People assume when I say I’m from Miami that I spend all my time on South Beach, but quite the contrary. Most of us (locals) rarely visit S. Beach. To the rest of the nation, however, S. Beach is a tropical destination they see in music videos and on reality TV shows with bikini’d women everywhere. So, every now and then, when the right people are in town, I have to make my way to “the beach.”
On this trip home (I was born and raised in Miami, so it’ll always be home), I had some cousins visiting from Rochester, NY. With about 2 and 1/2 hours before we were to be at our next family event, we decided to head to the beach. To get to S.Beach (from the rest of Miami) there’s a really long bridge. On this particular day, probably due to spring break and construction, the traffic on the bridge was cray! We made it in about 40 mins though… still 1 and 1/2 hrs left…
Parking on the beach is definitely luck of the draw. Especially on holidays. First of all, no matter where you go, you’ll pay. Get over it… We actually lucked up and found a spot right on Ocean Drive, the main street before the beach, so no complaints there.
Ocean drive is many things: 1) the main walking strip during the day (this is where you’ll find the bikin’d women); 2) where many of the bars are located (Wet Willie’s, Fat Tuesday’s, etc.); and 3) where many of the fancy-pants, outdoor restaurants are, including The Carlyle. So with little time to spare, we had to make the decision quickly and The Carlyle was advertising two-for-one drinks, sooooo…
The Carlyle is a restaurant downstairs and condos up top. Food was average. My pizza was so bland, I ended up giving it to a homeless woman who decided to stop by our table and chat it up. But the drinks… they were big and strong (just how I like em)! Lol. At two-for-one and one hour left, we had to drink and move. But that was enough time for my male cousins to get their sugar-high from all the eye-candy walking up and down the strip. Before we knew it, we were tipsy and late!
Pros: Direct view of the ocean; good service; strong drinks
Cons: Those two-for-one drinks were $20 a piece! Which means without the special, this would’ve been pricey!