Saturday, November 22, 2014

How to save money in Miami


How to save money in Miami

It might be notorious for its late-night party scene, swanky beach hotels with steeply priced drinks and the beachgoers who wear barely-there $300 swimsuits, but vacationing Miami-style doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

From $3 beers to staying at a hostel for $34 a night to $7 bike rides along the Florida Everglades, visitors looking for deals have lots of options in the area.

Lodging

If you’re adventurous and on a tight budget, consider staying in a hostel. Rooms can house anywhere between three and 14 travelers, sleeping on bunk beds, from $18 a night per person to about $40, depending on season and room size. Hostels in Miami Beach include Tropics Hotel & Hostel, 1550 Collins Ave., tropicshotel.com, Jazz on South Beach Hostel, 321 Collins Ave., jazzhostels.com and South Beach Hostel, 235 Washington Ave., thesouthbeachhostel.com.

For more conventional lodging, research your hotel at the one-stop shopping page miami hotels. Book a room while looking for nearby attractions, beaches and events.

Miami Beach

The Lincoln Road pedestrian mall is perfect for strolls and people-watching. You’ll find dozens of restaurants and shops, along with locals walking dogs or weaving through the crowds on roller blades.

For a quick bite, check out Pizza Rustica (667 Lincoln Road, other locations on Washington Avenue), where you can get a huge slice of gourmet pizza for about $5. This is also a great spot for club-goers looking for something to fill their stomachs after a few drinks since it’s open from 11 a.m. until 3 or 4 a.m.

At 625 Lincoln Road is a hidden gem popular with the locals. Snuggled between two stores is the narrow, tiny bar called Zeke’s Roadhouse, which boasts over 80 bottled beers and drafts from around the world — each just $3. No hard alcohol is sold here, and no outside food or drinks are allowed on the premises. Keep your ID handy since bartenders check it with each purchase. No ID, no beer.

If you prefer to spend your time on the sand, the beach is walking distance (and free, unless you rent the pricey beach chairs). On your stroll, check out the Art Deco architecture and ritzy hotels. Or snap some pictures at the Casa Casuarina mansion where fashion designer Gianni Versace once lived, now a luxury hotel at 1116 Ocean Drive.

A drink at a trendy hotel bar on the beach — the Delano, Setai, Shore Club, Gansevoort — can cost up to $15, but you might just run into a celebrity. Owen Wilson was spotted at the Delano while filming Marley & Me with Jennifer Aniston. She reportedly spent time at the Mandarin Oriental.

Many restaurants in South Beach and other touristy areas automatically add a tip (usually 15-18%) to the bill.