Getting Around Miami
The best way to get around Miami is by car. Having your own wheels will give you the freedom to roam the streets and neighborhoods as you please. Note that the roads are on a grid and broken up into quadrants by the east-to-west Flagler Street and north-to-south Miami Avenue. Street numbers increase as you travel farther away. Also, convenient parking is the norm here. Taxis are another option; however, your wallet won't thank you for hailing them so often. The mammoth Miami International Airport (MIA) hosts a fleet of rental car agencies. There's also the metro and bus system, although previous travelers have labeled it "inconvenient" and "unreliable."
When flying into south Florida (which includes West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Greater Miami), you have several options. MIA Airport is the largest and right next to downtown, but some tourists prefer flying into the less-hectic Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), renting a car and then driving the 25 miles to the city. There are also several regional airports scattered throughout south Florida.
Excluding the city's convoluted downtown, Miami is a very car-friendly place. Attractions, hotels and restaurants are relatively far from each other, making a car the most comfortable, reliable and time-efficient means of getting around. Note that there are toll roads in Miami-Dade county and fees vary. Be on the lookout for aggressive drivers.
Miami offers a Metrorail train (nicknamed Metrofail) that runs north and south and services a few tourist attractions. The bus system is also frustrating. There are also a couple free public transportation options. The Metromover runs three lines that loop a 4-mile area around downtown. The Miami Trolley is also free of charge and has seven lines, most of which run Monday through Saturday with varying hours. According to travelers, these systems can be inconsistent, so if you have them, stick to your own set of wheels.
There is also Tri-Rail, a commuter train within south Florida that transports passengers to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This is a great way to take a daytrip to one of Miami's neighboring cities.
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