Miami and the keys
Can any one tell me if miami is as dangerous as its made out to be?
I would love to go, is it like any city.... you just dont go wandering at night?!
Also how long would you budget for looking round the keys?
I lived in Miami for a year and was fine. Miami itself doesn't have much to do except a good zoo, the fairchild botanical gardens, hang out in Coconut Grove (best place to hit the bars according to me... south beach is just too much after a couple trips), and make sure to go to Calla Ocho (8th St) as it is the heart of Little Havana and I think that is the best part of Miami, it actually has character... Personally I think the whole of Miami is overrated, but if you are into clubs and paying to much for drinks then South Beach is where you want to go. The keys are great - until you hit Key West, as much of it is so commercialized now its just too crowded. Though they do have a great cemetery, you can check out Hemingways house, but there is not much of a beach there if thats what you are looking for. Go to the beaches when you get to somewhere like Islamorada or Big Pine. And to save your sanity, no not drive down Rt. 1 through Miami to the Keys during rush hour, or on a weekend... you'll spend your entire holiday in the car. I have lived in many places in the states, and the traffic there definitely takes the cake. I live in London now and prefer the traffic here to Miami. Miami folks love their horns!!
I visited Miami and The Keys as part of a holiday to Florida last year - feel free to take a look at my trip report and photos.
I'd not say that Miami is inherently a dangerous city but, as an outsider, I do confess that my inbuilt security radar was on high-alert. But I put that down to me rather than the city - I never feel particularly secure in any city. The simple answer is - if something feels iffy then trust your judgement and leave. But Miami has a huge tourist industry so it's no Beirut!
cost and stuff
Great pics how much did the plane cost? im still on the cost of the car too! i can have a Pontiac Grand Prix 2 or a Dodge Charger for only ten pounds more what do you think.. or will i still end up with something else! With only two weeks would you say east or west side of florida??
It's often pot luck whatyou end up with. I booked a Charger once but ended up with a Grand Marquis which was a truly dreadful car. On the other hand I was in Florida early this year for the Daytona 500 and I did everything on a budget. I booked a compact car (I think it was called - the cheapest, smallest one) and I got a Mustang convertible. I therefore go for the cheapest that would suit my purpose and decline any 'deals' at the desk. Often you'll find that they are offering you a paid upgrade as they don't have the car you booked and you'll be getting it anyway.
As to east/west I guess that depends what you want to see/do. The beaches, for example, are invariably better on th Gulf Coast and you'll get some great sunsets there and - the real clincher for me - less Brits! But if you're looking for theme parks, for example, there's only one place to go. The beauty of Florida is that it's so small it's possible to do all four corners in the space of a week or two.
Thanks for your swift reply, im stuck with the whole platinum and fully inclusive options tho.. is it just a tank of petrol? i dont know whether to hit day tona on friday sat or sunday.. or is it good all the time!
What about the same for fort lauderale? Also has has anyone done universal? do you need two days to do it all in may?
Ft Lauderdale is pretty similar to Miami, in that most of the fun is on the beach. Head to Ft Lauderdale Beach, by Las Olas Blvd, for a nice public beach with plenty of cafes and drink stops.
As far as the rest of your trip, I would say stick to the east coast - western Florida is hotter and muggier in summer, and there's not as much to do other than some nice beaches (which are also abundant on the Atlantic side). If you're going to Orlando/Universal, you can easily spend 2 days between Universal Studios, DisneyWorld, SeaWorld, and Gatorland. All of these will be fun but crowded during the summer. Crowds will be less before May 31, though, as long as you go during the weekdays. From Orlando, Daytona is a real easy, quick drive north on Interstate 4.
Also, DO pay attention to the previous advice of avoiding Highway 1 to the Keys during afternoon rush hour - take the Florida Turnpike instead all the way to Florida City/Homestead, where you will have to merge onto highway 1.
And no offense to Panhandlers, but don't bother going anywhere north of interstate 4 (Orlando, Daytona, Tampa). There are some nice places, but they're too far away from Miami to make it worth the while. Instead, drive just south of Miami to the Everglades, and if you want to take an airboat ride and see some alligators check out the Everglades Alligator Farm
In general, you could easily spend a whole week in and around Miami and not get bored. It is not inherently dangerous, but always keep an eye out for anything suspicious, don't venture into unknown or un-crowded areas at night, and try to always avoid the northwestern parts of greater Miami (Liberty City, Allapattah, area near the airport).
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-22-2008 at 06:42 PM.
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Nice photos of big gator...
This is isn't Florida -- but still pretty fun....
These photos were taken about 40 miles south of Savannah, Georgia, on March 4, 2004. -- This is about a 14 -footer carrying a deer in it's mouth.
Not if you're the deer.
Originally Posted by Editor
i did like the look of naples, but i think your right there does not look like much to do dont the west coast, its only 3 weeks off now!! With daytona, what day is best to visit? saturday or sunday?
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