Downtown Miami.Miami has always been an iconic destination, one that exemplified Florida to the world. Far and away the state’s most beautiful locale, Miami is legend really. From South Beach’s Art Deco facades, to the glistening skyscrapers of downtown, Miami is one of America’s most interesting and entertaining places.

 

Any place with aquamarine seas, white sandy beaches, and a climate so temperate no one can resist it, is just bound to be popular. Throw in glittery entertainment venues, corporate headquarters, and as culturally mixed a society as you can imagine, and what you have is one heck of a dynamic city. Miami is all that, and more. And the Latin flavor of this place? It’s as unmistakable as Havana itself.

 

What once was a huge mangrove swamp, Miami now boasts one of the most cosmopolitan cityscapes in the world. Once the celebrities began flocking to Miami Beach back in the 50’s, as they say, “the rest was history.” Even Fidel Castro used to frequent Miami, just to name one high profile International visitor. Jackie Gleason to Sinatra and the “Rat Pack”, the list of famous Miami fans is endless. For the traveler, Miami’s best qualities are still, the beaches and seaside attractions that made her famous in the first place.

 

Key Biscayne, Prosperity, and South Beach

 

Miami Beach.No matter how you slice it, part of the mystique of Miami is about the rich and famous. As many fortunes have been made off Miami real estate as any other commodity in the world over the years, and nowhere more predominantly than Key Biscayne and the beaches. A house by the water, being a sort of American dream, there’s no place like Miami for waterfront property. The building boom in the 1920’s gave rise to the chic clubs, the dominant high rises, and also the party life of South Beach in the end. Even despite the recent real estate crash, Miami is a $17 billion dollar a year touristic Mecca. Nightclubs to beach blankets, this is still one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

 

There’s a lot more to do than drink martinis at the South Beach bars. Parasailing on Biscayne Bay, artsy endeavors at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the Florida Grand Opera, Frost School of Music, the Miami City Ballet, the Miami Conservatory, the list of world-class organizations and venues is nearly endless. If you like it rough, there’s pro football with the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Heat NBA franchise at American Airlines Arena, even wrestling gators in the nearby Everglades (well if you really need to). In short, Harness racing, jai alai, you name it, there’s a team here that plays it. Be sure and drive along Key Biscayne’s sumptuous mansion lined boulevards, at least once. And Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a must see for anyone visiting the city.

 

Then the Sun Went Down

 

Miami Beach Art Deco building.Finally, we alluded to the part atmosphere of downtown, at South Beach, everywhere in Miami really. No description of the place would be complete without, at least, keying on some great places and events. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami, the world’s largest art exhibition, Art Basel Miami Beach, and just about any time along South Beach, visitors to the city can find a festive and jovial crowd. Outdoor concerts abound, people getting together for fun, it’s an all day and night affair here. Some suggestions include; Nikki Beach Club, Cameo, Mokai, and Miami’s most popular hangout LIV inside the fantastic and legendary Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. But, rest assured, these are just a handful of venues designed for all night long enjoyment. This is Miami, everything you heard of, and all you dreamed it would be.

 

Main attractions: The Art Deco District, South Beach, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Biscayne Bay, the Everglades, American Airlines Arena, Sun Life Stadium, Villa Vizcaya, The Kampong, The Barnacle Historic State Park, and many more.

 

Currency: US Dollar

Official language: English

Area: 6,137 sq mi (15,894.8 km2)

Population: 5,547,051

Electricity:

  • Voltage: 110-120 Volts (Most other areas are 220-240 Volts)
  • Primary Socket Type: North American Grounded
  • Multi-voltage appliances (laptops, etc.)
  • 220-240V appliances: Plug adapter + step-up transformer
  • 100V Japanese appliances: Japan to U.S. reducer transformer

 

Other places to see & things to do: The Port of Miami, Brickell Key, Downtown, Coconut Grove, Little Havana, the Jackie Gleason Theatre, Bass Museum, Coral Gables Museum, Frost Art Museum, and so many more.

 

Images courtesy: anonymonk, worachatsodsri - Fotolia.com , Stig Nygaard