Miami/South Beach, FL
||Tropical... warm! Warmer than home!
A spectrum of dazzle and activity, Miami is a place where the jazzy colors of luxurious living meld with the cool pastels of one of Florida's original vacation hot spots. With its auspicious beginnings as a small tourist town at the turn of the century, Miami boomed in the 1920s and has grown and added to its diversity ever since. With its own "Little Broadway" in the 1920s, Miami was a center for the Art Deco movement in the '30s and '40s, thrived as a military base in World War II, and has since grown to be both a Latin American center and a sleek metropolitan community.
There are hundreds of ways to spend your time in this bustling urban metropolis. Each area has its own distinct flavor and style. Miami Beach is where people bronze themselves on miles of sun-bleached sands by day and partake in the legendary club scene by night. If you are inclined to sightsee, South Beach's Art Deco District contains over 800 buildings in this distinct architectural style, and Ocean Drive is known for its bustling activity and sidewalk cafés. Gleaming skyscrapers and the spirit of progress that has made Miami one of the most dynamic cities in the country characterize downtown, a vibrant business district. Coconut Grove is known for its artsy flavor with Renaissance-style castles, popular festivals and endless nightlife. Miami also boasts unique attractions, such as the Miami Metrozoo, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami Seaquarium, Ichimura Miami-Japan Gardens and the Parrot Jungle and Gardens. Fairchild Tropical Garden in Coral Gables includes 83-acres of tropical plants from around the world, conservatory, museum, rainforest, garden shop, cafe and narrated tram tours.
When the sun goes down, Miami nightlife heats up with hundreds of nightspots, including cozy taverns, hip jazz bars, and trendy dance clubs. Definitely a place to "see and be seen," Miami has long enjoyed a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous, and celebrities can often be found reveling in one of the many fashionable nightspots.
Often referred to as the "Gateway to Latin America," Miami's flavor is heavily influenced by the confluence of cultures that meet in this diverse urban area. Ethnic food, artwork and crafts abound in the area, as well as many colorful festivals and events. Little Havana, Miami's most concentrated Cuban community, is centered around Calle Ocho (S.W. 8th Street), where visitors can enjoy steaming cups of café con leche or shop for exquisitely embroidered guayabera shirts and cigars made in the finest Cuban tradition. The city's Caribbean community is centered around Little Haiti, where Caribbean culture melds with American spirit. Be sure to stop by the Marketplace, an unusual shopping area noted for its unique architecture.
Miami is also gaining a well-deserved reputation for a sophisticated cultural arts calendar. With the fastest growing cultural community in the United Sates, the Metro-Dade Performing Arts Center, the Bass Museum, Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Cultural Arts Center, and the Florida Philharmonic present an invigorating season of music, dance, theater and art.
From the chic and cultured to the diverse and outrageous, the colors of this city are varied and bright. Visitors are sure to find something for their vacation experience in Miami.