Miami, Florida - the land of beaches! Upwards of 97 million people visit Florida each year, and you’re about to add to that number. There is plenty to explore in this sunny city. But, having a little knowledge before travelling is never a bad thing.
Weather in Miami
First and foremost, be sure you pack for it! Miami is HOT, and no matter the time of year, you will experience heat and humidity. Be sure to pack your summer gear, including sunglasses and protective lotion. The sun in Miami is scorching, and you can burn in a matter of minutes.
There’s a reason Miami has the nickname of "the land of beaches." With soft sand and warm, clear water, it is beautiful. But, be aware that the beaches are crowded no matter when you visit. Many try to escape the Miami heat by heading to the water, but it won’t offer you a lot of relief since the water temps range from 72 – 86 degrees throughout the year. Granted, it will still be a little refreshing, but don’t expect a significant cooldown by jumping in! Lastly, be sure to follow beach etiquette. Drinking on beaches is illegal, music should not be too loud, and you are expected to pick up your trash when you leave.
Let’s face it; Miami is a tourism city. The restaurants are pricey, and you can expect to spend upwards of $20 on a simple meal. Of course, there are more budget-friendly fast-food options, but even the prices at those restaurants are a bit higher than you would typically expect to spend. If you visit with a large family, you may want to consider renting a place with a kitchen. No-one likes to cook while on vacation, but it may save you a lot of money in the long run.
If you choose to rent a car in Miami, be aware the locals are very aggressive drivers! If you’re coming from a land of aggressive drivers, you should be fine. If you don’t, try to keep up. You may hear honking or even a few choice words if you don't. Your best bet is to follow other drivers’ leads to save yourself some frustration and stress. Also, you may want to consider buying a SunPass to pay tolls and download the PayByPhone parking app. Miami does not have meters for parking, and you are still expected to pay for parking via the app. Miami police are very strict about this rule and you WILL get a ticket should you decide to forego paying for parking.
More than 70 percent of the residents of Miami are Hispanic and speak Spanish. If you know a little Spanish, you may want to brush up before your visit. If you don’t know any Spanish, you may want to, at the very least, learn some key phrases. Learn to say hello (Hola!), thank you (Gracias), and please (Por favor). It’s not much, but the locals will appreciate it.
Nightlife is hopping in Miami! If you choose to visit one of the many nightclubs, be aware some have dress codes. As a rule, don’t visit a nightclub wearing your daytime beachwear. Be sure to pack some appropriate (cool) clothing to go out on the town. You don’t have to wear your furs and business suits but do dress up a little. Not-so-casual dresses for women and collared shirts for men are appropriate. Leave your flip flops at home.
Miami, Florida has a lot to offer visitors. Enjoy the beautiful sights and soak up as much of the sunshine and local culture as you can during your trip!
Make sure to obtain a valid ESTA a few weeks in advance before your trip to Miami.