Getting Around and Getting to Know Miami Before Your Cruise

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You know where Miami is. But where can you cruise to from Miami? Almost anywhere, aboard almost every cruise line. October through April is the busy time when you’ll have opportunities to sail on ships that spend their summers in Europe, Asia or Alaska and their winters in the Caribbean.

Here are some quick facts about this "Magic City" and the best ways to get around before or after your cruise.

Getting Around Miami and Miami Beach

If you’re flying, you will most likely fly into Miami International Airport (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Most cruise lines will offer transportation from MIA to Port Miami but that is a question you want to figure out before getting to the airport.

Here are some of the best (and a few FREE) ways to get around Miami and Miami Beach.

  • Metromover is a free option that runs a 4.4 mile loop from Brickell neighborhood to Downtown with stops at Bayside Market Place and the American Airlines Arena. And you can connect with the Metrorail at the Government Center stop. It’s an elevated line, which makes it easy to spot the stops.
  • Miami Trolley is a fun and unique way to get around and the fact that it’s free to ride makes it that much better. Look for the trolley bus stops throughout the neighborhoods of Coconut Grove, Brickell, Little Havana Wynwood and Midtown and hop on. There are maps of the routes at each stop.   
  • Miami Beach Trolley is also free but only with two lines, one running on Alton Road and the other running in North Beach and runs about every 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Metrorail is the train that covers 25 miles from MIA to Coconut Grove. Each station is about one mile apart.
  • Cabs, Uber and Lyft are other modes of transportation to get around Miami, especially if you want to go to Miami Beach or Key Biscayne. Cabs are easy to find although they typically don’t stop if you try to wave them down. Best to pick them up at a hotel.

Fun Facts About Miami

Famous For: Beautiful people. Stunning Beaches. Cuban food. Art Deco Architecture. It’s also a playground for the rich and famous.

Language: English, but some Spanish certainly helps in this bilingual city.

Climate: Hot in the winter. And humid and hot in the summer. Expect highs in the low-90s in August and around 70°F in the winter months. If you’re near Miami Beach or the waterfront, evening breezes provide (some) relief in the summer.

Time Zone: Eastern Time.

When Should I Go: Nothing beats flying into Miami in the winter—you feel that slight hint of humidity amid the warmth, even in February. Be mindful of hurricane season, which lasts from June through to November. The summer season sees almost-daily afternoon thunderstorms but they are short lived.

What's Good for Kids. Jungle Island is a great, small-scale zoo, close to the Port of Miami. Say hi to Peanut and Pumpkin, Jungle Island’s Orangutan twins, for us. Here’s a list of other great things to do for kids. Read our article about the some of the coolest things to do in Miami with kids.

Money Money Money

  • Prices in Miami and Miami Beach fluctuate wildly—expect to be overcharged at the tourist-oriented spots along Ocean Drive. Prices will be much less a few blocks back from the beach or downtown Miami.
  • You’ll find ATMs and full-service banks everywhere downtown and along Washington Avenue in Miami Beach.
  • Gratuity is added to almost everything so ask for a detailed receipt.

Get in the Mood

  • Obviously, you’re going to have Will Smith’s 1998 jam “Miami” on repeat on your way.
  • For a self-deprecating look at the city and across South Florida, read Carl Hiassen’s books. The Miami Herald reporter puts his knowledge of corruption, sleaze and fake glamor in the city to great use.

Locals Love

  • An early-morning Miami Beach bike ride. Try the city’s public bike-sharing program, Deco Bike.
  • The view across the water from Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park at the southern tip of Biscayne Bay.
  • Taking a seat at an outdoor café on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Rd. and watching the passing parade of international beauty.
Tags: Miami
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