Ah, Miami, Florida. So much beaching, shopping, eating, and partying to do – in short, serious fun to be had. There are all sorts of neighbourhoods and cities in Greater Miami, but the one that’s become the main visitor magnet (especially for young people from around the world) is South Beach. This southernmost section of the barrier island occupied by the cities of Miami Beach, Surfside, and Sunny Isles is among other things home to Ocean Drive, for many Miami’s most famous street, and a unique collection of tropical Art Deco architecture.
Ocean Drive is one of the biggest reasons young people flock to SoBe (as some snappily abbreviate it), as it runs along one of the hottest, buzziest beaches in America, where people splash, preen, and play – from Frisbee and pick-up volleyball to rollerblading and biking along beachfront footpaths.
Across from sand and sea, the west side of Ocean Drive, meanwhile, is lively day and night, lined as it is with popular hotels, clubs, and restaurants (though you’ll definitely want to check prices before sitting down and ordering, to avoid any surprises). You’ll want to stop in at the visitor centre at Ocean and 14th Street and take a selfie in front of the famous Art Deco outdoor clock. And don’t forget, the best way to experience this fun few blocks is on foot – which can yield big entertainment for little or no money.
And of course if the scene is lively by day, once the sun sets it moves into overdrive – the world-famous neon switches on and the bars start filling up – the signal that it’s time to pour in to hear the live music and dance the night away. If you can’t have fun on Ocean Drive at night, you might want to check your pulse.
And by the way, one way cool side trip you should consider from Miami lies 3½ hours’ drive south. The island city of Key West – the southernmost point of the continental United States – has a quaint Victorian-era Old Town unlike anything else in this country, as well as its own lively nighttime scene (though of course on a smaller scale than South Beach!).
On the other hand, we sure couldn’t blame you for not wanting to leave hot, hot SoBe! 🙂
Photo | Ann Baekken