If you are looking to go to Miami (mainly South Beach), know what you want to do. Its very expensive for hotels, restaurants, drinks and everything in between. Its more of a place to be seen that anything.
There are so many great food choices in South Beach, especially Cuban food seeing as there is a large Cuban population in Miami. Do keep in mind, most restaurants in South Beach are going to be quite pricey for a “good” meal. By good, I mean a restaurant with a good ambiance and scenery, as well as menu selection.
There are many small diners, fast food restaurants and the like that you can get food at as well. If you are vacationing, you are likely going to want to try a few nice places out. I will say, do your research. The couple of places that we went to seemed to have a great menu, however, the food was sub-par and for 4 of us was over $100 and $200 each time and we all only got 1 serving and 1-2 drinks. Check restaurant menus for pricing and customer reviews before you go.
You can find some of my restaurant reviews on Trip Advisor of some of the places that I visited in Miami.
You’re on vacation. Of course you’re going to indulge in a few (or several) cocktails. I have been to New York a dozen times, LA the same and I like in Chicago and because of that, I know what to expect when it comes to drink prices. In those cities I also tend to go to higher end places to enjoy the views, ambiance, etc. so the drinks are also quite pricey. What I have experienced in those cities are $10-12 “handcrafted” cocktails and $6-8 for your rail and mixed drink.
Now expand that to Miami (South Beach), you’re looking at $12-15 for “handcrafted” cocktails and $8-10 for your rail and mixed drinks. On top of that, in South Beach, they add in gratuity to almost all bills. Now take those amounts and add in 10% gratuity on top of that. Each time we went out and had 2-3 drinks, we’re looking at $40-60, and usually over the course of 1-2 hours tops. If you are making an afternoon and/or evening out of it, you’re looking at an extremely expensive night.
The best advice that I can give is to plan out the places that you want to stop by. There are a few places in South Beach that are pretty popular, such as The Delano Hotel, The Loews, and The Clevelander. The hotels in South Beach always have a great experience and scenery so I would start there. Do keep in mind you are looking at almost $15+ per drink. I would also recommend walking down Ocean Avenue and having 1 drink at a few places.
From there, if you are a night owl, there are many clubs in South Beach. In my experience, so long as you come dressed for a night out (as a guy), with a girl, you’ll likely get to the front of the line, have to pay $20 for yourself and you’ll get in. Groups of girls, clearly no issues every getting in. Probably a free bottle of champagne and table if you plan ahead. There are many promoters in South Beach as well along with the concierge at most popular hotels that can get you in for free. From there, you are on your own to cough up some money for your drinks.
Now this all depends on what you are looking for. I myself like to take in the sights while adding in some entertainment along the way. I’ve been to South Beach 3 times now and each time has been different. My first trip was all about beach, entertainment, drinks and dinners. My next visit was quick and just checking out the shops and some food places. The most recent was the beach, touristy things and dinners. Out of all of those times
South Beach is not a place that I love to visit or will seek out to travel too. Many cruise posts are close to there which is why I end up being there. If you are in your 20’s, you should definitely have a weekend or trip there to experience it, but if you are not looking to spend a lot of money, or not into the scene to be seen crowd, then you likely want to find a different place to enjoy a relaxing Florida getaway.
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