Getting Around Miami Beach
The best way to get around Miami Beach is on foot. South Beach is especially pedestrian-friendly, and how are you going to people-watch or get a tan if you're in a car? Another option, bikes, can be rented from a number of vendors or from the bike-sharing system, Citi Bike. Plan to pack or purchase a strong lock as bicycle theft can be a problem. Driving will bring headaches, particularly when parking is limited at peak hours. If your feet begin to tire, there are buses run by Miami-Dade Transit. The South Beach Local is ultra-convenient and cheap for visiting travelers. Still, hailing the occasional cab (or Uber or Lyft) rather than waiting at a bus stop is preferred. You'll probably also use a cab to get from Miami International Airport (MIA), located about 12 miles west, into town. Expect to pay a flat rate between $35 and $55 for trips to Miami Beach. There is also a shuttle bus that provides service between the Miami International Airport Metrorail station and Miami Beach (from 41st Street to South Pointe Drive) for $2.25.
If you book a hotel in South Beach , you'll have no problem walking from the water to your resort or to the shops and restaurants. You should certainly plan to traverse some of Miami Beach on foot, but not bare foot. Although the beach is usually clean, you never know where shards of glass bottles or splinters of the boardwalk are hiding in the sand.
A bike will help you get from point A to point B faster than walking and (most likely) driving. Proceed slowly through crowds to avoid any accidents. Cycling on the beach and the boardwalk is a very popular, not to mention beautiful, ride. Beware that bikes go missing all the time, so lock your bike as soon as you get off it. You can find several rental shops, including two traveler approved shops, Bike and Roll and Miami Beach Bicycle Center, scattered throughout South Beach. There are also several Citi Bike bike-share stations located around the city. Hourly and daily rentals are available through Citi Bike.
Taxis are the hassle-free option for travelers that don't want to deal with the troubles of driving a car in an unfamiliar place (and trying to find parking). You'll find hordes of them outside of airports, train stations and the port of Miami. To ensure you're booking a licensed cab, you might want to have your hotel call one for you rather than hailing one.
Ride-hailing services have also become popular in Miami Beach. Both Uber and Lyft operate in the city.
If you plan to stay exclusively in Miami Beach, a car is unnecessary. Taxis, trolleys, bikes and your own two feet will be more than enough to move you around the island. However, if you want to explore farther afield, a car is a must. Parking can be difficult and expensive, but not impossible. Metered parking and garages are available. There are a series of bridges connecting Greater Miami to Miami Beach. These links have drawbridges, so allow extra time when crossing them. Note: Numbered streets (running east to west) increase as you go north on the island.
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Although tourists consciously stay away from the city buses, the SoBe Local is a helpful means of seeing South Beach. It runs every 13 to 30 minutes daily and brings passengers to many popular destinations.
The South Beach Loop trolley operates four free trolley routes in and around South Beach. They operate from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.
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