Miami, USA |A Cycle Ride to Key Biscane and Bill Braggs State Park

Our bike ride to the southern most tip of Key Biscayne

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The last few days in Miami we spent mostly by the pool or on the beach rather than cycling or exploring. However, for our last full day we had planned a bike ride to the islands of Key Biscayne. We knew that this was going to be one long day of cycling, with hopefully some time on the beach there.

We started our cycle ride by crossing the Venetian Islands as we had at the beginning of our holiday on our ride to Wynwood. It was another pleasant morning and we had started early after breakfast with a quick coffee in one of the many cafes on Lincoln Road. We crossed the islands fairly quickly, this time we were not lucky enough to see the drawbridge open up before crossing over to Downtown Miami.

travel with kids children miami usa south beach post box

travel with kids children downtown miami usa south beach

For this ride we turned left along Biscayne Boulevard, cycling on the sidewalk, past many shops and restaurants. We crossed MacArthur Causeway, the main road connecting South Beach and Downtown Miami, which some local people cycle along, but we always considered far too dangerous and unpleasant to use even if it was a more direct route over to Downtown. Shortly afterwards we passed the American Airlines Arena, home to Miami Heat’s basketball team and it reminded me yet again that I should consider getting tickets for one of the games when in town. We are not huge basketball fans at all but it must be an amazing experience to go and watch a proper game live. I always remember going with my dad to watch a local woman’s basketball team when I was a teenager and I am sure Jerome would enjoy the experience of live sport American style one day.

From here on we entered real downtown Miami, one high-rise next to the other. It did not feel much like being in Miami anymore, we could have been anywhere, in a large city, much like London’s docklands, New York or Hong Kong’s Midtown. Many well-known banks had their offices in these skyscrapers, besides some upmarket hotels and condos. We turned a corner and ended up on Brickell Avenue. Here we had to cross a bridge leading over Miami River. Guess what, it was another drawbridge and it showed a red signal.   Jerome was excited that after missing the last one this one was actually opening up to let some yachts sail through. Once closed again, we crossed the bridge and briskly cycled on.

travel with kids children miami usa south beach high-rise buildings

travel with kids children miami usa south beach ocean drive

When we got to the Rickenbacker Causeway – which crossed the water back to the islands and pour destination – we crossed the road to cycle with the flow of traffic across the bridge. There is narrow lane separated from the main traffic all the way across the bridge, but note this lane is only on one side of the three-lane causeway. This lane is mainly dedicated to pedestrians, but safety goes first when you cycle with a child. In the end we only passed one person jogging across this long bridge anyway, and she did not seem to mind that we shared the walkway with her. We stopped part way across the bridge to watch some pelicans diving for fish. The main bridge gently rises towards the middle of the bridge to provide enough height for any ships and boats to pass underneath. The great thing about cycling up a hill is that we knew on the other side we could let ourselves roll down. Jerome always enjoys this a lot, he has turned into a bit of a speed junkie.

travel with kids children miami usa south beach rickenbacker causeway

travel with kids children miami usa south beach pelicans

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach pelican

We found a little park and a small beach at the other end of the bridge, Jerome got a strawberry slush from a street stall and we had a short break. There was a professional photo shooting on the beach, the pretty model posing in colourful dresses with the sea and palms as a backdrop. We watched it curiously, Jerome asking me questions, as it has been part of my job to get outfits for photo shootings like this in the past.

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach rickenbacker causeway bridge

travel with kids children miami usa south beach photo shoot

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach

We pedalled past the Marine stadium, which used to host   boat races and other water sports events. It has not been in use since the 1990’s and has since become a haven for graffiti artists. Instead of turning left to Virginia Key, a popular beach and picnic destination we cycled further, past the Miami Seaquarium and a vast golf course before reaching the town of Key Biscayne.

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach marine stadium

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach picnic area

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach map

We had come quite long way by now and even though apart from the bridge all of it had been on the flat we were hungry and needed a proper break. One of the first buildings in town was a Cuban restaurant, not having had Cuban food for a long time we decided to give it a go. It looked like the kind of place that locals would frequent regularly for an inexpensive and home cooked food. It turned out to be exactly that, delicious beef with rice and black beans. We always try to encourage Jerome to try new cuisines, he did not seem to be too taken by the beans but he happily ate the rice and meat. He was even happier at the end when he got an ice-lolly for dessert.

