My friends and I are planning a trip out of the cold in Canada for the 3rd week in February. I wanted to go to Mexico, but we're not finding anything resonably priced. My friend mentioned Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, but I'm kind of unconvinced. Has anybody been there around that time (3rd week in Feb)? Is it too packed and crazy?
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Originally posted by DirtyMikeSeaver Has anybody been there around that time (3rd week in Feb)? Is it too packed and crazy?
I make hotel reservations for the area. There are lot of fun things to do but a Panama City it is not. 2/16 - 2/19 is the huge Miami Boat show, very bad days for both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. As far as crazy, no, not really there no beach concerts or hordes of college kids on the beach the hotels don't take away lamps or alarm clocks thinking you might break them.
(edited by rabidzebra on 29.1.07 1707)
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It will be difficult finding a reasonably priced flight to Lauderdale or Miami by cutting it this close. In terms of hotels, if you want to stay at something above flop house, it will probably cost you around $150 a night (per room)minimum once the 13% hotel tax is calculated. If you want to do your drinking during the late afternoon, it is reasonable with Happy Hour etc. If you are hitting the hot night clubs at night/early morning, it is expensive. Very expensive. Public transportation is just buses, so hopefully someone in the group is at least 25 so you can get a rental car, or else you will be spending a great deal of money on taxis.
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DO NOT use the Lauderdale/Miami busses. They are supposed to run on a fixed schedule, but they do not. They just show up whenever, and it's a bit of a crap shoot whether or not you'll actually get where you want to go. The rail system is reliable, but it only goes to a couple places really (the University of Miami and downtown basically, and some other places you probably wouldn't be interested in). If you do wind up going, I would also recommend that you fly into the Lauderdale airport and not Miami Dade. It's much easier to get in and out of, traffic wise.
I go to Florida for "spring break" every March. A week or two after your target dates, but I hope I can still provide some relevant pointers.
I'll back-up the Fort Lauderdale airport recommendation. Usually has better prices, as well.
In my visits, I honestly haven't been too impressed with the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. Miami itself can be rough. There were some instances where I literally crossed the street and the neighborhood went from "normal" to "extreme ghetto". If you're on foot in Miami, just remember the phrase "no tengo" to ward off the beggars. I stayed at a hotel in "Little Havana" the first time I went in 2001 and it was...different. Things seemed to mellow out, the further north I went.
South Beach wasn't crowded the few times I went there. It's a swanky nightclub area and drinks are expensive in that area, but that's the norm.
Quick suggestion, but you can easily book a day cruise to Grand Bahama. They run everyday out of Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, I think) and they're rarely sold out. Some have slot machines and casino games if you're into that sorta' thing.
Just a personal preference, but I prefer the St. Pete/Clearwater more (up by Tampa). Beaches aren't as crowded, it's a bit cheaper and you still have all the other luxuries. Plus, everynight you get a nice Gulf sunset on that side of the state. But I go to Florida mainly for Spring Training baseball games, and I can hit about 5 or 6 up around Tampa.
You could also catch some late night Pan-Polynesian Wrestling action every so often - it was the first time I saw Maniac Mark Lewin and I watched in drunken fascination as his "Crimson Mask" quickly became a "Crimson Bodysuit"...