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A Budget Weekend in Miami

Destination(s): Miami

Sure, Miami has felt the pinch like everywhere else in this economy, but that doesn't mean that spending time here has gotten any cheaper. But while it's certainly not cheap to visit Miami, a trip to the Magic City necessarily have to break your budget. For bargain-seeking vacationers, there are money-saving options to be found. Even during the high season (December through March) it's possible to find deals on everything from meals to hotel rooms, whose rates are sometimes cut in half as part of special packages. read more about A Budget Weekend in Miami

Clay Hotel & International Hostel

Clay Hotel & International Hostel

  • 1438 Washington Ave
  • At Española Way
  • tel:800/379-2529
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33139

With a history stretching back to the 1930s, when Chicago gangster Al Capone ran a gambling operation here, the Spanish Mediterranean-style Clay Hotel proves staying in Miami doesn't have to break the bank. Offering clean, decent accommodations at affordable rates, the Clay's dorm-style hostel attracts a young, budget-conscious crowd (many from Latin America) with its rock-bottom prices. But its the guest rooms with private baths, TVs, phones, AC units and mini-fridges that suit tourists best. Granted, the rooms are small. But they're also clean and the hotel maintains a complete kitchen and makes laundry facilities available to its guests.

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News Cafe

News Cafe

Since opening its doors in 1988, this South Beach landmark has been serving up meals, drinks and international publications 24/7, having counted the late fashion designer Versace among its regulars. A combination sidewalk cafe, bar and newsstand, it's popular with tourists and locals, featuring a round-the-clock menu of morning favorites like bagels, pancakes, pastries and omelets, as well as a selection of salads, sandwiches, pasta, burgers and Middle Eastern platters. Know for its indifferent servers, what it lacks in service with a smile, it more than makes up for in cachet and European style. The perfect place for people-watching, why not grab a house signature espresso and a newspaper and soak up some sunshine here?

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The Standard

The Standard

Indian Creek Hotel

Indian Creek Hotel

  • 2727 Indian Creek Drive
  • tel:+1 305 531 2727 / +1 800 491 2772
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33139

Just a block from the ocean facing the Intracoastal Waterway, Indian Creek Hotel manages to be secluded while close to everything. Considered by many to offer the best value of any hotel in the city, it's housed in a elegantly restored circa 1930s building that provides a nod to its Golden-era without overdoing it. Its public spaces have a tropical theme and guest rooms are bright and comfortable, with thoughtful refrigerators and convenient Wi-Fi service. If you crave more than standard accommodations or plan on an extended stay, the hotel also has six well-appointed suites and four one-bedroom apartments that allow you to settle in for a homey experience. Creek 28, one the Miami's Beach most lauded restaurants is on-site, but unfortunately it's closed until sometime in 2011.
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The Setai

The Setai

Anything but cheap but supremely lavish (in a Zen-like contemporary minimalist Asian sort of way), the Setai offers two entirely different lodging experiences: sleek, modestly-sized rooms with all the creature comforts and spacious one- and two-bedroom suites (some full-size condos) boasting with floor-to-ceiling windows, full kitchens and huge Jacuzzi tubs made for extended soaks. And if you happen to be musically-inclined and are in the mood to really splurge, there's a four-bedroom penthouse suite with access to the Lenny Kravitz–designed rooftop recording studio (one night there will set you back the price of nice new car or SUV).

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Gansevoort South

Gansevoort South

Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center

Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center

  • 1300 Biscayne Boulevard
  • tel:305/949-6722
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33132

The indisputable jewel in the crown of Miami's entertainment scene, Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center (formerly the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts) is a 570,000-square-foot facility that happens to be the country's third-largest performing arts center. There are two principal venues in the center: a concert hall and an opera house, both of which can seat more than 2,000. Additionally, there are two smaller spaces for more intimate seating of around people. Hosting year-round Broadway and Disney performances as well as acting as the home of the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, and the Concert Association of Florida, the center also hosts a full slate of year-round events put on by a combination of nationally-known personalities and local groups. read more about Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center

Wynwood Arts District

Wynwood Arts District

  • 167 Northwest 25th Street
  • tel:305/576-1278
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33127

Once a rundown industrial wasteland, the Wynwood Art District today boasts the largest concentration of art galleries in the city, with close to 50 art-filled establishments scattered throughout the neighborhood of Wynwood (known as "Little San Juan" by longtime Miami residents). On the second Saturday of each month, the district hosts an art walk, an event that provides art lovers with an opportunities to explore galleries like the urban realist Paredes Fine Art Studio (2311 NW 2nd Ave., 305/219-6688) and the contemporary photo-based  installations of Abba Fine Art (233 NW 36th St., 305/576-4278) as well as the insightful exhibits at Dorsch Gallery (151 Northwest 24th St., 305/576-1278) and the vast offerings of the sprawling 3.2-acre Bakehouse Art Complex (561 NW 32nd St., 305/576-2828). read more about Wynwood Arts District

