Miami Beach and South Beach have more than seven miles of beaches and 20 parks, a thriving art and cultural life and some amazing bars and clubs. Miami Beach itself is an island city of just 7.1 square miles and it separates Biscayne Bay from the radiant blue waters of the Atlantic.
Not Everyone Is A Millionaire in South Beach
South Beach (or SoBe) is where Gianni Versace lived and eventually died when his gay lover murdered him. Many tour operators actually offer tours of his favourite places and also visit the street where he died. According to the city government’s website, “Miami Beach is no longer just a place to lay on the beach soaking up the sun – it has much more to offer since the refurbishment of the Art Deco Historic District.”
There are also hundreds of cafés, clubs and shops along South Beach’s Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road, and Washington Avenue. Most of the international hotels and restaurants of Collins Avenue and Middle Beach are the higher end of the spectrum. There is also the re-emerging neighborhood in North Beach, so two weeks would definitely the minimum for a visit.
South Beach might appear like a great place only if you have a lot of money – but that shouldn’t put you off though. There are plenty of things to do in South Beach if you have little money. You can still have a lot of fun if you know where to look even if you are a poor student like I was when I visited.
My Nightmare Sunburn in South Beach
Unfortunately I arrived in Miami totally hangover and I hardly slept on my first night. This meant that when I arrived at the beach I was totally exhausted and I fell asleep under the sun in 40 degree heat! I don’t know how long I was asleep for but when I awoke my back was sizzling and I was in agony. I stumbled back to the hostel, hoping I would be able to sleep it all off.
That didn’t happen. I had a terrible night and by the morning I really was suffering from burns and a headache. I decided to have a shower but I collapsed in the shower and also in the corridor on the way back to the room. It was then that I decided to go to the A&E. Luckily I was fully insured and so they kept me in all day on intravenous rehydration. I also got some sort of an injection then they discharged me. Fortunately the insurance company covered everything, otherwise the day’s visit would have cost me nearly $10,000!
Needless to say this completely messed up my holiday. I spent the next two or three days recuperating. The hostel was also atrocious and most people were very unfriendly. It was memorial weekend and the city was full to the brim so I couldn’t even change hostels even if I wanted to. The room was freezing as the aircon was down to 16 degrees, whereas outside it was well over 35 degrees heat. The difference in heat hit me every time I left the place and I slowly developed a very bad cough.
To be continued…
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Read the previous part of this series about my trip to Washington DC
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