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Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

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Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

I am planning to arrive in South Beach on Labor Day weekend and have the following questions:

1. How rainy is it going to be? Looking at the weather website, I see that every day is the same thing 'scattered thunderstorms' right now. Is that really the case or are they exaggerating? Should I even bother bringing a swimsuit with me if this is true (since if it'll rain, there'll be no point in bringing one since I won't be able to use it to go to the pool or the beach)?

2. I'm trying to decide whether to take a shuttle or a cab, as I know that a cab is $33. I don't know how much a shuttle is in comparison and would also like to know if the Angler's Resort would be one of the first stops or the last stops on the airport shuttle's route?

3. Oyster.com (the travel website I'd booked my stay through) suggested these restaurants (BLT Steak, The Dining Room, De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean, Prime 112 Restaurant‎) and I'd like to know if the food is actually delicious or if these were chosen for the 'prestige' (i.e. location, view, celebrity sightings). While all of those are good, my main objective is that we get to taste the best food that South Beach/Miami has to offer. (I also want to avoid being enticed into a less-than-stellar restaurant due to persistent people on the street claiming that it is great)

4. What are the best restaurants to dine at in South Beach or Miami for breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner/dessert/drinks? We'd actually prefer places that are specific to the city (as opposed to a chain restaurant like the Olive Garden or TGI Friday's), though we're open to restaurants that are outposts (i.e. Sushi Samba, etc.). Pricewise, I can go from cheap to moderate (though my companion, being a recent college graduate, would want to do cheap and good as well). Again, 'prestige' is fine, but my main objective is tasting the best food in South Beach/Miami.

5. How much would it cost for a cab to take me from South Beach to Aventura mall?

6. Do cabs run along the avenue in South Beach/Miami or would I have to call for one?

7. Are there any bars and nightclubs in South Beach/Miami that are great for one late 20-something and one early-30 something? Our only objective is that they are safe and offer us a good time, as our musical tastes run from top 40 to salsa to reggae to old school dance.

8. Are there any sights to see/points of interest/things to do aside from hanging out on the beach/shopping/dining/nightclubbing? I am asking just in case the weekend that we arrive happens to be a rainy weekend, so that we aren't stuck at the hotel and watching TV for our entire stay.

9. I've read mixed reviews about the Duck Tour South Beach on here and wanted to know your take on that. As eager as I am to tour the city from both road and ocean, I want to make sure that this is a tour that goes smoothly. If not, then would you mind recommending a similar tour with a higher customer satisfaction level?

10. I have also been told about pool/rooftop parties at various hotels in South Beach and wanted to know if they are open to everyone or just guests at the hotel where they're having them at? If they are open to everyone, how much (on average) is their cover charge/do they charge for drinks? I'd also like to know how much (on average) is the average nightclub's cover charge/do they charge for drinks.

11. What's the nearest brick and mortar Chase Bank near the Angler's resort?

12. Is there anything that we should be aware of/on guard about in South Beach/Miami, as far as safety issues are concerned? In addition, are there certain areas that we should avoid?

Thank you all in advance...

Miami Beach, Florida
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1. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

Hi Toucy!

Ok, I'll do my best...

1. Rainy in Miami means an hour in the late afternoon, after the heat of the day builds up. It is tropical here. So bring your bathing suit and use it in the mornings and early afternoon, where there will be a lot of sunshine.

2. If you are alone the shuttle is a far cheaper option. First or last stop just depends on who else is in the bus with you. They will put you on a South Beach only bus though.

3. Prime 112 is generally thought of as one of the best restaurants here in Miami. BLT is also very good. They are good recommendations.

4. Breakfast/ Brunch etc: Big Pink is very Miami, it's been in films etc. Also try News Cafe (where Versace famously dined the day he was shot), Front Porch Cafe and the 11th st diner.

5. Don't bother with a cab. The 120 bus will get you there in 30 minutes for $2.

6.Cabs are everywhere. If you want one, you'll find one in under 30 seconds.

