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Review of South Beach

South Beach
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Private Tour: Miami Nighttime Sightseeing
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Miami Day Trip and Florida Everglades Airboat Ride
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Salsa Night with Lessons & Live Band
Ranked #1 of 118 things to do in Miami Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: People watching is a great pastime in Miami's South Beach, which draws celebrities and beautiful people in skimpy swim attire to see and be seen. The wide and fine, white sand-covered beaches are popular spots for fashion photo shoots, so you're sure to see models. The area is known for its hip clubs and wild nightlife as well as numerous excellent restaurants.
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

Always wanted to see Sobe so drove over from Marco Island, FL during a recent stay. Drove along the main drag. Parks and beach beyond on the east side and hotels and restaurants on the west side. Crazy crowded. Very cool. Lots of Art Deco buildings. Seemed each building had a restaurant out from on the sidewalk covered with umbrellas. Could not find anywhere to park for over 1/2. Didn't want to pay a valet. Finally found a city parking garage right in the heart of things. Very inexpensive($1 per hour). Walked along until we found somewhere we wanted to eat. Ate at The Cleveland on the sidewalk. Stop in the lobby's of the hotels and take a look at the restored art deco designs. Later went to the beach . It was packed(MLK day). Worth the trip!

Visited January 2013
Thank twji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Miami, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Something for Everyone”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

I've lived in South Beach for several years now, and it is a world-class destination. There are, however, some misconceptions which should be cleared up: while South Beach DOES have many ritzy hotels, multi-million dollar homes, and celebrity visitors, it also has plenty of free and reasonably-priced attractions, and can be a fun and frugal destination for a traveler on a budget.

Let's break down the area into its component parts, from east to west:
1) the beach: free, wide, white, clean, with sparkling turquoise waters that are from 75-85 degrees F all year long, this wonderful asset is great for exercise, swimming, people-watching, and general r&r. It has a wide path along it inland of the dunes that runs from 5th street to 23rd street, where it turns into a boardwalk that runs for miles.
2) the Ocean Drive strip: featured on countless postcards, t-shirts, movies, etc., this street features mostly mediocre, overpriced food being hocked relentlessly by pretty young women hired to lure in tourists. The upside: even the bad meals come with a good view, and if you do your research, you can find the few places that are good!
3) Collins Ave: one block west of Ocean Drive, Collins features many boutique hotels, boutique shops, and a few solid restaurants. North of 15th Street, Collins is the street closest to the beach, and the hotels on the east side of it have beach access through their rear gates. The core of hot, trendy hotels runs along Collins from 17th to approximately 23rd Street (depending on which places you leave in or out), including The Delano, The Setai, the Shore Club, The W, The Raleigh, and others that fall in and out of favor. As you move further south, Collins is also the axis for most of the youth hostels on South Beach, where no-frills lodging provides fast friendships and vibrant social scenes.
4) Washington Ave: the 4-lane divided thorofare that is the spinal column of SoBe's club scene. Mansion, Crowbar, and an ever-changing menu of dance clubs that feature celebrity DJ's (live music is almost impossible to find in South Beach, and Miami in general) keep the music throbbing until last call at 5 AM.
5) Lincoln Road: an open-air shopping arcade that runs east-west between 16th and 17th streets, Lincoln is great for just walking around window-shopping and people-watching. Some of the restaurants are quite good (others are trading on their location), and if you can afford to buy at the ever-gentrifying stores there, so much the better.
6) The rest: from Washington Ave west to the water of Biscayne Bay, South Beach is a neighborhood, with people of all classes, backgrounds, ages, education, and beliefs sharing the sun-drenched mayhem. There is a whole sub-culture of Local Life, with a network of bars, restaurants, and clubs that the guy who is washing dishes at Joe's Stone Crab or busing tables at Prime 112 goes to when his shift ends, where he can have fun and knock back a hard-earned drink without breaking the bank. For those who bother to seek it out, this can be the most fun part of South Beach -- and certainly the most economical. A couple of great B&B's are also hidden in these neighborhoods.

The many attractions, hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, and activities in South Beach each deserve (and have) their own reviews here-- look around for the things that suit your fancy. You're sure to find something you like.

Some tips:
Driving in South Beach is very frustrating. There are scads of roller skaters, skate boarders, cyclists, scooters, pedestrians, double-parked trucks and delivery vans, tour buses, and cars driven by lost tourists and locals on cell phones. Park your car at one of the city-run garages ($1/hour if you park before 7 PM) and walk around, or rent a bike.

Due to the significant number of non-U.S. visitors, most of the bars and restaurants include the tip. Check your bill to make sure you don't tip more (or less) than you intend to. They will remove it if you complain.

Service at almost every location in SoBe (even the fancy, expensive ones) is often slow and shoddy (the local managers call it "Beach Brain.") Don't fight it. You're on vacation. Relax.

Visited February 2013
18 Thank Gordon13798465
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida USA
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“South Beach is beautiful”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Lovely beach with a warm ocean that looks already like Caribbean waters. Great restaurants. Everything is close by and accessible.

Visited February 2013
Thank katzenmami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collegeville, Pennsylvania, United States
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013

So much fun! Some bars are open all night~this was the first time I have ever bar hopped until 6 in the morning! There is also a very lenient open container law :) I have never seen so many gorgeous men in one place! ( so what if they were gay) :)

Visited January 2013
Thank Sandra F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“fun place”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

I have always enjoyed the south beach experience. you can stay at an up scale hotel or an art deco hotel on Ocean Ave. The Hotel Pelican has a great porch for lunch; many types of restaurants close by. Rental bikes are available for $5 an hour which can be parked at the numerious bike docking stations through out south beach. Go; you will enjoy.

Visited January 2013
Thank marty l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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