Welcome to Miami
Each person you ask to describe Miami will give you
a different answer. It is at once a vacation spot and
a refugee camp, a 24-hour party and a secluded desert
island, a fashion center and a retirement community.
The citys astounding cultural diversity is apparent
from the moment you set foot in it and hear the rise
and fall of a dozen different languages being spoken
simultaneously. It becomes more apparent as you wander
through the many different districts which make up Greater
When talking about Miami, the Beach is the best
place to start. In the 1940s, when vacationers
began to arrive, Miami Beach was the center of
action. Although years have passed and times have
changed, the Beach remains a perennial hot spot.
Enormous luxury resorts such as the Fontainebleau
and the Eden Roc rise majestically against the
skyline. Shops and restaurants line the streets.
And who could forget the miles of white sand beach?
Once the home of retired citizens and starving
artists, South Beach has risen in the last 10
years to international fame as a vacation destination.
Every block is packed with restaurants, bars,
shops, and--of course--dance clubs, each more
glamorous, trendy, and cutting-edge than the last.
One could spend days ambling through South Beach,
taking in the sights and sounds. Take a walking
tour along Ocean Drive or down Lincoln Road, where
the beautiful people come out to play. Whether
its three in the morning or three in the afternoon,
theres bound to be plenty to do.
Located on the northern end of Miami Beach, Bal Harbour
is the most exclusive neighborhood in Greater Miami.
Luxury resorts sit serenely amid the lush foliage and
palatial homes. No visit to this district is complete--or
even begun--without a visit to the Bal
Harbour Shops. Versace,
Louis Vuitton, Fendi
and Prada are just a few of
the fashion houses that have retail outlets in this
shopping center. Plenty of fine dining can be found
in Bal Harbour--you'll have a harder time finding fast
Although primarily a business district, theres lots
to see and do downtown. Tour the design district between
NorthEast 36th and 41st Streets, or check out the museums
in the Miami-Dade Cultural Center. Shoppers will delight
in the Bayside Marketplace,
with its retail shops, an open-air crafts market, a
half dozen restaurants, and a pier. The Port of Miami
is just next to Bayside; its easy to find a boat to
take you on a tour around the bay.
Coral Gables is a gated enclave crisscrossed by canals,
just a few minutes' drive from Downtown Miami. This
small, tree-lined village is home to many of Miami's
most famous attractions, including the Biltmore Hotel,The
Venetian Pool and the Miracle
Mile. Excellent shopping and dining can be found
on the Miracle Mile as well as on the side streets surrounding
Although this bustling district is one of the oldest
in Miami, it seems to just be hitting its prime. Full
of energy and creativity, the Grove is as busy as South
Beach, but in a different way. Instead of attracting
models and body builders, it draws in artists, writers,
and patrons of the arts. There are hundreds of fabulous
shops and restaurants crammed within this small area,
most of them located on the CocoWalk
or on the Streets of Mayfair. The Coconut Grove Playhouse
is one of the best live theater venues in the southeastern
Its located just over the Rickenbacker Causeway, but
it might as well be a thousand miles away. Things are
different on this peaceful tropical island. The pace
slows down. People are friendly and matter of fact.
If the marvelous white sand beaches and varied leisure
sports aren't enough reason to go, consider the prospect
of kissing a dolphin at the Miami
This area is located west of Brickell Avenue,
and runs along the thoroughfare known as Calle
Ocho (SouthWest Eighth Street). Many refugees
from Cuba have settled here, along with natives
of Colombia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and other
Latin American countries. It is in this district
that you can hear authentic salsa music, enjoy
a full meal of Cuban food for under $5, or try
a steaming cup of shockingly strong café
cubano in an outdoor cafe.
West Miami is a quieter, more residential area.
It is very spread out and almost impossible to
sightsee without a car. Hialeah and Miami Lakes,
two residential communities, are located in this
area. Major tourist destinations include the Miami
International Airport and the race tracks at Hialeah
While it may be slightly out of the way, Aventura is
easy to reach even without a car, thanks to the shuttle
busses that run regularly from the major downtown hotels
to the Aventura Mall.
The mall is well worth a day trip, as it boasts over
250 shops, restaurants, and attractions. This district
is also home to dozens of excellent restaurants, many
of them specializing in "Floribbean" cuisine.
While Broward County is not officially a part of Miami,
it might as well be--its less than a half hour away.
The thriving art community of Hollywood, the outlets
at Sawgrass Mills
and, last but not least, the decadent little town of
Fort Lauderdale--official Spring Break destination of
a million college students--are a few possible destinations
in Broward. The pace is slightly more relaxed than in
Miami, but people are here to have fun, make no mistake
about it. Enjoy the shops on Las Olas, or dine in a
restaurant that has its own private boat dock for guests
traveling by water.
Are You Ready To Travel - Miami Hotels
Totally Travel: Miami Hotels
Metro Explorer Miami