Feeling the tropics in Miami, Florida

To celebrate our anniversary, we decided to explore the world-renowned Miami in Florida. At first, I had doubts with the place being child friendly since Miami is often synonymous to partying, and millennials getting wasted. Lol. But then as I was reading travel websites, Miami can also be fun for families with kids in tow! We wanted to see how Miami Beach compare to our beaches in the Philippines.

We got a beach front hotel as we want to have a full day and walking access to the beach. We chose the Mid Beach- from reading reviews, it’s not too crowded and it’s great if you just want to relax with kids in tow. South Beach is where the party and night life happens so we skipped it. Miami Beach is divided into three namely- North Beach, Mid Beach and the South Beach, all three share the same shore but walking from Mid to South Beach is about an hour away. As you can imagine, Miami Beach is a very long stretch of white sandy shore and it is an island separate from downtown Miami. What connects it the mainland Miami are well built bridges.

So from New York, we took the plane from La Guardia Airport to Miami International Airport. The flight was 3 hours and was comfortable.

We saw this from the plane which looked like they were building new roads out of the ocean.

Then we booked an Uber to our hotel in Miami Beach.

We booked the Holiday Inn- Oceanfront thru booking.com. It was the cheapest among the other beachfront hotels in Mid Beach. A bit above our budget but the beach access was worth it. It was a 20 minute drive from the airport to Miami.

Holiday Inn Oceanfront.

The hotel’s swimming pool

Beach Access. We really loved how the beach is accessible to the hotel. The hotels placed beach chairs and umbrellas for use for their guests. There is a concierge by the beach for each hotel. One can also order drinks from the hotel’s bar and have it sent it you on the beach. Such fun under the sun!

Collins Avenue- This vibrant beach walk connects the beach to the hotels. You can see a lot of people walking, biking and it is lined with palm trees. The scenery gives you that tropic vibe we don’t see often in North America.

The second day, we decided to have breakfast in South Beach, do some strolling, head to Little Havana and availed the sightseeing cruise on the nearby islands in Miami.

We got an uber to take us to Front Porch Cafe in South Beach- it was a 10 minute ride.

Breakfast in Front Porch Cafe in South Beach.

We strolled along Art Deco in South Beach and had a little peak of the beach.

South Beach is what’s synonymous to Miami. Mostly photos of Miami is from the South Beach. I could only imagine how it is during the night time. If Mid Beach has Collins Ave, South Beach has Ocean Drive.

Right after our quick stroll in South Beach, we took Uber to downtown Miami in Little Havana.

Coming here was like coming home, we see the houses were built just like our houses in the Philippines. one, two- storey houses with low gates and palm trees.

Little Havana has very rich history. It is home to many Cubans in Miami that emerged during the 1960’s. Little Havana specifically in Calle Ocho is lined with walk up Cuban restaurants and stores selling Cuban tobacco and garments. The vibe is very lively with salsa music played live by a Cuban band.

They have a walk of fame which features famous Latin artists like Thalia.

The Domino Park is where Cubans meet and discuss politics while playing dominoes. If you have seen the movie, Father of the Bride, this is where Robert De Niro sits down with her daughter and played domino.

Real police in Little Havana. On a horse!

Sightseeing Cruise

We spent 2 hours in Little Havana and headed to the Bayside Marketplace where we shall be starting our sight seeing cruise along Biscayne Bay. Bayside Marketplace is an open, festive shopping mall located along the harbor of Biscayne Bay. It has various restaurants and shops. It’s very lively and festive. And the fact that it’s near the harbor makes it very refreshing.

While waiting for the boat.

We booked the 90 minute sightseeing cruise thru Trip Advisor for 25 usd per person. We sailed past the Miami skyline , islands near miami and the mansions of the rich and famous. There is a tour guide who would ask you to guess whose mansion is she referring to with some clues. We got to see J Lo’s, Jacky Chan’s, Lebron James’, I cannot recall all the names and mansions the guide mentioned.

Miami Skyline

The port of Miami is known as one of the busiest and the largest in the world.

We passed by the cruise ships docked in the port.

The next day, we decided to just relax and bask in the sun. We spent it swimming in the beach and the pool

We wished we had more time here, I would have wanted to explore more of Miami. I wanted to visit the Everglades, Key West, check out the night scene in South Beach. Also, Miami is a bit more expensive that we thought it would be. Restaurants impose service charge ranging from 18- 22%. Let me picture out for you how costly it is. A coconut fruit with its juice costs 18 usd in Bayside Marketplace and cocktails range 18- 30 dollars. But as long as we had fun right?