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach cuban restaurant

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach cuban food

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach bar

Fuelled up for the last stretch of the ride, we ignored the local shopping mall and entered Bill Braggs Recreation Area at the town’s border. We pedalled along the deserted road for a few more kilometres before reaching the most southern tip of the key. We found a picnic area, with lots of tables and benches, a fun playground with slides and climbing frames and the Cape Florida Lighthouse. The historic lighthouse is the oldest building in Southern Florida and dates back to 1825. The lighthouse and the keeper’s cottage can be visited twice daily on a guided tour. I wished I would have known about this before as going up inside a lighthouse is always fun and we had only visited one before, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse on Bermuda.

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach burger grill

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach Bill Baggs cape florida state park

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach Bill Baggs state park

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach Bill Baggs cape florida state park playground

We strolled along to the beach on the east side of the island and spotted some racoons in the trees. Jerome stopped to watch them, and they seemed completely unaware of us, one even climbed into one of the rubbish bins in search for food waste.

The beach was a bit of a disappointment for us, having read that the sandy stretch was ranked nr.7 of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of the US. It was completely covered in sea grass, the smell of the grass was quite pungent and it did not look very inviting to us at all. Chris did not care about the sea grass and went in for a swim anyway to cool off. We had originally planned to spend a few hours relaxing on the sandy shores but instead we decided to ride back to South Beach.

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach Bill Baggs cape florida state park racoon

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach Bill Baggs cape florida state park dunes

travel with kids children miami usa Bill Baggs cape florida state park beach

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach Bill Baggs cape florida stilt houses

We pretty much pedalled it all the way straight back, only stopping now and then for a drink. The boys almost treating it like a race to get “home” at stages. Our legs were starting to get tired and by the time we returned to the hotel, we were glad to rest by the pool, feet and legs dangling in the warm pool water.

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach school bus

travel with kids children miami usa virginia key beach gated community

travel with kids children miami usa downtown miami church

travel with kids children miami usa downtown miami tower

travel with kids children miami usa venetian islands

On our last evening we went for dinner at a lovely Italian Bistro Maccialina, a short walk from the hotel. We enjoyed the pizza and pasta, accompanied by a decent glass of red wine – for the adults of course! We will be back to South Beach I am sure.

Miami, USA | A Bike Ride past Villas and Yachts to North Beach

Cycling north on Miami Beach, off the beaten track through residential areas.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

We had enjoyed our breakfast at Oliver’s Bistro the day before so much that we returned. We were early again and able to grab seats on the terrace out front. We had a relaxing time, before getting back onto our bikes. Jerome built more vehicles with his selection of Lego bricks, this time he used his own imagination with a challenge to build a fast boat rather than building to plan, and this kept him busy during breakfast.

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian hotel view

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian hotel pool view

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian hotel breakfast lego

Our destination was to cycle all the way up to North Beach.  However, instead of taking the obvious route along Collins Avenue or the board walk which goes most of the way along the back of the beach we headed North along Alton Road. Alton road is one of the major roads that connects South Beach with the North, and therefore it can be quite busy, especially during rush hour. Jerome cycled most of the time on the pavement, for safety, while Chris and I took the road or pavement depending on the amount of people on the sidewalk.

travel with kids children miami south beach architechture bank

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco baloons

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture villa

travel with kids children miami south beach colonial architecture

We turned left onto North Bay Road as we reached the Miami Beach Golf Club. This street runs parallel for a few blocks through a residential area until we had to join Alton Road again to cross the bridge. We took the right hand lane, crossing the bridge in order to be able to cycle on straight ahead on Alton Road to avoid the difficult junction of the Julia Tuttle Causeway. After a few blocks we were back on North Bay Road, a quiet street that runs parallel to the shore of Biscayne Bay. The area here is very different to the apartment blocks on South Beach, a lot like on the Venetian Islands.

There were beautiful houses, some set behind high hedges or walls. Bungalows from the 1960/70s blended with houses in a mixture of styles, from modern to hacienda to Mediterranean. The lack of people around, apart from the odd gardener, gave the district a isolated feel, some of the houses looked like they were definitely occupied but others appeared to be more like holiday homes for the rich and wealthy, empty and awaiting the next holiday or weekend. We could see yachts moored out in the back garden where we could catch a glimpse of the bay and down town Miami on the rare occasion between the plots. I stopped every now and then to take photos of houses and buildings that I liked or found interesting. The boys always cycled on barely taking notice of their surrounding.

