It took a lot of thinking (like a total of two days) to decide on this, wondering if Expedia’s deal of $750 for a round-trip flight from Toronto plus hotel for 3 nights was really worth it. I decided time is of the essence and I might as well – because yolo.
Here’s the sitch – a normal round-trip flight from Toronto to Miami is already about $450, so add in a hotel for a couple days (approximately $100/night) and measure the damage. It seemed like a reasonable deal. Not like jaw-dropping stupid awesome, but still, you know, pretty good.
As there aren’t a lot of direct flights going from Toronto to Miami there’s an awkward selection of flights to choose from. I was scheduled to depart at 7PM, which was delayed, so we didn’t get to the airport until after midnight.
About that airport – did I mention it’s like the most epic maze you’ll ever experience? When you exit, without going downstairs to bag check, you’re actually on the Departure/Check-In floor. This is not Arrivals. Your Lyft/Uber driver will try to explain this to you, be patient, and hold up bright coloured things to show your whereabouts. This process literally took me 15 minutes.
The hotel I stayed at – Red South Beach – is actually not on South Beach. It’s just on Miami Beach (different thing). It’s completely covered in fluorescent red lights just to make sure you feel like you’re in Miami, baby. It’s a boutique hotel, so not a lot going on, just a place to sleep really. There’s a small pool and gym if you’re really up for it, but I say why not just hit the beach, right?
Wrong. South Beach (basically where all the coolness is at) is about a 30 minute walk from here. Not gonna happen in scorching heat and blaring sun – plus it’s just a $6 Uber ride. Once on South Beach the obvious thing to do is browse the many restaurants along Ocean Drive. Now maybe I was already happy, but it seemed like “Happy Hour” was at all hours. Even at 11AM during breakfast.
When you finally make your way to the beach – it’s beautiful. White sand, clear water. But you should definitely attempt to buy some cheap beach gear (chairs, towels, mats) from a surf shop around Lincoln Road as the hotel people charge $25 per chair. And $7.75 for a bottle of water. It’s insane. But I guess that’s Miami for ya!
If I were to do this again, I’d definitely pay the extra bit to stay right on South Beach. There’s not a lot on the other side, it’s definitely a lot more residential and run-down. As for food and drinks and parties, you’ll find enough along Ocean Drive that will suit your every desire.