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  • Writer's pictureJordan Hinsch

Tourist Traps to Avoid in Miami

Miami! The land of sun, beaches, partying, and lots of tourists. Unfortunately, there are many traps you can get sucked into as a tourist.

What is a tourist trap? A tourist trap is an establishment that has been created or re-purposed with the aim of attracting tourists and their money.

Here are some of the tourist traps to avoid in Miami:

Beach Day @ South Beach (between 5th and 20th)

Solution: Go to North Beach

Go there and you'll know why. You want a beach chair and umbrella? It'll make you sick to pay that price. If you really don't want to go all the way to North Beach, head to South Pointe. I approve of this area and stand by my word!

Miami Seaquarium

Solution: Don't observe animals in captivity!

Lolita, the oldest Orca in captivity, has been performing as the lone whale since 1980 in the smallest Orca tank in the country. It has been confirmed that her tank is 13 feet smaller than USDA standards and Miami Seaquarium won't do anything about it. Very sad. Please don't support this venue.

Eating ANYWHERE on Ocean Drive (except The Local House)

Solution: Go to Sunset Harbour

Along most of Ocean Drive the food is awful, service is terrible, and they have promoters standing outside to lure you in for their $40 margaritas. The Local House down on 4th Street is truly the only quality restaurant on Ocean Drive. Sunset Harbour is the nearest strip of quality restaurants to avoid the "typical Miami".

Rusty Pelican

Solution: Go to Whiskey Joe's

There's not much worse than paying an arm and a leg for a nice view and subpar food.

Prepare to be disappointed if you go out of your way to make a pre-sunset reservation at Rusty Pelican. The view is nice and there's no debating that, but the food is expensive and no better than a TGI Fridays (seafood edition). Honestly, if you're looking for a great view and subpar food for much less, go to Whiskey Joe's right around the corner.

Pool Party @ The Clevelander

Solution: Go to Broken Shaker, or just don't go to a pool party.

The Clevelander is something you sort of have to do if you're under the age of 40 and have never been to Miami. I recommend taking an Uber up to Broken Shaker, a craft-drink venue with a small pool. Yes, you're allowed to swim in the pool and it's a very chill environment with neat locals and out-of-towners.

Bayside Marketplace

Solution: Stay home. Just kidding, go to Coconut Grove instead.

I really don't understand the purpose of Bayside Marketplace, but I'm assuming that's because I'm not a tourist anymore. Even as a tourist, I wouldn't be able to comprehend why this place is appealing. Instead, take an Uber to Coconut Grove. Take a stroll by the water, grab drinks near CocoWalk, or dine at Glass & Vine or any of the dozens of restaurants which locals frequent.

Rooftop drinking @ Juvia or Sugar

Solution: Go to Area 31

Juvia and Sugar have expensive drink menus and horrific service/wait times. Instead, go to Area 31. Area 31 is on the Miami River and overlooks Brickell and Biscayne Bay. Area 31 is a mid-level rooftop restaurant/lounge in the Kimpton EPIC hotel.

PS: This may seem raw and harsh. These are just my opinions. Take it with a grain of salt.


Hey! I'm Jordan, a native New Yorker who is addicted to adventure travel, photography, content creation, investing, and fitness. Read on, enjoy, and Never Run Out of First Times!

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