Miami is a super famous city and almost everyone knows about it. It’s notorious for beach bars, taco stands, and Art Deco boutiques, but all of that can be a little overwhelming for a first-time visitor. If you want to avoid tourist traps and have a truly amazing time in Miami, here are a few things you need to know about this Florida gem:
Visit the Beach and be Respectful
When in Miami, do what the locals do and make sure to visit the beach. If you leave the city without hitting the beach, you can’t even say you’ve seen Miami. It’s easy to find a beautiful beach wherever you are in Florida, especially in Miami, but make sure to be respectful. Firstly, most beaches in the city are not nudist spaces, so stay in your bathing suit. Secondly, the beaches are big, so make sure to respect people’s personal space—sun blocking is a no-no! Finally, don’t leave any trash behind after you leave. People in Miami are serious about their sandy time and they will not hesitate to point out your mistakes.
Coffee is Strong
More than 50% of the population in Miami is of Latin American heritage, so the city is blessed with many amazing things, from live salsa music to the best mojitos in the state and 1000-calorie Cuban sandwiches. However, maybe the biggest gift from Cuba to Miami is hidden in a tiny cup of coffee—cafecito! This type of coffee is similar to espresso—it’s black, small, only slightly sweet, and packed with caffeine. When drinking cafecito, be moderate.
Read Also: Trips for Coffee Lovers
Be Patient When it Comes to Transportation
Miami has great public transportation with the biggest network in Florida. The options of public transportation are vast, from buses to trolleys, Metromover and Metrorail. Trolleys and Metromevore are free (!) and very helpful when visiting Little Havana, Wynwood, and the city center. However, they don’t go to Miami Beach or South Beach. Buses are the safest mode of transportation in Miami. There are also Freebee cars for short distances, or you can simply rent a bike and enjoy the sun on your skin and wind in your hair.
Skip Ocean Drive dinner
Ocean Drive is a famous spot to see iconic sights, enjoy the beach, and watch people, but it’s not a great place to enjoy good food. Not only will your food be overpriced, but it will be subpar to your expectations. Instead, hit Coral Gables for a more authentic brunch in Miami and enjoy amazing BBQ, the freshest salads, and unique sides. Places there will not break your bank and you will have a great time in an interesting neighborhood. For an authentic Cuban evening, you can visit Little Havana and enjoy great drinks, fast food, and live music.
Pack Fancy Clothing
Miami is much different from other spots in Florida, so if you’re planning to just pack shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops, you’ll feel greatly underdressed. Many hotels, restaurants, and bars have a strict dress code and are ready to ban you from entering if you’re not dressed up. People everywhere look ready for the runway, so make sure to refresh your wardrobe before visiting Miami.
Parties Last Until Sunrise
Miami is a famous party city, but something foreigners might not know is that the party doesn’t start until very late. This might be due to the fact that people in Miami take much care of their late-night appearance or because everyone stays at the beach until late—whatever it is, keep in mind that parties rarely kick-off before midnight. If you go out to the Miami club before 12 am, don’t be surprised to find just the DJ preparing to spin and the staff.
Greet People With a Kiss
You might be used to greeting people with a handshake or even just a slight Hello, but in Miami, prepare to pucker up. Greeting people, even perfect strangers, with a kiss on the cheek (or two) is a normal thing that drags its origins from Europe. Apparently, Spanish people brought this custom to Latin America in the 16th century and it stuck. When in doubt on how to greet people, just do what the locals do and follow their lead.
Miami is big, urban, and lively, and you’ll find interesting things to do and see on every corner. As long as you keep these few tips in mind, you’ll have a lovely time. You can also brush up on your knowledge of Spanish—you’ll have many chances to use it.