One of the most frustrating challenges of planning a trip is trying to figure out the logistics of how to get around. But don’t worry, I’ve done all the work for you. Hun and I took a trip to South Beach and I figured out the best way to get around South Beach Miami and how to get around South Beach on budget! So if you’re wondering, “How do you get around Miami Beach without a car?” and “How do I get from Miami airport to South Beach?” this blog is for you.
First, let’s start with the basics.
Where is South Beach? Where is Miami?
Let’s take a look at where South Beach is located by zooming in and out of a few Google map images.
South Beach, also known as SoBe, is located in the southern portion of Miami Beach near the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.
SoBe is located in the southern region of Miami Beach– a small, almost island-like land mass just outside of the city of Miami.
Most people are shocked to discover Miami Beach is not a part of the City of Miami, which has it’s own distinct boundaries.
Nevertheless, Miami Beach and Miami are distinct areas of Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade County is located in the southern tip of the state of Florida.
Florida is located in the south-eastern part of the United States of America.
In sum, we have North America -> United States -> Florida -> Miami-Dade County-> Miami Beach -> South Beach.
Consider a Miami-Dade Transit Easy Card
As I mentioned, South Beach is a part of Miami-Dade County. As such, transportation is organized by Miami-Dade Transit. Miami Dade public transportation map: In order to go from the Miami International Airport (MIA) to South Beach on a budget, you’ll need a Miami-Dade Transit Easy Card. This card is also helpful if you plan to take Miami public transportation.
The Easy Card is a small, plastic re-loadable fare card that allows you to ride the metros, metro rail transit systems. The credit-card-sized pass carries a 20-yr lifespan, but will go inactive if not used for 12 consecutive months. It costs $2 for the card plus the cost of any fares or passes you want to load onto it using cash at a kiosk, online, or through the app. If lost, there’s a $2 fee to acquire a new Easy Card, but I recommend you register your card online to recoup any potential loss in funds.
It’s important to understand there is a $10 minimum load value for the card, but it may be cheaper to load a 1-day unlimited pass for around $6 or to load your card using cash. The Easy Card is available at the airport or you can download the app for iPhone/Android and create an account.
Now that we have an Easy Card, I’ll share how I got from Miami airport to South Beach.
How to Get to South Beach Miami from the Airport
From the airport, take the MIA Mover, a free tram that transported Hun and I to the MIA bus terminals. The MIA Mover is about a 10 minute ride, but we had to walk quite a while to get to the tram. From the bus terminal, we took the Miami Beach Airport Express Metrobus 150 to 13th Street (South Beach) then walked about two to three blocks to our hotel. The entire trip took about 25-30 minutes.
The Route 150 Miami Beach Airport Express operates everyday, every 20 minutes from 5:45am ET to midnight making limited stops along Miami Beach. It only cost $2.85/one way ticket! That’s incredibly cheap and a reliable way to get to and from MIA to South Beach. An Uber or taxi will easily cost $20-$30 for the same trip.
Now that we have the basics covered, I’m going to share how to get around South Beach.
How to Get Around South Beach on a Budget
During our short 4-day vacation to South Beach and the Miami area, I found there are four easy ways to get around South Beach.
Miami Beach Trolley
The Miami Beach Trolley is a FREE service that makes select stops throughout Miami Beach and operates only four lines:
Frequency: Each line runs every 15-40 minutes, depending on which line you take. Unsure of when another trolley will come? Use the Trolley Tracking App for an up-to-date status or download the Miami Beach Trolley Service Map.
Hours: Monday to Saturdays from 6 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Rideshare (Uber/Lyft, etc.)
By far, Uber was the BEST way to get around South Beach and Miami. We used Uber pool to split the cost of our trip with other riders. Sure, it took a few minutes extra but it save us so much time and money. It cost us around $10/trip to get around Miami; sometimes more, sometimes less depending on congestion.
Yes, you can rent a bike on South Beach! Just walk along the sidewalk portion of the beach and you’ll run into bike kiosks advertising rentals for less than $10/hr. However, we discovered our hotel, Hotel Victor, offered bikes are part of the amenity fee.
Rent a Luxury Car
In comparison to the other transportation methods listed above, renting a luxury car hardly seems like a cost-effective idea. Then again, in comparison to renting from a luxury car rental agency, renting a luxury car from Turo.com is incredibly inexpensive. In fact, I consider it to be the “Air BnB of Car Rentals”.
I rented a Mercedes Benz S-Class for my Hun’s birthday so he (and we) can stunt on a budget. South Beach is known for people showing off and showing out, so I decided to do so for this special occasion. With Turo, you can rent for a few hours or days at a time for rates significantly below market value. Remember, if renting overnight the parking fees are costly at about $45/day. Street parking available, but limited at an 8hr max. So, if you want to get around South Beach and show off on a budget, consider renting a luxury car.
The South Beach strip on Ocean Drive is small enough to walk. In fact, we found ourselves walking back and forth to restaurants and entertainment quite a few times. Not only us, but along with the hoards of other people. So long as you can stand the heat, stay hydrated, and look cool while doing it you’ll find this a simple, free, and efficient way to get around South Beach.
So What about the Metrorail or the other Metrobus Routes?
I honestly do not recommend taking public transportation in Miami. It’s sad, but true. Especially since I’ve enjoyed taking public transportation in Paris, Madrid, and London. Other than the MIA mover, Airport Express Route 150, and Trolley, Miami’s public transportation is lacks consistency and reliability. Feel free to check out the metrobus map and this transit fare guide if you want to research a bit more; but, if you don’t mind taking an Uber or trolley, you’ll have nothing to worry about on your South beach vacation. I explain what happened in the Best Way to Get Around South Beach Miami video that launches today at 4pm ET!
These are my best ways to get around South Beach and I welcome any additional tips you have. Please feel free to share what you found or experienced in the comments below!
Antoinette | Frolic & Courage