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Miami for the Broke College Student

Miami is one of America’s hottest destinations for young people seeking the perfect mix of sunny skies, parties, and authentic cultural hotspots. Home to some of the best beaches, bars, and genuine dining experiences, Miami offers a cornucopia of activities and attractions perfect for any spring breaker. However, endless nights filled with clubs and cocktails can cause your bank account to take a beating. Learn the financially friendly way to navigate the city by day and by night. Your wallet will thank you.

3  Things You Must See

SOUTH BEACH

You can tell you’ve arrived at South beach when you feel blustery gusts the likes of which can only be found in a wind tunnel. Breezy, palm tree-enclosed walkways lead to expansive, shell-sprinkled sand speckled with assorted umbrellas, sun shelters, and teams of beachgoers enjoying the sunshine. The mildly rough water is the perfect temperature for a refreshing dip, and the waves are perfect for boogie boarding or body surfing. Promoters walk about the beach offering deals on boat bashes while men selling beer and other beverages carry coolers on their shoulders. The beach is large enough that it never feels cramped, so spend a good few days here to catch some rays and relaxation.

COCOWALK

Cocowalk is a quaint little hub located in Coconut Grove, Miami that provides a lovely walkway surrounded by shops, restaurants, and more diverse, family-friendly entertainment. Located a short twenty minutes from South Beach, this strip is the perfect spot for those looking for a leisurely walk under the sunshine and a slower pace.

OCEAN DRIVE

This dynamic strip filled with an array of restaurants, clubs, and hotels runs right along South Beach and offers entertainment and dining options for any beachgoer or party-seeker. From Havana 1957 to the Cleavelander and many other teeming locales, this street is the place to be. Bustling with people nearly twenty-four hours a day, it’s certainly worth your while to take a stroll down this vibrant drive.

3 great local places to eat

11th STREET DINER

It’s difficult to find an authentic, quality diner experience, but the 11th Street Diner does a fine job of recreating the familiar, friendly atmosphere of your favorite neighborhood joint. Dine inside the classic, tin can-esque restaurant or at shaded outdoor tables and enjoy $11 specialty cocktails, breakfast all day long, and a fantastic array of burgers and entrees.

SRIRACHA HOUSE

This hole in the wall noodle bar is the perfect way to avoid busting your dining budget. Voted #1 Asian fusion noodle bar in Miami, the Sriracha House offers a build-your-own style experience that taps into a number of Asian cultures to create your perfect, personalized dish. Start with your choice of noodles or rice at $5.50 and add any number of perfectly paired toppings for only $1.50. Located on Washington Ave.

OH! MEXICO

If you’re looking for authentic Latin cuisine, Oh! Mexico offers a fantastic, lively atmosphere and great deals on delectable Mexican dishes. Come for Taco Tuesday where a selection of soft-shell tacos are only $2 all day long and the house margarita is only 4.95. You will not regret giving this wonderfully energetic, family-friendly restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating a try.

Day trip Idea

SOUTH BEACH DIVE & SURF

Getting a little too sunburnt from laying out on the beach every day? Explore the waters of South Beach up close by renting a snorkel from South Beach Dive Shop. Located conveniently on Washington Street, the shop offers $15 all-day rentals for a mask and flippers. The shop also offers surf board rentals and scuba diving classes for the thrill-seeking adventurer. Make sure to ask about visibility before you rent diving equipment; the water can be too rough to offer clear views of the ocean floor. However, if you play your cards right, you may see a variety of sea life and perhaps even the fabled sunken bar of the Jose Cuervo Reef.

4 Affordable Night Clubs/ Bars

SEÑOR FROG’S

With windows covering two of its four walls, the constant hubbub within Senor Frog’s is always visible. Passersby can spot young adults sporting contorted balloon hats and half-yard cocktails in neon souvenir cups. With dinner and drink specials and a glow party every Thursday night, there’s always something happening at this well-known tourist hotspot. Is this bar/nightclub as unruly as it appears? Absolutely. Is it worth joining in the messy debauchery for an evening? Absolutely.

THE CLEAVELANDER

The Cleavelander is a surefire local hotspot located on Ocean Drive, the heart and soul of South Beach. Its outdoor bar and dancefloor are packed from day to night with young adults mixing, mingling, and dancing until the sun rises. No cover for girls and a DJ spinning recognizable R&B, hip hop, and rap keep this bar bumping into the early morning.

CAMEO

At first glance, this nightclub appears unsightly, old, and dilapidated. But, once night falls, the seemingly deserted venue bursts to life with events hosted by big name rappers and DJs drawing college kids and young adults alike. Spring break parties during the week offer drink specials and low entry fees that make for a cheap night out. Be sure to pregame and arrive before midnight to gain entry and save at this mischievous hotspot.

BODEGA

Bodega is a taco joint by day, bar by night that presents the perfect casual hangout for the anti-night clubber. Arrive early and ask the suspicious bouncer about the bar, and you will be led through a bathroom into this trendy watering hole. Dim, deconstructed chandeliers and paintings of eye-patched and mohawked presidents create a chill vibe that is amplified by the crowd of laidback young adults. A DJ offers diverse tunes for those looking to dance, but there is plenty of seating for those looking to hangout and chat. Grab a $10 burrito on your way out for a lovely after-party snack.

2 Affordable Housing Options

AIRBNB

Airbnb is a good option for college kids looking to save on housing. Look for a place near Washington Street or Ocean Avenue and you’ll be within walking distance of all major attractions. If you’re desperate to save money, Airbnb is illegal in many parts of Miami: “Call the police on your last day and ask if your Airbnb is legal. They’ll kick you out but you can get a full refund.” –anonymous BC alum in Miami. Just an interesting tip.

MIAMI BEACH INTERNATIONAL HOSTEL

This hostel is located on 9th Street, a mere two blocks from South beach. There are a variety of rooming options, and three meals, wifi, and towels are included in your purchase. If you’re looking for evening activities, this is a great location to attend parties within or venture to fantastic nightlife close by. Book early and find great deals under $100 a night for dorms and private rooms.

Don’t Leave Miami Without Seeing These 3 Iconic Cultural Attractions

WORLD EROTIC ART MUSEUM

Open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, this unique art collection offers an alternative to partying all weekend long. Experience a one-of-a-kind art display that seeks to capture the beauty of the naked body in a tasteful, captivating manner. Located on Washington Avenue.

WYNWOOD ART DISTRICT

If you’re willing to spend a few dollars on an uber, you won’t be disappointed by the incredibly colorful, wildly lively atmosphere of the Wynwood Art District. This urban area has a bit of a rundown feel but is reborn with a vivacious energy that sparks the interest of tourists and locals alike. Expansive murals painted by assorted artists line the streets, the best of which can be found within the free Wynwood Walls Commissioned Art Exhibit. Check them out, you may just find the perfect background for your next Instagram.

VIZCAYA MUSEUM AND GARDENS

This exquisite Italian- style villa located in north Coconut Grove offers beautiful views for only $10 with your student ID. It was originally built as the winter home of James Deerling, but it now acts as a tourist attraction offering stunningly beautiful, expertly kept gardens bursting forth with a diverse array of exotic plants and flowers. Open daily 9:30-4:30 except for Tuesdays.

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