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Traffic Along the Gold Coast
South Florida traffic varies due to time of year, time of day, and region.  Expect slowdowns during the peak periods around Christmas, New Years, Easter, July 4th, etc.  The most congested areas (South Beach, Fort Lauderdale, e.g.) will test your serenity level most of the year.    

Click the image to see a full size map ->

South Beach

Area map depicts the southern end of Miami Beach ("south Beach") from around 50th street to the north to 1st street to the south.   Note there are only three ways to go north and south (A!A to the east, Pine Tree drive in the Middle and Alton Road to the west).  They converge to create a "bottle neck" at 63 rd street.  Also there are three causeways at this point from the mainland, Mc Arthur, Venetian, and Julia Tuttle.  Only Mc Arthur and Julia Tuttle connect directly with the interstate.
 

   Okay, here is the deal, South Beach is a total zoo when it comes to traffic.  Fortunately, walking works well there.  Since parking is also a challenge, you might consider skipping the car altogether.  If you staying further up the island on Miami Beach, buses run frequently and you'll get a better tour along the way.  As for parking, be aware that you'll find special zones with meters that require a permit to park at night even if you feed the meter.  Signs are posted in these areas so look for them.  If you find a spot, be sure to pay the meter.  They are often quick to ticket.  Expect to pay around $18 for overtime parking and more for other violations.

Miami Beach

Area map depicts from the top down the northern end of Miami Beach ("North Beach") from around 88th street to the north about 35th street to the south.   Note there are only three ways to go north and south (A!A to the east, Pine Tree drive in the Middle and Alton Road to the west).  They converge to create a "bottle neck" at 63 rd street.  Also there are two causeways at this point from the mainland,  Julia Tuttle to the south and Kennedy to the north. Both will connect to the expressway, however Kennedy (71 street on the beach and 79th on the mainland) goes through a rather urban area and is generally considered to be not the best route.
 

   Miami Beach is much less prone to traffic snarls than south Beach, but during peak periods there will be slowdowns.  Parking is easier and things are a bit more spread out.  Still be sure to feed the meter.

North Miami Beach

Surfside/Bal Harbor/Sunny Isles

Area map from top down depicts the northern end of the City of Sunny Isles from around 190th street through Haulover Beach (green area on the coast), through the city of Bal Harbor and finally the city of surfside to the south (approximately 88th street).   Note there is  only one way to go north and south (A!A).  Also there are three causeways at this point from the mainland,  the Broad Causeway  to the south, 163 rd street in the center and William Layman to the north. All connect to the expressway and are generally considered to be pleasant passage.
 

Much like Miami Beach traffic flows well except at peak periods when you should expect slowdowns.  Be sure to pay the parking meters and be certain to obey the speed limits as there are often radar patrol units set up to to keep things right

 

Sunny Isles/Golden Beach/

Area map from top down depicts the northern end of the City of Hallandale through Golden Beach and south through Sunny Isles.   Note there is only one way to travel north and south  along the coast here (A!A).  Also there are three causeways at this point from the mainland,  the 163rd street to the south, William Layman in the center and Hallandale Beach Blvd to the North.  All connect to the expressway and are generally considered to be pleasant passage.
 

DON'T SPEED THROUGH GOLDEN BEACH.  They hate it and work hard to enforce traffic laws.

 
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