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Miami is a vibrant city full of culture and entertainment, and it's no wonder it's a popular destination for travelers. So whether you're looking to relax on the beach, take in some of the local sights and sounds, or experience the city's vibrant nightlife, Miami has it all. We've put together this comprehensive travel guide to help you make the most of your trip. From the best places to stay to the must-see attractions to the best restaurants and bars, this guide has everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip to Miami.
The Spanish discovered the village of Mayaimi in the 16th century was home to the Tequestas, an Indian tribe that lived there for at least two millennia. According to legend, Miami's current name came from the word Mayaimi, possibly named after the tribe who settled near Lake Okeechobee. The Spanish quickly claimed the land and opened a mission to convert natives to Christianity. However, they failed to convert many tribal members, and they died.
The British gave the area to Great Britain late in the 18th century and reclaimed it 20 years later. The United States of America gained Florida's independence from Spanish rule in 1821.
The city's population increased in the 20th century. The foundations for tourist areas and modern architecture were laid in the early twenty-first Century. The city was reborn with its stunning and luxurious skyscrapers. There were two waves of construction in the 2000s and another in 2010. These waves made Miami today's tourism hotspot and significant trade center.
Miami's spring is a great time to visit. There will be fewer people, milder temperatures, and many outdoor activities and events to enjoy. You can also get BOGO offers during April and May.
Although Miami's beaches shine brightest during summer, it is also hot and humid in the heat. However, the crowds are lower in August, so this is a great time to visit South Beach in the Atlantic Ocean. But limit your sun exposure to keep hydrated and avoid getting too hot. Also, August is the perfect month to visit Miami if you love pampering yourself with top restaurants, spa treatments, and hotels.
Besides, the entertainment months are October and November. These months allow you to explore Miami's various entertainment scenes for less. For example, the world-famous Miami Book Fair is held every November. You can also visit the Coconut Grove Arts Festival every President's Day weekend.
These are some of the best things to do and places to visit in Miami.
South Beach is 9 miles from Miami Beach's most famous neighborhood. However, it is well worth a visit. There are many parks, shops, restaurants, and the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum. Besides, locals and tourists can walk, bike, or lounge along the water's edge. Lummus Park is a park that separates the beach from the streets. It also has sports courts, restrooms, walking and running paths, and gyms.
Little Havana is the cultural and symbolic capital for Cuban Americans. It is west of downtown. It is a vibrant area with great food and a lively atmosphere that draws thousands of people to the neighborhood.
Calle Ocho, or Eighth Street, is the main street here. Maximo Gomez Park is at the corner of Calle Ocho 15th Avenue. It's a nice place to relax and play dominoes and chess. Also, El Pub is a popular choice for authentic Cuban cuisine. Versailles is another favorite restaurant for Cuban food. Furthermore, Lung Yai Thai Tapas is an excellent alternative to the typical flavors of the neighborhood.
This beautiful zoo houses more than 3,000 animals representing over 500 species. The zoo creates a natural environment for its animals without using cages.
There are also many educational programs for children, including petting zoos. Besides, everyone will love the gentle rides and parrot feeding. The zoo is very clean and has generous space for animals to roam. You'll also find plenty of water fountains and misters if you visit during summer.
This park is 40 miles west of downtown Miami and far away from the glam South Beach. Yet, it is the largest subtropical wetland in the United States. The "River of Grass" offers a rare glimpse into the unique ecosystem that filters water as it travels further south towards Florida Bay and Key West.
Everglades Safari Park is a highly-rated eco-adventure park that offers airboat rides. Recent visitors also enjoyed interactive shows and exhibits about conservation. Similar tours are possible by other companies that allow visitors to get close up and personal with the wildlife within the park. Moreover, the tours are for all ages.
This is a stalwart of traditional Cuban culture. It houses pre-revolutionary Cuban art from 1800 to the 1960s and contemporary Cuban artworks. In addition, Cubaocho is a performing arts center that showcases Cuban music, dance, and drama. After exploring, you can also enjoy rum cocktails at the bar.
Tourists recommend stopping by the attraction to grab a drink and a bite. Live music entertains visitors in the evening as they dance and take in Cuban art.
Miami is a popular destination for celebrities and the wealthy. It has a more sophisticated atmosphere than other coastal cities like Fort Lauderdale or Destin. Therefore, dressing up for dining out and enjoying the nightlife in Miami Beach is essential.
The city's majority population is from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Haiti. This is due to a large number of immigrants. You might also hear some French Creole here. Miami's nightlife scene has a lot of Latin cultures, with many bars and restaurants featuring Latin music and dancing.
There are also many art museums to suit every taste and numerous galleries that showcase contemporary and modern art. Moreover, this city is full of creativity. For example, the famous Art Basel event draws crowds to the city every December.
