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Where shall we go?

Marysville, WA
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Where shall we go?

Hi!

We'd really appreciate some advice. We're going to spend a few days in Miami for a convention in Mar. We plan to be in the Miami area for four days prior to the conference. There are four of us (two couples), and we're pretty conservative in terms of nightlife, etc. We really like to shop, swim at great beaches and eat good food (not too expensive) !

We'd like ideas for staying near (or on) a beach, if possible...in a fairly nice hotel. We'll have a rental car and could drive...but probably not more than an hour beyond Miami Beach.

Thanks for your help!

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Brandon, Florida
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1. Re: Where shall we go?

Any of the Ft. Lauderdale hotels near the beach should suit you. Are you planning to move closer to where the convention is once it starts or do you want to remain at the beach hotel?

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Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale
Broward County, FL
miami
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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2. Re: Where shall we go?

Samnhoj>

Where is the conference? What is your budget for the room per night? There are lovely hotels on the beach including the Mariott at 2/Ocean, the Lowe's, the Park Central, and the Ritz Carlton. Prices vary as do amenities like pool, spa and such. All are within steps of great dining, shopping and a resort atmosphere...

Switch over to the Miami Beach forum and have a look here:

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g34439-Miami_Beach_Fl…

AG

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The Park Central
The Park Central
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Miami Beach, FL
Marysville, WA
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3. Re: Where shall we go?

Here's more infomation. Thanks for your replies!

AG:

"Where is the conference?"

Most of the activities take place between the Miami Beach Convention Center/

Jackie Gleason Theatre of the Performing Arts (1701 Washington Avenue) and the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts

(1300 Biscayne Boulevard). We really would like to stay elsewhere for our first four days in Florida. However, we don't want to spend a lot of our time driving. So...that's why we said no more than one hour from Miami Beach...more or less...

"What is your budget for the room per night?"

$199 or less.

Chuts:

"Are you planning to move closer to where the convention is once it starts or do you want to remain at the beach hotel?"

We plan to move. We're getting a rock-bottom rate at the Holiday Inn - Port of Miami. ($125)

THANKS!!!

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Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami Beach Convention...
255 Reviews
Miami Beach, FL
Florida
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Port of Miami
Port of Miami
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Miami, FL
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4. Re: Where shall we go?

Samnhoj>

My 2 cents... Miami and Miami Beach are 2 separate cities. You should stay on the Beach. The Convention Center is centrally located in the northern portion of what we consider South Beach. It is on Washington Avenue - the main street of the area.

2 blocks due south of the Hall is Lincoln Road Mall, a perfect destination for you during the conference for meals, drinks, Starbucks... whatever needs you may have. Shops from vintage to Macy*s for whatever you might have left behind or decide to bring back home... art galleries etc. On alternating Sundays there is a farmer's market or a flea market on the sidewalks in front of the stores and cafes.

Definitely look into a walking tour of the Art Deco Landmarks while you're here.

http://www.mdpl.org/tours.html

There are also Duck Tours (bus turns into a boat) just next door to the Greenview on Washington.

Phone: 786-276-8300

Phone: 1-877-DUCK-TIX

Departure location: 1665 Washington Ave.- South Beach Tickets can also be purchased at: Art Deco Welcome Center - Located at Ocean Drive & 10th St. (South Beach)

The Wolfsonian Museum on 10th Street & Washington houses some fabulous collections - exhibits vary and you'll get a better idea in March or when you're finalizing the details of your trip.

As for the runnng and walking?

STROLL Lincoln Road - 24 hours of laid back people watching, drinking, dining, movies, bowling, shopping etc.

RUN along the beach from your conference due south to the point at 1st Street and back...

WALK along Ocean Drive (Lummus Park) and enjoy the Art Deco landscape from 15th Street down to 5th. Stop at any cafe or check out the bouncy club Mangos on 9th for a drink and some Latin Ritmos. The Clevelander Pool Bar at 10th and Ocean is a nice pause for adult refreshment. News Cafe at 8th features 24 hour casual bites. Front Porch Cafe at 14th is always pleasant for a leisurely brunch.

Here are some maps to get you started.

southbeach-usa.com/maps/miami-beach-maps.htm

The Holiday Inn at the Port is a great place in Downtown Miami for a night or 2 if you are taking a cruise. If you are looking for inexpensive hotels near the convention facility, check out the Albion, The Doubletree Surfcomber, the Greenview, the Clay, the Villa Paradiso... or the Crest.

These places are with walking distance to the conference and are moderate to inexpensive. You would not even need a rental car if you stay near the hall. You could nip in and out of your meetings and hit the beach or stop at the room to rest and refresh during the day without any trouble. You can not do this if you stay in another city.The convention center area is filled with great cafes, shops, bars and is just a few blocks from the sea. You'll save a bunch on parking and rental fees too!

The Port Hotels are in the City and offer little in the way of safe easy nighttime activities. There is the Bayside Marketplace which is an indoor outdoor tourist mall geared to the cruise customers. You'll have to pay to rent the car and need to drive everywhere and pay to park as well. Logistically - it's just much more difficult to manage.

