I only had a few days in Miami and although I wanted to spend a lot of time on the beach enjoying the winter sun, I’m also a bit of a culture vulture and wanted to see Miami too. If you only have a limited amount of time and don't have a car, this is a great way to see Miami.
Firstly, I recommend that you go to The Big Bus Company website and download one of their maps showing their bus routes: City and Beach tours. That way, you can decide where you want to get off and how much time you will spend in each place. Both 'loops' - city and beach - take 90 mins each, if you don't get off (obviously!) and costs $39:00. The weather in Miami was hot and sunny and everyone scrambles for the open top deck, but don't be fooled by the breeze when you're driving...you can still burn, so lots and lots of sun block needed. Another warning about sitting up top are the looming trees that line the pavements of Coral Gables and Coconut Grove - watch your head/eyes/upper body, they're a hazard!
I caught the bus at Bayside Market Place and started with the City tour and met some great people on the tour, so we decided to get off in Little Havana (hugely overrated in my opinion, but that's another story!), aside from this 'Hop Off' I didn't feel the need to get off anywhere else. I suppose if I wanted to make a day of it, I would have got off in Coconut Grove as there seemed to be some lovely little places for lunch. I was then dropped back at Bayside and waited for the Beach loop. The Beach loop makes a 30 min mandatory stop at South Beach, so you can get to see the beach etc and then carries on up Ocean Drive and Collins Ave; this was handy for me as my hotel was at the top of Collins, so I got off there.
All in all, I really enjoyed the tour and found it informative. It was also a great way to see Miami quickly and relax taking in the sights. I would definitely recommend it.
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