Panorama of Ocean Drive by Zemar Ahadzada
It was monday before Labor Day and the holiday was quickly approaching. Naturally, my friends and I were trying to find something to do during the three day weekend. Originally, we were planning to drive down to the Outer Banks, but we couldn’t get enough people to make it happen. Jeremy looked up airfare for every city in the United States and found the cheapest to be to Miami through Tampa (from Washington DC). He told me about his plan on Wednesday and I purchased the tickets on Thursday.
After work, on Friday, I headed to my friend’s home who was kind enough to take me to Ronald Reagan National Airport. I had to change from my scrubs to something more acceptable. When I arrived, I found Jeremy and Kush waiting for me. Kush was going over things he wanted to do in Miami. Eventually, we boarded the airplane and waited for take off. The plane started down the runway, the turbines began to create thrust, the airplane began to generate lift, and we made our way up the sky towards Tampa.
The flight was a little over two hours and we arrived at eight in the evening. We were welcomed to the hot temperatures, humidity, and coconut trees that line itself systematically along the roads, which one can expect when travelling to Florida. Madhav arrived a few hours later, having come from Dallas, and met up at our hotel with a rental Jeep. We were ready to hit the roads the next morning, but I needed to get some sleep. Jeremy and Madhav explored Tampa during the midnight hours and made me wish I had gone with them.
The next day we hit the road towards Miami in the morning. We went south towards Naples, where the roads were surprisingly smooth and empty. We passed by more coconut trees and blue skies and eventually made a quick stop at Naples, which was quite, scenic, and serene. From there we headed east towards Miami where we passed through the everglades, which retain heat and keep Miami warm and humid. The ride was roughly four to five hours and we arrived in Miami around two in the afternoon.
When we arrived at our rental home, which was half a mile out from South Beach, we tried to settle ourselves, find who was sleeping where, and find out the plan for the day. Of course, it was obvious that we would go to the beach and party at night…
Ahh… Miami! It is an incredibly energetic and seductive city that I really hope to visit again. The atmosphere is very different from most U.S. Cities and I had to convince myself that I was still in Florida. The city is filled with scenic beaches, an exciting party scene, and a very unique demographic. It is an ideal spot for any three day weekend and it is very possible to stay longer and still enjoy.
I’ve already mentioned it earlier, but let me explain three things that make Miami what it is. This list is not exclusive, but rather, my experience of Miami. There are so many other things that make Miami very multi-dimensional and less stereotypical than I am about to describe it as. However, I do believe these are some important things that Miami has to offer.
Pictures taken by Kush Sareen (Instagram: ksareen23)
I believe this goes without saying, but the beach is an iconic destination of Florida. The scenery is amazing! Miami has an aquamarine-tinted shore that stretches towards the horizon. The currents bring the warm currents from the Gulf, which crashes along the shoreline. There is the occasional 2 PM shower that brings relief from the humidity. The white sand stretches along the Miami’s shoreline while it’s iconic coconut trees line up behind it. Further behind, there is a nice park and a nice selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs.
My friends and I visited South Beach, which had just that. I stayed most of my time in the warm water, which is a unique experience away from the cold ocean water that I am normally used to. The water is shallow and I was able to walk far away from the shoreline although I was very conscious that there could be sharks the further I went. The waves were strong and choppy and I wish I could have done some surfing, but I will wait to do that on another vacation.
Another past time of the beach is to lay around and bathe in the sun. The sun is heavenly, at least for me! The heat comfortably warmed my back and brought warmth and happiness to my soul. Although, I applied sunscreen, I was still a bit sunburnt against the back – so be careful and apply a lot of sunscreen. I walked along the beach catching the white foam hitting against the white sand and carrying it back into the ocean. It is also hard not to notice all the nice bodies that are roaming about.
The Party Scene
Pictures taken by Kush Sareen (Instagram: ksareen23)
I must admit that I am not very into the party scene, but if there was any place to go clubbing it would be Miami. It was almost like a music video with lamborghinis rolling in the club, women in bikinis dancing, a random beach ball bouncing in the air, the DJ is dropping a jam, colored lights electrifying the sky, and everyone is having a good time. Okay, so that example may have been a little exaggerated, but it is very close to it.
Many of the clubs lie on Ocean Drive. Although, these clubs are described as touristy I feel that they are still worth visiting and are exciting. However, if one were interested to go clubbing with the locals one could go to downtown Miami or Fort Lauderdale. That being said, I do want to describe my experience at the two clubs that I visited.
The first one was Nikki Beach, which had a cover charge of thirty dollars. The drinks were expensive and I had to pay eight dollars for a red bull to keep me awake. Overall, the club had a very chill and tropical feel to it. It is situated right on the beach and it is decorated with a cabana, day beds, and tiki-bars, which make it more of a beach club or lounge than a regular club. I spent most of the time drinking red bull in one of the chairs under the cabana. There is also a dance floor with music that will leave your ears ringing until the next morning.
During our second night, we went to The Clevelander, which is situated in the heart of ocean drive. The club was very similar to the music video I described. At the center was the DJ, rhythmic colors were displayed behind him, go-go girls danced beside him, the people danced in front of him. The dance floor was electric, energy flowed throughout the club, and the night lit up with music and colors. Up above, on the top floor the Clevelander had a lounge where people could drink, mingle, and have a good time. However, much of the excitement was down below where the music would play until five in the morning, but we cut it short because we had a plane to catch and so we left at two in the morning.
Overall, the night was great and I had a great club experience. I would definitely say it is a nice place to visit, especially if one wants to get the full Miami Vibe.
The People and the Atmosphere
Walk on the beach (left) and Motorcycles on Ocean Drive (Right) by Zemar Ahadzada
Although Miami is small geographically it makes it up with a large population of up to 5.5 Million people. It is, therefore, no wonder that Miami is very diverse and unique demographically.
What I found was that the people loved to show off their bodies, drive down ocean drive with their fancy cars, and love the material high life. If they aren’t movie stars, athletes, or models – they want to be. I feel like I have seen Miami a hundred times in movies and music videos. It is the good life! The place is almost superficial, but, I believe those qualities make Miami the seductive, luxurious, and glamorous city that it is.
Another important dimension of Miami is the large hispanic population that make up Miami. A large percentage are Cubans who have left Cuba due to the political situation. The hispanic population bring a unique flavor, a latin flare, that makes Miami alive with their music, dancing, art, and cuisine. We were fortunate to visit Little Havana, which embodies that culture and is a good place to visit in Miami.
There are also the beach-bums (not really bums) but I know they love the beach. This is evident by their unique orange sun-kissed skin and their long and salty hair and beard. They have a wild, yet laid back demeanor, and have a good time at the beach.
Overall, the population of Miami is very diverse and multidimensional city, whether it is living the high life, following the latin flare, or flowing with the waves, Miami is the place to be.