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Miami area vacation/riding(4 posts)

Miami area vacation/ridingridewt
Jan 9, 2004 7:47 AM
Any recommendations on areas to stay in the general Miami area that offer some good riding and proximity to beaches? My preference would be to stay in a quieter area and maybe visit Miami occasionally. Thanks.
Here you goGator
Jan 9, 2004 11:09 AM
Hey. I think after living in Miami for 30 years, I can probably help you out. (I live in San Fran now—thank GOD.) If I read your request correctly, it sounds like you're looking for a "quiet" place to stay, and then do day trips into Miami.

The problem with this is that "Miami" is in reality a solid block of urban sprawl that stretches from Homestead to West Palm Beach—there is no "quiet area" per se. Still, depending on how much driving you'd like to do and how much cash you have to spend, there are some options. Here's a few:

Key Biscayne: An island a mile or so off of downtown Miami, and less than a half-hour from ANYWHERE your want to be. Still has a small town, island feel and is blessed with gorgeous beaches. The problem is that it tends to be very expensive. If that's not a problem, the Sonesta and the Ritz-Carlton are very nice. There is also a decent hotel at the intersection of Brickell Avenue and the Rickenbacher Causeway (the bridge to the island) that should be reasonable.

Coconut Grove: Granted it's pretty crazy on the weekends, but it's central, lush and pretty tame during the week. Lots of fun restaurants and bars. The Sonesta, the Doubletree and the posh Grand Bay are all bayfront and quite nice.

Coral Gables: Stately and exclusive, this central Miami neighborhood offers some very nice hotels and smaller inns. Again, not cheap.

Key Largo. The first Key on the chain. Key Largo has a large state park, some beaches, great fishing and diving, and tons of hotels and motels in every range. Know, however, that it is a bit of a hike (45 minutes-one hour) to Miami proper.

As far as cycling, South Miami (a separate city) is the hub of bike stores and the starting point for most group rides. The two main rides are South Miami->Coconut Grove->Key Biscayne and back or the longer South Miami->South Dade (Turkey Point Power Plant) and back. If you like mountain biking, North Miami Beach's Oleta State Park and Fort Lauderdale's brutal Markham Park offer surprisingly good singletrack.

It should be noted that despite its flat, urban setting, Miami has an avid and competitive cycling scene. A lot of hardcore South American and Caribbean riders now call Miami home, and they will rock your world. So if you want a challenge, you can find it.

To find a ride, I'd call The Bicycle Fitness Store, Mack Cycle, R&J Cycles and/or Bike Tech to see what's going on. The Everglades Bike Club can also help you out.

Hope that helps. Have fun.
re: Miami area vacation/ridingDragon33
Jan 9, 2004 3:34 PM
OK you have lots of choices. If you really want to stay near the beach in a nice area Aventura is probably best as far as Miami is concerned. There is Residence Inn and a Coutyard right near the Aventura Mall, which by the way is a very nice mall. The beach is 1/2 mile away and they have group rides that start at the back of the Mall just a block or 2 from the Residence Inn. If you want to be further north and west in Broward county I would suggest the Miramar, Pembroke Pines, and Weston area, far from the beach (probably 20 miles) but tons of cyclist and group rides I could give you at leat 3 or 4 rides each for Saturday and Sunday all with a minimum of 20 riders and some have over 100. Either way if you need help finding a place or want to know more e-mail me at mtb8500@yahoo.com.

Rich
Aventura is the BEST BEACH?Gator
Jan 9, 2004 5:12 PM
Dude, I don't want to diss you or badmouth Aventura or anything, but to say that Aventura is the best beach Miami has to offer is just insane; that's like saying the Olive Garden is the best Italian restaurant in New York. And MIRAMAR OR PEMBROKE PINES? I mean, if you get stuck there during a business trip or something, fine, but who in his right mind would want to vacation in either of those concrete hellholes?

There may be some good group rides up there, but the guy wants to get away from it all, not leap feet-first into hell, you know?