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FOR VISITORS from UK : Things to do and tips!

NOTE TO BRITISH TOURISTS from the publisher Patricia Kawaja, an ex-Londoner :  For many years, my home and office has been in downtown Miami–the Magic City.   It’s a burgeoning, ever-improving, exciting urban destination with upscale hotels, chic bars and restaurants galore.  I have tried everywhere, and want to share recommendations with British visitors unfamiliar with Miami.  Thousands of British tourists come to Miami and never get to know the non-touristy place that we locals know and love.  Feel free to pick my brains on anything Miami or Florida statewide.  I’ve been to most parts of Florida over the years. Email your query to britishbusinessflorida@gmail.com
or phone British Bureau office [305] 371-9340 during Florida business hours.   

►  FLORIDA’S OFFICIAL TOURISM OFFICE IS CALLED ‘VISIT FLORIDA’   For useful tips, see their website www.visitflorida.org

►  Explore Miami’s burgeoning new districts:  ►  WYNWOOD ARTS DISTRICT of Miami:   Hopping with events/restaurants/ new craft beer breweries/ parties and tons more. See www.wynwoodmiami.com
BRITISH VISITORS!   Every year visitors to Miami,  just from London airports,  number over 250, 000.   

►   DO TAKE A DEEPSEA FISHING TRIP out of Miami with the best operation there is:  Mark the Shark.  [See extensive details, dramatic fish photos an dhow to book on website www.marktheshark.com   For 17 years I’ve lived at the Miami marina where Mark’s fully-equipped, licensed fishing boat is based and hankered to take his trip all those years.  I finally did on June 11, 2019 and was not disappointed!  We caught,  and then released back into the ocean as required, a beautiful 7ft. female sandbar shark, pictured with me in this photo.  Was particularly impressed with Mark’s expertise and his determination to ensure his clients  leave with great souvenirs of their experience:  Videos, endless setup photos and even an underwater camera to catch the moment “our” shark snatched the bait.  I highly recommend this ocean experience!  —-PK, publisher. 

► SEE MIAMI BY SPEEDBOAT:    See tours available on https://speedboattours.com     OFFICE [305] 904-7750, based near Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach.    

► There is a cross-bay ferry service, called POSEIDON. It runs from the downtown Miami river behind Hyatt Hotel over to Miami Beach at the Bentley Bay Marina.
I live downtown so tried it back in December 2020. Always good to get out on the water!  FOR INFO/TICKETS see www.poseidonferry.com 

►  Find exciting things to do in Miami on www.miamitemptations.com  

► HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  I recently took a Miami boat around Biscayne Bay and south to Stiltsville with OCEAN FORCE ADVENTURES.  Over the years I’ve experienced all the local boat tours, some many times,  taking UK Visitors. This I enjoyed the most.  It’s more exclusive and personal,  in a fast large Zodiak, which leaves from Miami Beach Marina.  Three trips daily of about 2 hours duration.   The sleek, modern Zodiak holds just 6 passengers and the captain.  The skipper on my March 2019 outing was Captain Matt,  originally from Maine.  He gave  the best, current accurate commentary of all the boat captains I’ve experienced.  For my work, I stay extremely clued up on the nuts and bolts of Miami, and wince at some of the inaccurate/outdated information other tour boats “feed” tourists afloat!  I recommend you take an OCEAN FORCE trip.  Book via their website www.oceanforceadventures.com

►  DESIGN DISTRICT of Miami —a few blocks north of Wynwood.  Look at  www.designdistrict.net   

► FOR MIAMI and MIAMI BEACH ONLY:   The Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau  [305] 539-3000 is the official organisation to advise tourists.   WEBSITE   www.miamiandbeaches.com  for all events, attractions, restaurants and nightlife across Miami and Miami Beach. IN MIAMI BEACH there is the excellent resource The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. Phone them when you arrive on [305] 672-1270.  Peruse their website: www.miamibeachchamber.com

►  WHILE IN MIAMI DO TAKE A CRUISE from the many beautiful liners which sail from PortMiami, like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian and since 2021 Virgin Voyages.  Many visitors over from the UK take side cruises–you’ll hear the British accents onboard.  We recommend Virgin Voyages, launched by Sir Richard Branson—of course!   See the Virgin Voyages page on this website   

►  MIAMI and MIAMI BEACH . CULINARY TOURS AROUND VARIOUS DISTRICTS are recommended. For your options see www.miamiculinarytours.com 

►  FT. LAUDERDALE–a progressive city, with great beach life where I lived for 12 years. For all current information on what’s happening, attractions, restaurants and nightlife,  consult the city’s official
website www.sunny.org or phone their office [954] 765-4466.

