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Not only did we get to attend the boat show, but we got to spend a couple of extra days checking out Miami!
Hotel: We stayed in the Springhill Suites Miami Airport East Medical Center. The location not the nicest part of town, but it worked out well for us. Particularly because we had free night vouchers! There is also free wifi and a shuttle between the hotel and the airport.
Transportation: We assumed we needed to take taxis around, but we didn’t have very good experiences with taxis. This is where our location came in handy. We realized that our hotel was a few blocks away from the MetroRail. We could hope on the MetroRail at Culmer, and take it to the Government Center stop, and transfer to the free MetroMover, which is a smaller rail line, with several tracks, including one that circles downtown. Taking the Inner Loop either way would drop us off after a few stops at College/Bayside, just a few minutes walk to the marina and the Strictly Sail show. The MetroRail is about $6 per person for the whole day. The cars also provide free wifi.
In Miami Beach, once you get there, you can rent bikes from Deco Bike. They have bike racks with automatic payment machines. There are probably 50 racks all over Miami Beach. You can’y miss them, and it saved us a lot of walking.
Food: Our first order of business after checking in was finding lunch. We went to Restaurante Monserrate for Columbian food, which as delicious! It was near an attraction we wanted to walk to so that worked well. During the show, we dined at a few places in the marina (Latin American Bayside Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe, and Hamburgesa), but found that the food was not terribly exciting. One night we did order delivery sushi from Sake Room, which was very good.
However, when I whipped out my Urbanspoon, we found that there are a ton of small restaurants in downtown Miami. We went to La Licuadora for Peruvian, Bali Cafe for Indonesian, and we had drinks at Biscayne Tavern. We did have to keep on eye on hours because downtown is a business district, and some places weren’t open for dinner.
Oh and for Valentine’s Day? A wonderful prix fixe menu at Tuyo.
You can read more details of my reviews here.
Attractions: The only attraction we really saw in Miami proper was the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, which is a beautiful waterfront, Italian style villa. But, we spent an entire day on Miami Beach and went to the Bass Museum of Art, Holocaust Memorial, and Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Next, we walked along the beach for a while to enjoy the view, then rented our bikes to get to South Pointe Park to watch the boats coming in and out and enjoy the sunset.
It was a wonderful trip!