Diamond Resorts Crescent Resort on South Beach
Going back to the South Beach area is something I look forward to. It is a combination of great beaches, great clubs, and beautiful people like few other places in the world.
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Day One Travel & Arrival at Diamond Resorts Crescent Resort on South Beach
I used to drive down I95 from Virginia for all my Florida travel. Recently, I began to start flying on trips to the southern part of the state. I must confess I am enjoying the ease of flying versus the 14+ hour drives.
This time the final leg of my flight was a little bumpy. It is funny how most of us do not like turbulence but enjoy some rough rides in 4 wheel drives, or boats. I guess that worry of falling from the sky still leads the concerns. Statistically, we all know I was better flying down that spending over half a day on the roads. These days even interstate travel is much more a risk than flying.
You also arrive much more rested and even perhaps ready to go do something when you get to your resort other than sleep, which is nice.
The flight down was fast and an easy flight. I think the time in the air was less than 2 hours, even with security and boarding total time invested was only around 3.5 hours. When thinking about a trip here that saved me almost a full day of travel. If everything goes your way driving down from Virginia to Miami it would take at least 15 hours.
I am in the area to early to check in at the resort yet, even after getting my bag and then the rental car it is only 2PM, so I am going for a late lunch or early dinner.
To get to the resort from the airport it is not far but it will cost around $40 if you are getting a taxi or Uber. Driving here are the directions.
From the airport exit, take NW 21st Street and merge onto SR 953 (North Le Jeune Road) heading south. Bear right onto SR 836 East. Continue on I-395 East, which turns into the MacArthur Causeway. Continue east on Fifth Street.
Turn left onto Collins Avenue. Turn right onto 15th Street. Turn right onto Ocean Drive. Crescent Suites on South Beach will be on the right. If travelling from the From I-95, take the I-95 South to I-195 East toward Miami Beaches. Continue East as I-195 turns into Arthur Godfrey Road/41st Street. Turn right onto Indian Creek Drive (SR A1A South). Continue south. Turn left onto 15th Street. Turn right onto Ocean Drive. Crescent Suites on South Beach will be on the right.
I started in that direction but wanted to eat before I got to South Beach. I found Mandolin Aegean Bistro online and I do not get Greek food often so I headed there for my meal. I tried their moussaka with eggplant, ground beef, potatoes, and béchamel. The meal was the real deal and awesome, it had been years since I had that dish. My aunt made it for me in her apartment in Washington DC on a trip. She was a gourmet cook and kind entertainer.
After the meal and some time relaxing I headed to a local store for some small items like things for breakfast and snacks, then I headed to the resort.
The resort offers 1 or 2 bedroom accommodations and I booked a 1 bedroom for this stay. The room provides a full kitchen and knowing that in advance the stop at the store means I can have snacks or full meals in the room if I want to. Most of the time when I am traveling I eat out, but it is nice to have options. The room has good AC which in the older classic style buildings in South Beach you never really know what to expect. It was 90 outside and once I turned on the AC in the room, I felt the difference in minutes.
The exterior of the resort accommodations has a great wonderful South Beach feeling. The entire block of places here has that fun, colorful look to the front of the buildings. The entire resort has a artistic 70s style feeling that is fun and alive. The room is smaller here than many modern resorts but that is true for most South Beach accommodations because they were built in a timeframe where people were much less demanding than today.
The art in the rooms looks like local artists painted them. Some might even be local street art that they carefully and professionally framed. I paint some myself so I am happy to see that they support artists and that the art is not that kind of out of the box typical art. My room had what looked like energetic portrait work.
South Beach can be loud because it is so active and fun. So, one of the free items you get when you check in is ear plugs. That is a indication of what to expect right. This is a location that is more for singles or couples, and for active people who have a positive and interactive sensibility. That is the energy of South Beach. The beach, bars and clubs, and the beautiful people give this area its appeal. It is a package deal. If you want a calmer spot there are other resorts. This puts you in the heart of the action, and gives you an authentic experience.
I am calmer these days but I used to have a party setting I could go to. So, I will try. I have some fun, crazy friends in the area. They have a different lifestyle than me but are funny, fun, people, so I will connect with them starting tonight and see what their lives here are about.
One of my friends is a manager at one of the largest clubs in the area. They have drag brunches and all kinds of things that I have only visited with a group of folks back when I worked in the restaurant business years ago. South Beach is an environment that welcomes all, even in clubs or bars that attract one crowd or another you will see people eating there during the day, and visiting at night just for the experience. My friend is a good guy so I feel like I will have a good guide that can introduce me to his friends and co-workers so it does not feel as strange as it would otherwise. Since I am not a party machine anymore in my early 50s this will be more about experiencing things through others eyes personally than it will be me jumping in and going crazy. It should be interesting.
