beach property (formerly known as Casa Casuarina) by a serial killer. The Versace mansion is now a hotel and event spot in South Beach.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 6. Last edited at 8:06 on Sep 30, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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