Recently, we visited the city of Miami, Florida for an extended weekend getaway. As we began planning our trip, we wanted to see the city from the perspective of those who actually live there. Here are a few things we did to ensure we got the “Live Local” experience.
1. Skip the Hotel, Try Airbnb
Staying at a beautiful, oceanfront suite in Miami would provide you with great views! But, for those who want an “off the beaten path” experience and don’t mind a little drive to the beach, consider using Airbnb. This option offers two immediate benefits: 1.) You can ask your host their opinions on where to find the hidden jewels of the city. They’ll likely be able to give you great suggestions on where to eat and what to see. 2.) You can’t beat the value of Airbnb. Staying in Miami can be costly but not going this route doesn’t have to be. Search for listings from Superhosts. These are the hosts that have garnered great reviews from previous guests, plus, Superhosts tend to go the extra mile with things like amenities, pristine accommodations and the general upkeep of the property. We found an awesome listing for around $57/night in Miami that was about a 15 min. drive from key tourist destinations.
Our stay here was like staying in our own private studio apartment. With a private entrance and great off the street parking, We could rest easy knowing we made a great choice while saving some cash! The neighborhood was so quaint and friendly, too. The streets were lined with these marvelous Bismarckia palm trees. Who could ask for anything more!?!
2. Use Ride Sharing Services
We found out really quickly that parking in Miami is EXPENSIVE. So, we left our rental car in the driveway for the bulk of our trip and used Uber and Lyft to get to and from our activities. With street parking starting at $4/hr,, the decision to use a car sharing app was a no brainer! This also gave us an opportunity to ask our drivers where they liked to eat, the names of the neighborhoods, what do they do for fun and etc. Miami is very diverse. Many of the drivers we met were from Cuba, The Dominican Republic or even Russia. They were tremendous resources when it came to suggesting great restaurants that you wouldn’t find in a Zagat guide, but offered amazing dishes, nonetheless. (We’ll leave you with two words: Guava Cheesecake!)
3. Eat Local
As we mentioned, our driver gave us some great suggestions on where to eat. So, we passed on eating at any chain restaurants and decided to take in as many local meals Little Havana had to offer. We were left both, satisfied and pleased.
4. When in Miami…
While driving from the airport to our room, we couldn’t help but notice the massive sports complex that is Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins MLB team. After hearing there were games being played there during our stay, we inquired about tickets. To our surprise, we found that we could score tickets for $28 each. The park was amazing and even had a retractable roof! Yes, we enjoyed a Marlins game, at Marlins park, in air conditioning! For under 30 bucks! AWESOME!
5. Be Your Own Tour Guide
Okay, excuse us as we nerd out a bit, but, we downloaded the History Channel’s History Here App on our phones to help guide us throughout Miami. This app was so handy. Little red pins on their maps let us know what major historical events took place at any given location.
We began seeking out the points of interests near and far just to learn more about them. Suddenly, we found ourselves out in front of places like the famous Miami Convention Center, The Holocaust Memorial and the Art Deco District. We walked a lot but, that’s what made the trip so great.
Traveling like a local may not be for everyone, but we wanted to see the real Miami. Engaging the locals and foregoing traditional tours and hotel accommodations helped us feel right at home! We can’t wait to do this on our next getaway.
Tell us more about your time away from home and even your travel tips in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!