Miami is considered one of the world’s trendiest hot spots for the beach and nightlife. Naturally, it was on my short list of cities to visit in the USA for that reason. So a while back a few friends and I spent one awesome week there.
It was my first visit to city and I was excited to experience the food, South Beach, the nightlife, and culture. So here are 23 pictures of Miami from my first trip there.
Pictures of Miami
What I like about Miami is that is has a unique feel to it. It also very much lived up to what I thought it would be like after watching countless movies and television shows about it.
There’s art deco, color, beautiful half-naked people, fancy cars, and trendy hotel clubs. The avenues around the streets are blasting with dance music all day and night and people are cruising the streets in convertibles. Everyone is tan.
There’s a lot of different parts of the city to explore as well. We mostly stuck to South Beach, but ventured to Downtown Miami to get a change of scenery. Miami is typically a place that you can hit up from a Thursday – Sunday and feel satisfied. We luckily had a whole week there!
Even so, there’s so much that we didn’t see. The beaches were just too cozy. It was a very lazy, relaxing vacation. We’d sleep until noon, eat lunch along Ocean Boulevard or Collins Avenue, then leisurely walking around or go to the pool. After we’d head to the beach at 4pm for two hours.
Finally, we’d then go to dinner and out at night. So yes, we could’ve done more. But that’s exactly what we felt like doing at the time. Sometimes you just don’t want to do tours and see everything there is to see. But of course now I want to go back. One day I will! But for this visit we were content on hanging out. Sometimes literally.
We stayed at the Clevelander, which blasted music from dawn to dusk. They literally give you earbuds to sleep because of that. If you want a constant party, stay there. If you need solid sleep, don’t; just visit at night.
I’ll say this; I liked the Clevelander. However, I did not like that the bathroom doors were see-through. I mean, c’mon.
Eating in Miami
Espanola Way was my favorite place to eat in Miami. My friend had been insisting we go there and I’m so glad we did. It’s a cute, European-style pedestrian street with great restaurants and shopping. It has colonial architecture and is located in South Beach.
Otherwise, we spent most of our time walking up and down Ocean and Collins to look for food. What was annoying were the hostesses that nag you to go into the restaurant whenever you stop to linger and read a menu. Otherwise, I love how most of the places have outdoor seating on the sidewalk, so it’s very summery and open.
I had to study for my LSATs that week and figured I could get that in at the beach and pretty much at any random moment that I could find. So there’s me in the picture below having wings for lunch and doing logic questions.
Ah, the nightlife in Miami. If you don’t like clubs then make sure you don’t go with people who want to go to them. Clubs are one of the biggest draws to Miami, but it seems that you either love them or hate them.
Here’s what you need to know – they’re expensive, the bouncers are snobby, you have to dress a certain way, and the cover charge is exorbitant. But don’t let this deter you. Like everything in life, it’s who you go with.
We didn’t hit up LIV Nightclub at the Fontainebleau Hotel on this trip. Instead we opted more for casual bars. So if you’re into that vibe, Downtown Miami was my favorite spot to go out to. The bars are more chill but still with good music and energy. Bonus – I loved the fancy, fun shots and drinks that the bartenders were making for us too.
Then there’s always Wet Willies, known for its frozen drinks. The most famous, because it’s the strongest, is the Call A Cab drink. It’s basically a slushy drinks for adults. The drinks here are fun but be warned, they’re full of sugar. You’ll get a serious hangover if you drink too much.
Miami Throwback – History and Culture
My guy friends were super excited to find the balcony that was part of one of the more famous scenes in the movie Scarface. It’s the infamous chainsaw part when the cocaine deal goes wrong. Located at 728 Ocean Drive, you can easily recognize the facade of the building with its iconic portholes. I think the building is actually a CVS now.
Shifting away from that, the original name of Miami is named after a Native American tribe, Mayaimi that lived by Lake Okeechobee until the 17th or 18th century. It was considered a wilderness in the early years of its growth when they would refer to the region as Biscayne Bay Country. Then when a local railroad tycoon expanded his railroad line to Miami in the 1890s the city really started to grow. Now Miami is a wonderful international city with a heavy Spanish influence.
We went to Miami in the summer, so it was hot hot hot. That means I loved it and everyone else was dying. My advice is to check the weather before you go. Also check to make sure that it’s not a weekend during one of the crazy festivals like Ultra, because everything will be packed.
What would you want to see in Miami?