Miami

United States

Overview

Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County. Miami is a major center and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. For more than two decades, the Port of Miami, known as the "Cruise Capital of the World," has been the number one cruise passenger port in the world. In addition to such annual festivals like Calle Ocho Festival and Carnaval Miami, the city is home to many entertainment venues, theaters, museums, parks and performing arts centers.

Events

Things to do in Miami!

Hotels

Booking.com

Guide

Neighborhood


Miami is famous for its beaches and its architecture. Some of its major neighborhoods are:

 

South Beach:

  • The Art Deco District South Beach's 10 miles of beach are alive with a frenetic, circuslike atmosphere and are center stage for a motley crew of characters, from eccentric locals, seniors, snowbirds, and college students to gender benders, celebrities, club kids, and curiosity seekers.
  • The thriving Art Deco District within South Beach has the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the world (in 1979, much of South Beach was listed in the National Register of Historic Places).The pastel-hued structures are supermodels in their own right, only these models improve with age!
  • For a little culture, duck into the Jewish Museum of Florida, which tells the story of Miami's large Hebrew community.
  • A popular 'only in South Beach' stop is the World Erotic Art Museum, which houses a huge collection of erotic art.

 

Miami Beach:

  • In the fabulous '50s, Miami Beach was America's true Riviera. Since the late 1980s and South Beach's renaissance, Miami Beach has experienced a tide of revitalization.
  • Huge beach hotels, such as the recently renovated and Vegas-esque Fontainebleau and Eden Roc, are finding their niche with new international tourist markets and are attracting large convention crowds.

 

Downtown Miami:

  • Downtown Miami's once-modest gathering of skyscrapers continues to multiply, as the architecture evolves from colorful, campy 1980s to post-millennium sleek.  
  • Around Flagler Street: Flagler Street is the main drag, lined with shops catering mainly to Spanish-speakers. A little way east, the Seybold Building (36 NE 1st Street, at N Miami Avenue) is the heart of one of the largest jewellery districts in the country.
  • Further along Flagler is the 1926 Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, easily recognisable by the restored marquee and charming box office kiosk at the front.
  • Art enthusiasts will be more interested in the Miami Dade College Wolfson campus's third-floor Centre Gallery. A large nouveau Mediterranean complex comprises the Miami-Dade Public Library and HistoryMiami, all set around an elegant courtyard.
  • Biscayne Boulevard: Biscayne Boulevard divides Downtown from the waterfront green of Bayfront Park, a busy venue for concerts, ethnic festivals and huge Independence Day, New Year's Eve and Winter Holiday celebrations. North is a plaza marked by the JFK Torch of Friendship and adorned with statues of Christopher Columbus and Juan Ponce de León, along with plaques representing Caribbean, South and Central American countries (except Cuba, naturally). Close by is touristy Bayside Marketplace and its often-packed marina.
  • North of NE 5th Street: Some of the dodgier bits of Downtown lie north of NE 5th Street. The best way to visit may be via the Omni extension of the Metromover. As the Metromover crosses the Miami Beach-bound MacArthur Causeway, to the right lies the bayfront Miami Herald Building, and to the left, the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts.
  • South of the river: South of the river is an area known as Brickell: this is Miami's financial district. Dubbed Mary Brickell Village, the area has a lively after-hours scene, particularly around S Miami Avenue and SE 10th Street. Also not to be missed is the riverside ambience.

 

Coconut Grove:

  • Miami's oldest enclave offers lush gardens and eclectic architecture. Once a bastion for free-thinking wheeler-dealers who enjoyed its serene bay setting, Coconut Grove still attracts free spirits and creative types, and the Grove continues to enjoy a reputation as a cultural (and cultured) oasis, even if chain stores reign supreme.
  • Chain stores, theme restaurants, a megaplex and bars galore make Coconut Grove a commercial success.
  • The Miami Science Museum can be found here. The intersection of Grand Avenue, Main Highway, and McFarlane Road pierces the area's heart. Right in the center of it all is CocoWalk, filled with boutiques, eateries and bars.
  • When walking west on Grand Avenue, a few blocks along, hidden behind a thicket of plants and trees, is the Barnacle Historic State Park, the original residence of pioneer Ralph Munroe. Visit the Kampong, a stunning, seven-acre botanical garden with an Indonesian-inspired house set by a lagoon, which has been visited by the likes of Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Dwight Eisenhower in its storied past.

 

Little Havana: 

  • If you've never been to Cuba, just visit this small section of Miami and you'll come pretty close. Cuban coffee shops, tailor and furniture stores, and inexpensive restaurants line Calle Ocho (pronounced Ka-yey O-choh), SW Eighth Street, the region's main thoroughfare.
  • In Little Havana, salsa and merengue beats ring loudly from old record stores while old men in guayaberas (loose-fitting cotton short-sleeved shirts) smoke cigars over their daily game of dominoes.
  • For a look at another Cuban-American drama, pay a visit to the Bay of Pigs Museum.

