South Florida is a big place. It’s home to a lot of things, including conventions. I was excited to head to the area for a convention recently, but was disappointed when I saw my itinerary and realized that there would be no time whatsoever for exploring the area. I’d be going to my convention during the day, out to dinner with colleagues at night and then back to my room to get some sleep before doing it all over again the next morning. Perhaps someday I would be able to come back here and enjoy a proper visit. Perhaps that day would be today, as it turned out. My boss told me I wouldn’t be needed at the convention on the last day, and neither would she. She was heading home, but I had the option to stay as long as I found my own Miami Beach hotel for the night.
I was sure I could figure something out. I knew I could rent a car quickly and relatively easily, so I wasn’t worried about that. Instead, I began my search for Miami Beach hotel rooms. I found an app known as HotelTonight on my phone and I gave it a try. It provided a lot of choices for Miami Beach hotels, but I was leery of the booking process, especially at the last minute. Much to my surprise, I had a room reserved and confirmed within minutes. I was so excited – a whole day to explore Miami Beach. Did it get any better than that? I was off into my fun-filled day.
I know that Ocean Drive is not actually a neighborhood, but it’s one of those iconic places that you have to see if you’re ever in the area. This is not just a place for tourists, either, as quite a few locals live nearby. It’s a mixture of more cultures than I could ever keep track of along with at least one hotel that everyone would recognize in a photo. It was also, as its name would indicate, right next to some of the most tropical and blue water you could ever hope to see. I could have spent the entire day on one city street.
I decided to spread out by a few blocks and take in the rest of what there was to see in South Beach, another iconic location that is known all over the world. Yes, this is the party capital of Miami, of South Florida and some would say of the United States. It’s also home for quite a few residents who want to live near the water and enjoy this type of lifestyle. South Beach is another area that people simply have to see at some point in their lifetimes, as it’ll be a day, a night or even a few days that they will never forget.
Miami Beach is distinct from downtown Miami, which is on the mainland instead of on the barrier island where Miami Beach sits. The downtown of this area is not only beachy, but it’s also extremely cultural and gorgeous. The Art Deco District is here, and people who are into that type of architecture would be in paradise if they could occupy one of these unique buildings. There are also a lot of other neighborhoods nearby that present a real American melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, yet everyone seems to march to the same vibe.
Surfside is a bit different from its neighboring areas to the south. There’s more of a quiet, family vibe here. The area is still built around the beach itself, as there is about a mile of gorgeous coastline in Surfside, but people here are more relaxed in general. It’s also a great place to shop, and I remembered while here that I needed to get some gifts for the important people in my life. I did so by walking through a bunch of different locally-owned shops and finding some perfect nick-knacks for people who would proudly display them.
Finally, I reached the north end of the island and the neighborhood of Bal Harbour. Bal Harbour is technically a village, and its population is around 2,500 people. This is an area for the truly discerning, and it’s high-end all the way. I was hoping the same could be said for the Bal Harbour cuisine, as it was dinnertime and I was famished. I asked some nice people where I should go for a bite to eat, and they directed me to an Italian place just up the road. That sounded perfect. I got there, sat down, ordered the meal and was so excited when it arrived that I could barely contain myself. It was all that I had hoped for and more. I was ready to call it a day on that perfect note.
As I headed back to my room, anxious for a good night of sleep, I reflected on all that had happened that day. I thought I’d be at some convention but instead wound up seeing a wondrous place that I had always wanted to see. I was grateful for the opportunity, and I was grateful that I had found HotelTonight. They allowed me to find a Miami Beach hotel room in minutes and launch myself into this memorable day.