Sunning and partying
DO: Hit the beach south of 5th St, full of seasonal residents from around the world, plus some savvy locals. Parking down there is harder than Final Jeopardy, so walk if you can. You'll find 12th St is the gay beach, if you like gay beaches. Beaches north of there tend to be less crowded and more family-friendly. If you want human scenery, stay south of 17th. If you want peace and quiet, go north.
DON'T: Ever go anywhere near the beach at 8th St. It's lot of loud music, first tattoos, and cigarette smoke. If you're a woman, it's like walking into the world's largest construction site, complete with iPhones ready to put your new bikini all over the internet whether you like it or not. Also, up around 100th St is Haulover Beach, which is fully nude. And it's not pretty.
DO: Go to pool parties on the weekend. The SLS Hotel has the best party on Saturday. On Sundays head to the Mondrian to party with a view of the skyline, or the Nautilus to party by the beach. It's not on the level of Vegas, though, so don't think you'll be knee-deep in anything other than chlorinated water.
DON'T: Plan on buying drinks there. Or meeting women. The drinks are $20. The women are considerably more. (Yes, many of them are professionals.)
DO: Hit the off-the-beaten path attractions that are both relaxing and not that crowded. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden might be the city’s most underrated attraction. The Holocaust Memorial is impressive, if sobering. The Jewish Museum, the Wolfsonian, and the World Erotic Art Museum might have you, God forbid, learning something on your vacation.
DON'T: Ask your concierge for a recommendation. Those poor sacks make $8 an hour and earn almost their entire living off the commissions that tours, charters, attractions, and restaurants pay them for your booking. So concierges won't be sending you to the best places -- they'll be sending you to whoever is paying them.
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