 

Coral Gables:

  • "The City Beautiful," created by George Merrick in the early 1920s, is one of Miami's first planned developments.
  • Coral Gables residents enjoy a peachy habitat of terracotta roofs, jewel-like colors and (mostly) lush vegetation.
  • The city is now a spotless home for more than 175 multinational companies and a score of consulates and trade offices. Visit the Venetian Pool, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens and Lowe Art Museum.

Getting around


General info

Getting to the city from Miami International Airport (MIA)

  • The Miami International Airport is approximately 6.9 miles from the Bayfront Park.
  • You can use the following services to get to the city:
    • Metrorail
      • Metrorail's airport connections are located in the Miami Central Station.
      • Use the MIA MetroMover electric-powered train to connect between MIA and Miami Central Station. The MIA MetroMover train station at the airport is located on the 3rd level between the Dolphin and Flamingo Garages. Everybody rides free on Metromover.
      • Riders must use an EASY Card / Ticket to pay their fare. EASY Card / Ticket can be purchased in advance at all Metrorail stations or online.
    • Bus
      • Metrobus’ airport connections are located in the Miami Central Station.  Use the MIA Mover electric-powered train to connect between MIA and Miami Central Station.
      • The Miami Beach Airport Flyer makes traveling to or from Miami International Airport to Miami Beach fast, easy and convenient.
      • Refer here for fare details.
    • Shuttle
      • SuperShuttle (305-871-2000) vans are available only on the arrival (ground) level of the airport, outside of the baggage claim areas. Refer here for details.
    • Taxi
      • Taxicabs are available only on the arrival (ground) level of the airport, outside of the baggage claim areas.
      • As of February 2015, the metered taxi fares in Miami are
        • USD 4.50 for the first 1/6 mile, (includes the USD 2.00 airport origination fee).
        • USD 0.40 each additional 1/6 mile which equals to USD 6.90 for the first mile.
        • USD 2.40 for each additional mile.
        • Waiting time is USD 0.40 per minute.
      • Flat rates are depicted in Zones A thru E, Zones 1 thru 5 and the Port of Miami. These rates include the airport origination fee. Highway tolls are included. Refer here for details.
    • Car Rental:
      • The Car Rental station is located at Miami Central Station.  Use the MIA Mover electric-powered train to connect between MIA and Miami Central Station. The MIA Mover train station at the airport is located on the 3rd level between the Dolphin and Flamingo Garages.
      • Car rental agencies include:

Train

  • The Metrorail coordinates the operation of the train service.
  • To ride Metrorail, you must use an EASY Card or EASY Ticket as the fare-gates do not accept cash.  Refer here for details.
  • Refer here for the schedules.
  • Refer here for fare information.

Metro

  • Metromover is a 4.4-mile electrically-powered, fully automated people mover system connects with Metrorail at Government Center and Brickell stations and with Metrobus at various locations throughout downtown.
  • The Metromover inner loop and the outer loop (Omni and Brickell) run from 5 am to midnight seven days a week. Trains arrive frequently.
  • Refer here for details.

Taxi

  • Taxis are available at bus stations, airport, city centre and on the streets of Miami.
  • As of February 2015, the metered taxi fares in Miami are
    • USD 4.50 for the first 1/6 mile, (includes the USD 2.00 airport origination fee).
    • USD 0.40 each additional 1/6 mile which equals to USD 6.90 for the first mile.
    • USD 2.40 for each additional mile. 
    • Waiting time is USD 0.40 per minute.
  • Taxi agencies with their contact numbers:
  • You can refer to the www.taxiautofare.com website for taxi fares in the city.

Tipping


Tipping is typically expected in United States as a means to encourage better service. Many restaurants in Miami include gratuity for tables of six or more.

  • Hotels: Tip your porter USD 1.00 - 2.00 per bag depending on the bag weight. Housekeeping can be tipped USD 1.00 - 2.00 per day.
  • Restaurants: Tip your server 15% to 20% of the bill before taxes.
  • Bars: Tip the barman 10% to 15% depending on the cost of your drink.
  • Taxi: Tip your driver about 15% of the total fare or USD 1.00, whichever is higher.

Suggested itinerary


Miami in 3 Days: Source (MiamiandBeaches / WhereTraveler)

 

Day 1

  • Art Deco District Tour by Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) or pick up a bike at any DecoBike  station and take a leisurely ride, weaving in and out of the surrounding neighborhoods, admiring the contrast of ultra-modern architecture mixing with the nearly 1,000 historic art-deco buildings around South Beach
  • Lunch break on Ocean Drive that is lined with sidewalk cafes right across from the beach. Stroll up and down Ocean Drive and duck into any of the one-of-a-kind boutiques that might catch your eye.
  • The World Erotic Art Museum
  • Wolfsonian - Florida International University Museum
  • Jewish Museum of Florida
  • Sunsets, Cruise Ships & Delightful Dining - The South of Fifth (SoFi) area of South Beach has a number of fine restaurants, offering delicacies ranging from steaks to stone crabs. South Pointe Park is the perfect spot to watch the big cruise ships glide by as the sun sets behind the Downtown Miami skyline.
  • After enjoying a relaxing sunset and dinner, roam the sizzling nightlife corridors of Ocean Drive, Collins and Washington avenues, and Lincoln Road.

