Known for its all-night parties, stunning beaches, and art deco architecture, Miami Beach is the perfect destination for spring breakers seeking a fun beach vacation to let loose. Whether you want to soak up the sun, visit the world-class museums, or party with beautiful people, Miami has it all. If you're planning on spending spring break on Miami Beach, here's what you need to know.
How to Get There: Fly Into Miami International Airport
If you're traveling on a budget, though, the best option is Miami International Airport. It's closer to Miami Beach, which means you'll only have to pay $30 for an Uber to your hotel, as opposed to the $100 that Fort Lauderdale drivers charge. Miami International Airport is additionally served by many airlines, so you'll have plenty of options for flights and prices.
When should you fly into Fort Lauderdale? When you find an incredibly cheap flight to that airport. If the price difference to fly to Fort Lauderdale is greater than $70, you'll be better off going for that option.
How to Get Around: Miami Beach Transportation Options
If you're staying in the northern neighborhoods of Miami Beach, you should look into hiring a rental car for your stay, or you'll quickly rack up charges when using taxis. If you're planning on staying at the southern end of the city, you'll find it easily walkable.
You'll be able to wander along Collins Avenue, Ocean Drive, Washington Avenue, and Lincoln Road, a street converted into an outside mall. The South Beach Local bus makes stops every couple of blocks and runs at 10 minute intervals. The buses are air-conditioned with friendly drivers, and are the cheapest option for navigating South Beach.
Alternatively, Uber and Lyft both operate in Miami and usually offer a better (and more affordable) experience to the taxis.
Where to Stay: Choosing Your Miami Neighborhood
When it comes to spring break, there are several neighborhoods I recommend looking to stay in.
South Beach is the most famous part of Miami, and you'll be surrounded by gorgeous art deco buildings and plenty of bars. The downside to this area being the most popular during spring break is that it's also the most expensive area to stay in. If you're coming to Miami Beach to party, though, and you can afford the $100/night you'll most likely pay to stay in a hotel, this area is perfect.
For shopping and a touch of luxury, opt for Downtown Miami, full of shops, luxurious hotels, and towering glass skyscrapers.
If you're more of an artist, look at Coconut Grove or the Design District, home to artists and fashion designers.
For something a little different to the stereotypical Miami Beach scene, opt to stay in Little Havana, the Cuban district.
What's Miami Beach Like During Spring Break?
Miami Beach is infamous for its Spring Break parties, so get ready to drink the night away with thousands of college students!
Prices skyrocket at this time of year, so do bear in mind you'll have to pay an awful lot more for flights and accommodations.
Similarly, weekends are a busy time of year in Miami Beach; so to save money, look to avoid flying in or out on these days.
Miami Beach isn't much of a business city, so weekday prices are generally cheaper than on the weekend. If you're looking to find bargain accommodations and flights, plan your trip to coincide with the weekdays.
Peak time in Miami Beach is January to April when prices soar, beaches become overcrowded, and you'll have to wait to be seated at restaurants. Low season is June to September when, thanks to Miami Beach's subtropical climate, you'll often have to deal with rainy days and hurricanes. A good compromise, then, is to visit in the shoulder season, in May and October to December.
A GO Miami Card Will Save You Money
Make sure to get a GO Miami Card before you arrive in Miami Beach.
You can buy one- to five-day cards for $65-$190, which give you free access to many of Miami's most popular attractions. Check the GO Miami website first to make sure that you'll get your money's worth, but if you're planning on visiting many attractions, you almost definitely will.
Miami Beach isn't the cheapest of destinations, but a small amount of research can save you a lot of money. If you fly into Miami International Airport, visit during the shoulder season, and pick up a GO Miami Card, you'll be certain to save money and have a fantastic vacation.
How to Museum Hop the City
Inject some culture into your vacation with a visit to some of Miami Beach's top museums. At the north end of Miami Beach, you'll find the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is well worth a visit. The exhibitions are regularly rotated so each visit offers a different experience than the last -- great for museum lovers who return to the area every year for spring break.
If you decide to venture over to South Beach, there are several world-class museums worth exploring. The Bass Museum of Art in South Beach specializes in art from around the world, with its permanent exhibits featuring anything from Haitian voodoo artists to 16th-century Flemish tapestries. Also found in South Beach is the unique World Erotic Art Museum, which holds the world's largest collection of erotic artwork, which is definitely worth a visit with friends!
Your Guide to Nightlife in Miami Beach
Miami Beach's nightlife is known the world over and now is your opportunity to experience it for yourself. South Beach is the best when it comes to nightclubs, so aim to base yourself in the neighborhood if that's your plan. Clubs stay open until 5 a.m. and then reopen a few hours later, so be sure to pace yourself!
If clubbing isn't your style, you'll be able to find pubs, cocktail lounges, rooftop pool parties, and even a ping-pong lounge within walking distance. No matter what you're looking for here, you'll find it. Culture, shopping, or partying, Miami Beach really does have it all.
Miami Beach Vs. South Beach
When it comes to spring break in Florida, South Beach often gets all the fame and attention. You've probably seen photos and videos from the action on the beach and know just how wild things can get.
Miami Beach is just as fun, but it's a little more chilled out than South Beach. You'll find the prices are more affordable, the parties aren't as huge, and the scene is more about relaxing by the pool than drinking until you pass out.
Whether you decide to go to South Beach or Miami Beach depends a lot on what you're looking for. The good news, though, is that if you make a decision you come to regret, it'll only be a few minutes taxi ride to get from one beach to the other. You could quite easily base yourself on Miami Beach to save money and have better odds of getting a good night of sleep while spending your days partying on South Beach with everyone else.