7. All the bars and nightclubs here are for the age group you're in. Miami is not a young persons place! You need cash to play here, and the 20 yr olds don't have that!

8. Definitely take a trip to the Everglades. You can do it in a half day tour if you don't have a car (and the cab questions suggest you don't).

9. Can't answer that I'm afraid :) against TA rules but there are many tours offered in South Beach if you don't like the idea of Duck Tours.

10.Pool parties are for everyone, usually with a cover but not always. Drinks in Miami are priced between $7-$18.

11.No idea about Chase... they just opened and I don't bank with them but they are around.

12.No safety issues, SoBe is a friendly place.

Hope that helps!

Jess

Wheat Ridge...
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2. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

Nearest Chase branch appears to be 18th and Alton. Not exactly close, but I believe the South Beach Local bus will go close. Alton is the west end of the Lincoln Road outdoor mall and 18th is two blocks north.

If an ATM will do, there's one at the Walgreens at Collins and 5th. That's about three blocks from Anglers.

I'll second the recommendation for Big Pink. We stayed at Anglers in May and walked down to Big Pink twice. We also enjoyed Grillfish.

Most of the restaurants off of Ocean Drive are more reasonably priced. BLT was very good, though we were stuffed by the time we got to the steaks. If they will let you, consider splitting a steak.

There's a little deli just north of Anglers along Washington. Grab sandwiches and some cold drinks there before heading to the beach.

Don't miss the frozen drinks at Wet Willies.

Oceanside...
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3. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

SoBe is very safe but like any city pay attention. I know for sure at Collins and 5th where Walgreens is as I went jogging about 4 blocks past there the neighborhood became a little more shady. So all I did was turnaround. Just be aware of ur surroundings. The US isn't Europe so I find any city in US to not be nearly as dangerous, not even close. Btw, for clubs. I was in Miami in April and will be there Labor Day too and Sat night LIV @ Fountainbelu (Pitbull is at this hotel launching a new vodka line all wknd so dress to impress all wknd if u head to Fountainbleu for pool or nightclub LIV. Also Satbnight SET or Mynt is good and Sunday Prime 112 for dinner (the bacon they serve as appetizer is crazy & the sweet potatoe fries are thee bomb. Then directly across streeet from Prime 112 is Nikki Beach and Sunday is crazy busy & dress to impress. Monday night Mokai is only club on Monday in SoBE that is good. Tues night I'm usually partied out by then so can't help yah LOL! Have fun! Maybe I'll run into yah Labor Day ; )

Oceanside...
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4. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

SoBe is very safe but like any city pay attention. I know for sure at Collins and 5th where Walgreens is as I went jogging about 4 blocks past there the neighborhood became a little more shady. So all I did was turnaround. Just be aware of ur surroundings. The US isn't Europe so I find any city in US to not be nearly as dangerous, not even close. Btw, for clubs. I was in Miami in April and will be there Labor Day too and Sat night LIV @ Fountainbelu (Pitbull is at this hotel launching a new vodka line all wknd so dress to impress all wknd if u head to Fountainbleu for pool or nightclub LIV. Also Satbnight SET or Mynt is good and Sunday Prime 112 for dinner (the bacon they serve as appetizer is crazy & the sweet potatoe fries are thee bomb. Then directly across streeet from Prime 112 is Nikki Beach and Sunday is crazy busy & dress to impress. Monday night Mokai is only club on Monday in SoBE that is good. Tues night I'm usually partied out by then so can't help yah LOL! Have fun! Maybe I'll run into yah Labor Day ; )

Washingtonville, NY
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5. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

I hear that the Miami Tour Co. has great Miami tours. Also check out the forum on miamibeach411.com, it's great and you can find out more about tours with discounts there.

Loved D. Rodriguez Cuba, great restaurant, sit outside if you can, they have a beautiful courtyard and a fantastic guitar player on Saturday nights. Haven't been to the others, but I've heard they're good.

Take regular safety precautions, as you would anywhere.

Miami Beach, Florida
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6. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

Here are some observations from a 27 year resident.

