This is our report regarding a quick visit we made to Haulover Beach (Miami area) September 12 and 13, 1988. (PLEASE NOTE THIS REPORT IS ABOUT TWO YEARS OLD. RECENT UPDATES TO HAULOVER SITUATION AND HOTEL ROOMS IN THE AREA VERY WELCOME.) We had booked a cruise leaving out of Miami on September 13, which was a Sunday, so decided to fly down a day early from D.C. to check out Haulover. We landed at Ft. Lauderdale airport around noon, retrieved bags and our rental car. We had decided to stay at the Days Inn, which has three things going for it--1) Itís very close to Haulover, probably about 1/4 mile down the beach from the end of Haulover; 2) Itís CHEAP (we spent $61 altogether, including taxes for one night, with TNS membership) and 3) You get free coffee, OJ and mini muffins for breakfast. All of which is good, cause I considered the place to be a pit. I know, what did I expect for that kind of money, but Iím not sure Iíd stay there again. Iím really scared what the Ocean Palms is like, as everyone had said that the DI is much better. The beach chairs sitting out front of the OP looked pretty scary, as they looked like they would collapse if one sat on them. The Days Inn hotel is old, maybe 30 years old, and she sure looks it. The reception area doesnít look bad. Unfortunately the hallways and the rooms (or at least our room) looked positively dingy. We had a room on the third floor which had two double beds, a window which basically looked across at the other section of the hotel, a keyed safe (the thought of which was really nice, but for which one is charged $2 per DAY) and an air conditioner which effectively shut off during the night, as it froze up.
The Days Inn is right on the beach, and a few of the rooms have a small balcony with a view of the ocean. There are also a couple of rooms which face the ocean which have large picture windows. Either of those might have been better than our room and may have had refrigerators, I donít know. I donít know how much they charge for those rooms. Strangely, for a hotel on the beach with a pool, there were no beach towels provided by the hotel, so we had to go out and buy a couple of cheap towels to use on the beach.
There is a beach bar at the Days Inn, so we stopped by there for a couple of drinks. Unfortunately, one could not charge drinks to oneís room there. Also, curiously, there were sandwiches available there at dinner time, but not during the day. By the time we actually arrived at Haulover Beach on Saturday, it was around 3:00 P.M., which left little time for sunning, so we just decided to lay on our towels for a while. The day was windy and a trifle overcast, so the beach wasnít real busy by the time we got there. We passed a couple of hours and headed back to the hotel. We headed out to buy some liquid refreshments to take onboard our cruise, and had dinner at a place called Gustoís. Gustoís is a sports bar, a fun place to eat, with a large, varied menu and LARGE portions. We left more food on our plates than we ate. We headed back to the hotel, watched a couple of hours of free HBO and drifted off to sleep.
Sunday morning we were still somewhat full from Gustoís, so we decided to just opt for the free ďcontinental breakfastĒ at the hotel. Well, they did provide OJ, coffee, mini muffins and toast, so I guess that counts. Before heading out to the beach, we checked on late check-out at the hotel and were successful in getting an OK till 1 PM from the regular 11 AM check out time. The hotel was not particularly full, so it didnít seem a big problem. The weather Sunday proved to be really lovely, so the beach started filling up early. We rented chairs and an umbrella for $5 each and settled down for a couple hoursí bliss. Services available at Haulover, in addition to chair and umbrella rentals, included lifeguards and bathrooms and a snack bar within a few feet of the nude beach. Cokes at the snack bar were $1 each, hot dogs $2.75 each.
Haulover is kind of divided up into the gay area and the hetero area. As one is walking from the Days Inn, the first section one comes to is the gay area. On Saturday, we kind of just stopped walking in that area and stayed there and did not feel particularly uncomfortable at all. On Sunday, we walked on down to the hetero area, which starts maybe 1/4 mile down from where the fence edging the nude part of the beach starts. By the way, there was NOBODY on the section of the beach outside the fence for the nude beach and the section inside the nude beach signs--which stretched for maybe a mile--was absolutely packed, especially by the time we got ready to leave at noon.
Most of the crowd at Haulover appeared to be locals, as most people brought their coolers and their chairs, umbrellas, etc. There are apparently several local clubs that send representatives to Haulover, as we saw several flags for different groups there, in addition to a booth for South Florida Free Beaches. While Eric was there talking to the folks at their booth, I had the only unpleasant episode of the day, as the same fellow came by my chair twice and told me he liked me. I ended up having to go fetch Eric to get the fellow to go away. We did report the fellow to the representative from SFFB. Otherwise, the crowd was very well behaved, no drunks, no loud music, just lots of folks having a nice, natural day on a beautiful beach. What more could one ask for??