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The Best Miami Travel Tips From Our Readers

Photo: Pixexid

Hack Your CityEach Monday we ask you for your best tips on a city: driving tips, restaurant recs, things to do, and any other advice for visitors and locals. Then on Thursday, we present the best comments. We’re working our way around the U.S. and around the globe.  

“I use the term ‘Swamp Unicorn’ to describe us Miami Natives,” says reader maidus. “We’re magical creatures and are rare to find in a town that’s filled with some of the world’s biggest pricks that decide to come here and live ‘la vida loca’ and give this place a bad rep.” Hoo boy. People got feisty in the comment thread for Miami travel tips! In our highlight roundup, we included some tips from the haters on what to avoid or where else to go, but more tips from the lovers (and tolerators) on all the good stuff in this multicultural, if expensive, city. Teach the controversy.

Eat and Drink

  • “One place I did enjoy in South Beach was Puerto Sagua, a great Cuban restaurant. No frills, but great food. Enough that the trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami was worth it.”—TheDoctor
  • “Miami can be a great city to visit, if you stay off the tourist traps. Great Nicaraguan, Colombian (try Sanpocho), and Dominican food can be had. And in the last few years lots of Argentine (Fiorito near downtown for Argentine comfort food) and Venezuelan food is available.”—Mauro2
  • “Not too far from Wynwood, go to Zak the Baker. Food so fresh, don’t plan on taking home bread for the morning.”—I got this, hold my tequila…
  • “I personally love Joe’s Stone Crab for the stone crab claws, a local delicacy, but be prepared to wait for a table. Go during the week for a less-than-one-hour wait. They do not take reservations and on a Fri/Sat evening, can easily end up waiting two hours. They do have a bar to keep you occupied while you wait, or go next door to Joe’s Takeaway for a quick in and out for most of the same menu items.”—vertigo86
  • “Don’t forget to try Cuban coffee! Unless you’re a connoisseur, you will not notice the nuances between different places. But David’s on Miami Beach, or Versailles on Calle Ocho in Miami proper, have some of the best. Any Publix supermarket cafe will also make it wonderfully!”—vertigo86
  • “Medianoche, rather than a Cuban.”—chas.s
  • “The Peruvian food is awesome, go to Ceviche 105 to try the best ceviche. Go to Pueblito Paisa for Colombian food. Go to Flanigan’s for one of the best ribs that I’ve tried.”—Mivelas

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In the Wynwood Art District
Photo: Meriç Dağlı

See and Do

  • “Miami has a very active contemporary arts scene. You can strike a free or very cheap, open-bar, catered event in one of the private collections or contemporary art museums with little to no effort. ICA first Fridays, MOCA last Fridays, Bass at night, or PAAM Thursdays are good examples. The De La Cruz collection is also a great option. Expect mind-blowing art, colorful people, and conversations about color and intent.”—defamed2
  • “Rent a boat from Haulover to go up and down the Intercoastal or deep sea fishing. Also, manatees live right near the Haulover Sandbar. Yes the Sandbar sometimes has some crazy partiers but mostly nice people just enjoying. If you are up to it, you can also kayak there from Oleta.”—I got this, hold my tequila…
  • “Check out the world’s fastest sport, jai alai. Any venue will do. Grab a beer and a hot dog and just sit right at the fence and get your fill of a thrilling sport. Self-plug here, if you’re a Star Wars fan and wanna do some lightsaber combat, we got that too: check out SaberCraft.org.”—maidus
  • “For beaches start at North Miami beach and go north. Beaches south of that are not worth the hassle. If you are adventurous go to Haulover and go to the nude beach. It is legal and government sanctioned.”—emanon2121
  • “Best beach is South Pointe in South Beach, family friendly.”—Mivelas
  • “The Frost Museum of Science is a must.”—Javier Regalado
  • “Try the southernmost tip of Key Biscayne’s Bill Baggs State Park. Plenty of space and family-friendly. Yes there’s a toll to cross into Key Biscayne, but it’s a pretty good deterrent for tourists not in the know.”—vertigo86
  • “Visit Art by God, one of the most unusual stores you will ever see.”—Colin
  • “If you do want to party (and spend money) go to Club Liv at the Fountainbleau.”—Miamigal1
  • “For the more adventurous traveler, there is Northeastern Miami, which is made up of areas like Little Haiti, Little River, and the general Upper Eastside. Has a lot of hidden gems of restaurants and bars, and more authentic street murals that haven’t been commissioned by developers, as is the case in Wynwood. You’ll also find plenty of charming botanicas and authentic Haitian food in this area. (You might want to hurry because developers are looking to erase it from the map.)”—In Solitude

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Know and Plan

  • “Seriously consider staying in/near the area of the city where you will be spending most of your time so you can avoid the traffic and expensive Ubers.”—LPK
  • “Wynwood used to be an awesome place to hang out. Now developers and investors are ruining it by putting up high rises in a place that wont be able to handle the influx of people. Its already a log jam on a Friday/Saturday evening, will only get worse with new apartment buildings.”—SeaDisWonAgain
  • “When you see a hotel listing saying ‘Art Deco’ or ‘Boutique’ hotel room, this is a euphemism for small.”—theRoacheart

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Manatee Park, Fort Myers
Photo: Jamie Hagan

Get Out of Town

  • “If your kids are into wildlife, Everglades National Park, specifically the Shark Valley section, will give them the opportunity to see dozens of Alligators and other Florida wildlife. Plan your visit for the winter months though, if you go in July/August you’ll die of heatstroke before you get 15 feet from your car.”—FloridaMan
  • “If you are headed to Everglades National Park via Homestead FL, there is a crazy cool fruit stand on the way to the park entrance called Robert is Here. They have so much amazing produce and other goods, AND you can get milkshakes or smoothies made from all of their crazy fruits.”—qbertmac
  • “Miami is an expensive city to visit and stay. I would stay in Fort Lauderdale or another city in Broward County and make occasional visits to Miami. Or stay with family. Going in the ‘winter’? Make sure to get some cinnamon rolls and strawberry picking at Knaus Berry Farm.”—emanon2121
  • “Want beautiful beaches? Try Siesta Key, St. Pete or Clearwater. Want some authentic Florida experiences you can get almost no where else in the world? Head to central/north central Florida and visit one of the amazing springs.”—GweetPotato
  • “ZooMiami is very large so it will take a good part of the day, in South Dade.”—Miamigal1

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That’s it for Miami; read more tips from these commenters in the original thread (we hid all the dumbasses saying “Here’s a tip: don’t go!!!”), and come back Monday when we go to Spain.