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Thread: Looking for Miami trip recommendations, hotels, activities, accessible beaches

  1. #1
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    Looking for Miami trip recommendations, hotels, activities, accessible beaches

    I'm planning a trip to Miami in December and I'm looking for a little guidance.
    For the Hotel, I'd like to stay someplace with beach access on South Beach or just plain Miami Beach (something under $300 a night). I prefer to park my van and never get back in, if possible... I like to roll out the hotel doors and have everything within walking distance.

    During the day, I'd like to find a beach with beach wheelchairs if possible, and I'd love to take a boat ride if they have accessible tour boats. Also, please suggest anything else you think might be cool... shopping areas, zoo, restaurants... anything

    I'm certainly not going to get picked to go into one of the trendy clubs, but I'd still like to hang out at some fun clubs/bars at night or just sit outside and people watch.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Hi "wchair,"
    There have been quite a few posts on this forum about accommodations in Miami. I would start with searching this site for "Miami Hotels." If you find something that sounds interesting then you can contact the property or find a website and explore amenities like beach access, beach wheelchairs, and close by clubs and restaurants.

    Happy planning and happy travels.

    All the best,
    GJ

  3. #3
    Hi we live in Miami and my son who is a C6-C7 has gone canoeing in John Pennkamp which is probably about 1 hour away from South Beach. They are very helpful and as long as you can transfer or have someone help you transfer into a conoe you should be fine. Here is there website http://www.pennekamppark.com/. As far as boating you may want to contact and get information http://www.shakealegmiami.org

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Hi "wchair,"
    There have been quite a few posts on this forum about accommodations in Miami. I would start with searching this site for "Miami Hotels." If you find something that sounds interesting then you can contact the property or find a website and explore amenities like beach access, beach wheelchairs, and close by clubs and restaurants.

    Happy planning and happy travels.

    All the best,
    GJ
    Honestly, GJ I tried that first and came up with surprisingly few hits so I decided to pose the question... am I searching wrong or something?
    Best

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by wchair View Post
    Honestly, GJ I tried that first and came up with surprisingly few hits so I decided to pose the question... am I searching wrong or something?
    Best
    Sorry you didn't find more in your search. I tried my own search criteria and didn't find as much as I thought I remembered reading here. These posts (see below), however, may give you some direction in locations to start your search. In a former life, my wife was a library science teacher. She has passed her penchant for researching on to me. I found this quote from an article (http://www.gimponthego.com/dest7a.htm):
    Miami Beach has an abundance of hotels to choose from. I selected the Park Central Hotel (640 Ocean Drive; 305-538-1611) for its $150-a-night price, its accessibility, proximity to the beach and boardwalk, and because on paper it looked as good as anywhere else. As it turns out, luck was on my side. In my opinion, I ended up in one of the three nicest hotels in South Beach, along with the Tides (1220 Ocean Drive; 305-604-5000) and the Loews (1601 Collins Avenue; 305-604-1601).

    Here is a website with some good information (accessible beaches and sand chairs):
    http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/visitors/accessible.asp

    On May 11, 2011, "roc21" gave this advice:
    anything "close to the action"..where there are shops/clubs-on washington ave...cafes/restaurants/ good people watching is ocean dr (5th st-15st), but mostly 8-10st(clevelander at 10th is good) are pretty much "boutique" type hotels, not sure about acessiblity in them.....bigger resort type hotels are up a ways 15th st all the way up to the fortys(fountainbleau is at 44th st)...the bigger resort types have pools and are on the sand....the smaller ones are across street from ocean/only couple have a pool...........
    I would take this advice and start searching on the internet for accommodations near the locations mentioned.

    On January 5, 2007, "Tiger Racing" gave these recommendations:
    Is $300/night OK? I've done a lot of traveling to Miami and stayed at a LOT of different hotels over the years. By far, my best experiences have been at the Marriott hotels. They ain't cheap, but the service and convenience made it worth it. The Biscayne Bay Marriott and the South Beach Marriott are fantastic. The former is right by the Port, directly over the Bay and the latter is right on the beach. It's got a funky wheelchair entrance into the lobby, but it's not a big deal.
    Research the location of these properties, check out packages they might be offering, call the properties or check out their websites for amenities.

    On May 2, 2011, "Tiger Racing" made these additional comments:
    Oh, wow! That's a great area. What exactly are you looking for? I highly recommend the Marriott hotels in the area (South Beach and Biscayne Bay) and there are a ton of great, boutique hotels on South Beach that are accessible and give you great access to bars and restaurants within walking/wheeling distance. Rent a convertible while you're down there. If there are specifics you're looking for, post them. I lived in that area for a few years and I loved it. Eye candy everywhere you look and people are pretty cool about helping out when you need it.
    Check into which boutique hotels might be in your price range and have amenities you are searching for.

