A Guide To Visiting South Beach Miami

South Florida has to be one of the most humid places we have ever been. It felt like it was hotter than Mexico and Tropical North Queensland put together. It may have been because we were both fighting off a horrible cold and had a raging temperature while we were in Florida. Maybe. But then again, it was probably just that Miami has a super tropical climate and humidity just comes with the territory.

Despite the fact that we were both quite sick during our visit, we were determined that we were going to see the best of Miami. We only had a couple of days in this tropical paradise, and no matter how sick we were feeling we refused to spend those days in bed.

south beach miamisouth beach miami

So we rented a couple of bikes and headed out to explore the iconic South Beach on wheels. It was probably one of the best ideas we could have thought of, as it meant we could move faster on wheels and get a little bit of a breeze going as we rode along the beach. South Beach is iconic in Miami and is home of deep tans, toned bodies, sun-baking and palm trees. It certainly lived up to all it’s expectations.

One of our favourite things to do on South Beach was people watch. There are so many crazy characters along South Beach, from the volleyball players and the gym junkies, to the guy that was clearly making a dating video on roller-blades and talking to a camera about what a good catch he was. The entertainment along South Beach was endless.

south beach miami

What you need to know about Miami

When to visit – As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, during the summer months the weather in Miami is incredibly humid. To avoid the worst of the humidity the best time to visit Miami is during the winter months or the shoulder seasons, when the weather is still hot but there is significantly less humidity in the air.

Getting there – there are direct flights to Miami from all over the USA. From the airport there are heaps of different options to get from the airport to the city. The cheapest options include the Metrobus, Metrorail, the tri-rail and the Miami Beach Bus, or you can opt for a private transfer or a taxi if you want something a little more direct.

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Miami is one of the most popular cities in USA and it can get pretty pricey around the tourist areas. In fact, there is famously a margarita that can be ordered in one of the bars along Ocean Drive that is $65 USD! Avoid the main strips for food, drinks and hotels if you’re travelling on a budget and try to check out some of the more eclectic options.

ocean drive miami

What to do in Miami

Whether you have a day or a week or even longer in Miami, there are so many things to do. Some of the favourites include –

  • Obviously hit South Beach and spend the day at one of America’s most iconic and well known beaches.
  • Explore Little Havana for the Cuban side of Miami.
  • Head out to Everglades National Park for a glimpse at Florida’s largest swap where you can spot alligators and have a go at air-boating.
  • Wander around the Art Deco District with it’s pastel coloured buildings along Ocean Drive that overlook South Beach
  • Check out the Freedom Tower that was built in 1925 and is one of the oldest sky-scrapers in the south east USA.
  • Shop up a storm at the Time Out Market where you can find Miami’s best ice-cream, burgers, fried chicken and Cuban sandwiches all under one roof.
  • Check out Lincoln Road Mall, one of the country’s first pedestrian malls. Another great place for people watching.
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Explore all the things you can do in Miami

sbh hotel miami

Where to stay in Miami

During our time in Miami we stayed at South Beach Hotel (SBH), which was in the perfect location for our visit. It was only one block away from South Beach and a short walking distance from the main strip of restaurants, cafes and shops.

Our budget for our Miami accommodation was a bit lower than the rest of our trip through USA. We were only here for a few nights and didn’t want to blow all our money on a place just to sleep. At $179 USD a night, SBH provided us a cheaper alternative to the beach front hotels, while still being in an awesome location!

We stayed in a Standard King room, which included one of the biggest beds we have ever slept in, as well as a massive flat screen TV, beautifully modern bathroom and more amenities than you could imagine! The room was so chic and modern, it was like we were sleeping in a work of art! I am quite disappointed now that I didn’t take a photo of inside the room. it was honestly beautiful.

Check out the best rates for the South Beach Hotel.

south beach miami

The hotel had complimentary wifi which was so helpful and so speedy. Our room also included free local calls, which came in super handy as we kept extending our car hire. The staff were lovely and helpful, offering us tips on parking and driving around Miami.

We hadn’t expected to have a car in Miami, so we hadn’t booked accommodation with parking in mind. SBH does have valet parking, but like anywhere, valet is quite expensive. As an alternative, there is street parking right out the front of the hotel and in the surrounding streets which was handy. However it does have time restrictions and as the hotel staff warned us, there are parking inspectors around all the time. We ended up with two fines (including one at 4am, so the inspectors really are checking all the time), but luckily they were super cheap compared to Australian parking fines – only about $23 USD.

The only thing to keep in mind is that the complimentary breakfast and the pool are not located on the property – with breakfast being offered at a local cafe and pool access located on a sister property of SBH.

SBH South Beach Hotel || 236 21st Street, Miami Beach || Ph: +1 305 531 3464

Check out all the best places to stay in Miami

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A GUIDE TO VISITING SOUTH BEACH MIAMI

Happy travels,



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Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started Explore Shaw to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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Just two twenty-something married Aussies, visiting as many places as we can in between normal life, and hoping to inspire and offer advice for your travel planning.

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