Things To Do

Traffic jams and other horrible experiences to avoid in Miami

Hurry up and wait. Miami drivers know the drill. Don't be like Miami drivers
Hurry up and wait. Miami drivers know the drill. Don't be like Miami drivers MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Sure, Miami is a fun place with lots to do. We have tons of suggestions to keep you occupied, whether you’re spending a week here, just popping in for a long weekend or merely driving south from Broward.

But there are a few things you’re better off missing. Trust us. Here’s a list of Miami experiences you definitely want to skip.

Venturing downtown during Ultra Music Festival


You like EDM? That’s cool. You probably already have your Ultra tickets and will happily suffer whatever indignities await to get to Bayfront Park and Underworld. If, however, you hate traffic and electronic dance music sounds to you like rogue chimpanzees got their paws on a faulty drum machine program after drinking a quart of mescal, you want to avoid downtown Miami from March 23-25. Locals know the Friday of Ultra Weekend as Call In Sick Day.

Driving anywhere, ever, between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m.

miami traffic bad
Hurry up and wait. Miami drivers know the drill. Don't be like Miami drivers Carl Juste MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Visitors, trust us. Just stay put at the beach or the bar. Driving is one thing you don’t want to do like a local.

Read more: Worst traffic nightmares of Miami

Visiting the Florida Keys on Fourth of July weekend

Florida Keys Daytrip

Ah, the Florida Keys. Even after the ravages of Hurricane Irma, it’s a pretty sweet place to be. Blue skies, blue waters – and blue you if you attempt a last-minute trip south. In addition to huge mainland crowds that make getting into a restaurant impossible, you will encounter drunks driving, drunks shooting off bottle rockets in parking lots, drunks on boats, drunks driving boats, drunks shouting loudly at the bar, drunks listening to “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” until you want to run screaming back all the way to Fort Lauderdale.

Going to the nude beach if you do not want to see naked people

If you don't want to see sunbathers in all their wrinkly glory, steer clear of Haulover Beach.

We can’t stress this enough: If you go to the northern part of Haulover Beach, you are probably going to see naked people, many of whom you would not wish to see naked. Consider yourself warned.

Visiting Zoo Miami in the middle of August

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Unless you’re willing to rent those covered bicycles to escape the sun, that is. And even then you are going to sweat and sweat and sweat some more.  It’s so hot even the animals just want to sleep. Look, we love our zoo and all its critters, and zoo ambassador and wildlife expert Ron Magill is a national treasure. But come August, it’s brutal out there. If you absolutely have to go, schedule a dip in a nearby pool afterward.

Having a hostess or host aggressively shove a menu in your face while you’re walking on Ocean Drive

On a sunny Sunday, crowds enjoy drinks and meals on Ocean Drive. Sometimes the good feelings stop when the bill arrives.

There are reasons locals rarely venture to Ocean Drive. One of the main deterrents are the obnoxious hawkers for overpriced tourist traps, who leap into your path brandishing plastic menus full of out-of-focus photos of sketchy-looking food. If you absolutely have to eat on Ocean Drive, follow this simple rule: Only consider restaurants that don’t have to beg you to come in. This goes for Lincoln Road, too.

Getting towed

In Miami and on Miami Beach, towing companies will drag your car away in a heartbeat. Expect no mercy.

Don’t park anyplace you’re not supposed to. Ever. No matter what. South Florida towing services can smell blood a mile away and will show you no mercy. They will tow your car to the darkened pit they call a lot and charge you a fortune to get it back.