Miami Travel Guide
If there is a heartbeat to Florida, it is almost certainly provided by the Latin-flavored sights, sounds, and tastes of its biggest and most vibrant city. Not so much a place to visit as an experience in hip urban culture, Miami is a melting pot of Floridian, the Caribbean, and South American chic.
The world’s premier playground, Greater Miami offers visitors the best of all worlds – a rare destination where the cutting edge of urban chic co-exists with the beauty and splendor of a tropical paradise. Great year-round weather, top-ranked beaches and the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay are the backdrops for a cosmopolitan metropolis, pulsing with the rhythms of its diverse population.
Boasting a vibrant arts and cultural landscape, renowned nightlife scene and world-class dining and entertainment, Miami draws an eclectic mix of visitors seeking fun in the sun. Glorious weather has always been the main attraction, with yearly temperatures in Miami averaging 76ºF (25ºC).
Miami comprises a network of barrier islands, coral rock and mangrove swamps, connected by manmade additions of soaring bridges, stately causeways and panoramic roads. Miles and miles of white sand beaches hug the coastline.
Everglades National Park
To the south and west, Everglades National Park is an unique 1.5 million acre eco-system of sawgrass prairies, mangrove swamps subtropical jungle and the warm waters of Florida Bay. Nearby, the primarily underwater Biscayne National Park is teeming with sea life and plants, and features living coral reefs as well as the longest stretch of mangrove forest left on Florida’s east coast within its 173,000 acres.
With an unparalleled mix of ethnic and cultural groups spread throughout the sprawling city’s environs, Miami offers visitors a new perspective on every corner; a mélange of images, sounds and tastes that range from the familiar to the exotic. It is a meandering collection of more than 35 municipalities.
Downtown Miami is a hub for international business and finance, with soaring office towers and ultra-modern condominiums lining Brickell Avenue. American Airlines Arena (home to the Miami Heat), Bayside Marketplace (a waterfront shopping and dining destination) and Bayfront Park (an outdoor concert amphitheater) draw residents and visitors. Nearby on Tony Brickell Key, the Mandarin Oriental, a AAA Five Diamond resort, has received rave reviews for its beautiful design, world-class service and award-winning restaurants.
It is rumored that one could spend a whole day in Little Havana without hearing a word of English spoken. Saturated with Cuban culture, Little Havana’s main thoroughfare, Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) is lined with restaurants featuring Latin specialties and cafes where men sip cafecitos and play dominos and argue about politics all day. Here, artisans still hand-roll cigars, and tailors create custom guayaberas (traditional linen shirts), while the sounds of salsa and merengue fill the air.
The agricultural bounty of Miami’s mild climate becomes apparent as visitors head south of Miami to Redland and Homestead, with vast fields of strawberries, tomatoes and other fresh produce, en route to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. Many of the area’s tourist attractions are located here including Miami Dade Metrozoo, Monkey Jungle, Everglades Alligator Farm and the Fruit and Spice Park.
Located at the extreme south-east of Florida, with its one hundred kilometers of beaches facing the Caribbean, Miami is one of the most popular destinations for tourists. Each year, 10 million visitors come to enjoy the incomparable atmosphere. The second most populous city in Florida after Jacksonville, Miami is a financial and cultural center and a cosmopolitan city. Indeed, if you go to Miami, Spanish is essential, as they speak almost everywhere in the city, including “Little Havana”, the famous neighborhood Cuban city.
Miami is the city of appearance. Big cars, music, buildings at the waterfront, everything is festive and glittering! There is a multitude of tourist sites to discover at the time of your visit to Miami. Among them, the Brickell Avenue, known as the street of millionaires with its residential homes of the nineteenth century, and Coral Gable, a beautiful neighborhood set in Mediterranean style among the Palm trees. Also go to Miami Beach, the first site of American entertainment. Miami offers many activities to its visitors. Water sports and golf are very popular. You can also relax in one of its parks such as Everglades National Park or lounge on the one of the Miami Beach.
You will also have the possibility to discover many museums, notably the Miami Art Museum or the Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach, a world-famous sculpture garden Memorial. It is also worth visiting very animated Little Havana (Cuban neighborhood of Miami), or the Art Deco District which are part of the essential places of the city.
It boasts great shopping, sensational dining, original entertainment – and a salsa-tinged nightlife that is second to none. The party crowd can be found in great numbers here, but it is also fun just to hang out in Art Deco South Beach and enjoy being one of the ‘in’ crowd for a while. For the shopping, you can go to Bal Harbor Shops or to Bayside Marketplace. For good deals, go to the Sawgrass Mills Factory Discount Mall. Situated to 40 km to the north, this place offers a wide choice of clothing on a discount. To party: have no fear! Miami has a very animated nightlife, there are numerous clubs. The art deco neighborhood of South Beach offers a wide choice of discos frequented by a lot of fame. Space, The Soho Lounge, the Oxygen Lounge, the Mansion are the places to discover if you wish to party! The Bars of the city center is also good but calmer, and perfect if you wish to dance to the sound of the salsa!