Labor Day is the rainy season. Usually but not always rain comes in mid to late afternoon. Rainstorms can be real downpours but usually end quickly.

There are cabs everywhere all the time in South Beach. But use the 25 cent shuttle buses (look for buses and bus stops with the word "local")

Nothing says "Miami" more than Cuban food, and our favorites (reasonably priced and authentic) are the Davids 1 and 2 restauarnts and Puerto Sagua. Big Pink is reasonable for American food as is the 11th street diner (it's a real diner, dragged down from WilkesBarre PA) For Italian there are the family owned Bella Napoli and Masters, both on Alton Road. There are reasonable places on Lincoln Road Mall; check the posted menus first. Drinks are generally a ripoff; we mostly drink at home. Publix supermarkets charge $1.67 for 24 ounce cold Buds or Fosters, take them to your room. Or go to any grocery.

A cab from South Beach to Aventura Mall would be hugely expensive. Take the 120 or the S bus for $2.25 (dollar bills are accepted) and enjoy the 45 minute ride.

Yes, there are safety issues. Don't walk alone or as a couple on deserted streets late at night and stay off the beaches at night unless you're in a group. There have been many strong arm street robberies in the "wee hours." Never bring valuables of any kind to the beach; anything you leave unguarded there, even in daylight with a crowd around you, will be gone within minutes. Keep purses closed and on your arm; never leave anything of any value unwatched on a chair, counter or table. Ladies, keep your eyes on your drinks from the second the server brings therm until your done with them. Don't drink out on the street; if you retreat onto private property you should be OK. And be nice to the cops; most of them are nice but some not so nice.

Miami Beach, Florida
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7. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

I will chime in with Richard from a resident's perspective, and not that of a chamber of commerce or hospitality industry person.

1. No one said it. Hurricane. This is hurricane season. Ok, your chances are slim, but like yesterday there can be August and September days where a tropical disturbance stays over Miami all day. A wash-out happens. Most days you catch the rays, but some days in a week, maybe not.

2. Take the airport bus so you can buy a couple drinks in a club. See Top Questions About Miami Beach, above top-right. Then take a taxi for around $5 or the South Beach Local.

3. A New Yorker might be amused by the great food and novelty of Barton G's. Other choices in your post are quality.

4. Front Porch for b/l/d, moderate prices, big helpings.

5. Bus.

6. Like NYC. No taxi when you really want one, e.g. rain.

7. Bars/clubs, every one of them caters to your age bracket, especially when you are stylishly dressed. Safety--People who say SoBe is categorically safe are full of it. It can be a very dangerous place. Most dangerous times, from 12 midnight to around 7 a.m. within a couple blocks of Washington Avenue, either side. Be in pairs at least. Mind your own business. Stay off the dark beach. Use all the common sense you would use sober in NYC. Stay aware and alert. A little tipsy? Catch a taxi from door to door.

8. Art Deco tour (outdoors though), Wolfsonian Museum, Regal South Beach movies, the quite legitimate World Erotic Art Museum http://www.weam.com/

9. Duck Tour is great time waster when you are bored. Too cutesy for me.

10. Bring cash, lots of it. ;-)

11. Answered above, certainly off the beaten path for carless tourists. South Beach Local has a stop at the Walgreens, right next door to Chase at 19th and Alton.

12. Covered above. Do come and have a good time, but please just don't be too careless or trusting. As far as South Beach, there are no "bad neighborhoods" other than the walking ladies and other assorted oddities on Washington Avenue in the teens.

Miami Beach, Florida
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8. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

Re. the South Beach Local 25 cent bus, it not only stops at the above-mentioned Walgreens (which is a 5 minute walk from my house and has a liquor/wine/beer store attached which is open till 10 PM and on Sundays) but that same bus also stops at both the Dade Boulevard and West Avenue Publix supermarkets (which are just a few blocks apart).The Dade Boulevard Publix is actually behind the Walgreens.

9. Re: Labor Day Wknd on South Beach - A Lot of Questions

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