Our Trip to Miami, Florida, August 2019
Last year we went on an epic road trip around Florida and this blog post will discuss travel to Miami with kids. This is something we had wanted to do for a long time. We spent our Honeymoon in Florida in 2009 so it had been on the cards for a while for us to return with our boys. Our trip last year coincided with our 10 year wedding anniversary which made it even more special and a perfect year to visit.
Also I had lived in Florida for a year (Orlando) back in 2003 for a university internship working at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios. This experience of living in Orlando at the age of 20 provided me with memories that have stayed with me and will last a lifetime. Especially as it allowed me to travel around Florida in depth and make friends with local Floridians (which I’m still good friends with today) and is just not something you can experience as part of a normal holiday!
Although it’s been over 8 months now since our return home. Writing some blog posts on our road trip had always been on the cards. We have already enjoyed sharing our photos over on our Instagram page and we have made a You Tube video of this part of our trip but I am now going start over the coming months writing posts on all the parts of the road trip. This post will focus on Miami and I hope to provide some practical tips for planning and going on a road trip with young children (mine were 8 and 6) and also loads of tips of how to enjoy Florida and not just Disney (although we have loads of Disney tips to share!)
To give a quick overview of our trip, we spent 3 weeks (21) days travelling around the state of Florida, visiting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Anna Maria Island, Naples, Clearwater, Kennedy Space Centre and of course Orlando! Previously when I had lived in Florida I had visited the above along with; The Keys including Key West, Daytona Beach, Tampa, Cocoa Beach, Sorrento, and Jacksonville as well as Downtown Orlando including the beautiful Winter Garden which I will write a blog post about in the future I’m sure.
We flew to Miami direct from Heathrow with British Airways. We live in Nottingham so it did require us to drive down the day before our flight and stay overnight however the flight was a good price (we booked this separately). The flight went well and we found the boy’s Disney suitcases full of activities helped to keep the boys entertained! When I visited Miami 10 years ago it was obviously child free so a completely different experience. However I may not have been able to visit bars late at night or do loads of shopping but there is loads to see and do in Miami with kids.
Miami covers an area of 56 square miles and and is famous for its city beach South Beach and often appears in many Hollywood movies. With an international airport it is a great city to not only visit on its own but can also be combined with a visit to the Keys or is also a great city to fly into as a short break to add onto a family Disney vacation.
You can drive direct to Orlando from Miami on the Florida Turnpike it takes couple of hours and there are loads of family themed stops along the way. We stayed in Miami for 2 days, we were overwhelmed with fun things to do and really would have loved to have spent longer there!
Things to do in Miami with Kids
A city beach and one of the most iconic parts of Miami often featuring in Hollywood movies. It is exactly what it says on tin, a beautiful, dynamic, cosmopolitan city beach which never sleeps! It is not only fun for the kids but the adults have a wide variety of chic bars to explore along the ocean front. There are cafes and bars all along Ocean drive and as we were staying there we even enjoyed breakfast on the terrace, a real beautiful place to watch the world go by and soak up the Florida sun! We also made sure we spent loads of time on the beach. Great for kids, its clean with loads of beautiful lifeguard stations to spot!
Exploring the beautiful Art Deco buildings is loads of fun and provides loads of photo opportunities of the exuberant architecture. If you are looking for something to eat I definitely recommend 11th Street Diner. It’s a few minutes walk from Ocean Drive and the food was delicious. It was recommend on Trip Advisor, we did have to wait about 30 minutes to be seated, but it was worth the wait. We stayed at the Winter Haven hotel on Ocean Drive. An Art Deco hotel with loads of vintage elegance, all the standard amenities and families are welcome. It served us well and the boys loved it! We didn’t have a family room though, so we are unable tp comment on facilities for babies and very young children but we would definitely return!
We are big fans of street art and I’m always excited if I find any on our travels. This was our first trip to Wynwood Walls and we absolutely loved it! Since its inception over 10 years ago, the Wynwood Walls has seen over 50 artists cover 80,000 square feet of walls. It was rather busy when we went, but after a short queue we were able to take photos against the walls and explore the shop and grab a snack at the cafe. Definitely worth a visit with children to explore the colourful wall. As a Teacher I love art and this is one place any budding artist should definitely see!
We hired a car from Avis and found the process really easy. Once we had collected our luggage at Miami airport there is a collection desk on site where we registered our details and our car was ready to collect straight away! For more City Beach inspiration visit Children of Wanderlust’s blog post on City Beaches which features us!