Miami is the largest and most eclectic and diverse city in Florida and boasts a huge variety of things to see and do. These include visiting the Art Deco district in South Beach, Miami Zoo, Seaquarium, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Science Museum, Monkey Jungle and, of course, the famous Everglades.
The choice of hotels in Miami is quite varied, so if you are visiting South Beach, Ocean Drive is the best place to stay. If shopping around North Beach and Bal Harbour is important, then Collins Avenue is the most convenient. If your visit is more geared towards the Downtown Miami area, then Bricknell Avenue or Biscayne Boulevard are most suitable. Book Miami hotels as early as possible, especially when visiting from November to April.
You can spend your days on the beautiful Miami beaches, visit a number of museums and shop in many exquisite malls, markets and shops that are peppered around the area, then dance the night away to the sound of Latin music.
Besides trips to the beach, visitors should try to see the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Everglades National Park, HistoryMiami, Ancient Spanish Monastery and Coral Castle Museum. If you're travelling with children, Jungle Island, Seaquarium and the Miami Children's Museum should make everyone in the family happy.
The best shopping can be found in Bal Harbour, Bayside Marketplace, Aventura Mall and Coral Gables' Miracle Mile. There are also many other markets, malls and shops in the Miami area.
Visitors who come to Miami love to explore the labyrinth of the Everglades and to experience the glorious beaches, including Miami Beach, Surfside Beach and Sunny Isles. There is also an array of water sports, charter fishing boats and outdoor parks to try out.
If you have a keen interest in the arts and culture, there is no shortage of museums. These include: the Wolfsonian (decorative arts), Bass Museum of Art (Art Deco) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (mainstream art). If you are feeling bold, the World Erotic Art Museum is an option for adults.
If you are interested in theatre and music, the Jackie Gleason Theater, the Colony Theater and The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts have a large variety of performances to choose from.
Little Havana is worth visiting as it is steeped in Cuban-American culture, especially on the last Friday of the month for Viernes Culturales, which also has free walking tours.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery is a must for history buffs, as well as The Barnacle Historic State Park. The Art Deco buildings that have been re-purposed for new businesses are also a link to the past.
Whether it's Cuban food in Little Havana, five-star cuisine on Lincoln Road in South Beach, an eclectic selection in Downtown Miami or Haitian food in Overtown, the choice of restaurants is as diverse as Miami itself.
There is something happening in Miami just about every month of the year. These include the South Beach Comedy Festival (mid January), the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (late February) for wine and food enthusiasts, Carnaval Miami/Calle Ocho (early March) for a Cuban-inspired celebration and the Columbus Day Regatta (mid October) for passionate boaters. Remember to book your hotel early if you wish to attend any of these events. Miami is a sunny place year-round with an average annual temperature of around 24°C/75.9°F.
Miami-Dade sprawls across a mixture of land and waterways and is broken up into grids. It is a good idea to carry an up-to-date map and check your routes before you set off each day. It is best to carry a good amount of change, as there are a number of toll roads. If you are spending more than a week in the area, investigate a SunPass. There are also charges for parking in some areas. There are bus services in the Art Deco District and South Beach. Walking is the preferred method of transport for the beaches and there are also pedestrianised areas in Espanola Way, Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive. There are many charter boats, speed boats and cruise ships available if you want to see the area from the water. A sunset cruise is something all visitors to Miami should experience once in their lives, as a Florida sunset is very special.
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