    Hope this helps to get you going and that more members will pass on ideas to you.

    All the best,
    GJ

  6. #6
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    thank you so much for doing the digging you did, I'll continue to go further
    best

  7. #7
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    Miami trip recap... maybe info will help somebody else

    here's a brief summary of my Miami trip (I know this is a year old, but thought it might be useful to someone) I got there on January 2nd at about noon... this was during a very cold week for Miami which inhibited my activities to some extent. The high on the third was something like 58. The other two days were high '60s
    Flights: I flew nonstop from Detroit to Miami. Both flights were perfect. On the flight down they actually allowed me to back my power chair into the aisle of the plane (eliminating the need for a transfer to an aisle chair). They lifted me very carefully in both airports and made sure I was comfortable. Unlike flights in the past, there was no annoying airline person chirping about hurrying up and making me and my attendants feel rushed about boarding.

    The hotel: I decided on the Dream, located on 11th and Collins, directly across from the beach. I must have called 25 hotels up and down the beach. All had accessible rooms, but none had an accessible room with a connecting room. I needed connecting rooms, so rather than getting an accessible room I got two standard connecting rooms. My wheelchair just fit. I'm not complaining about room size, based on the chair. The rooms were small even for an able bodied person. I found the lighting system annoying-you really can't get standard bright light in the room (the motif of the entire hotel is blue and the best you can get is dimmed blue-white light). Privacy isn't great. The toilet/sink area only has a set of blue tinted glass doors. This is the same with the shower. I didn't have to use my tub/slider chair. The walk in shower had a two inch lip, which my attendants easily lifted the shower chair, with me on it, straight over. The beds in their regular rooms are already very low... some people might have trouble transferring from bed to chair.
    The hotel service was so-so. We asked for extra blankets... they only had extra sheets. We asked for "wash rags"... the staff member bringing them to the door almost reprimanded my aide explaining that they were "wash cloths". A fuse blew in our bathroom area. After our first call down the hotel sent up a new hairdryer?... eventually they reset the fuse.
    The restaurant was very good. I tried it for both breakfast and dinner. Everything was well prepared and the service was great.

    Bottom line, I don't think I would stay at this hotel again. I think I would try for one of the larger hotels that's further north.

    The 10th St. Beach: despite the lower temperatures we did go to the beach. My aides lifted me into a beach chair. These are available until 5 p.m.... you do have to leave your own wheelchair with the beach patrol, but they locked it up in a storage area. They have a power beach chair, but it was broken so my aides pushed me around. I particularly appreciated the time that the beach patrol spent helping me. They spent a long time tinkering with the chair so I felt both safe and comfortably balanced in the seat... they even attached my headrest to the chair.

    The tour boat: I decided to take a tour with Island Queen Cruises. This was a bit tricky, but the staff really worked with me. They didn't have a way for me to board the tour boat in my power chair, but they did have a manual chair available. The dock staff/boat crew carefully transferred me to the other chair (they're not experts by any means, but they patiently listened to my instructions) and then lifted that chair onto the boat. Once on board, I could wheel inside and outside as I liked. I left my power chair along their dock after being assured that no one other than their staff had access... when I returned it was fine, but don't go unless you're prepared to abandon your power chair.

    Restaurants: As far as food goes, I ate at a variety of restaurants along Ocean/Collins and never had an issue... the sidewalks are incredibly crowded so you must be patient. Joe's stone crab was excellent... they say the wait is 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours, but actually it's about an hour. I also ate at mango's. This is a funky, more club-like place. They have a show which includes dancers on the center bar. Again they were very helpful. It's crowded, but they let me sit inside the VIP rope line to avoid some of the foot traffic.

    All in all, I felt Miami was great. I had alot of other things planned, but the low temperatures and rain, particularly at night, really hindered me. It's a fairly accessible place & people were always ready to work with me.

  8. #8
    Go to Shake a Leg

    http://www.shakealegmiami.org

    All sorts of water stuff, sailing, etc.

    If you interested in trying out the SCUBA idea, IM me, Thers a Discover Scuba going on once or twice a month..

    Enjoy..
    Last edited by Polett; 11-12-2012 at 12:45 PM. Reason: a year too late lol
    Thoughts become things, choose the good ones!

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