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture gardener

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco bungalow architecture

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture boat access

When we reached W63rd Street we knew we had to turn back to the main drag of Miami Beach, but took the chance for a short break and a drink. We sat down next to the Indian Creek on a low wall in a small park set back from the road, luckily a large tree provided us with some shade. We looked out over the still water of the creek towards the apartment blocks and boat jetties.

Suddenly, we could see something move in the water, the surface broke and we could barely believe our eyes, but there was the pointed fin of a dolphin and shortly after the curved top of its body followed by the fin. We watched in awe, we would have never thought there would be any dolphins so close in, away from the open sea. Jerome was giddy with joy, looking out for others. This seemed to be the only one though, probably got lost from its school. We saw its fin breaking the water a few more times before disappearing under the bridge, I was even lucky enough to get a photo of it. Initially we had thought it might be a harbour porpoise, but its fin and beak looked too much like that of a dolphin.

travel with kids children miami south beach dolphin

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture highrise

From here we cycled across two more bridges and were back in the valley of high-rise buildings near the beach. Pedalling north on Collins Avenue we watched the buildings go by, we cycled past mainly apartment blocks, with some cafes and restaurants, as along this stretch of Miami Beach there are few hotels.

We wanted to have some proper lunch before going to the beach and I remembered a little burger joint, across from a Wallgreen’s pharmacy along the Avenue. We were pleased to find that Burgers and Shakes was still around since our last stay in town some years ago. We ordered our Hamburgers at the counter inside, Jerome also wanted a strawberry milk shake. We sat outside, half in the sun, a fan spraying a cooling mist towards us. The burgers were still as delicious as we had remembered from our last visit, freshly cooked. I had mine with fresh avocado and cheese, while the boys went for the more classic versions.

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco walgreens architecture

travel with kids children miami south beach hamburger restaurant

The restaurant was just a block away from the beach and so it was easy to push our bikes over and head straight to the beach, after locking our bikes to one of the posts. This far north the beach is hidden behind a small strip of dunes, which are overgrown with creepers and low shrubs.

travel with kids children miami south beach sea plane

travel with kids children miami south beach

travel with kids children miami south beach time

There was a lifeguard tower on the white sandy beach even though the beach here was notably less busy than further south, there seemed to be more locals and families on this stretch of beach and few tourists. There was plenty of space and we grabbed a spot close the water edge. While the boys made their way into the water straight away, it usually takes me a lot longer than them, I sat on our blanket, watching them splashing about. We spent a few relaxing hours on the beach here until we felt it was time for us to cycle back to the hotel.

travel with kids children miami south beach sea

travel with kids children miami south beach running

travel with kids children miami south beach dunes

travel with kids children miami south beach cycle path

Taking Collins south we tried to avoid the traffic by using the sidewalk and side roads especially on the wide paths near the water, enjoying the views over Indian Creek. Collins is a huge throughway crying out for a cycle lane as it is the main road north south behind the beach and we spotted a number of other cyclists dodging traffic.

It is safer to cycle on the water side as there are so many entrances to hotels and buildings that it is quite dangerous on the ocean side. Further south closer to South Beach there is a boardwalk behind the hotels at the back of the beach. On North Beach the Atlantic Way runs behind the beach for a while then it appeared there was a path further on joining on to the boardwalk further south. Sadly when we tried to find it we found it blown over with sand and in several places not passable with bikes, so we had to return to the main road after a short distance. I am sure it would be fine to walk.

dsc_0245

travel with kids children miami south biscayne hotel architecture

travel with kids children miami usa south beach w hotel hello kitty fountain

We cheekily cycled parts of the boardwalk although parts are actually cycle free, so we had to push the bikes in places especially the last part with many tourists close to South Beach after Lincoln Road. After all day on the road and about 15 miles or 20km cycling we were relieved to watch the sun go down with cocktails, or mocktails for Jerome, and a dive in the pool at the hotel.

Miami, USA | A Bike Ride Through the Design District of Wynwood and Little Haiti

Exploring Wynwood and Little Haiti on our bikes

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A cycle ride to the district of Wynwood and Little Haiti were on our list for an energetic day in Miami. We had an early breakfast of orange juice, more pancakes for the boys and Egg’s Benedict for me at Oliver’s bistro, just a block away from our hotel.

