Browsing Tag

south beach

Gay South Beach – Your guide to the hottest vacation

October 24, 2014
gay south beach

As the home of both the biggest gay beach party in North America, it is little wonder that South Beach Miami has been premiere holiday destination for gay men for the last thirty years. With endless sunny beaches and the hottest clubs and bars packed with beautiful people from all around the world, this holiday destination hasn’t missed a beat since its heyday in the 1980s. In South Beach, posing, people watching and partying is a way of life.

Where to Stay

The majority of the gay bars and clubs are located between 12th Street on Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road Mall, so within this district is probably your best bet for accommodation. Although you can stay anywhere, some hotels have a particular reputation for being “gay friendly”. Hotel Beacon South Beach on Ocean Drive (right near the Gay Beach) is one of the most well-known and offers “gay pride” packages and discounts for the LGTB traveller. Both ZOcean Hotel and Hotel Nash are other good options in the area, but let’s face it, between lazing all day on the beach and partying at night, who has time for hanging around the hotel anyway? If you’re looking for a little more privacy, plus free services like WiFi, kitchen, and in, suite laundry however, check out our awesome South Beach apartments.

Sun and Surf

You can’t really miss the giant rainbow flag that announces that you have arrived at the Gay Beach on 12th Street/Ocean Drive. It’s mostly populated by men but you will find lesbians and some straight folk here too. Rent a beach chair and soak up some serious rays on the sugary white sand or spend the day joining in the party atmosphere. Be warned – the no nudity rule does not preclude some of the skimpiest swimming costumes seen since Brazil.

If you just can’t deal with those pesky tan lines after a day of sun worship, then head over to Haulover Beach where clothing is optional and those most comfortable exhibiting their body probably shouldn’t be. It’s on Collins Street, so it’s bit further out than the conveniently located Gay Beach on 12th Street, but surely that’s a small price to pay for the world’s best tan?

Clubs and Bars

Make your nights as hot as your days with these popular South Beach clubs and bars.

Twist – the saying goes “if you haven’t gotten into trouble at Twist then you haven’t visited the real South Beach”. With seven different party areas, including strippers at the back and a cabana, there is something to cater for every taste at Twist. It’s busiest after 1am.

Palace Bar and Grill – located opposite the gay beach, this Miami institution is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is more a bar/restaurant than a club. Tourists and locals alike gather in the evenings to watch Palace drag queens do cartwheels in the streets while harassing passing tourists.

Score a South Beach favourite, Score has been part of the South Beach gay scene for more than ten years. Score offers modern lounges to chat with friends, frozen drinks for hot nights, state of the art lights and music and some of the hottest DJs playing.

Five awesome watersports you can do in South Beach Miami

October 17, 2014
watersports

The golden beaches and glistening waters of South Beach Miami beckon you to spend your days in the surf and sea and whether you like a gentle swim or something more adventurous in the water, then SoBe will not disappoint. Here are five watersports you should try your hand at while you’re here.

Fishing

Fish are plentiful around Miami and you can catch Spanish mackerel, grouper and sailfish without too much effort. The well-established finishing culture in this coastal town makes it easy to get yourself sorted and ready to fish. You can charter a boat or head to a pier (Bal Harbor or Government Cut are good options) depending on how much you want to spend. The benefit of a charter is that they take you to the spots almost guaranteed to get fish and they supply all your gear and usually at least one meal. If you want to fish from a jetty or pier but don’t have the equipment, you might have to buy something inexpensive at somewhere like Kmart as not many places rent it without an organized charter or excursion. There are plenty of Five awesome watersports you can do in South Beach Miami

places around the jetties and beaches that sell bait though.

Diving

Because of its position and climate, Miami is home to the only tropical coral reef in the USA. Combine this spectacular natural phenomenon with incredible dedication to an artificial reef program and you get some fabulous dive spots.

The natural Emerald Reef is considered the most beautiful dive spot in Miami. Half Moon and Wreck Trek are sunken vessels that attract schooling fish, with Half Moon being a particularly good spot for beginners. Use the services of one of the many dive companies to help you arrange your trip and all your equipment.

Snorkeling

If diving is just a little too much but you still want to get up close and personal with the marine life in SoBe, then snorkeling is a great alternative. The third largest barrier reef in the world is just waiting for you just under the waters of the Atlantic. Renting equipment is relatively cheap and you don’t need any special skills or training. If you want to take it up a notch, then consider booking a full day excursion to the coral reef inside the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. South Beach Divers can arrange the entire day for you. Alternatively, Jose Cuervo Reef is an artificial reef easily accessible via a swim from the Second Street lifeguard station of Miami Beach.

