I didn’t expect to love South Beach… but I really did! I had some negative ideas about what it would be like (party town, expensive)… it turns out that these are partially true, but I didn’t really experience much of that. If our dollar had been reasonable instead of the crazy price that it is right now, it would have been more affordable than some of the other places we’ve visited in the U.S. recently!
I booked a hotel on Collins Avenue which is right in the heart of South Beach, about a block from the beach, and a couple of blocks from one of the main streets Lincoln Avenue.
We stayed at “The Hall” (which happens to say Haddon Hall on the outside of the hotel, which could be confusing if you are looking for it). I really enjoyed this hotel. They recently refurbished the hotel which was built in 1940 in the art deco style. They really maintained the original style of the hotel, but cleaned it up. Even the bathrooms are original (at least original looking) but very, very clean. They had nice linens on the bed, and great lotions and shampoos in the bathroom. They had a beautiful pool we didn’t get to use because we were only there for one night, and beach access (which I’m assuming includes chairs). The only negative was that the walls were thin. We spent a long time listening to the couple beside us argue and cry, and break up and argue and cry… you get it. They did eventually fall asleep… perhaps pass out… they sounded rather slurry while they argued 🙂 Okay, there was one other thing I didn’t like. They charged a resort fee (like they do in Las Vegas, and I don’t like paying resort fees there either), but I think it is unavoidable in this area. I really would prefer if they would just include it in the price so it is easier to compare hotels.
After we arrived, we went for a walk with Mom and Gary down Lincoln Avenue. A section of it is just a pedestrian mall filled with restaurants and shops. It was quite nice and filled with people walking, eating or shopping.
I loved the way this building looked!
We stopped for a lunch/dinner at a place called Maya Tapas & Grill.They had been there the day before for wine and olive tapenade and knew that we would like it also. They were right, we did enjoy it! It is a terrific place to enjoy a drink, a snack or even a meal and people watch. I could have sat there for hours!
After our wonderful meal at Maya we carried on with our walk along Lincoln Ave. Mom wanted to pick up some macarons from the French bakery… which she shared with me… and they were incredible! Just like from France!
If you’d like to do a little shopping on Lincoln Avenue, perhaps you would be interested in this “bikini”. Not sure where you might wear this?!?
Also not sure who is buying this gross dessert?!?
After our walk, we said good bye to Mom and Gary and headed back to our hotel for a little rest. This is when we had the pleasure of listening to our neighbours drunkenly argue. If anything, it made us appreciate each other 🙂
Soon we headed out for another walk, this time down Ocean Avenue. This is the art deco district and the buildings are absolutely beautiful! Steve took a lot of photos and I will try not to include too many here! As always, the photos don’t really do it justice… but you’ll get the feel of it, I hope!
Last one, I promise!
The street was blocked off and people were walking, drinking and enjoying the evening. A police officer told us it was a special art deco weekend, the road isn’t always closed off. Although he did admit there was a special event about once a month that they closed the street off for.
We spent a few hours wandering, taking photos, admiring buildings and then had a little stop for ice cream before heading for bed.
In the morning we headed back down to Ocean Avenue for breakfast. We have always said we aren’t breakfast people, but I am really enjoying the breakfasts lately! Maybe we are breakfast people after all?! We stopped at a place called “The Penguin” because the host on the street told us they have the best breakfast in town. I don’t know if it was the best, but it was certainly delicious. We ate out on the patio in the sunshine. I could get used to this 🙂
After breakfast we took a walk along the beach which is right across the street from the restaurants. The beach is beautiful and different hotels have areas blocked off with chairs for their guests. I expect you could just take your towel and find a blank spot if you liked. The beach was long, beautiful and had plenty of room for everyone 🙂
After our walk we headed back to our hotel to check out, because we were flying out to our next destination… Aruba!