As planned we cycled north to Dane Boulevard, where we turned left to join the Venetian Way. The Venetian way is probably the best and safest route with pedal cycles to reach city side from the beach. Most of the time we were able to cycle on the pavement, avoiding the busy morning traffic on the road. The Venetian Way, crosses a few smaller islands, the Venetian Islands on its way to Downtown Miami. The islands are built up with up market and luxury villas, some modern, others already showing their wear and tear. Most houses located next to the shore also own their own private boat mooring spots, many with sizeable yachts parked outside the large back gardens. It was not hard to try and understand where the islands got their name. Cycling past these villas was quite a contrast to the high-rise and apartment blocks on South Beach. Jerome and I pointed out the villas that we liked best while cycling past.

travel with kids children miami south beach venetian islands

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco venetian islands road

At the end of Venetian Way, just before we reached the mainland we had to stop at a red signal. To Jerome’s joy, the drawbridge of the causeway was just about to lift. We could already spot the boats, mainly yachts and sailboats with tall masts were already lined up and waiting to pass through. The road suddenly started to lift and the boats moved through. Jerome loved watching them. He wanted to stop and wait for the bridge again on our way back but we had to disappoint him, as we would be going a different route to return to South Beach.

travel with kids children miami south beach bridge downtown miami

travel with kids children miami south beach drawbridge

We cycled past the Metromover station, Miami’s attempt at European style public transport, and turned right onto Biscayne Boulevard. Jerome had liked to ride the Metromover on our first trip to Miami, when he was smaller, sitting right at the front, pretending to be the driver.

Every time we have cycled this route we have to go past the old Bacardi headquarters before turning towards Wynwood. The two buildings that make up the old Bacardi headquarters and now house the National Young Arts Foundation are my favourite buildings in Miami. The Bacardi tower, which appears to float above a glass pedestal, was designed by Cuban architects for the company. The walls of the tower contain beautiful blue and white murals, made of Brasillian azulejos (glazed tiles).

travel with kids children miami south bacardi building architecture

travel with kids children miami south bacardi building tiles architecture

travel with kids children miami south bacardi building architecture

The second building, I can never make up my mind which one I like more, is called the “Jewel Box”. An outstanding example of modern construction, the square building is raised a few meters off the ground. The distinguishing feature of the building, are the stained glass tapestries, which were based on an abstract painting by German artist Johannes Dietz. I would really love to go inside, it must be an incredible sight to see the sun shining through the coloured glass shards. However it was never open during our visits there, as the building is mainly used for exhibitions and events.

travel with kids children miami south bacardi architecture

travel with kids children miami south bacardi building architecture

travel with kids children miami south bacardi building architecture

We moved on, away from the strip of fast food restaurants to Wynwood, the design district. This district has become one of the hippest places to be in Miami since developers transformed disused warehouses into art galleries and spaces, restaurants and up market design boutiques. These days it is one of the largest creative communities in the US. Besides the shops and restaurant, we like to spot the street art that is literally present on every other wall or surface. We also just like to get lost in the district rather than following a certain walking or cycling route, as advertised by some guidebooks or tours. If you are really interested in finding out more about the artists, you could take a walking tour, children most possibly would enjoy the Graffiti lessons that some include.

travel with kids children miami south wynwood street art marni store

travel with kids children miami south wynwood street art

travel with kids children miami south wynwood street art bjork

travel with kids children miami south wynwood street art space invaders

We cycled on, heading north towards Little Haiti. The area turned residential again and we cycled past apartment blocks, bungalows and other houses. All of them set back with their little garden or courtyard in front. We felt like we could be anywhere in any southern US town or village, the obvious big town feel gone. There was barely anyone on the street, just a few cars passing us every now and then.

travel with kids children miami south wynwood supermarket

travel with kids children miami south wynwood art deco

travel with kids children miami south little haiti

travel with kids children miami south wynwood street vendor

travel with kids children miami south wynwood little haiti

We crossed the train tracks and stopped for lunch at Soyka. There were no guests sitting outside on the terrace, the locals preferred the air-conditioned restaurant. We got our cards out and played some rounds of Uno while waiting for our food to arrive. Jerome had always wondered if there were any trains running along the track. We asked our waiter and he told him that there were still a few long distance trains going all the way from Miami to New York City, but mostly only goods trains. We could not have planned a better timing, as just as we finished our food, we heard the famous sound of a train whistle and soon enough a heavy goods train with a long trail of wagons made its way past. Jerome was overjoyed, the first American train he had ever seen.

travel with kids children miami south wynwood little haiti restaurant

travel with kids children miami south wynwood little haiti train crossing

After so much excitement we cycled further north, we wanted to ride across the John F Kennedy Causeway to North Beach. There was much more traffic now that we were back on Biscayne Boulevard, and for safety reasons we cycled on the pavement. We passed a lot of motels on the way, some of them looked like they could be straight out of 70’s movies. School must have been out as well as Jerome kept on spotting lots of the orange-yellow school buses.

