Fort Lauderdale or Miami

Old Jun 5th, 2011, 04:28 PM
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Fort Lauderdale or Miami

Hi!

After our cruise, which arrives at Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, we have 1.5 days before our flight home. We can fly out of FLL or MIA. This will during the holiday season in December. Which is a better area to spend our short time at? I've looked at sunny.org for the Fort Lauderdale area and miamiandbeaches.com for the Miami area to get ideas but am quite overwhelmed. Never been to either of these places.

Many thanks.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 06:31 PM
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If there is one airport I hate it is Miami. I fly into FLL when I visit my mother, it is smaller and much easier to negotiate. To tell you the truth, MIA might have gotten in the last seven years but I am afraid to find out.

BTW, you will shocked at the car rental prices at the airports in high season.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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A lot depends on what you are looking for, your age group, and whether you want to sit on the beach or have some nitelife, shopping and how much money you want to spend...

Ft L for beach... South Beach for more action and price...

Miami and FTL will both be crazy at the holidays...
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 03:31 AM
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Hi JoyC,

I only stayed two nights in Miami ~2008 and three nights in Fort Lauderdale this year, so limited experience. In this short time however, the nearby cities struck me as having different characters...one may appeal more than another I think depending on interests.

Miami I felt had more soulful character, a more Cuban/Latin American/Caribbean/US hybrid; I'll never forget the energy of folks dancing salsa at Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami or the fast-paced rhythms emanating from some of the restaurants on South Beach. Fort Lauderdale seemed more sedate (busy beach scene though!), middle-American-like except with $$$ (mega-yachts docked in the Intracoastal Waterway, Las Olas Blvd. with pricey boutiques). Lincoln Road in Miami seemed to have a lot of uber-wealthy folk as well, judging by the number of designer label everything I'd see people wearing.

Anyhow, these were just my general impressions; I might be totally off-base . Have a great trip! DAN
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 04:17 AM
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Thank you all for your replies.

Dan, thanks for your feedback. They were your HONEST impressions and those are most important. I appreciate it.
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 04:37 AM
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Adu is righ about airports, FLL is soooo much easier. MIA is nightmare.
BTW, we used to live in FLL.
I always liked Los Olas.
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 06:11 AM
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i prefer FTL, but that is because i'm more into a laidback atmosphere. miami is too much of a sense overload for me. FTL beach is great, but you are going to be here in december, so it might actually be too cold to swim. Last year's winter was pretty cold, so if the beach isn't an option, there really isn't much to do but go to a mall. both places will have nice little restaurants where you can drink coffee outside and sit under a heater and people watch. that might be a nice thing to do while you're here. hope you figure it out.
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 08:25 AM
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Thanks, Judy. I heard (or read) that Los Olas is quite run-down now, and that includes the Riverfront?

Thanks too bluegreenaide...we are pretty laid back people also. If we choose Fort Lauderdale, perhaps we'll just hang around the beach promenade or get a water taxi to see the city.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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Hi JoyC,

The Riverfront Mall seemed remarkably deserted when I went (right after New Years), but I would not describe Las Olas Blvd. as a whole as being anything close to run-down. Las Olas closer to Stranahan House/8th Avenue and toward the beach seemed upscale to my eyes (pricey restaurants and boutiques).

Daniel
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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Will second Daniel's observations about Las Olas Blvd. It is absolutely not "run down" in any sense of the word, but rather very upscale in feel.

You can see most of the main attractions in Ft. Lauderdale in a day. That's not the case with Miami, though if you focus on just one area of Miami (say, South Beach or Coral Gables), you can pretty fully experience what there is to see in a day.

I'd recommend doing a guidebook search to see what the attractions are in both cities and see what appeals most to you. If you're looking for trip reports here, click on my name, as I've done ones for both places recently.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 10:40 AM
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I live near Ft Lauderdale. When we pick up people at MIA it's only by accident that we find them. I would avoid that airport at all costs.

Las Olas is not run down. In fact we were the at Cheesecake Factory with some friends this past Saturday evening.

Several years ago the owners of the riverfront hotel didn't renew leases for several restaurants as they intended to expand the hotel again. Well, between the recession and financing, etc it's now an empty lot. At least it was sodded and they have movies on the side of the building sometimes.

I was really glad to see that 4 or 5 eateries have opened on Las Olas over the past several months. Cafe Europa that was a casualty of the non-renewal has reopened down the street.

There were quite a few people on Las Olas. Not like over the holidays but still very busy.

Riverfront is very close but not the same as Las Olas. I think it's closed now. I don't know what happened but something went wrong there. It's on a beautiful location but I guess the formula wasn't right.
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 05:41 AM
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I was shocked to hear your assesment of Las Olas as "rundown", Riverfront but not Las Olas. We always had a great time on Las Olas.
I especially loved Taste of the Nation,,,when the street was closed off and had a great party vibe.
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 05:55 AM
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I would always avoid flying into or out of Miami airport. FLL isn't perfect, but it miles better. If you're renting a car anyway, where you stay is really up to you. You can still stay in Miami Beach or South Beach if you want and fly out of FLL. What you want to do/see will determine which is the better option for you.
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 05:57 AM
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What I may not have made perfectly clear is there's not a big distance b/w Miami and FLL so fly out of FLL but stay where you want. http://tinyurl.com/3egxlqu
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 08:38 AM
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Fly out of FLL and if you have such a short time, go to the beach in Hollywood.
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 08:40 AM
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If you are able to get to a nice part of the beach, you might wish you had spent your time divided between Fort Lauderdale and Miami instead of on the cruise.
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 02:36 PM
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Thanks so much everybody for your input....I didn't check for a couple of days and was surprised with all perspectives and suggestions.Appreciate them very much!

We will fly out of FLL, and we are staying at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa.

I am glad to know that what I have read (maybe at tripadvisor forum??or I might have confused it with Riverfront!!) about Los Olas is wrong. We will certainly visit the area.

tim...we will be there in late December, so I don't know about hanging around the beach area. But then again the weather and water might be fine!

We will save Miami and its surroundings next time, as we will only have 1.5 days this time...probably just enough time to see Fort Lauderdale.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 02:22 AM
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The water might be cold then but there's an even chance it will be warm enough to hang on the beach.
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