Practical Tips For Tourists: Miami Beach

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YT reporter Teodora Stojsin spent some time in Miami Beach earlier this year. This article is a short summary of her trip where she is giving few practical tips on what to see and where to eat on the US East Coast.

One of the things that make Miami Beach so famous are the all-night parties. When you are in Miami Beach you have the feeling that the whole world is in one place, and it is common to see popular actors, singers, athletes, and many other famous people dancing in the club near you or walking in the street next to you.

The Famous Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive is the most famous street in Miami Beach, the street where all the clubs, cabarets, restaurants, and rooftop entertainment venues can be found. It is about 2 kilometers long, and as everyone has seen in American movies, all day and night people drive cars down Ocean Drive with loud hip-hop, rap, electronic, latino and other popular music playing while pretty girls sit or dance on the roofs of the cars. Many events are held on Ocean Drive, including festivals, contests, the Gay Pride parade, etc. From early morning there are parties in the clubs and on the rooftops and there are no rules about closing time – clubs stay open as long as people are still there, and parties continue until dawn. You can experience high-energy hospitality on Ocean Drive, because servers and hostesses are always screaming “Happy hour, two for one, cocktails”, taking your hands and trying to get you into the clubs. It is good to pay attention to your surroundings when you go out on Ocean Drive because it is not unusual to see fights and even occasional shootings – because many people there have guns. There is an urban legend that you must be aware of prices on Ocean Drive because sometimes you can be charged as much as fifty dollars for one drink. Prices in Miami Beach are mostly written on the menu without taxes and gratuity for servers, so after you get the bill you will see everything you are supposed to pay. There is a custom to tip servers even more than the included gratuity, because that’s how you show appreciation to them. Often workers in the clubs, restaurants, and other places in Miami Beach, not just on Ocean Drive, work without salaries – their salaries are the tips they earn each day. Some of the night clubs charge entrance fees, and these places are usually the biggest and the most popular in South Beach.

Rooftops

Rooftops are popular in Miami Beach because of the magnificent views, and most of the time they are situated on top of the luxury hotels. It depends which rooftop you choose, you can find the best parties but also the best places to sit quietly with a partner and enjoy the night while drinking luxury drinks. You will often find rooftop pools, which are meant to be used during the day but sometimes also during the night.

Lincoln Road Mall

Lincoln Mall is the main shopping street in Miami Beach, a pedestrianized street where there are many popular stores and restaurants. There is always confusion among tourists, because they expect a mall and instead find that Lincoln Mall is actually a street – also called Lincoln Road – and there is no mall there. Some would say Lincoln Mall is a premier shopping destination, but it is also a huge place full of restaurants of many types. There you can eat traditional American, Brazilian, Greek, Italian, Cuban, Mexican, Japanese, German and many other kinds of food. Almost all the restaurants there have a happy hour where you can get lower prices for food or drinks. Miami Beach is full of tourists from all over the world, but it is also full of different nationalities who have taken up residence there, and all of those restaurants have their customers. The prices are significantly higher than in other streets in the city. For one appetizer you will pay at least 10 dollars without taxes and gratuity for servers, and entrees will go from 15 up to 40 and even 50 dollars without taxes and gratuity. Beer can be found for 5 dollars, cocktails are going from 9/10– maybe more or less, it depends, and coffee is around 3-4 dollars. Prices cover a broad spectrum and vary from restaurant to restaurant. Lincoln Road Mall, like many of the bars and restaurants in Miami Beach, has hosts who invite you to enter while you are walking by and offer you food from their restaurants.

Espanola Way

Espanola Way is a street which lies between Lincoln Mall and Ocean Drive, and there you can find all the Latino restaurants. Cuban, Brazilian, Italian, Mexican, and many other cuisines are available there. Espanola Way will make you feel like you are in Europe, in Spain or even Greece, because of all the restaurants which look like taverns. The street is full of people all the time, sometimes there is a line to wait for a table. In addition, there are events with live dancers – samba, salsa and many others – that can be found in this street every night.

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