It’s a beautiful resort city, but if you’re looking for a carefree experience, you might want to avoid Miami Beach.
Like many of South Florida’s resort areas, Miami Beach has soft white sands, stunning blue-green waters, and refreshing breezes. In addition, the city has luxurious shopping districts and a buzzing nightclub scene.
But there are many red flags to watch for when visiting this one-of-a-kind place toward Florida’s tip. And we’re not just talking about the literal ones that indicate dangerous surf conditions. Are you ready to discover what’s not to love about Miami Beach?
Let’s dive in!
The Scoop Miami Beach, Florida
Tourism promoters paint a sunny and vibrant picture of multicultural Miami Beach, and it’s mostly true. But there are some dark sides, as well. Before we get into its dirty details, we’ll accentuate some of Miami Beach’s many positive aspects.
The eye-catching architecture, both Art Deco and Mid Century Modern, reflects its emergence as a vacation spot almost a century ago. It’s one of the things you’ll notice right away that gives Miami Beach a unique personality.
But that’s only if you can take your eyes off the dazzling waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. You can luxuriate for hours on the seven-mile string of glistening white public beaches. For a more active experience, rent a bike for a ride along the busy Beachwalk or catch a trolley downtown.
That’s where you’ll find the fashionable Lincoln Road retail center and world-class restaurants. Take a nap first if you need to, but don’t miss the lively nightclubbing scene. We’ll talk more about that later.
It all sounds amazing, right? Well, now for the bad news, which are some pretty strong reasons to avoid Miami Beach.
#1 Avoid the Scams Around Miami Beach
A true beach paradise would have zero crime, and we know that’s virtually impossible. Unfortunately, the crime rate in Miami Beach is relatively high. Even worse, a good percentage of the shady behavior seems squarely aimed at tourists.
Even if you’re no easy mark, you must stay vigilant to slip past certain scams. One happens at restaurants, where a hostess or server tries to entice you into a special not-so-special deal. Be sure to ask, “What’s the catch?” and whether hidden fees exist.
Be wary of knock-off versions of designer goods, and be careful about sharing credit card or debit card info. Check your bank statements carefully after your trip.
#2 Avoid Miami Beach’s Dangerous Waters
You might spot red flags for real on the waterfront. As seasoned beachgoers know, they indicate potentially hazardous surf, including rip currents that can sweep you away instantly. Two flags mean no swimming, and one flag recommends using extreme caution.
While a green flag means you’re good to go, even a yellow flag is a warning to be very careful. Part of Miami Beach faces the Atlantic’s open waters rather than the bay’s calmer ones. But all the beaches on the strip can be treacherous, depending on the wind conditions.
You also need to stay aware of rising tides. When setting up on the beach, be mindful of the high-tide line.
#3 Avoid the Sun
While some vitamin D is good for the body and soul, too much can be a disaster. You might think that a nice suntan gives you a healthy glow, but there’s nothing sexy about carcinoma or melanoma.
Sunburn, though painful, may be the least of your worries if you expose yourself too long without protection. Wear a hat and sleeves as much as possible when spending long hours in the sun. At the beach, sunscreen is your friend, so apply it liberally and often to avoid overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
#4 Avoid Theft On Miami Beach
Those sticky fingers aren’t always from applying lotion, though. Here’s your reminder to guard your valuables. Not everyone who strolls along the beach has the same peaceful, live-and-let-live vibe that you do.
You’re better off locking your most valuable items securely and out of sight, maybe in a hotel safe.
And don’t go around showing off flashy electronics jewelry or high-end electronics or camera equipment. It’s just better to be safe than sorry. The last thing you want to do on vacation is file a theft report with the Miami police.
#5 Miami Beach Is Party Central
We love solitude but realize that may not always be what we get. We don’t mind hanging with a few spirited individuals; however, we aren’t usually looking for a major beach bash.
In Miami Beach, the party goes into overdrive at night. Dozens of clubs offer DJs and live music with exciting Latin rhythms well into the morning. The parties start kicking for real around midnight and hit their stride around two or three in the morning.
All this action can make Miami Beach a tough place to get a good night’s sleep. You might just end up dozing in the sun.
We’re Driving Away from Miami Beach
If something about a place raises red flags, we just move on to the next destination. That’s how we feel about Miami Beach, and that’s why we avoid it. Thankfully, there are plenty of other wonderful beach communities in South Florida with fantastic weather for most of the year.
There’s no shortage of people who love Miami Beach, and we certainly understand why. Let them have it, we say. We’re on to the next place! And most likely for us, it has a safer, more secure feeling and probably a slower pace.
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