travel with kids children miami south biscayne boulevard motel

travel with kids children miami south biscayne boulevard motel

travel with kids children miami south biscayne boulevard motel new yorker

travel with kids children miami usa downtown miami wendy's fastfood

Cycling across the Causeway was less fun, the traffic was heavy and some of the cars sped by fast. Thankfully the cycle lane was separated by a concrete wall from the motorway, and therefore we felt safe enough. After a quick ride past North Bay Villages and Normandy Islands we reached North Beach.

travel with kids children miami south north bay village

We were tired by now from all the cycling and did not pay much attention to the architecture and sights along Collins Avenue. We were desperate to get back to our hotel after maybe 18 kilometres on the bikes. There we changed into our swimming clothes and chilled by the pool while enjoying a well-deserved cocktail and another dreamy sunset.

South Beach, Miami, USA | South Point Park and Beach and Art Deco Architecture on Ocean Drive

Our first day on South Beach with a cycle ride to South Beach Point and an afternoon on the beach.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Miami is a great destination for a winter break in the sun. February has always been a hard month for me, Christmas and birthday season is over and spring is still a few weeks away. It is then that I get to the point where I am in desperate need of some winter sun and vitamin D. Miami has been a fun place for us to visit in the past, combining a city trip, with a laze on one of the beaches along the long stretch of coast.

We have always stayed at the Mondrian Hotel on South Beach, mainly due to its location away from the main drag of Ocean drive and Collins Avenue. The area has a more residential feel and the sunsets from this side of South Beach are incredible, with the sun sinking behind the skyline of downtown Miami. Many of the rooms are spacious apartments, with a spare bed for Jerome, which provides us with privacy and they are also equipped with a small kitchen. The kitchen has always proven useful, even though we have never cooked a full meal or breakfast there. It still had all the comforts of a five star hotel, the pool a comfortable temperature and the restaurant serving delicious sushi and other Asian influenced dishes. It is also a great place for people watching, plenty of the fit and beautiful gather here during the day and enjoy their cocktails in the evening.

travel with kids children miami south beach taxi

We had arrived late afternoon and Jerome wanted to go straight for a swim. We took three sun loungers by the pool, I was already flagging as it was the middle of the night for us already. We ordered some food, as we knew we were not going to last until dinnertime. We spent a few hours on the poolside, watched the first of many sunsets to come and then went to the Whole Food store right behind the hotel (another plus for staying at the Mondrian) to get some basic food, fruit and drinks for picnics or snacks on the balcony over the coming days. Then we went to bed, jet lag had taken over.

We woke up really early, the sun was only just rising. We lazed for a while in our hotel room. Jerome got a set of Lego out and started building one of the 3 options in the booklet. We went to breakfast at the 11th Street Diner which was a bit of a walk from the hotel, but we knew that it would already be open. We had eaten there before, the food being your standard classic American diner fare housed in an old air streamer and decorated in a retro design. We sat down at the counter and Jerome had pancakes with strawberry milkshake, while Chris and I went for an American style breakfast and lots of refill coffee.

travel with kids children miami south beach diner 11th street breakfast

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian diner 11th street brunch

After eating too much we went to Miami Beach Bicycle Center, where we had already reserved three bikes for our stay. I was worried they might not have one available for Jerome when we got there unless we booked ahead. We always try to rent bikes while we are on holiday, as it is a fun way to see a place. It is also a fun way for children to explore too and we never got the “I cannot walk anymore” moan from Jerome this way, even when he was little. We can also cover more ground in a day without having to use public transport or taxis. Miami, especially South Beach, does not provide the best of public transport systems anyway and we always felt it was the only viable way to get around town and thankfully there were plenty of side streets and cycle paths.

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture post office

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture avenue

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture teddy bear

Jerome was very pleased with his child sized mountain bike, he put his helmet (we took his own with us) on, and off we went, cycling along the pavement to South Point Beach Park. We had packed our swimming stuff and some beach towels, plus snack and drinks into a backpack and planned to spend the day on the beach. It was still a bit too early and chilly to head straight for the beach and South Beach Point had been a great place to go and enjoy some of the local atmosphere. There was a playground where yummy mummies or nannies would take children for a play, fitness addicts in their skimpy outfits with their personal trainers going about their fitness routines. It was fun watching them in their self-obsessed manner doing exercises and showing off.