Barnacle State Historic Site

Barnacle State Historic Site

  • 3485 Main Hwy
  • 1 block south of Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove
  • tel:305/448-9445
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33133
Carel Gallery

Carel Gallery

  • 922 Lincoln Road
  • tel:+1 305 534 4384
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33139
Greynolds Park

Greynolds Park

  • 17530 West Dixie Highway
  • North Miami Beach
  • tel:+1 305 945 3425
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33160
Joe's Stone Crab

Joe's Stone Crab

  • 11 Washington Avenue
  • tel:+1 305 673 0365
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33139

So committed to their mission of serving the some of the best and freshest stone crab anywhere, this restaurant doesn't even bother to open its doors until fishing season for its namesake crustacean (from October through May). But when it is open to the public, this establishment swarms with crowds lining up for seats and a chance to indulge what many feel are some of the finest crab anywhere. Dining here requires more than a little patience and a few dollars, but there are few who complain about the crab, or any of the other seafood offerings, for that matter. It's not hard to understand why this place has been around since 1913.
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Emeril's Miami Beach

Emeril's Miami Beach

  • 1601 Collins Ave
  • In the Loews Hotel
  • tel:305/695-4550
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33139
SET

SET

  • 320 Lincoln Rd
  • South Beach
  • tel:305/531-2800
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33119

If you're looking to hobnob with the likes of starlet Lindsay Lohan or New Moon actor Kellan Lutz, head straight to ultra-luxe SET, a see-and-be-seen club steps away from world-class boutiques, restaurants and lodgings. It burst onto Miami Beach's nightlife scene in February 2007 and has been the "in" place to be ever since. Recalling the glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age, it has a heady mix of cut crystal, Pucci-spun fabrics and honest-to-goodness Tinseltown artifacts (adding an air of authenticity). From Thursday through Sunday, A-list celebrities, the international jet-set and mere mortals flock here to sip champagne and mixed drinks, party hard and people watch. The door policy is very strict so ask your hotel concierge for help with reservations to make sure you have no trouble getting past the velvet ropes. And, bring your American Express Card...you'll need it.

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Dogma Grill

Dogma Grill

If you start craving a hot dog while in Miami, head straight to Dogma Grill. In addition to all-beef varieties that put cart vendor offerings to shame, Dogma also serves chicken and turkey franks as well as soy dogs for vegetarians. No matter what you prefer, expect it to be grilled to perfection and dressed to order with a broad range of topping options. There's a full salad bar with fresh veggies, herbs and salsa, and several types of cheese to choose from. What makes this place truly special are the house staples, which include the Pitchfork (a dog topped with grilled onions, bacon, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce), Pomodoro (diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, Parmesan cheese and drizzled with olive oil) and El Macho (a Latin-style offering with tomatoes, onions, jalapeņos, cheddar cheese, cream sauce and spicy brown mustard salsa.

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Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace

  • 401 Biscayne Boulevard
  • Suite R106
  • tel:+1 305 577 3344
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33132
Lummus Park

Lummus Park

  • 10th Street and Ocean Drive
  • Behind Setai Hotel
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33139

Mention the beach in South Beach and locals immediately think of the long, wide stretch of sand at Lummus Park. Yes, it's everything you'd expect it to be: warm, crystal-blue waters and fine white sand usually packed with hordes of bronzed, pale and sunburned souls soaking up ultraviolet rays. Volleyball is a popular sport here, as is watching the beautiful people who come from throughout the country and around the world to see and be seen. Most of South Beach's dining and nightlife is only steps away. Looking for peace and quiet? Look elsewhere. This sandy spit is crowded both day and night. And know in advance that finding parking is a pain.
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Shorty's Bar-B-Q

Shorty's Bar-B-Q

  • 11575 Southwest 40th Street
  • tel:+1 305 227 3196
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33165
Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive

  • Ocean Drive
  • tel:+1 305 539 3000
  • Miami, 33139
Miami's Beaches

Miami's Beaches

  • 4601 Collins Ave. and 201 21st St.
  • tel:305/539-8070
  • Miami, 33139

Families concerned about risque behavior on South Beach's packed swathes of sand will generally find more G-rated places to bask slightly to the north. Both Collins Park (201 21st St.) and Indian Beach Park (4601 Collins Ave.) have more room to roam and are generally much less crowded that beaches located right in the thick of things. Both have ample parking lots and facilities and are ideal for a jog, walk or romantic stroll. Collins Park marks the start of the Miami Beach boardwalk, which stretches for 20 blocks and allows for easy access to areas of the beach that are blocked by the string of condos built along Collins Avenue.
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Automatic Slim's

Automatic Slim's

  • 1216 Washington Ave
  • South Beach
  • tel:305/695-0795
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33119
Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road

  • 626 S. Miami Ave
  • Over the Miami Ave. Bridge near Brickell Ave., Downtown
  • tel:305/374-1198
  • Visit website
  • Miami, 33130