First of all, thank you in advance for reading this lengthy message. Wouldn't be posting if we weren't a little desperate for answers.
We are going to Miami in early April for 6 days with our 11 month old. He is very energetic and needs lots of room to crawl around and probably run by that time, so we are trying to figure out our accommodation situation.
We fly in directly to Miami. We would love some beach time but don't care for a party atmosphere or lots of people - priorities as far as beaches go is clean and waters that may be good to go into with a toddler for a dip. Neither of us are looking for 8 hour days at the beach - at most we'd be there an hour or two a day as baby would likely not have patience for it any longer than that.
Lastly before I get to my questions, we are also hoping not to break the bank as we are dealing with a Canadian dollar which has a terrible exchange rate right now so we know the day to day will be quite expensive there.
Here is what we were wondering:
1. Should we look for a property right on the beach, or is it okay to stay in places like Hialeah or Miami Gardens or Fort Lauderdale or West Palm etc (obviously not familiar with any of these places) - basically in the city. Would the trek with the baby to get to the beach as far as transport and parking etc goes be too onerous?
2. Should we rent a car? Given the baby, we won't be able to just sit at the beach all day and would love to explore miami - are ubers fairly accessible or would our lives just be easier with a car?
3. Can anyone recommend a baby gear rental place - we would be looking for a car seat, maybe a crib, a high chair, toys etc - just stuff to keep him busy. I have heard there are services that rent these out. We would ideally be looking for drop off and pick up.
4. What's the best way to get from Miami airport to our eventual hotel - cab or rental car? Are there rental car stations at the airport?
5. I have had Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles, Hollywood beach, North Beach, etc recommended to me as spots that may be comfortable beach-side with a baby. I have looked at the hotels that have pools because that is important to us. The problem I am having with finding accommodations here is everything seems to start at 400-500 a night. We would want to get a more suite type hotel to give baby room to roam around and so that kicks the price up in the range of 500-600 a night and more. Can anyone recommend anything else that would be big, spacious, have the cleanliness of a hotel but also not break the bank? Any deals or sales at the moment you could recommend?
At the end of the day, just want to see where is best to stay with baby that would give us beach time, pool time, and be a comfortable and nice stay that feels like a vacation. We don't mind having to drive around. And lastly, somewhere ideally that won't cost a crazy amount.
Am I asking too much?
Thanks a million fellow TAs!