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How to Get to Ultra

Ultra is Always Fun. Getting Home Never Is.
March 20, 2013 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Nightlife  | 1 Comment

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As you stand at the back of the Amphitheater Stage at Miami’s Bayfront park, and gaze out at the tens of thousands of revelers soaking in the pure unadulterated joy that is the end of another night at the Ultra Music Festival, a harrowing thought occurs to you: All of these people have to get home.

Yes, while the organizers of America’s biggest electronic music festival have done their best to streamline the experience, there just isn’t much they can do about nearly 100,000 people trying to leave a 32-acre park on narrow downtown streets.  The traffic jams can cause drivers to sit for up to 90 minutes as they try to escape.

But lucky for you, you found this handy guide. With our help you can come and go to Ultra without spending more time in traffic than you do at the festival.

METROMOVER

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If you are staying in downtown Miami (or anywhere within half a mile of a Metromover stop) this is the only way you should even think about going to Ultra. All three Metromover routes – the Omni, Brickell and Inner Loops – stop at Bayfront Park and College/Bayside, your two Ultra Metromover stops.  The Mover is free, but stops running at midnight. Check out the map here to find your route.

METRORAIL

Even if you are not near a mover stop, you can easily connect to it from the Metrorail.

Now, unfortunately, if you’re staying in Miami Beach, the Metrorail won’t really be an option for you. However, if you are staying in the City of Miami, Coral Gables, or anywhere else on the mainland, your best bet is to drive (or get a ride/taxi) to the closest Metrorail station, take it to Government Center, and transfer there to the Inner Loop, getting off at Bayfront Park or College/Bayside.

The Dadeland South, Coconut Grove, and Douglas Road stations all have convenient park and rides. Other stations do not but have private lots nearby that, while not cheap, are still cheaper than parking near Ultra or taking a cab. Check out the map here and plan your route.

BUSES

Buses will typically get caught in the same nasty Ultra traffic as everyone else. But if you’re coming from the Beach, you can take the A bus on the southwest corner of Washington Ave . and 17th Street, and it will take you across the Venetian Causeway to the Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover station. There you can take the Omni Loop Metormover south to College North station and walk to Ultra.  You’ll avoid most Ultra traffic this way, but be advised the bus stops running at 11:40 p.m. on weekends. So you may have to leave early.

TAXIS

You’ll have much better luck trying to find controlled substances at Ultra than you will a taxi cab. Even if you’re lucky enough to find one, that meter is still running while it sits in traffic.

What you CAN find is a taxi in another part of the city. Your best bet is to take the Brickell Loop Metromover from College/Bayside station all the way until it dumps you at the Brickell stop (probably about 15 minutes) and pick up a cab down there. It’s a busy nightlife area, but not overrun by Ultra. And few will think to go there to get a cab home.


BIKES

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Possibly your best option when staying in South Beach for Ultra is to rent a Deco Bike. The bikes are available at public racks all over South Beach for $24 a day. You can ride them over the Venetian Causeway relatively safely, lock them up at a bike rack at Bayside Marketplace, and walk next door to Ultra. You will have to buy your own lock, but that’s yours to keep for next year’s festival.

If you can’t find a deco bike, you can also rent a bike for the day from Fritz’s Bikes on 16th and Washington for the same price.

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WALKING

If you’re going to walk, make sure you’re in shape.

While the 2.4-mile Venetian Causeway is certainly the easiest and shortest way to get to and from Ultra by foot, it’s still no quick trip. First you’ll have to GET to the causeway – on Dade Blvd. and Purdy Ave on the far northeastern part of South Beach -  from wherever you are, which can be up to 2 additional miles. Then you’ll have to grab the Omni Loop Metromover going south at the Adrienne Arscht Center station and take it to College North Station, where you can walk to Ultra a few blocks away.

Sounds easy, but imagine it in the hot sun or after 12 hours of dancing.

So while Ultra may be fun, the logistics of getting there rarely are. Avoid driving, avoid taxis, and probably avoid walking unless you have legs of steel. But there are efficient ways to get to and from the festival that might save you some stress, and leave all your memories of Ultra as good ones.

Related Categories: Miami: Nightlife,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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1 Comments on

"How to Get to Ultra"

Jess says:

My last Ultra, I waited nearly an hour at Omni for a bus or taxi… No luck. I live on South Beach and getting home is impossible. Taxis won’t go near the place when the festival is kicking out. As for a bus, no chance. And who can forget the hundreds of Ultra clubbers who walk back over the bridges to SoBe. That is not a fun option, even if you haven’t been raving for ten hours.

This year I was sensible and rode my bike to Bayside, where it waited safely till I was ready to leave. From now on, I will only bike to Ultra, easiest and possibly fastest way of getting there!

Posted on 03/20/2013 at 9:22 PM

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