Author Topic: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?  (Read 3520 times)

mschaus

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
  • Location: Chicago
    • blog
Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« on: September 22, 2014, 11:10:26 AM »
My wife and I got a deal on tickets to Miami (Ft. Lauderdale, actually) this winter at the end of December.  Anyone have advice on where would be a reasonable place to stay/visit?

Important:  near/on beach, warm, non-outrageous pricing
Not important:  pretense, glitz

We will check VRBO, etc., for a place with a kitchen for the week, but we need a recommendation on a general area to visit that has a nice beach to relax.  South Beach appears to be the beautiful epicenter, but we are happy to go to an entirely different area in southeast Florida.

Some good discussion here already about SoBe, but what about places up to 2 hours away?
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/index.php?topic=13332.msg212547#msg212547

Thanks!
Mike

Mrs. PoP

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 427
    • Planting Our Pennies
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 11:31:12 AM »
Check out the north shore area of Miami Beach (say 68th - 80th streets on Miami Beach).  The beaches are just as good (if not better b/c less crowded) than SoBe and it used to be that boutique motels in the area were affordable places to crash your head for the night.  North Shore Park bandshell had cool concerts and there were a lot of more reasonably priced, but still amazing restaurants in the area especially compared to SoBe.  The Miami Beach bike shares go this far north if you want to rent some bikes while you're around to hit up places like the Bal Harbour shops or the nudie beach at Haulover (ya know, if that's your thing). 

Another place that would be pretty different from SoBe is Oleta River State Park.  Off of the 163rd st causeway, it's a state park, but you can rent cabins if you act far enough in advance.  The state park has lots of hiking and small beaches among the mangroves, but it's also just a quick walk over the causeway to get to Sunny Isles for a more traditional beach experience. 

mschaus

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
  • Location: Chicago
    • blog
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 11:13:28 AM »
Thanks for the info!  The state park cabins are filled up but the area north of SoBe sounds like a winner if it has nice beaches and bike share!

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2031
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 07:45:13 PM »
Check out the north shore area of Miami Beach (say 68th - 80th streets on Miami Beach).  The beaches are just as good (if not better b/c less crowded) than SoBe and it used to be that boutique motels in the area were affordable places to crash your head for the night.  North Shore Park bandshell had cool concerts and there were a lot of more reasonably priced, but still amazing restaurants in the area especially compared to SoBe.  The Miami Beach bike shares go this far north if you want to rent some bikes while you're around to hit up places like the Bal Harbour shops or the nudie beach at Haulover (ya know, if that's your thing). 

Another place that would be pretty different from SoBe is Oleta River State Park.  Off of the 163rd st causeway, it's a state park, but you can rent cabins if you act far enough in advance.  The state park has lots of hiking and small beaches among the mangroves, but it's also just a quick walk over the causeway to get to Sunny Isles for a more traditional beach experience.

Again, great South Florida info, Mrs. PoP.

I would agree to avoid staying in South Beach. Gone are the days where my grandparents lived there in the late 70s where they got mugged a couple of times and life was slow and cheap. Now, the mugging happens in a more sophisticated way with overpriced hotels and restaurants. But it is a sight to see.

Like Mrs. PoP says, the North Beach part of Miami Beach (not to be confused with a neighboring town called North Miami Beach - you don't want to stay there!) is the up and coming part of Miami Beach and you can probably find some good deals on Air BnB, VRBO, and such. It spans the range from about 62 St. to 88 St. After that is Surfside and Bal Harbor, which will probably be more pricey.

Once you find a good place, you can rent the Beach bikes which the stations go all the way from the southern tip to about 94 St. Also, there are two good bus routes that go along A1A - Route S and Route 120 MAX (this is the express bus and better). Those routes both go from Aventura down to South Beach along A1A, then go to downtown Miami. You won't need a car. You can easily make it from North Beach to South Beach on the bus in 15 minutes (or less?).

I wonder if the Aventura and Sunny Isles area would be cheaper. It's on the bus route, but too north for the bikes. Oleta also has kayak rentals which are nice. If you can time it with a full moon, they have full moon kayak trips which are fun.

Make sure to try all of the Latin American cuisine. Peruvian is the new hot cuisine. There's a great restaurant in downtown.

Take the bikes down to South Pointe Park in South Beach and then ride up the boardwalk between the hotels and the beach. Really active and lively and fancy and beautiful.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 08:12:45 PM by Daisy »

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2031
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 07:46:28 PM »
Ft. Lauderdale is only 45 minutes away. I fly in/out of both Miami and FLL depending on prices and direct routes...so you're close to Miami. If you'd rather stay in Broward County, Hollywood and Dania Beach might be a cheaper place to stay. But you won't be on the Dade County bus routes or have the beach bikes available. But it's probably cheaper.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 07:59:27 PM by Daisy »

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2031
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 07:50:23 PM »
I just read that you're going the end of December. Oh boy...that's peak travel season. I have a friend that comes back to town every year for the holidays and refuses to rent a car because they absolutely gouge you on the prices during the holidays. And she's no frugal star or anything.

I worry that you're going to find the most expensive prices during that time. Definitely be careful with car rentals.

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2031
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 10:02:06 PM »
One more thing...Miami Beach has a lot of free activities such as free outdoor movies and free outdoor symphony concerts at the new theater in South Beach. Check out the schedule at www.mbculture.com.

PencilThinMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 04:26:22 AM »
We were considering a trip during the same time of year but when I saw the prices in South Beach that has been canceled. Parking for the night will cost close to $50, hotel rooms were going for 300 and up. Being that we live just 2hrs north of Miami the main draw for me would be staying actually on South Beach I guess we will have to do it at another time when prices are more reasonable

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3925
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 07:28:38 AM »
We will be there at the same time, staying in Pampano (sp?) beach, in a vrbo rental.  We are doing a big family reunion for my grandfather's 80th birthday.

I am following with interest because we are not beach people and I don't know wtf we are going to do for a whole week.  I was trying to figure out a way to get kids bikes for the week (need a 20" and a 16" with training wheels) because my kids are not going to like the available frugal activity choices I don't think.

I think we are going to go to the Everglades for a day to check that off our national park list.  I want to eat yummy (vegetarian) ethnic food.  Other than that I have no idea. 

Mrs. PoP

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 427
    • Planting Our Pennies
Re: Mustachian trip to South Florida / Miami?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2014, 08:30:19 AM »
Again, great South Florida info, Mrs. PoP.
Right back at you! 


I wonder if the Aventura and Sunny Isles area would be cheaper.
Personally I would hesitate in those areas without access to a car or being pretty comfortable with buses, since the bike shares don't go that far north.  Unless you got a place right near the beach in Sunny Isles and just wanted to spend all day every day on the beach.  (Though that option definitely has its merits!)

Make sure to try all of the Latin American cuisine.
Oh god, yes.  OP, if you end up in the north shore area, buy a slice of cake from the Buenos Aires bakery.  Mmmmm!