►  KISSIMMEE…is more than Mickey Mouse.  For all current information on what’s happening, attractions, restaurants and nightlife,  consult the city’s official website   www.visitkissimmee.com  or phone their office [407] 944-2400.

►  ORLANDO is ever-improving and adding trendy new places and nightlife spots. For all current information on what’s happening, attractions, restaurants and nightlife,  consult the city’s official website www.visitorlando.com  or phone the Visitor’s Bureau on [407] 370-5002.

►  PALM BEACH COUNTY…elegance, beaches and gems like the fabled Breakers Hotel.  For current information on all it has to offer, consult the official website www.palmbeachfl.com or phone their office [561 233-3000

►  OTHER PARTS OF FLORIDA, like Sarasota, Tampa, Jacksonville.  Florida is tourist-centric and has superb, helpful visitors bureaux for all areas to help YOU plan your visit.  
Find them by going to:  www.visitflorida.org the Sunshine State’s official tourism website.  

►  MIAMI Recommendations:   British visitors to Miami may ask us for a first hand recommendation on where to eat in Miami or other advice. 
Email your query to  britishbusinessflorida@gmail.com    Your query must include your name + home city.   The ex-pat publisher of this website has lived in the heart of Miami since 2002 and knows every square inch!  

►  [True before Corona 2020!]  STATISTICS:   The United Kingdom has long been Florida’s most important international market outside of Canada—the numbers show why.   Every year,  1.7 million tourists from the UK visit Florida — more than visitors from Germany, Mexico, Australia, China and India combined.  But it’s more important than just the volume of visitors, Visit Florida Florida President Will Seccombe said. British tourists spend and spend and spend.  British tourists combined spent $1.5 billion on their visits, dwarfing what travelers from any other nation but Canada spend.   The data shows us a Brit is going to spend more than any other foreign visitor. ……Statement December 10, 2016 from Visit Florida, the State’s official tourism marketing agency based in Tallahassee.  

► TIMEOUT–the UK’s most comprehensive weekly reference publication on everything there is to do, has come to Miami.  Smart move.  With so much happening across Miami’s burgeoning new districts TIMEOUT MIAMI is the perfect fit and a deep market for advertising, methinks.   Pick up a copy of TIMEOUT MIAMI wherever you see one–well worth it!  Have a look at their website   www.timeout.com and click on the Miami section. They only started publishing in December 2016 and only twice a year it seems, not weekly as in London.  They distribute the magazines mainly around hotels in Miami Beach and Miami. I live/work in a downtown hotel, so picked up reference copies for my office.  Am impressed.  Obviously aimed at visitors, its jam-packed colour pages showcase everywhere to eat, drink, explore and play across the city. There are also brief recommendations for other parts of the state to visit, like Key west.  

►  Want more nookie, British tourists?   Come to Miami, Mate.   MIAMI IS OFFICIALLY THE USA’S “Most Sexual City”!!  Its residents——with tourists like you bold Brits augmenting the number—account for the highest numbers of sexual encounters per year.  People in the Magic City make magic 177 times year,  more than any other city in America, including Sin City Las Vegas or the City-that-Never-Sleeps New York.  How do we know?  Condom-maker Trojan surveyed thousands of adults in every state.    Why Miami? The year-round warm weather allows people to show more skin, feel freer and sexier about their bodies and ladies aren’t hiding their charms in overcoats. Plus Miami’s large hot-blooded Latin community offers stunning Brazilian/Venezuelan/Colombian beauties for lusty Brit blokes to enjoy a holiday romance.  American women are pretty too but not exotic.  Also the cosmopolitan blending in Miami of so many nationalities and the round the clock drinking hours leads to more partying.   

►  BIGGEST MIAMI TIP,  FELLOW BRITS!    DON‘T STAY ROOTED IN SOUTH BEACH.   We locals don’t.  The city has so much more to offer in various exciting, urban, trendy districts, like New York or London.  Jump in a taxi or one of the  buses [120 or S] over to downtown Miami, the Design District, Midtown, Mary Brickell Village, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables.  EXPLORE!   These are all exiting, hip and eclectic parts of Miami. The bus fare of $2.25 one way is the best money you ever spent.   I ride buses often to South Beach and never take my car over there.  In downtown Miami itself ride the FREE above ground Metromover which loops through the city with a great view of the cruiseships in port and the FREE orange and green Trolley.  I always use the FREE downtown trolley service—[wait at the orange and green palm tree trolley stopsigns ]—which has several routes. For any Miami transit queries and routes phone their office direct [305] 779-3131 or  consult  http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/routes

►   FOR MIAMI OFFICIAL INFO call the city’s hotline:  Dial 311 from any phone in Miami.  CITY WEBSITE:  www.miamidade.gov

►  Also always consult website   www.miami.com for everything to do in the city.

