Hollywood and Miami Are Big Hits for dreamstreamrs

Miami in March was a great base location for us! March is good because many snowbirds have started flying northward, allowing us available RV sites. On recommendation from good friends, we spent the month in a SW Miami county rv park.

A month-long stay is nice because we can take our time and avoid hurrying about. Instead we have time to enjoy the weather and pick our days for touring. The SW Miami RV park location allows ready access to Miami, the Everglades, and the Keys. Ham radio contacts from SW Miami to Europe on the upper HF bands were super, too. (I’ll have to get back to this later)

We often picked a destination for an entire day’s visit from our RV park. Sometimes one day is only enough to do a high-level survey of an area. But if we can arrive early and stay late, we can enjoy a nice, tiring tour for the day. Two great trips were to Hollywood and to South Beach. Each time we started our adventure mid-morning to let the commuters get off the roads. And we returned home late, long after rush hour.

picture of Hollywood beach boardwalk

the boardwalk at Hollywood

We drove to North Beach Park and spent all day in Hollywood. There’s a lot for us to do. We enjoyed beautiful weather for walking the entire 2.5 mile boardwalk (5 miles round trip!), browsing the café menus along the way, picnicking, and enjoying gorgeous views of the beach. West Lake Park has a very nice set of kayak trails but “high winds” resulted in the concession not opening this day. Instead we played tennis on the very nice West Lake city park courts — surprisingly, winds were no problem at all on the courts. Later the same evening we joined a local ukulele group for an evening of fun strumming in one of their member’s house.

pic of us sitting in the commuter trolley

touring downtown Miami at 100′

Time in our SW Miami county RV park was running out and we had not visited downtown Miami or Miami Beach. Four of us drove to a nearby metro rail station for the commuter train to downtown. This was so easy and much better than driving and parking in Miami traffic.

view of Miami buildings

view from the trolley

The downtown rail shuttles weren’t crowded. Sometimes we were the only four people aboard.

picture of Miami downtown

Miami architecture is fun

Next time, we’ll spend all day in Miami and get off at many of the downtown stops and walk the harbor area and other parks.

picture of Miami from train

Miami from the train

Our Dade Metro transportation passes cost $5/day each. A big bonus was attending fully to the great views downtown while the train toured the loops for us.

After several times throughout downtown we switched to the bus line to Miami Beach. We were gratified to see the bus packed with people — this means mass transit IS working, at least on this route. A friendly conversation with another passenger yielded several recommendations for eateries at Miami Beach. One of the recs was Puerto Sagua in South Beach, a Cuban restaurant at Collins and 7th.

picture of Puerto Sagua

Puerto Sagua Cuban restaurant

The restaurant seated us quickly despite a big crowd within. We all had fabulous food and excellent service at Puerto Sagua restaurant. Debbie had a very good Cuban sandwich and I enjoyed a tamal con frijoles negros (tamale with a side of black beans). Oh, and we both just had to have café con leche, our first of two this day. One of our friends had baked chicken and rice and loved it. Great recommendation, we were so lucky to stumble onto this.

picture of people in surf

South Beach surf crowded

Time to walk, we headed for the beach and touching our toes into the surf. The beach was really crowded! We walked along the surf awhile, cruised the boardwalk northward for a couple of miles, then returned on Atlantic and Ocean Drives.

picture of 1955 Chevy at café

taking decor to the curb

We capped our afternoon of walking among the great art deco hotels and sidewalk cafés with a brief visit into the Art Deco Welcome Center then an afternoon pastry and coffee break at Manolo’s on Washington Av. Among a broad menu of choices, what drew us to Manolo’s were the $0.75 pastries, and another great café con leche. Manolo’s has five locations: three in Argentina and two in South Beach Miami. We would love to get to one of their more southern ones sometime.

We were pretty well walked out and the day was waning. We ambled up Washington to the bus stop for our return trip to the Miami downtown bus depot to catch our metro rail ride back to the parking deck and the short drive to our RV park.

These were two great day trips to really fun destinations. We could enjoy many more hours another time at either one. We don’t try to see everything when we tour. As we always say, we left something to come back and see another visit. Our camping reservations are already in for next March in SW Miami!

Jim and Debbie
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©2013 Dreamstreamr

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