Kayaking and Canoeing

See Miami by water and paddle in a kayak or canoe. Whether you go it solo and rent your own equipment or use a guided tour, this is an incredible way to see a Miami sunset. Try Matheson Hammock Park where Adventure Sports Miami will rent you kayaks and paddleboards so you can venture out to get a view of the Miami skyline from the Gables waterways.

Boating and Sailing

Of course you will never be short of options here when it comes to boating and sailing and it’s a great way to take full advantage of the beautiful scenery of Biscayne Bay. If you’re new to boating, try Shake-A-Leg in Coconut Grove whose sailing program will get you certified and provide a chartered boat. If you want something bigger or just want to pretend to be a millionaire for a day, then rent a Catamaran. Boat charter is a great idea if you have larger groups or need an activity for a corporate event or party. Many companies cater for these occasions so it pays to ask to see what they offer.

If none of these options float your chartered boat, then there are still the marinas, the ports, dinner cruises, gaming cruises, chartered yachts…the list is endless and you are guaranteed to find your perfect way to enjoy South Beach on land and at sea.

 

Your guide to getting around South Beach

March 6, 2014
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No car? No problem! The rest of the U.S. may have an aversion to walking and a slightly sketchy public transport system, but Miami is a paradise for those who don’t want to spend their vacation behind the wheel.

You’ve got a whole host of options available as soon as you slip into your flip flops and step out of the airport. A taxi will take you to South Beach for a flat rate of $32, or the Super Shuttle vans will get you to your awesome South Beach studio (you booked with us, right?!) for just $20. On a serious budget? The Airport Flyer is an express bus that runs every 30 minutes and will take you to Miami Beach for just $2.35 (6am-11pm).

Now that you’ve arrived and unpacked, it’s time to hit the beach – which you can stroll on over to, because our studios are just a few minutes from the sand and surf. Areas like Collins and Washington Avenues are great streets to check out on foot too, as is Lincoln Road, a street mall stretching ten blocks and specifically designed for pedestrians, with great shops, cafes, nightclubs and restaurants.

If you want to experience the wind in your hair as you cruise down Ocean Drive, you can grab a DecoBike – the self-service bike rental system with over 100 stations around the city for picking up and dropping off bikes!

 

If you’re going a little farther or need to get out of the sun, you can jump on the ‘Local’ bus service. Busses stop every few blocks with service every 10 minutes or so, and have heavenly air conditioning. Drivers are super helpful and a ride on the South Beach loop costs just a quarter (route map here). If you’re going to leave South Beach and explore the rest of the city, it’s a good idea to get the $26 pass for the Metrorail and MetroBus, which will last you for a week.

And for sightseeing, there’s always the Miami Hop-on Hop-off bus, which will give you a nice overview of Downtown, Miami Beach, the Design District, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and more for $39.

There you have it – more options than you can shake a beach towel at. Now get out there and start exploring!

 

Your perfect Miami Vacation – Top 5 Beaches

January 12, 2014
Miami-beach

So, you’ve rocked up to your awesome accommodation, and now you’re ready to hit the golden sands – but Miami has so many beaches it can be impossible to choose! Here are a few great suggestions for everyone from sun-worshippers to surfers – just don’t forget the sunscreen!

South Beach: Officially Lummus Park Beach, this stretch of sand runs along Ocean Drive from about 6th to 14th streets (super close to your MyStudioMiami accommodation). This is the place to be and be seen – if you love tanning (topless is legal here), people watching, and full-service bars nearby, then this is the party beach for you. There are paths for bikers and skaters, and volleyball nets for the more active beachgoers. Water is clear and the surf is gentle.

85th Street Beach: Running along Collins Avenue, this is a great place for swimmers who want a little space. Fewer crowds and no beachfront condos or hotels, this is a peaceful beach for when you want to get away from it all and enjoy Miami’s blue skies and clear waters.

Haulover Beach: Whether you’re a surfer or just want to admire them from the shore, this stretch of beach just over the causeway from Bal Harbour gets Miami’s biggest swells (and flattest abs). Talented locals are out early in the mornings,  and the southern tip is where they hang out when not catching waves. Wander to the north end of this stretch of coastline and you’ll find yourself in Florida’s most well-known nudist beach!

North Shore Park Beach: Often overlooked but definitely worth a visit. The long stretches of sand are luxurious, and it’s got great amenities and picnic areas. The outdoor amphitheatre is a great place to catch a show or dance festival on a balmy summer evening.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: If you’re looking for nature, history and wilderness, you’ll find it here. A mile of beautiful beach at the end of Key Biscayne, Bill baggs is home to the famous Cape Florida lighthouse, picturesque nature trails, fishing, bike rentals, BBQ grills and two restaurants. Perfect for a day-long escape.