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A Day at Miami Beach - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

No trip to Miami would be complete without a visit to Miami Beach, and the wonderful white sands which stretch along the Atlantic coast. When staying in Miami we like to take a day out at the beach, and nothing is better than taking a trip across the MacArthur Causeway, which joins Miami to the Miami Beach area. One of the beauties of this route is it takes you past the Port of Miami, and, if you are lucky, usually on Saturday and Sunday, you will drive parallel to the fabulous super liners that leave regularly on their way to the Caribbean.

Alternatively, you can drive along the I-195, across the Julia
Tuttle Causeway, to Dade Boulevard, and the beaches. Join the A1A and drive along this fantastic coastal road, which becomes the famous Collins Avenue. On one side you will see the clear turquoise and blue water of the Atlantic, whilst on the other is the Intercoastal Waterway, where the rich and famous have their homes.

If you choose the MacArthur Causeway then you will enter from the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, called South Pointe Park. Carry on through this art deco area, past Ocean Drive hotels. Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue are full of shops and boutiques plus locally owned stores.

Our favourite area is the beautiful stretch of white sand beach in front of the Eden Roc Renaissance Resort and Spa, a huge, towering white hotel, which is located along the prestigious Millionaires Row, and is one of many fantastic buildings which soar into the Miami sky.

We park our car to the left of the hotel where there is a public car park. Parking is by meter, and if you decide to dally awhile you can simply top up the meter for as long as you like, just make sure you have plenty of quarters. At a dollar an hour it is amazing value. Don’t try parking at the Eden Roc Hotel, that will set you back $23.54 a day!

Having found a suitable parking space, make your way across the car park towards the sea, and walk onto the hot white sand that stretches for miles in front of you. Before you lies the fantastic panorama of the Atlantic Ocean. On a windy day the Atlantic rollers will tumble and froth as they break onto the beach, and it is a haven for surf boarders who make it all look so easy. But when it is hot and calm, the water is a fabulous deep turquoise and the waves gently curl onto the shore, creeping up the sandy beach and exposing wonderful shells as they roll backwards.

If all you want to do is soak up the sun, take an occasional paddle or become a beachcomber, then you can rent loungers and parasols right on the beach. They are yours for the whole day, and when you have decided where you want to sit they will put your umbrella up wherever you choose. Of course you may just want to lie back and sunbathe, but the panorama before you is ever changing, and provides a fascinating backdrop. The sea is normally alive with little craft, fast powerboats speeding past, large tankers on their way out of Miami, yachts sailing silently by, and at the weekends you may see the stately procession of white superliners, as they embark on their cruises to the Caribbean islands. In the sky, small aeroplanes towing huge long banners drift across the sky, whilst huge jets pass overhead on their way to Miami International Airport. You cannot be bored here.

When you have had enough sand and sun, then walk back up the beach, and have a meal at the fantastic Aquatica Beach Bar and Grill at the Eden Roc Hotel. This open air restaurant overlooks the beach, and is the ideal place to eat. There is a large wooden deck area with tables and chairs, and the view is glorious as you savour one of their fantastic entrees or starters. The portions are huge and the food is beautifully presented. If you prefer to eat indoors then tables inside are available. Try their delicious fruit platter for two, a huge plateful of freshly prepared fruit.

But linger long enough to catch the rich colours of a Miami beach sunset, as the glorious blue skies melt into pink and peach, before they darken to purple, and a warm velvety black descends. The sea is calm, there is a warm breeze caressing you, and on the horizon you will see the twinkling lights of a ship on the horizon. It’s a perfect way to end your Miami beach day.

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