Taking the kids to Miami? We had an actioned packed three days there and we had a fabulous family time. There is so much to see and do in Miami with the kids…….
With so much to see and do there are plenty of choices on how to spend your time in Miami. We did the following:
We love bike riding in any new city and Miami was a great bike riding town. We hired our bikes near South Beach and headed to the Venetian Causeway. This is a series of old bridges connecting all the small islands. The water is blue as blue and the waterfront houses and shore line makes a great ride – and it is quite flat. We then rode along the beach front and ended at the pier where we walked out on to the jetty. We had the bikes for three hours and loved every minute of it.
We spent a lot of time walking the beach and admiring the beach huts that line the shore. The water was a bit cold during winter but we enjoyed dipping our toes in the water. There were plenty of people swimming. There are food and drink huts on the beach.
This is the most unusual sport we have watched. It is played next to the Miami Casino in a purpose built stadium. It is fast, action packed and the kids loved watching (so did we!) It is a cross between European Handball – Racquet Ball and Lacrosse. There were some very passionate spectators watching.
This is a street art district that has rows and rows and rows of walls covered in street art. Between the art were quirky shops, bars and restaurants. We loved walking from one art piece to the next. Such talent and wonderful free entertainment that the whole family enjoyed.
In under an hour from Miami Beach we were in the heart of the Everglades. This area is a protected wetland area which is home to hundreds of animals including alligators. One of the highlights of Florida was our airboat tour on the Everglades. With many different companies running airboat tours it was a hard choice. We decided to go with Buffalo Tiger’s as they were on a different side of the road to all the other tours and they were separated from all the other companies. We liked their small company that ran small tours. We did not book ahead and only waited for 10mins before we were ready to ride. We were shown many alligators that came very close to the boat. We felt safe and all times. The guide was very informative and relaxed.
Art Deco Architecture
Along the beach front the buildings are spectacular. Many of the hotels are from the Art Deco era. They have been preserved beautifully. There are tours that can be done that are specifically for the Art Deco buildings. We just enjoyed walking along and looking at them all.
Miami is not a cheap and cheerful place to find accommodation. We were in Miami over the New Year’s Eve period so finding reasonably priced accommodation was time consuming. My list of must haves was compromised but we did find an amazing place. We stayed at the Ocean Five Hotel which was perfect for our family. It was one block back from the beach – we could see the water out our window (just). The rooms were quite small but very clean and the deco was very modern. We would have loved a fridge but unfortunately it didn’t have one. We were walking distance to all the bars, restaurants and the beach and we felt nothing but safe. The staff were very helpful and the valet parking was right next door (for a fee). Parking is almost impossible in Miami Beach so this was very convenient.
Place to Eat
The beach road is lined with dozens of restaurants that are all similar and expensive for what you get. We walked a block or so back from the beach and found amazing places to eat. One of our MUSTS is to eat at the old Cuban restaurant called Puerto Sagua. The meals are huge, family friendly and well priced. The line out the front is an indication of how well loved it is, and the line moves fast.
Another Cuban favourite that we loved is the iconic Versailles Bakery in Little Havana. So fresh and delicious and just so yum!! And one more Cuban restaurant that we loved ( are you feeling there is a common theme here) is Havana 1957 which has a few locations. such a fun restaurant with amazing meals that catered well for the kids.
Driving in Florida
There are many cashless tolls in Miami that you will need to organise payment for. The car hire places will try and see you a toll pass for $16 a day even if you don’t use it. Many tolls are only $1.20 so the car hire companies are really ripping you off. What is needed is a SunPass. This small sticker, once activated, can be stuck to the inside of your car windshield. It cannot be transferred from car to car. There is a portable one but it costs a lot more. IT is very easy to activated the SunPass and starts immediately once completed. The SunPass can be purchased at CVS, from Visitor information centres and many other places.