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Miami Cheat Sheet

Handy tips to assist you on vacation


All good tour guides develop knowledge and tricks that are helpful to visitors. These are generally tightly guarded secrets, but we don’t play like that, and are sharing some of ours. What follows are a few handy tips that, we hope, will assist you on vacation.

Restaurant Recommendations

In Downtown Miami, across the street from Bayside, the Holiday Inn hotel is open for breakfast at 6am. For lunch at Bayside, Bubba Gump Shrimp is good, and Chili’s restaurant has the best view.

For Cuban food, we recommend Puerto Sagua and David’s Cafe, which are both in Miami Beach.

Oher good Miami Beach restaurants include: Cardozo Cafe on Ocean Drive; Jimmy’z Kitchen and Rice on Alton; Grill Fish and Sushi Rock on Collins; Doraku Sushi and Cafe at Books at Books on Lincoln; Le Sandwicherie, Baja Fresh, Pizza Rustica, Charlotte’s Bakery, and T-Mex for takeout; Big Pink and 11th Street Diner; and Nikki Beach for Sunday brunch.

Barton G, Micheal’s Genuine, BLT Steakhouse, The Forge, and Prime 112 are fine dining restaurants. Rusty Pelican, Smith & Wollensky, and Monty’s  in Miami Beach are the best places to watch the sunset.

For vegetarian food: Choices Cafe, Mi Vida Cafe, and Sushi Siam. For Chinese food: Tropical Café, Mr. Chow, and PF Chang’s. For Vietnamese food: Hy Vong.

Metrobus Directions: Downtown to Miami Beach

There are two buses that will pick you up in front of Bayside, going northbound on Biscayne Blvd., and take you to Miami Beach:

“Route C” Bus - The bus crosses MacArthur Causeway, goes north on Washington Ave., east on Lincoln Road, then north on Collins Ave. to 44 St. Take this route to go to Ocean Dr., or anywhere along the beach, from 1 to 15 St. The ride to Miami Beach takes about 20 minutes.

“Route S” Bus - The bus crosses MacArthur Causeway, goes north on Alton Rd., turns east on 17 St., then north on Collins Ave., traveling through Sunny Isles. The bus then heads West on 192 St., arriving to the Aventura Mall. The ride to the mall takes approximately 2 hours.

Miami-Dade Metrobus travel planning assistance, call 305-891-3131.

Where To Go Shopping

Within walking distance to Bayside, there is Ross and Marshall’s discount clothing store. In Miami Beach, there is a Best Buy electronics store, along with with Ross and Publix supermarket. There is a Target in Midtown Miami. Sawgrass Mills is the largest outlet mall in South Florida. Aventura Mall, Dolphin Mall, Dadeland Mall, and Mall of the Americas are the largest shopping malls in the area.

Metrobus Directions: Downtown to Dolphin Mall & Mall of Americas

From Bayside, walk to NE 3 St. and take the “Route 7” Bus. To Dolphin Mall takes about 90 minutes.

More Information

  • Wednesdays, Miami Beach Soundscape has free movies in the park.
  • Sundays, there is a farmer’s market on Lincoln Road.
  • Sundays, there is a farmer’s market in Mary Brickell Village.
  • Saturdays, there is a farmer’s market in Coconut Grove.
  • Saturdays, there is a farmer’s market in Normandy Isle, Miami Beach
  • Everyday, Bayside has live music in the afternoon and evening.
  • Everyday at 9pm, there is live music at Van Dyke on Lincoln Road.
  • Everyday, there is live music at Tobacco Road in Downtown Miami.
  • Sat, Sun, & Mon, around 5pm, you can see cruise ships depart at South Point Park.
  • Fridays, Wolfsonian Museum admission is free from 6-9pm.
  • Fridays, North Shore Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave) has free movie night, from 7-9pm.
  • Clevelander bar is a good place to watch sports and meet other visitors.
  • Club Deuce is a neighborhood bar where you can meet eccentric locals.
  • Waxy O’Connors shows International football matches on TV, and serves English breakfast.
  • Liv, Mansion, Amnesia, and Cameo are the top nightclubs in Miami Beach, open until 5 AM.
  • Tiffany Hotel, Perry, Townhouse, and Viceroy all have rooftop bars.
  • Space nightclub in Downtown Miami is open Saturdays until 11 AM Sunday.
  • Topless sunbathing is permitted in South Beach. Nude sunbathing is permitted at Haulover.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages in public or on the beach is not allowed.
  • BBQ’s and beach fires are not allowed in Miami Beach.
  • A 15% gratuity is included at most restaurants in Miami Beach.
  • There is a public swimming pool at Flamingo Park in Miami Beach.
  • Everyday, Synergy Yoga offers great yoga classes in Miami Beach.
  • Miami and Miami Beach public libraries offer free Internet access.
  • Monday to Friday, free parking is available on the residential streets in Miami Beach.
  • Swoop Shuttle offers free transportation around Miami Beach. Call 305-409-6636.
  • The flat rate for a taxi from South Beach to Miami Airport is $35.
  • Airport Flyer “Route 150” is an express bus between Miami Airport & Miami Beach for $2.35.
  • Sawgrass Mills bus departs Miami Beach at 8:30, 9:30, and 11:30 AM, daily. $30 round trip.
  • 1 bedroom apartment rentals start at $900 per month.
  • Buying a 1 bedroom apartments starts at $135,000.
  • Miami Dolphins football season is from September thru December.
  • Miami Marlins baseball season is from April thru October.
  • Miami Heat basketball season is from December thru April.
  • Florida Panthers hockey season is from September thru April.
  • Key West is 129 miles south of Miami. $69 round trip.
  • Orlando is 232 miles north of Miami. $35 one way.

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About the Author:

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

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