My friend also has many girlfriends that love his sense of humor and appreciate his energy so even though the club caters to one lifestyle he has promised there will be beautiful women around to make me feel comfortable and secure. He is what we would have called a trip in the 80s. Just a person who lives at 110% in life. Married and happy but also still a party machine kind of person.
After checking in and putting away things, I took a shower and changed and even rested some before heading out. Since this would be the old guy trying the party scene out some, and drinking a little, I wanted to be well rested to keep up with the younger crowd.
It is now 9PM and I am off to go play like a kid for a few hours. My friend is a manager at a club called the Palace. This may be the place they based the club from the Birdcage with Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, and others. I thought the movie was hilarious and while not everyone’s cup of tea it was so well acted that if you had an open mind you would enjoy it. I hope to handle things almost as well as Gene Hackman did in the movie but you will not catch me in costume planning an escape from the media as in the film. Right now on my way my plan is to get the behind the scenes tour of the show, and the club with my buddy and then maybe sneak away to one of the other clubs on the strip but we will see.
I keep telling myself open mind, open mind, just have fun and watch the show.
A few hours later I was laughing with people I did not know, and drinking like a fish. The show was funny and the energy was high, but it was not my thing. I felt like I was at a comedy show or maybe a fashion show that involved much more alcohol than humanly necessary. With the backdrop of South Beach and all the neon colors it kind of felt like what I imagine a psychedelic dream might be. It was certainly out of my personal comfort zone, but it was fun seeing my friend in his element, and meeting his staff and friends. Everyone had fun joking with the old straight guy but always in a kind and positive way.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Concierge Services
Day Two on the Beach
I woke early feeling pain from the night before in my head. I did not drive to or back from the club last night. If I had driven I would have been put under a jail. Today under the bright southern Florida sun I was feeling at least some effect from the night before. If you are not a big drinker, or you have not drank much in a while, the next day you really feel like you have fought a battle of wounded me the next day.
I was hungover and moving slow. I know I needed some breakfast, fruit juices, and maybe even some hair of the dog. Within a block or two at the most there are several restaurants here to choose from. Those who love coffee can enjoy good coffee for free at the Crescent or walk a block to Starbucks for their usual. I went to the Havana restaurant which was only a few buildings away. They have a great list of breakfast options that are that perfect mix for the hungover party goer.
Including Bloody Mary’s or mimosas, and Cuban styled breakfasts. I had a 4 egg omelet and sides and was a thrilled camper with a cubanito which was a rum crossover style Bloody Mary that was tasty, and served two purposes. I also had some fresh squeezed OJ, and then Pineapple both were amazing.
After returning slowly to my room, I moved at a snails pace but got ready for the day. Given that my head felt three times its normal size I was headed to the beach today to people watch, and maybe even swim some on the ocean.
The beach here is amazing. You can check out many of the beaches on a live webcam here. There is a ton to do here in South Beach but if you do not spend at least a full day one the beach you are missing out. The beach in the area looks amazing. It is fairly wide and near the resort itself there is a great park between the beach and the resort. Two doors down there is a Hilton Club resort I stayed at a few years ago and that is almost at the end of the park area.
From the Crescent you can access the beach through the park within a half a block or less from several access points. If you look on Google you can see over 4,000 photos of this area and the amazing beach & park.
My day on the beach did not start in time for sunrise but I could catch the sunset. While you are on the east coast of Florida the sunsets are still nice just not that amazing view of the sun sliding beneath the water at the end of its trip around the Earth for the day. Even on the East Coast you get the color of the sky and clouds, and it is beautiful. At these times I am remembered of a Vampire movie where the changed vampire remembers fondly their last sunset. It is so profound and impactful because they can never see it again. I know the sunrise and sunsets are one of the many things that always draw me to the ocean and to the water.
Day Three Miami
Today I have recovered enough to be mobile again. I enjoy more of the traditional travel or tourist things more than most people do . I know other folks would still be in party mode, and that is fine. For me I wanted get up today and see the sunrise here right on the ocean, and then go to the aquarium.
The Miami Aquarium offers more than most aquariums as far as experiences. One they are known for is the chance to swim with Dolphins. I have booked the Dolphin Odyssey for myself and my friend as a thank you for him entertaining me the first night I was in town. He had mentioned that he wanted to do this and it is costly so I thought I would treat my buddy.
There are several options of experiences with the Dolphins available that range in cost from $159 to $249. Just make sure you book well in advance. There are also encounters with seals, or penguins available as well.
I had a ball. At my size I did not expect the dolphins to pull me around in the water with ease but they did. I did not try and have them stand me up in the water, but to play around in the water was great. My friend who is maybe 140lbs soaking wet had the Dolphins take him up like they were powered water skis and it was incredible to see.
The Seaquarium as they call it is at 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway Miami, FL 33149. It is worth a visit on your time in town. Especially if your love the idea of an encounter with one of nature’s creatures.
Guys if you want a great vacation with the chance to party like it is 1999 consider South Beach and this resort, just book it through Tzort.