Lincoln Road, Miami

While in Miami, almost anyone who learns you’re visiting—or identifies you as a tourist by the pale pallor of your ski—will steer you to Lincoln Road. Reasons to visit range from general shopping, to boutique shopping, to eating, drinking and just plain old people watching. Maybe, but I cannot fathom the appeal. Lincoln Road of today lacked any charm and just plain run down and sad.

Stamps on my Passport
The once bustling Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

Allow me to explain. Looking closely at several of the buildings one can tell this pedestrian footway between Alton Road and Washington Avenue was perhaps spectacular once upon a time.

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This art deco theater on Lincoln Road is a tip of the hat to the what the area used to be like.

But now it lacks character or anything I couldn’t fine at King of Prussia or Short Hills Mall. It’s mostly just chain store after chain store (Express, Zara, Gap, Bisou Bisou…) with a few “pop-up shops” sprinkled in.

Don’t misunderstand me these stores serve a purpose. But that purpose doesn’t jive with what Miami has to offer, albeit relaxing in my case. The place feels like a bad mixture of New York City’s Times Square with musicians, dancers eager to perform for a tip, and Barcelona’s Las Ramblas; totally overrun with tourists who are there because someone told them to go. I often think this is simply a city’s way of corralling tourists. In DC we also call it “The Mall” although ours is filled with museums.

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While I loved this woman dancing and the joy she exhibited, the skeptic in me felt she was part of the act: more dancing joy for more tips.

Unless you are going to go to Juvia for dinner or a cocktail, I say bag Lincoln Road and find a different adventure. A tip from the locals: if you don’t want to spend mega bucks on dinner, visit Juvia for an early happy hour and you’ll be treated to a stunning sunset.

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Author: Judi Kennedy

Wanderlust. A professional aunt, fitness enthusiast, dog owner and avid reader the rest of the time.

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