Travel & Tourism
Miami - Not So Hot...
Miami, FL (google maps)
Miami... I always pictures scenic drives along Ocean Drive, or down Route 1 to Key West, beautiful beaches, nice people and good weather.
Well, after a recent trip to Miami I was kind of disappointed.
The weather was OK (despite occasional rain showers), even though I'm not used to or a big fan of the humid, tropical climate. But where were the beautiful beaches? The sand is stony, and the beaches were filthy; broken glass bottles, hundreds of cigarette stubs, used condoms, paper, cans, ... I've seen it all. Isn't the city cleaning them up? And what's up with Downtown Miami? Whole streets are closed down, partwise it's a ghetto where you don't even feel save during daylight! When you drive through these streets, you automatically close the roof of your convertible and lock the doors! Sure, there are a couple of really great looking new skyscrapers, and they are surrounded by nicer yards - but walk a block and you're back in Ghetto Town!
I have to admit though, Ocean Drive is special and different. On sunny Sunday afternoons it reminds more of a parking lot than a street, because everybody is showing off their Bentleys, Rolls Royce, Corvettes or whatever make of car, it's a different lifestyle on this one street. At night, it's art deco styled buildings are lit in all sorts of neon light, which really is nice to see.
Also, I liked Key West. Interesting, historical buildings, great restaurants - but it's just for the tourists. The drive down there (which takes approx. 3-3.5 hours from Miami) isn't as interesting or scenic as I hoped it would be (sure, the old bridges are cool). All the cities we drove through were dead. There is not one thing you'd want to stop for! Dozens of boat dealerships, dozens of houses that aren't finished and probably never will be, because you can't afford to insure those houses (hurricanes...), shabby restaurants and offices etc.
Maybe I'm just spoiled by having lived in San Diego for 14 months altogether, by having been to other cities in California etc - but Miami doesn't come even close to California. I've been there, I've seen it, but I don't want to be back there anytime soon.
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