The first thing you realize as an European arriving in the US is how huge everything is, how enormous the distances are and really how much time you need to get from one place to another and to explore it!
I really thought we are mostly going to lie on the beach and relax in Miami, visit lots of different restaurants and bars and maybe drive to some other cities for a short trip. Well, we kinda did, but it was way more exhausting and it took us way more time and energy to do and see all these things! As a result we were so tired in the evening that I was glad we had a nice bar with happy hour at our hotel! Nevertheless Miami and Florida were amazing and so worth the visit!
Another thing I didn’t realized was that Miami and Miami Beach are two different things! Two separate cities, connected with huge bridges and a long long bus ride or a not very pricey taxi/uber drive from one another! So if you are staying there and want to explore, it’s a great idea to rent a car for the time of your visit! We rented a car for a couple of days and I definitely felt the difference! Cars and gas in the US are not expensive but you should really pay attention to the speed limits and take them seriously! For those of you who live in or have traveled through Germany, you know there are no speed limits on the highways, so “slowly” driving in the USA was quite the challenge for my boyfriend! But safety first, so we managed 😉
So if you have a vehicle and a nicely located hotel, it should be fine!
Our hotel was really sweet and surprisingly luxurious! It was perfectly located just next to the beach in Miami Mid-Beach. The public beach was one of the prettiest I’ve seen! It was really calm, because many tourists actually go to their hotels’ private beaches.
The neighborhood was also very relaxed, modern and quiet. On one side we had the beach and on the other – the canal flowing through Miami Beach with the most beautiful bayside houses and villas!
There is also a free retro bus driving from South to North Beach and the bus stop was right next to our hotel, which of course was extremely comfortable and we ended up using it more than once a day!
We spent one day in South Beach…
…and it was crazy down there! Spring breakers, festival visitors and the craziest, loudest cars on Ocean Drive! Again, the beach was pretty cool and the party mood wasn’t missing!
My favorite part of Miami was Coconut Grove!
We had a wonderful late lunch there and walked around a little bit. Unfortunately we couldn’t find the yacht harbor and we had underestimated the size of the city again, so there are still things to do and see on the next Miami visit!
The highlight in Coconut Grove was undoubtedly the visit at the Vizcaya Museums on a romantic rainy day!
On the way home that night we made a stop at Little Havana and Calle Ocho. A really quick look around and a picture with the big chickens and I could check this off my travel list!
My personal favorite thing from our time in Miami was the boat trip from Bayside near Downtown through the Venetian Islands by sunset!
More details and stories from the Florida vacay are following on StylishTravelista! Please share with me your favorite spot in Miami or the Sunshine State in the comments below! I really intent to go back there and maybe relax and enjoy the place more next time!