South Beach, Miami
On my first visit to Miami Beach, I had no idea that I would soon love it as much as I do. I had heard so many things about South Beach- how great it was, the nightlife, the people, the shopping, but I was skeptical. I had the opportunity to take a last minute trip in 2004, so I decided to see what all the hype was about. I was completely blown away by the beauty of Miami! I had been to Daytona Beach and Orlando, but Miami was completely different. It was nothing like I’d imagined it to be. Since then I have been back many times.
There are several hotels along the picturesque white sandy beaches. The aqua blue water temperature is usually warm enough to swim year-round. However, I would personally avoid visiting during hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 through November 30. The summer months also tend to be fairly humid. So, if you dont like humidity, that is something to consider.
There are many great hotel options depending on your taste. A few well-known hotels on the beach are the Colony, which you will see in many pictures and postcards of South Beach, the Sagamore, and the Delano. My personal favorite is the Mondrian South Beach on Biscayne Bay. The pool and the West facing rooms have amazing views of the Bay and Downtown Miami, and the best sunset views. Recently, I have seen several package deals advertised for this hotel on different travel sites. I usually recommend checking out jetsetter.com to browse their current hotel deals in Miami. http://www.jetsetter.com/search? source=linkbin&type=linkbin&q=Miami
Just as there are many hotel options, there are just as many nightlife options. Some of the larger well-known clubs are Nikki Beach and Mansion. If you are looking for a more relaxed lounge vibe, check out Vue Terrace at the Hotel Victor where you can grab a bed and enjoy two-for-one cocktails and complimentary hors d’oeuvres or head over to Lapidus Lounge at the Ritz Carlton for live Jazz in a 1950’s style club.
If you have access to a vehicle, the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is definitely worth a drive. Created from a rock quarry in 1923 and filled with natural spring water and surrounded by waterfalls. You can spend an afternoon at the pools for about $11. www.coralgablesvenetianpool.com The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is another beautiful site to visit. The home was John Deering’s winter home from 1916-1925. Entry is $15 for adults and $6 for children 6-12. http://www.vizcayamuseum.org/knowus-intro.asp
Also, you can stay local and grab a bike from Decobike- Miami Beach’s Bike Sharing & Rental program. For a few dollars a day, you have access to several bikes at one of the many bike-docking stations. For more info, check out their website at www.decobike.com
I would suggest checking livingsocial.comwww.livingsocial.com or groupon for local deals in Miami on spas, restaurants, and hotels.