►  MIAMI HAS A DAILY WATER TAXI.    The bright yellow boats marked WATER TAXI have several stops along Biscayne Bay and the Miami River in a hop-on, hop-off loop from downtown Miami– to Miami Beach—to Bayside Marina downtown—then along the Miami River.  I have taken it and recommend it to you as a way to see the city from a different perspective.  You can buy tickets on the boat or in advance from their website   www.watertaximiami.com   Consult the website for schedules–which can change! Or phone [305] 600-2511.  It’s owned by a Dutchman called Max. 

RECOMMEND YOU TRY THIS!   Miami now red and brown double-decker buses, run by Big Bus Tours of London,  offering Sightseeing tours around the city.    These are Hop-On, Hop-Off buses, offering 2 different loops:  1] CITY TOUR  around the city of Miami and down to the Biltmore Hotel area in Coral Gables . 2] MIAMI BEACH   around Miami s world-renowned South Beach along the ocean and Deco drive area.  The Gray line Bus HQ where tours start is on Bayside in downtown Miami , but you can hop on at various points on the route and pay on the bus too.  TICKET COST and ALL INFO  www.bigbustours.com  or call tollfree 1-800-336-8233 in Florida to book.  Update:   There are now several different companies offering tours—most start from Bayside downtown.  I have tried them. ——PK publisher.

►   NEW TOURS to explore Miami Beach and Miami have been established.  By bike, on foot, via bus with audio commentary.    Visit  www.discoverymiamibeach.com   for all your choices.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:   British people love gardening and flowers.  Take a tour down to the Redlands agricultural area about one hour’s drive south of Miami, in a suburb called Homestead.  I have done this tour and it’s wonderful.  Orchid farms, tropical blooms, tropical eatables, local wineries, a quaint English tearoom and numerous tropical nature experiences you will enjoy.  Look at the website  www.theredland.org   first.  FOR TOURS call [305] 247-5172 Redland Pioneer Tours.  Or ask your hotel concierge how to drive down to Homestead.

►  You will see a free newspaper around Miami, called The New Times.   www.newtimesmiami.com  This is the alternative local weekly which lists all the nightclubs, strip clubs, just-opened restaurants in all districts of Miami, all bars, party places, live music venues and ongoing local events which appeal to younger British tourists.   Pick one up–very useful source.

MIAMI’S  MUST-VISIT DISTRICTS for restaurants and bars:  Go into the Design District, Mid-town, Mary Brickell Village and downtown Miami


 £ $  TIP:  WANT TO SAVE WHEN TRANSFERRING over UK CURRENCY?   DON’T USE YOUR BANK!  Use Moneycorp.  [ I use Moneycorp myself–FABB President.]   TO FIND OUT MORE:    Phone Moneycorp’s Kelly Cutchin on  [863] 207-6616 at their USA HQ in Orlando to ask all your questions.  Or email your query to Kelly Cutchin  kelly.cutchin@moneycorp.com   The pound is shaky.  That affects all expats in Florida who still have UK dealings. To transfer your precious funds, we highly recommend you use the services of Moneycorp.  At lower rates than any bank!  This will save you fees and grief, as we Londoners say!  What your own bank won’t do is save considerable  exchange fees, like Moneycorp.   THE BEST WAY:   Moneycorp, the UK company with an office in Florida and droves of satisfied Florida clients. It is the only UK currency exchange company licenced to deal in 50 states.   Many expat Brits here have used this currency service for years and report huge savings and satisfaction.   Moneycorp’s HQ is in England.   Posted by the Florida Association of British Business [FABB].  Moneycorp have been trusted members since 2005.  

► ARE YOU A BRIT LIVING IN FLORIDA?  OR UK BRIT WITH PROPERTY THERE?  Sign up for our eBritnews email—invitations to local British events and info relevant to expats.  Send email to  britishbusinessflorida@gmail.com  On subject line put:  Receive Florida eBritnews. IMPORTANT:   Include your city + contact phone.