South Beach Miami

Chris Ryan on 10 July 2010

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Welcome to Miami!!!

Let’s face it, America is an amazing destination. It has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for the glam and glitz of LA, the sophisticated modern city life of New York and Chicago, to wide open spaces of the mid-west and of course the amazing beaches. I could go on and on but for me the ‘Jewel in America’s Crown’ has to be Miami Beach, Florida.

There’s always so much going on in Miami that you would nearly need an extra hour in the day to enjoy all that’s on offer. Outside of its outstanding surf and beach, Miami has a rich entertainment and cultural history. Its amazing Art Deco architecture and great nightlife are renowned throughout the world. What I love about it is its Hispanic influences. For me there is nothing better than strolling along the sidewalk at night and feeling the vibe and listening to the different music from ‘south of the border’ exuding from each and every bar and restaurant.

We stayed in an Art Deco apartment just across from the beach and near all the nightlife. The beach is 7 miles of white sand and is spotlessly clean. Other than just soaking up the sun, you can also avail of all the water sports available from jet skiing to beach volleyball. When the sun gets too hot for you, there is every type of shop conceivable to visit. From craft shops to beach shops where you can buy great beach wear and accessories to the famous boulevards of Lincoln Road, Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive where you can visit shops the likes of Armani and Ralf Lauren and see how the other side live!!!

Then of course my favourite time of the day comes and the sun sets and Miami Beach comes into its own. We ate ‘al fresco’ in many of the sidewalk restraunts. One of our favourites was Lairos on the Beach (a Bongos Cuban Café). Lairos has a great Cuban atmosphere with delicious food and the Mojitios are worth a visit alone (you get to keep the glass!). Afterwards you should visit Mangos Tropical Café which is well worth a visit. It’s located in the middle of South Beach across from the beach. I loved this place and we spent every night here dancing the night away to Reggae, Latin and Caribbean music. The staff are all professional dancers and models and put on amazing dance shows throughout the night.

Miami has also one of the largest Cruise Terminals in the World and all the major Cruise Lines depart from here. For anyone taking a Cruise out of Miami I would strongly suggest that they take in South Beach as a pre Cruise stay. I cannot wait until my next visit!!

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