Now that we live in Florida, it has been a very long time since I have done a pre-cruise hotel stay. We usually just drive to the port the morning of the cruise. Since it has been such a long time since I have been to South Beach, I decided to go a day early for my cruise leaving from Port of Miami. I have stayed in Miami many times when I lived in Chicago for a night or two before or after a cruise. My favorite spot is on South Beach right in the middle of the action. Here is how to spend one night in South Beach.
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How to Spend One Night in South Beach
I was able to find a great deal on a hotel ($110/night) at the Ocean Drive Hotel right on Ocean Drive. All in all, this was a great choice of hotel for the price. When pulling up in front, it has the boutique Art Deco feel that is mandatory for me when staying on South Beach. Parking is on-site and at a cost of $25 per night was worth it for the convenience. The hotel is in an area of Ocean Drive known as “SoFi” aka “South of Fifth” so it does not have direct beach access. It is however, a 1 minute walk to the beach and everything else. The lobby is small but cute.
This hotel reminded me of the economical and practical hotels in Europe. It was compact, but felt safe and had everything we needed for an overnight stay. We had a standard room which was basic, but clean and WiFi is included. It has a noisy air conditioner so I am glad I always bring my trusted ear plugs. Other than that, it was quiet. They do not have a pool which is rare for Florida, but not a problem for us since we were so close to the beach and only there for one night.
We walked Ocean Drive perusing menus and all the different menus. The one thing that jumped out at us very quickly is that almost every menu was very similar. We ended up having dinner at Lario’s on the Beach because there was a nice table outside and not on the sidewalk. It was a beautiful evening and we had a great time. The food was good and the portions were large. They even put together a vegan rice & beans dish that was quite good for me. After dinner we headed to Oceans Ten bar that is an outside venue with a great band.
We danced a bit and met some interesting people. It was a Sunday night, but you couldn’t tell by walking around Ocean Drive. The bars and restaurants were very crowded. That was a lot of fun!
Breakfast is included with the room rate in the restaurant of the hotel. It is basic fare (muffins, cereal, toast, bananas, coffee and orange juice). For me, it was perfect being able to grab a coffee and banana and sit outside at a sidewalk table in the gorgeous Miami sunshine. For others who enjoy a full breakfast, you would have to go elsewhere. For the low cost of the overnight stay, coffee and a bite in the morning was a nice extra.
I had a great morning walking the beach and checking out Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue during the day. There were a few new places, but all in all South Beach seems the same as the last time I was there 10 years ago.
DRIVE TO PORT OF MIAMI
It was a quick drive to Port of Miami and only took about 5 minutes. I had a great evening and morning and it was well worth the minimal expense to expand my short cruise vacation!
Ocean Five Hotel
436 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida 33139 USA
Larios On The Beach
820 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
960 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida 33139