Miami's diverse culinary influences are evident in its cuisine. It combines Latin American, Caribbean, and American flavors to create a unique South Florida cuisine. You can find many staple foods in the city's cafes and restaurants, giving you a taste of its delicious cuisine.
Chicharron is a Portuguese dish that consists of fried pork belly and fried pork rinds. Although some countries prepare it in many ways, American chicharron is mostly pig skin and fat. They serve it as finger food. Chicharron is also available in Southwestern and Mexican restaurants. Chicharron is usually made with pork, but other options include chicken, mutton, or beef.
Arepa is a dish that combines corn dough, meat, cheese, avocado, and more. The arepa is a patty made of maize kernels. It can be baked, grilled, or fried and can also be steamed or even boiled. Maize meal and maize flour are often used. Although arepas can vary in size, flavor, or appearance, they are often paired with meats, vegetables, eggs, tomatoes, and beans. The presentation of arepa also varies depending on the region, the ingredients, and the preparation method.
Ceviche is a Peruvian seafood recipe using raw fish marinated in citrus juices. This dish is usually seasoned with salt, onions, coriander, and chili peppers. The fish must be natural and should be of high quality. You must also consume it quickly to avoid foodborne diseases.
Ceviche is a popular dish in Miami. You can have it with tostadas, containing ingredients such as octopus, shrimp, tuna, and mackerel. However, some countries use conch and a mixture of different spices such as bonnet peppers, coriander, and bell peppers.
Churrasco is a type of grilled meat popular in Latin America. It can also be called grilled meat from a Churrascaria or steakhouse. Churrasco is known as "Steak." Regional variations include barbecued meat from Brazil and thin steaks prepared with chimichurri sauce from Nicaragua. Churrasco is skirt steak grilled on a charcoal grill with sea salt in Puerto Rico. There are also many types of churrasco available in Miami's restaurants.
You can enjoy fried snapper in a variety of ways. These include fish sandwiches, fish bites, or fish and chips. It is also a popular preparation at many Miami seafood restaurants. There are many seasonings that you can use to batter the fish. These include Jamaican, Cajun, and Cuban spices. The Dominican Snapper is well-known for its firm texture and mild flavor. But, most restaurants use yellowtail or red snapper for fried snapper dishes.
Below are some significant areas to stay in Miami. During the hot season, ensure your hotel has a swimming pool to refresh.
Although it covers just two square miles at the tip of Miami Beach's coast, South Beach is what most people think of when they think about Miami. South Beach is famous for its vibrant nightlife, Lincoln Road, Collins Avenue, outdoor cafes, and Art Deco architecture.
Coconut Grove is the place to be if you want a luxurious vibe, a relaxed pace, and a touch more eccentric. The Grove offers shopping, culture, and beautiful waterfronts with a bohemian flair.
Surfside and Bal Harbour Village are upscale residential areas with hotels, shops, and boutiques in a tropical setting. The area is relaxed and peaceful.
Little Havana is a "national treasure." It was the first neighborhood to welcome thousands of immigrants, many Cuban exiles. As a result, its rich Latin culture, including the soulful Calle Ocho, is well preserved.
Little Haiti is poised to be Miami's new hotspot. It offers a vibrant dose of Caribbean culture and a vibrant art scene. It is also home to many Haitian immigrants. You can enjoy Little Haiti's French Creole culture in its galleries, theaters, and shops.
Wynwood, one of Miami's most popular hoods, is a place you should visit, especially for the younger crowd. The area is famous for its colorful murals, which are large-scale works of some of the most prominent street artists in the world. You can also find boutiques, bars, and restaurants.
The Miami Design District sits just north of Wynwood. It covers 18 blocks and has seen a surge in popularity.
Driving around Miami by car is the best way to travel. You will be able to explore the neighborhoods and streets as you wish. The roads are laid out in a grid and divided into quadrants by Flagler Street, running east to west and Miami Avenue north to south. As you travel further away, the street numbers will increase. Moreover, convenient parking is a common feature in this area.
You can also hail a taxi or ride-hailing service. A fleet of rental car agencies is available at the massive Miami International Airport. There are also many public transportation options available for free, such as the Metromover and trolley. These can be viable options if you plan to make your way downtown. Like most major cities, you can also use scooter and bike-share programs to explore short distances.
Miami is a large city, so you need to be aware of safety at all times. Make sure you have a map or a downloaded one on your phone. Avoid unfamiliar areas at night. Also, be mindful of your personal belongings, especially when you are out and about in large cities. Keep your wallet out of reach, and don't carry any bags or purses. Moreover, experts recommend staying away from the downtown area at night. Although it is a busy area of town during the day, it can become somewhat seedy after hours.