Have you been to south beach before? It’s not all that different from a few years ago, esp. in early May. In other words, nothing to worry about. The harrowing reviews of crowds you’re reading were probably written during Spring Break, now over.
Memorial Day weekend is another very crowded time to avoid, but early May should be no problem.
Which area were you planning to stay in?
Yes thank you, I have been before having many family members there. Reading the hotel reviews has me quite concerned. Staffing, crowds, and everything else had me questioning safety. I am coming to visit elderly family members but wanted to make certain that the hotel options weren’t truly as dismal as they read on this site. This is isn’t a “fun” trip but one that may be the last I see very vulnerable members of my family.
I don;t trust TA reviews anymore. Too many 1 review wonders that make me question their validity. I use google reviews instead because they pull from TA as well as Google users, booking, expedia and pretty much all the main travel companies. Sort by date and see if the reviews there are as bad as you see here. Then decide. You also ned to decide if someone seems like a nervous nelly that would be comfortable in any urban setting.
Also going to be in Miami Beach the first week of May, staying at the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club. I’ve been down into the depths of the reviews too, and had the same worry. Seems like the bad reviews on TA I’m reading were mostly posted during Spring Break. Wasn’t sure if I was making a big mistake going to Miami Beach or just at that point pre-vacation where I start to overthink everything I’ve planned. :)Edited: April 19, 2021, 1:11 am
First of all, Spring Break wasn't really Spring Break in terms of college students, etc. I was in Miami Beach in both early January when it was completely serene and peaceful, and mid March when I was "on alert" as a former 0311 Marine Corps infantryman while walking around South Beach. Some/most of that mid-March South Beach crowd was an aberration for Miami Beach, and tales of shootings, gun confiscations, police being called in from surrounding jurisdictions, South Beach curfews at 8 PM, and causeways to MB being closed at 10 pm were most certainly an aberration. And the police got a handle on that situation real quick.
Still, even during that mid-March period (which was at its worst around March 19 and 20), mid-beach (like at the Cadillac) and North Beach were completely serene and peaceful, as I would suspect South Beach is today.
I'm arriving again on May 15 and can't wait.
Friends of mine just returned from 4 nights at The Lowe’s and they said everything was great. When they walked down to Ocean Drive one evening, there were some rowdy crowds, but nothing that felt unsafe or dangerous in any way.
That's in our home state so we are also doing safe-trips there until we can again travel farther (so far we had to cancel and postpone 3 international trips!). As far as you avoid holidays, you should be fine. In fact, we are heading there in May. We don't do hotels, we prefer renting an apartment for the family.
I just returned from South Beach (Point) yesterday. I stayed 7 days in a rented condo in the 300 block of Ocean Dr. During my stay I travelled up and down Collins and Ocean, between the "party" blocks. I walked around both during the night and day. During late-night it was crowded and did witness some rowdy behavior and fights between some groups. There was a large police presence in the area that quickly addressed any problems. I took the normal precautions one should take when out and about in a tourist area. I felt safe and was safe during my entire stay. Was it worth it? A big YES. I had a wonderful vacation and thoroughly enjoyed that area. You can too, just plan appropriately and take adequate safety precautions (as you would for any vacation).
Thanks Randy for the update, now we are surely visiting in May!