Friday, June 10, 2016

(Not Quite) Sold on South Beach

For any of you following me on Instagram and Twitter (do it!!), you'll know I spent the last week in South Beach, Miami Florida. And it's been... Well, interesting to say the least. As a friend of mine put it perfectly when I described Miami to her, she said "Being in Miami is like being in a rap video!" Which completely hits the nail on the head with how I feel about Miami. Don't get me wrong, there are some beautiful aspects of Miami...

Enjoying the ocean in South Beach!
Case in point. Located in Southern Florida, Miami is home to many beautiful sand beaches and almost-Carribean style aquamarine blue beaches. On top of that, Miami is working to rebuild the natural dunes that typically line beaches - thus, there is always a gap between your hotel and the beach. This area is specifically dedicated to dune reconstruction, and in my opinion is probably one of the best things Miami has going for it.

Beyond the dune reconstruction, Miami does have the boardwalk. Portions of this (the cemented portions) are bike-friendly, while the physically boarded areas are not bike-friendly. It allows people to get around quite easily by bike or foot. There are conveniently located bikes for rental nearly every 2 or so blocks, and tons of different options for rentals. A bonus of one hotel we stayed at is that as long as hotel bikes were available, we could use those for free!

OK, so I touched on the beaches and biking the boardwalk. Beyond that, I'll be honest, Miami is quite...lackluster. It is overpriced, overcrowded, gratuity is included at almost every restaurant (meaning you receive awful service), and you can't walk more than five steps without the distinct smell of marijuana.

worst restaurant in South Beach
Pizza failure at i Paparazzi
First I want to talk about restaurants. Because real estate is so expensive in South Beach, it isn't a very easy area to navigate, just walk the street and pop into a restaurant you'd like to visit. No, you need a distinct plan and destination in mind or you will never find anything half decent. Trust me, I tried. See that pizza above? That was from the first time Nick and I decided to just stroll and find a place to eat. We went into the heart of South Beach, sat down, and ordered pepperoni pizza (me) and ceviche (him). Well, that is how my pepperoni pizza came out - about 60%ish covered in pepperoni, the other half not touched. Upon inquiring, the manager said "oh yeah, server thought it was only half pepperoni" ....OK, even if it was half pepperoni, you still failed at your job. On top of that, the pizza was only half-cooked and completely uncooked in the middle. Here I thought it wasn't possible to screw up a pizza - yep, I learned my lesson. Doesn't really ease my husband's mind about eating his RAW SEAFOOD from your restaurant, which clearly has a high level of attention to detail. (PS - the name of this restaurant is I Paparazzi if you want to avoid it, I'd recommend that!)

The next failed restaurant experiment was when I strolled solo down the strip, found a cozy little spot with happy hour, and proceeded to order a beer and some food. I drank half my beer, and then notice there are little "flakes" at the bottom of my glass. After confirming they were definitely IN my glass, not on the outside, I asked the bartender if I could get a new glass and explained why. He (kindly) proceeded to grab a supposedly clean glass, pour my beer, and hand it to me. This time, I immediately saw flakes flying around in my beer. Yuck!

enjoying a glass of wine at One Rooftop!
Overall, Miami certainly had some positive aspects. The beach and boardwalk is beautiful. Unfortunately, beyond that, I just did not feel Miami was an easy city to navigate, restaurants had poor service, and the constant feeling of being in a rap video was just not a pleasant feeling. So, with that being said - yes, I will likely be writing about Miami in the future. However, it won't all be sunshine and rainbows, but that is perfectly OK. Sometimes travel isn't about the sunshine and rainbows - it is all about the experience, and not every experience is good!

Another trip in the books with my love!


  1. Unfortunately, you can't win them all. But at least you got to spend quality time with your husband :) And got a little beach time too!

  2. Can only agree with you - South Beach is a tick the box kinda place.

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