2 Days in South Beach Miami & Ft. Lauderdale

What do you do when you get last minute cheap tickets to Miami and are desperately looking to get away from the bone crunching cold of the midwest? You book and go…especially since its anniversary time!

So after a 3 hour flight from North to South, we arrived in sunny and warm Miami. The 3 hour flight had taken us from -5 degrees celsius to 20 degrees celsius! That’s the fastest change in weather we had ever witnessed 🙂

We got out of our sweaters and denims and quickly changed into shorts and t-shirts at the airport itself. With tiny backpacks and the widest grin, we got out of the airport and waited for our cab. Miami has always been sort of an exotic location, thanks to the references in movies and some popular songs but lately it had a new feather in its cap with the reference in the series Narcos. Aman and I have been watching it and its sort of recent dark history had added a unique appeal to it!

The one thing about living in a country the size of a continent is that, you get to experience stark differences in cultures in different states. If Vegas was about the tourists from everywhere around the world, Miami was all about South America. Right from the airport, you can hear people talk in Spanish and all other South American languages.

Day -1

We arrived in our hotel in Collins Avenue, South Beach Miami. This is where most of the popular hotels and nightclubs in South Beach are. Also, its a 2 minute walk to the beach. The check in was after 2 hours so we dumped our bags and headed out. The first sight of the beach was mesmerising. We have been to a lot of islands in South East Asia but haven’t seen water so turquoise. Well! Either that or we had been away in the white snow for too long.

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The first sight of the beach

After spending some time at the beach, we headed out to eat something and at Lincoln road. The entire street is filled with shopping markets and sidewalk cafes. We finally sat down at D’Vine Lounge and it had the most amazing collection of Mojitos made with fresh fruit and pulp. The happy hour got us happily buzzed and we decided to go on a walk further down the street.

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Street Performance on Lincoln Road

The mood everywhere was very festive with live music, street performances, amazing food and happy hours everywhere 🙂 I am guessing, Miami is like this throughout the year.

The one thing about people in the US is that they can shop. At all times, you see them walking in and out of shopping stores with huge shopping bags and this is true of any state or city in the US. Lincoln Street had the cutest shopping stores and with all year round sales, everyone seemed happy with their hunger for retail satisfied.

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The cutest Banana Republic store

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The cutest VANS store

In the evening, we walked down to the art centre and saw large gathering of people, sitting in the park, watching the screening of a music performance. The sight was lovely, people had brought their  chairs, sleeping bags, picnic baskets and were just enjoying the beautiful music in the park with their friends and family.

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People enjoying a musical evening at the Art Centre Park

Dinner was at this place called Havana 1957. This was a Cuban style restaurant and quite popular one at that. The food at Havana was amazing and so were the different flavours of south american beers they had on the tap. I would give this place a 5 on 5 due to food, the amazing service and foot tapping music.

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Havana – A Cuban Themed Restaurant

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Beautiful Decor inside the Cafe

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Keep Calm and Drink Beer

Day -2

After breakfast, we headed to the beach again, put out our towels and just lay there in the sun. Everything just looked perfect and better than what we had imagined Miami to be.

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Pretty and Colourful

Our next stop was Fort Lauderdale, so we checked out of our hotel and boarded a Greyhound that took us straight to our next destination. Fort Lauderdale reminded us a lot of south of France, with cruise ships and yachts everywhere. It is also a popular Spring Break destination in the US.

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Cafe Casablanca

The beach is Fort Lauderdale is even more beautiful and has got a really long strip with lots of cafes and food joints. The one we specifically loved was Cafe Casablanca It’s right in front of the beach and has some really nice people serving great tasting food and drinks. The cafe is very tastefully done and has a feel good ambience. Also, they played popular music from the late 90’s and early 2000…really struck a chord with us 🙂

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The buzzing street of Ft. Lauderdale

We cafe hopped and and just kept staring at the sea, trying to catch the last few glimpses of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean before heading back to the airport.

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Yes, there are Cycle Rikshaws in Fort Lauderdale

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The snowman who is the envy of all other snowmen 🙂

By the end of Day 2, our short holiday came to an end..and while the snowman in this picture enjoyed the sun and sand of beautiful Florida, we were headed back to the land of actual snow 🙂

Some things that we noticed during our stay!

People are just too nice and hospitable

You can actually hear cars honking more than anywhere else in the US

It’s hard to miss the European and South American influence

The skateboard is an alternative mode of transport in Miami.

That is only if people are not seen in convertible Maseratis or BMWs or fancy motorbikes. There are just a lot of them in Miami

People (Men and Women) are really beautiful and have the most enviable bodies 🙂

Fort Lauderdale definitely deserves a lot more time.

The place is addictive and surely in our list of repeat destinations.