Your Miami flight and hotels are booked. Now its time to research exactly what you can expect to see and experience when you arrive. With so much on offer it is actually difficult to know what to prioritize. Especially if you are in town for only a few days.
Well to help you this short guide will look into a few things you should know about Miami before you step on the plane. Here’s how you can maximize your enjoyment during your holiday in Miami and what you can expect to find.
The People of Miami
Miami is heavily populated by Latin Americans and Spanish speaking citizens. This goes a long way to giving the city it’s unique charm.
If you know a little Spanish you will get a chance to use it. That being said, most locals understand a good amount of English too.
The accent is strong however, and whether you are attempting to speak in English or Spanish do not be frustrated if much of what is being said is difficult to understand. The Cuban dialect is distinctive and can sound incomprehensible to the untrained ear.
Areas of Miami (Where to avoid)
We have discussed where to stay in Miami here. The obvious places being neighbourhoods such a South Beach, Downtown and Brickell.
However, there are some areas that are best avoided. While Little Havana is one of our top picks on places you must see, some parts can be a little intimidating at night.
Overtown, along with Liberty City and Carol City are not the safest places to walk around looking like an obvious tourist.
North Miami Beach is another area you can miss if your time in the city is short. Instead check out Coconut Grove, Pinecrest or Key Biscayne. These have a lot more to offer the traveler that is in town for only a few days.
Accommodation, and what to expect
Miami has an average of 14 million tourists each year. That is a huge number considering the size of the city and surrounding beaches.
This of course means that the hospitality industry is one of the largest contributors to the local economy that brings in billions of dollars annually.
If you have only just booked your flights and the accommodation part of your trip is yet to be finalized, do not delay too long.
Hotels and suitable AirBNB stays are snapped up quickly, especially when traveling in peak times of the year.
That being said, Miami does have a wide selection of accommodation styles; from boutique hotels, luxury resorts and hipster hostels. As long as you do your research, you will find something that suits your tastes.
If you’re planning on driving during your stay in Miami be warned; the roads can be chaotic.
Not only are there the streams of tourists bustling to and fro, you have the other drivers on the road to contend with.
The locals drive like lunatics with little to no concern to road rules, pedestrians or simple things like the humble traffic light.
Any driver from elsewhere, be it the U.S or Europe can be shocked for the seeming lack of respect that most Miami drivers have for others.
Finally, there are a few things you should definitely pack for your trip to Miami.
The swimsuit of course – no holiday is complete without some time spent on one of the beaches. This makes sunscreen another essential item for the suitcase.
Insect repellent will be a life saver when walking about in the evening. They are particularly viscious in this part of Florida and if you do not want to be covered in itchy bumps after day one of the stay, you will need to apply liberally.
When there you should always carry a bottle of water with you. Dehydration is a real issue in the summer months.
And if you don’t speak any Spanish at all, a little book (or phone app) with a few handy phrases will help you get the most out of your stay. The locals will appreciate the effort too.