Evenings + a Morning in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. What to do, where to go?
June 28, 2016 11:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm about to be in Miami working at the comic convention from the 29th to the 5th. I'll be working at the Miami Beach Convention Center, staying at the Hyatt Regency on 2nd, and for every day but the 5th will only have a few hours free in the evenings. On the 5th I need to be in Ft. Lauderdale by 3, but I have the morning free. I am expecting to dislike Florida in a multitude of ways, but want to remain open minded and have fun and learn something despite that.

Complications: I don't drive. I am white male, don't speak Spanish. NW-style low key attitude. I am super educated/poor and that makes a difference, i.e. I don't mind paying for Museums and transit and Very Interesting Things... but I've never signed up for Über and any meal over $14 (not counting drinks) tastes like burnt money even when on a trip.

I like art/design, learning about the context that creates things, and evidence of complicated human intent or folly. Meta and in-depth information is good in other words. Not interested in most "sights" tourism, or the idea of "authenticity" tourism. In Chicago (link to a similar question of mine, about Chicago) the architectural river tour and the Art Institute were very good, and the pizza and weird sub were unique to the area. In NYC I loved walking the High Line, enjoyed the cheap bodega breakfast food and cheap cocktail bars very much, and so many aspects of the density.

So, what can I do on foot to learn more about Florida/Miami? Should I simply nix any idea of walking anywhere at any time? Where do I go for good cheap food, Miami Beach, or near the hotel? Are previous AskMefi's right in that the museums are good? Which one do I go to on the 5th? What else can I do, or should I know?
posted by tychotesla to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I've only been once, but I think these videos might help in visualizing what it's actually like: DecoBike - The City of Miami Beach Public Bicycle Rental System ... Touring Art Deco Architecture in Miami Beach ... Lincoln Road at Night ... The Wolfsonian Design Museum ... The World Erotic Art Museum.
posted by Wobbuffet at 12:54 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The NSU is supposed to be very good. Fort Lauderdale has a lot of wonderful history. Have a cheap drink at the Elbo Room — many legendary bands played there in their infancy (think B-52s, etc.). It might be touristy because it's right on the beach but it's a good place at heart. Maybe Mickey Clean will draw you a portrait. The beach right outside was the sight of one of Florida's infamous wade-ins in the 1960s.

"Fort Liquordale" still has many of the old 50s/60s-era roadside attractions. If you like MCM, there is some glorious architecture, like the Hyatt's Pier 66. At the B Ocean Resort (formerly and forever in my heart the Yankee Clipper) you can see my friend Marina perform her mermaid swimshow. And Ft. L is home to the oldest and longest-running Polynesin revue in the country. The Mai Kai is still family-owned and will celebrate 60 years this Christmas.
posted by Brittanie at 3:04 AM on June 29, 2016


Hi! Yes you should totally just chill there. Pretend you're a rich person for once, it helps. :)

DEFINITELY however do not miss the Wolfsonian museum, it is great, and is the ultimate in "evidence of complicated human intent or folly."

I'm worried about you staying in Miami and working in Miami Beach though. You know there is like... a kind of terrible bus if you're really cheap? And no real public transit/ And other than that it's like ALL cars?

Everything else you should just... I mean, pretend you live there, and that you're a person who goes to the beach and goes to yoga and likes to eat at a giant open-air pedestrian mall in Miami Beach and like have a Shake Shack outside and go to the top of the world's most beautiful parking garage.

Everything downtown Miami is pretty terrible—you should go for a ramble in the Design District, and go to the private collector museums that are open to the public. But just do be aware that it is going to be brutally hot and wet most likely.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:04 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you all. As always I didn't manage to even nearly do all the things I wanted to do, but definitely spent my time better than if I didn't ask y'all.

Didn't manage to make it to the Wolfsonian or private collector Museums, those are very good recommendations that'll be on top of my list next time. Next on the list would be the erotic museum and the deco tour.

The Pérez Art Museum Miami had those absolutely fantastic hanging gardens outside, and was accessible via the mover. Wynwood (went to the Butchery, which was pretty good) was interesting to walk through once to see the impressive graffiti, although at night it basically turns into club central it seems.

Had a decent time in the pedestrian Miami Beach streets, tourist oriented though they were. Wish I'd been able to get there for the Sunday Farmer's Market for fresh Empanadas.

Other miscellaneous fun things: Having Ceviche for the first time. Having Empanadas. Going to Versailles and getting a mojito and sampler platter. Seeing three police cars with flashing lights block a street so they could eat Ceviche too (fun + concerning). Drinking beers on the shore of the Miami, watching ships pass and the drawbridge completely fuck traffic. Seeing the very high number of architectural flourishes added to the buildings. Probably due to the heat, the gelato also seemed much better in Miami.
posted by tychotesla at 4:42 PM on July 10, 2016


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