We sat down at Blissberry and devoured a frozen yoghurt. Jerome went off to run along the paths, play on the playground, even though he had outgrown most of the equipment, and then attempted some of the fitness exercises. There also were water fountains for the kids to run safely run around in and which looked like a lot of fun, even for the littlest ones. South Point Beach Park is right next to a channel that divides South Beach from Fisher Island, an island with up market living accommodation. This narrow channel is the route for all cruise ships and some tankers to float trough on their way into Miami harbour. Jerome loved to watch the gigantic ships, some higher than the buildings in the vicinity, slowly make their way through in either direction.

travel with kids children miami south point beach park

travel with kids children miami south point beach fitness

travel with kids children miami south beach fitness bodybuilder freaks

Lunchtime approached and the sun was getting hotter. Jerome was keen for us to move on to the beach. We took our bikes and cycled to the beach, just around the corner from South Point Park. This end of South Beach was less busy, as it was more residential and quite a way away from the main hotel area. We spotted the lifeguard huts along the beach, each one in a different colourful design. The one closest to us, was painted with a patriotic stars and stripes of the American flag. We could see the lifeguard seated on top, every now and then peeping through his binoculars. There was barely anyone in the sea and I could imagine him being quite bored.

We put down our towels close to the sea, the next sunbathers a way away from us. Jerome headed straight to the sea, it was calm with only the slightest of waves flowing onto the shore. South Beach is a safe beach for children of all ages, the sea only gently dropping. We found it to be fairly calm most of the time as well, considering this is the Atlantic Ocean. The sand is fine and perfect for building sand castles and playing on the beach. There are no palms or other trees around to provide any shade so it might be advisable to bring your own parasol or tent for protection for very young ones. Jerome and Chris threw a bouncy water ball back and forth, while I watched them and the other people on the beach and in the sea.

travel with kids children miami south beach art deco architecture life guard

miami_129_155

travel with kids children miami south beach art cycling

miami_132_158

We had a snack from our pack but were still hungry, so we decided to cycle on to Ocean Drive and go to Newscafe. Along the back of the beach was a wide path, which can be used by pedestrians and bikes. We cycled past roller scaters, people on Segways (I will never understand the fascinations for them), past groups of people playing beach volleyball and playgrounds. Soon enough we had left the residential highrise apartment buildings and reached the start of the hotel drag.

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian south point park

travel with kids children miami south beach side walk

travel with kids children miami south beach ocean drive sign

One side of Ocean Drive is lined with the famous iridescent art-deco buildings, all in varying ice-cream shades, some housing hotels, others restaurants and shops. The architecture of these hotels and buildings is what put Miami Beach on the tourist map in the 1930/40’s and tourists have been visiting ever since. Some of the famous art deco buildings are the Colony, Leslie, Carlyle and Cardozo Hotel. TV shows like Miami Vice and the movie Scarface were shot in the area and made South Beach famous worldwide. Everyone should spend some time, walking past these flamboyant buildings to see the details and colours close up, especially in the evening when the neon lights make is even more delightful. Children will love the candy coloured houses, they could be coming straight out of a fairy tale.

Newscafe has become a favourite spot for us for breakfast and lunch, with a variety of food options for children and adults alike. We like to sit outside on the terrace and play card games while watching the show offs driving past in their flashy cars, if you’re lucky you might spot a Cadillac or similar vintage car to go with the art deco architecture.

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian ocean drive

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian ocean drive colony hotel

After lunch Jerome wanted to go back to our hotel to laze by the pool. We cycled back, parked out bikes in the car park of the hotel, where they provide a secured area for the bikes to be locked. We headed straight for the pool and secured three loungers right next to the pool. We ordered some cocktails, one of the pleasures when resting by the pool instead of lying on the beach. There were other children around, unfortunately all younger than Jerome but he still started to play in the water with one of them. They were diving for a ring and swimming back and forth. The water was a very pleasant temperature, almost too warm for my liking but therefore much easier to get in.

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian hotel

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian hotel poolside

travel with kids children miami south beach mondrian hotel sunset

travel with kids children miami south beach sunset downtown

In the evening we went for dinner with friends at Oh Mexico, a Mexican on Espanola Way, a pedestrian street lined with many restaurants. The food was nothing special, but then having had the real thing on our trip to Mexico probably did not help. The Margeritas were generous and our friends were soon tipsy enough for a night out, while we went back to sleep at our hotel. For the next day we had planned a bike ride over to Wynwood and Little Haiti, which I will write about in my next post.