Posted in:
the-hotel-resize.jpgWhenever somebody compiles a new list of the world’s best beaches, it seems that South Beach, Miami, is somewhere near the top. It’s no surprise, as this seven square-mile stretch of sand in southern Florida has chic stores, cosmopolitan hotels, model-filled nightclubs, and an ever-changing cast of vacationing glitterati. But it wasn’t too long ago that South Beach was, in fact, an off-the-path kind of place. On my first visit, in 1992, there weren’t many tourists, and the area had a distinct edge. I stayed at the Colony Hotel on Ocean Drive, a lovely art deco boutique building, which rests right in front of the beach. A room went for just under $100 per night—an amazing value.

I sometimes miss those days, but over a series of recent visits, I fell for South Beach all over again. My favorite places to stay now include The Hotel, a small upscale property with a fabulous rooftop pool and a superb restaurant (from $335/night). I also like The Tides, which has large, comfy rooms and awesome beach views (from $595/night). The Standard, located on the bay side, has a nice pool and offers excellent value (from $250/night).


Advertisement

South Beach’s restaurant scene now includes many fine notables, but it’s still easy to overpay for mediocre food. Some favorites are Casa Tua, a chic Italian spot set in a converted mansion with a lovely outdoor terrace (305/673-1010), China Grill, which is noisy but has sumptuous pan-Asian dishes (305/534-2211), and Joe’s Stone Crab, which serves top-notch seafood (800/780-CRAB).


Advertisement

Years ago, cultural offerings in Miami were limited, but now a visitor would be remiss to skip a night at the Performing Arts Center or a day gallery-hopping in the Miami Design District. Shopping in Miami has also come a long way—standout stores include Jonathan Adler (1024 Lincoln Rd.) and NiBa Home (39 NE 39th St.) for interesting housewares, and Barneys CO-OP (832 Collins Ave.) for chic clothing.

There’s a common misconception that Florida is always warm, but I’ve spent more than a few New Year’s Eves in South Beach searching for a sweater and a rain jacket. The best time to visit, in my opinion, is February through April, when temperatures remain consistently warm. For those seeking value, try a shoulder-season visit after May 1.

From the Spring 2008 issue of Sherman’s Travel magazine.

Search Hotels in Miami

Search For Best Hotel Deals

Search For Best Flight Deals

Search For Best Hotel Deals

Search For Best Vacation Deals

Search For Best Cruise Deals


View Another Post