 

Day 2

  • Miami Beach or South Beach Dive and Surf
  • Miami Beach Botanical Garden
  • Holocaust Memorial
  • Bass Museum of Art
  • Explore the four historic Miami Modern (MiMo) architectural districts in the northern end of Miami Beach: the Morris Lapidus/Mid-Twentieth Century District, North Beach Resort District, North Shore National Register District, and Normandy Isles National register District.
  • After dinner, take in a show at the intimate Byron Carlyle Theatre (500 71st St.) or a concert under the stars at the recently refurbished North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave.).

 

Day 3

  • Miami Art Museum
  • Head over to Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) in Little Havana for lunch at Cuban favorite Versailles and visit one of the Cuban cigar shops.
  • Wynwood - This fantastic neighborhood has impressive collections of public art. Local galleries are scattered throughout, as well as funky bars and restaurants that have a distinctly Brooklyn-hipster feel. Wander the 5,000-square-foot David Castillo Gallery, a neighborhood favorite featuring local and international emerging artists. At Bakehouse Art Complex, which houses more than 50 studios and 70 galleries, you’ll get a glimpse of the creative process and the product.
  • Stroll along North Miami Avenue for dozens of hip bars, many of which even have weekend happy hour, including Oak Tavern, Moloko, Bloom, and Lagniappe.

Staying connected


  • United States uses the GSM 850 and 1900 frequency bands. For 3G carriers use the 850 /1900 and 1700 /2100 bands. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are providing 4G services in the country now.
  • If you have a GSM phone, and if the phone has been bought from a carrier, it will have to be unlocked to accept a US Sim Card. There is a USA law which makes unlocking a phone illegal in the USA, but it does not apply to anyone unlocking a phone outside the USA and traveling to the USA with that phone.
  • There are multiple service providers in United States that offer prepaid SIM / Pay As You Go options.
  • Of the top 5 wireless service providers in the US, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US use GSM, while Verizon Wireless, U.S. Cellular and Sprint use CDMA.

Eat / Drink


Local

  • Miami is a multi-cultural city that has over time sheltered residents from Carribean countries; this has, in turn, led to the city's culinary offering being heavily influenced by these Carribean countries, most notably Cuba.
  • Popular dishes:
    • Ropa vieja - It is a Cuban dish that consists of shredded flank steak in a tomato sauce base with onion and garlic, accompanied by beans, plantain, and rice.
    • Vaca frita - It is a dish of fried and shredded skirt or flank steak seasoned with orange, salt and pepper served with onion and white rice.
    • Arroz con pollo - Roast chicken served with saffron-seasoned yellow rice and diced vegetables.
    • Ceviche - Raw fish seasoned with spice and vegetables and marinated in vinegar and citrus to "cook" it.
    • Paella - A Spanish dish of chicken, sausage, seafood, and pork mixed with saffron rice and peas.
    • Stone Crab Claws
    • Pernil  - Slow-roasted pork shoulder
  • Some notable restaurants serving the local specialties include:

Gourmet

  • Tuyo
    • Cuisine: American
    • Awards: Gayot 2013 Top 40 Hot Restaurants in the U.S., "Best Scenic View" on OpenTable's Diner's Choice Awards.

 

  • Prime One Twelve 
    • Cuisine: American
    • Awards: Miami New Times 2011 award for Best Décor in Miami, Gayot Top 10 Miami/South Florida Late Night Restaurants & 2015 Best Miami/South Florida Steakhouses Restaurants.

 

  • Azul
    • Cuisine: French-Asian
    • Awards: No. 1 Mediterranean cuisine in Miami/South Florida, No. 1 Best Hotel Restaurant (Readers’ Choice South Florida’s Finest survey 2009), Azul named one of the 100 Best Wine Restaurants in America (Wine Enthusiast, 2014), Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award for 2014.

 

  • Palme d'Or
    • Cuisine: French
    • Awards: Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Award for 2014, AAA Five Diamond Award, Open Table’s Diners' Choice Awards Best Overall Restaurant (Miami / Southeast Florida).

 

  • Joe's Stone Crab
    • Cuisine: American, Seafood
    • Awards: Gayot Top 10 Miami/South Florida Seafood Restaurants & 2015 Best Miami/South Florida Seafood Restaurants.

Vegetarian

 

 

Drink

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Banner image credits: Kay Gaensler