Miami, it’s like little Manhattan, select long weekends of the year. Specifically, the first weekend of December, during Art Basel and the 24 satellite fairs, the city’s gallerists, artists, art lovers, musicians, photographers, socialites and IG famous embark on the 3o5, jam-packed with openings, receptions, exhibits and guestlist only parties. If you’re unfamiliar, think SXSW but prettier and art rather than tech.
Now, contrary to popular belief, truthfully Miami is a small, big city and for whatever reason despite not having 8 million human, it is still rather inefficient especially for New Yorkers. So, after a fairly successful trip for Basel before some of you inevitably take your talents to South Beach for New Year’s Eve, prepare properly with these Miami hacks for New Yorkers.
Let’s start from the beginning, like prior to arrival. I HIGHLY recommend using AirBnb rather than a hotel. A lot of the hotels are run down and do not look like the photos online. If you have the money, stick to the newly renovated James Hotel, The W South Beach, The Fontainebleu (a bit off actual South Beach), The Raleigh, SLS and however tacky it is, the rooms at The Dream are in good shape. Miami has cockroaches, year round, HUGE ones, stay in a nice place. If you AirBnB, stay off Washington, Collins or Ocean Drive to cut on traffic. Anywhere South of Fifth Ave is pretty good and Alton Road will give you good access to leaving or staying on South Beach. Also, there’s a Whole Foods to eat healthy while on vacation and save on mediocre Lincoln Road, tourist trap restaurants.
Upon arrival, have cash and your Google Maps ready for your cab ride. Fortunately, taxis have set fares to different neighborhoods from the airport however, VERY few take cards, which is archaic but very real. Miami does finally have Uber but it was RARE to see cars available without a 2.2 or higher surge price during Basel. Similar to when searching for accommodations, while in cabs, vehemently demand to stay off Washington, Collins Ave and Ocean Drive as much as possible.
Check every tab at every bar you order a drink at. The majority of your orders will have an automatic gratuity charge thus unless you are interested in tipping upwards of 40 percent, stay aware.
Lastly, Miami Beach has free WiFi. Although I am unsure if it works well, it does exist. The signal is City_of_Miami_Beach_Wifi.
To less ATM fees and a Happy New Year – see you soon Miami.