Going to the England Friendlies in Miami – Updated directions to the stadium
If you have read this blog previously, see this updated link to the directions on how to get to the Stadium as despite my initial info that the new stadium was going to be used, I have now had confirmation that the Sunlife Stadium in Miami Gardens is the correct stadium, so ignore my previous directions!
http://www.sunlifestadium.com/directions Parking at the Stadium is usually charged and will likely be around $25. Allow at least an hour to drive to the Stadium from South Beach or Downtown as traffic in Miami can be heavy even during the day.
The easiest route via bus from South Beach is a bus to Aventura Mall (either the 120 Beach Max Express or S route) and then the 99 bus from outside the Aventura food court which will take you to the Sun Life Stadium. http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/routes_schedule.asp?srv=WEEKDAY&dir=Westbound&rt=99 allow about 2 hours for the bus as traffic in Miami can be heavy.
You can buy a bus and rail day pass or an Easy Pass (which you can top up and works like a London Transport Oyster). Passes can be purchased or topped up at various outlets around Miami Beach and Downtown – ask at your hotel for your nearest venue or see this list http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/easy-card-sales-outlets.asp#1
If traveling from Downtown, you can take the Metrorail to Martin Luther King Junior Station (green line towards Palmetto) and then catch the 27 bus http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/routes_schedule.asp?srv=WEEKDAY&dir=Northbound&rt=27 This Station is not in the greatest part of town so be careful with your belongings when waiting for the bus outside this station.
If you are taking a taxi, make sure you agree the price in advance it will probably be around $45-$55 either from Downtown or South Beach. Hotels will also arrange a transfer to the Stadium.
Miami is made up of many municipal areas includingMiami Dade (think CSI Miami and Dexter – although both are actually filmed mainly in California), Miami Beach (think Burn Notice – which is actually filmed in Miami), and City of Miami (think First 48).
If you are looking for somewhere to stay, I recommend Miami South Beach, its like its own Art Deco town on the edge of the beach, with bars, restaurants, clubs, shopping, and an amazing white sandy beach that runs for miles and warm ocean. It is easy to get to the rest of Miami from South Beach either by car or bus, although with the exception of going to the stadium there is probably no need to leave South Beach. The area that is known as Miami Beach is about 15 miles long, so if you want to be close to the hub of the action, make sure that you book accommodation in Miami South Beach and not just Miami Beach. The further North the accommodation on Miami Beach the cheaper it is, and while the beach runs all the way along there are very few shops, restaurants and bars North of 24th Street. So if you are looking to stay on South Beach the best location is between 5th and 24th Street (these streets run horizontal to the beach) and Collins Avenue and Alton Road (these run parallel to the beach, with Collins Avenue being the closest to the beach). Hotels on South Beach range from the super chic W Hotel to some fairly low end, low quality rooms, so its a good idea to check them out on Trip Advisor.
If you are looking for cheaper but decent accommodation, then many of the chain hotels such as the Marriott, Crown Plaza and Holiday Inn are downtown. The location is ok, but is fairly quiet in the evening as this area is mainly a business district. The closest to South Beach is the Marriott at Omni which is just across the causeway from South Beach. Anywhere is Brickell will be like a ghost town after about 9pm.
If you stay at the airport hotels and don’t have a car you will find it very difficult to get around, unless you go back to the airport every time and jump on the buses or Metrorail. There is also accommodation at Doral and Miami Springs, both are quite a way from the Stadium and quite a distance from the beach and you will need a car to get around from these areas.
If you have a few days to kill, look at renting a car and taking a trip to the Florida Keys. The 100 mile trip is well worth it, even just the road trip is beautiful, there is only one road in and out of the Keys and it joins all the keys (islands) together. Key West is the party town, and is full of NFL mums who spend most of the year baking cookies and doing the school run, but who come to Key West to drink in the streets, ride a scooter, wear T-shirts with rude slogans and dance on the table in Jimmy Buffet’s Margarita Bar. But if you can stand that, it is quite a quaint town which is the base for fishing and diving charters and all things involving the sea. If you don’t want to do the 100 mile trip, Key Largo is about an hour drive from Miami and has John Pennecamp National Park which is less than $10 to enter for a car with 4 passengers, and offers snorkeling, kayaking, boat trips, fishing and camping.
However, if you are looking for a 24 hour party trip, then you will not need to leave South Beach where the streets are at their busiest at around 4am and quietest around 7.30am. As Pitbull says “what happens in Miami…Never happened”!