As to your 4 days of "freedom," definitely consider spending the night (or 2) down in the Florida Keys and Key West. To get to the Keys...

Take 95 south to 836 west and follow the signs to the TURNPIKE toll road. Then drive the Florida turnpike southbound to the end and you'll be at the top of the Keys in no time. The rest of the drive is just glorious so keep your cameras handy. Pull over a few times to enjoy the scenery - have a drink and get your feet wet. Have lunch when you get hungry - there is no way to plan where you'll be when the spirit moves you so here is a guide for whatever hapens next!

The scenic route takes you along CARD SOUND ROAD and rejoins the main road way southbound to the Upper Keys. Sometimes you'll find this road less travelled a lot less traffic too! You'll find Alabama Jacks at the toll booth at the end of the Card Sound Road. Stop for a drink and a snack here...

Herein we utilize the little numbered mile marker signs on the side of the road as you drive south. Some of these are approximate as the more I play the less I remember... but this is a great rough guide to the drive you're going to remember ALWAYS! Stop somewhere on the way back for a great lunch and some photo opportunities..

There is a separate forum on this site with lots of great info on the Keys. The drive from Miami to Key West is 3-4 hours of gorgeous waterfront driving (it is to us what the Pacific Coast Highway is to the Left Coasters). I suggest you get on the road early one morning and make your way down to Key West. Spend the day sightseeing and then celebrate the sunset with a lot of rum on Mallory Square. Have dinner at the Half Shell raw bar or at 915 Duval and drink on Duval Street at night. Have breakfast at Blue Heaven in the morning (lobster eggs benedict) and then hit the road northbound .

Make your way half way back to Hawk's Cay Resort or the Casa Morada via the beach at Bahia Honda or try snorkeling (or glass bottom boat touring) at John Pennecamp State Park.

http://pennekamppark.com/

I will break it down SOUTH to NORTH>

The beach most people (and Conde Naste Traveller) consider tops in the Lower Keys is Bahia Honda State Park (MM37). This is the website

http://www.bahiahondapark.com/

With both sandy beaches and deep waters near shore you will enjoy exceptional swimming and snorkeling here. There are two beaches in this park: Sandspur Beach on the oceanside and Caloosa Beach near the Seven Mile Bridge. You will know you are in the Caribbean with the crystal clear, turquoise water, and white coral sand beach lined with coconut palms. The water is warm year-round, making it a beach for all seasons. Sandspur beach has a very gentle drop off and the absence of waves makes it perfect for children, and for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking for everyone.

At MM 50 - there is Sombrero Beach - a gradually sloping, fine grain sand beach on the Atlantic Ocean.

Check out Anne's Beach at MM 73, dedicated to local environmentalist Anne Eaton. Anne's Beach features a shallow swimming area, covered picnic tables, boardwalk and bathroom facilities. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean, but there is almost no wave action, due to the wide expanse of shallow water typical for Florida Keys beaches. Most visitors stick to the beach areas near the parking lots. Locals walk the boardwalk between the lots to find 5 covered pavilions and much more secluded stretches of beach.

Closer to Miami is Harry Harris Beach at MM 92.5, a protected man-made lagoon with a sandy beach and clear ocean water for safe relaxing swimming. The beach is protected from wave action and large fish by a coral rock barrier.

Wherever you go, you're sure to find the picture perfect moment in the Florida Keys. It is DEFINITELY worth a day trip to experience the tranquil warm waters and the laid back lifestyle that brings so many people to the Keys year after year. If you snorkel - you will love Pennecamp Park reefs. If you're just looking for a quiet escape, the beaches along the way are really lovely!

Then drive back up to mainland Florida the next morning and on to South Beach for your conference...

Enjoy!

AG

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Marysville, WA
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5. Re: Where shall we go?

Thanks AG. You are amazing. We read several of your posts last night...you are very informed...a good writer and hilariously funny!

samnhoj

west mids uk
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6. Re: Where shall we go?

Hi AG, we're coming to Miami and the Keys next July, and I would just ask how much more prepared we should be re travelling, given the time of year. Is the road down to the keys going to be VERY congested and, if so, what time would you recommend starting our journey down from Miami South Beach to key West, in order to get there by mid-afternoon?

We will stop overnight on the way back at Key largo, as we are ending the trip with a cruise and do not want to be stuck in traffic while our boat sails away without us!

Thank you.

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South Beach
South Beach
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west mids uk
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7. Re: Where shall we go?

Hi AG, we're coming to Miami and the Keys next July, and I would just ask how much more prepared we should be re travelling, given the time of year. Is the road down to the keys going to be VERY congested and, if so, what time would you recommend starting our journey down from Miami South Beach to key West, in order to get there by mid-afternoon?

We will stop overnight on the way back at Key largo, as we are ending the trip with a cruise and do not want to be stuck in traffic while our boat sails away without us!

Thank you.

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South Beach
South Beach
17,241 Reviews
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8. Re: Where shall we go?

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