February 2013 was my second visit to Miami.
We flew U.S Airways via Philadelphia for a 3 night stay in Miami. The connection in Philadelphia was 4 hours but this was no problem. Unlike some of the U.S airports this airport was huge with many shops, bars and restaurants making the connection comfortable and lots to do and see. Also the airport offers free WIFI.
On arrival into Miami transportation to downtown or Miami Beach is very easy and also quite cheap. We stayed at the Chesterfield Hotel one road from Miami Beach. The location was perfect and the hotel affordable. Staying at this hotel there are free transfers to and from the airport and also WIFI is included throughout your stay.
Hotels I would normally recommend would be the Claridge hotel and also the Miami Beach Resort & Spa. Both are in a good location, very good value for money and right near South Beach.
South Beach is a very lively destination and attracts all kinds of crowds but a lot of youngsters due to the amount of bars, clubs and beachside restaurants. The beach is white sand and stretches for miles.
There are many places to eat out and drink with a huge variety of entertainment for all ages.
I would definitely recommend at least 3 days when visiting Miami, perfect if you are going on a cruise, Miami is the largest cruise terminal in the world. Miami is also a great stop if you are driving down to Key West or if you are going in the opposite direction up to Tampa and Orlando. You can do many types of excursions if you are not hiring a car here. You can even do a day trip to Orlando which is around a 4 hour drive and visit one of the many theme parks or Disney world. They are around $180USDpp for a day trip including the tickets.
Other attractions well worth seeing would be a tour of the Everglades which would be a hover boat through the croc infested swamps. This is a great excursion and only around $35USDpp.
Miami has many shopping districts but if you wanted to go to the designer outlets then Saw Grass Mills in Fort Lauderdale is only an hour away by car and you can also do a day trip here at around $30USDpp if you are not hiring a car.
The best excursion for me on my second visit was the hop on hop off bus tour of Miami. At $40USDpp for a 2 day pass you can visit the whole of Miami from South beach along Ocean drive and up past millionaire’s row and star island up to downtown Miami. There are 3 bus tours included in this package and offer audio and also live tours. Overall Miami is well worth visiting especially if you are on the way to another U.S city or whether you are staying purely in Florida or perhaps taking a cruise.