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South Beach or Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale

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San Diego, CA
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16 posts
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South Beach or Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale

I'd like to get some thoughts on which of the three locations would be ideal for us. We are a mid 30's couple who will be leaving our 1 year old back home for a much needed 4 day vacation in June. We enjoy good food, good ambiance, and some nightlife. I've heard mixed opinions on South Beach, Hollywood, and Fort Lauderdale. We want to spend the day on the beach and the evenings dining out and maybe some dancing but nothing too crazy! Thoughts and ideas would be much appreciated!

Sunrise, FL
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1. Re: South Beach or Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale

Well lucky for you June is just after our tourist season ends so prices for many things should go down. However, schools will be done for the summer (pending on when in June you come down) so a few more kids to deal with.

Here is a little description of your options:

1. South Beach: Young and yuppie. Lots of great restaurants, lounges, clubs/bars, shopping. The beaches are beautiful as well. The drawbacks, its expensive for most.

2. Fort Lauderdale: Crowds vary from young to older locals. Lots of bars, restaurants, shopping, etc. More of a laid back atmosphere than South Beach. Drawbacks, can be too casual for some.

3. Hollywood: About the same as Fort Lauderdale without the abundance of choices as Fort Lauderdale. Not to say its bad, by any means, but more of a variety and selection in Fort Lauderdale.

All three areas are taxi friendly. If you want to rent a car, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood are your best bets. South Beach valet/parking can be very expensive and at times, hard to find. All three have great beaches and plenty of things nearby to sightsee/do.

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2. Re: South Beach or Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale

I really like Key Biscayne if you want to be on the beach, around good restaurants, and away from the craziness of South Beach. Sand Dollar is relatively reasonable. or go to www.key-biscayne.com for condos. There are some higher end hotels, ritz carlton, etc as well. good water sports on Rickenbacker Causeway (you drive past them to go to Key Biscayne).

South Florida
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9 posts
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3. Re: South Beach or Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale

Well you guys don't sound like you are looking for the "wild" experience that South beach can bring. For a couple who wants to see some sights, eat good food, and have a little fun but not necessarily party hard, I would recommend visiting South Beach during the afternoon for lunch or something. That way you will get to experience the ambiance it has to offer and do some people watching as well (if you dine outside) which is always entertaining. So with that said, I think Fort Lauderdale would be your best bet. It's not as limited as Hollywood and it's more toned down than South beach. It's just right with the perfect blend of scenery, comfort and entertainment which is what I think you are seeking. By the way South beach is not that far from Fort Lauderdale. About a 35-40 minute drive during the day. Hope this helps!

Dayton, Oh.
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59 posts
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4. Re: South Beach or Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale

We have a vacation place in Hallendale which is right next to Hollywood. I agree on what others have said about South Beach being very pricey. We hang out on Hollywood Beach during the day (which is a great beach with boardwalk and activities)and dine at some of the places around Young Circle at night. However, my 20 something kids then take off for Ft. Lauderdale or South Beach for the evening. Traffic on I-95 isn't so bad after 6:00. It's the best of both worlds!

We will usually go to South Beach for dinner at least one night while we are there but I find the food overpriced and not that great. BUT my kids like the night life and all the clubs.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Miami Beach
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1,557 posts
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5. Re: South Beach or Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale

The earlier posts all have great information.

For wifey and me, we really love South Beach as you can walk to everywhere - in fact, you don't need or want a rental car - there's no place to park and valet parking at the hotels are VERY expensive. We take a cab to our hotel from MIA and walk, or if we're dressed up and it's hot (as the case when you will be there), we'll take a quick and inexpensive cab to where we're going to dinner and then walk back home.

The good news is that hotel rates when you wish to be there are at about the cheapest time of the year. Restaurants go everywhere from VERY expensive to VERY inexpensive. There are several pizza places I love that have great food for two for under $20.

Know that June isn't the crazy time for South Beach as it's hot and not as crowded as during The Season. We typically stay at one of the hotels that are directly on the beach between say 15th and 18th Street and have never had problems getting a good night sleep from outside noise.

I found South Beach a great place to go for husbands and wifes without their children to recharge the marriage battery.


6. Re: South Beach or Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale

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