Originally a coconut farm, this island city forms a short barrier to the larger metropolis of Miami, and is well worth an extended visit. Miami Beach didn’t really turn into a city until the 1910s and 20s, meaning that most of its buildings are fascinating and charming remnants of the art deco era. Lined with an almost four-mile-long beach, this jewel of a city makes a great base for your explorations of southern Florida – hire a car today to see Miami Beach and its surroundings at their most intimate!
The best time to visit southern Florida’s beaches is June through September, before the rainy season starts, though March to May is also an excellent time of year for city strolls – and the occasional swim in the Atlantic.
The de facto national language of the United States is English, which is also the native language of the vast majority of Floridians. However, 20% of the state’s inhabitants speak Spanish as their native language, and in Miami, Spanish is sometimes more widely spoken than English.
The currency throughout the United States is the dollar. Currency exchange is highly available at airports and popular tourist destinations, and credit cards are accepted at the vast majority of businesses.
Miami International Airport is just a 25-minute drive from Miami Beach, making the airport an excellent place to pick up rental cars. You may find that flying into Fort Lauderdale is cheaper from your place of departure, however; located just 40 minutes from Miami Beach, this is also a great point of arrival, as well as an excellent place for automobile hire. Both airports host major car rental agencies. If you prefer to pick up your car directly in Miami Beach, however, Collins Avenue and its parallel streets are also lined with the most well-known and more local car rental agencies.
Take even more advantage of Miami’s location at the tip of Florida by following the 22-mile drive into the Everglades or the spectacular drive south along the keys to Key West. This 3.5-hour drive is definitely worth it, and taking advantage of the secluded beaches along the way is highly recommended.
38 nationalities can enter the United States as tourists without applying for a visa, though if you are among these nationalities, you are still required to fill out the ESTA in advance. Visit esta.us for more information. Visitors to the United States will be fingerprinted and biometrically photographed upon entry. If your nationality is not included in the visa-waiver program, you will be required to apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa in advance of your arrival.
Though the streets are packed and the parking challenging, driving Miami Beach is the most American way to get to know this fascinating little island city. Make Miami Beach your base for explorations of nearby Miami and America’s most unique landscape of the Everglades and the Keys; you’ll always be very happy to return to the Beach’s nightly party scene in the evening!
The most rambunctious party scene of Miami Beach occurs around South Beach, so be careful driving here, particularly at night when the behavior of party-goers is bound to be quite unpredictable.