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Miami

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Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Florida Miami

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Introduction

Miami Beach, Florida - USA

Miami Beach, Florida - USA

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Miami is a young city - it was founded in 1896 - but has taken full advantage of its prominent location to become one of the United States' foremost cities. Its meteoric growth from nothing to a city of 5.5 million in 110 years earned it the nickname of "The Magic City".

Miami enjoys a resplendent location in southeast Florida. Tropical weather year-round ensures a steady stream of tourists, especially in winter. The city has some of the most popular beaches in the US and also has a vibrant Latin American community.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Coconut Grove is an upscale neighborhood with cute stores, bars and clubs
  • South Beach is where it all happens in Miami. All the hostels are here, the clubs and restaurants. You'll often see some model photo shoot on the beach or along the boardwalk. Great place to rollerblade or just hang out and people watch
  • Downtown Miami is the heart of the city and is technically on the eastern side of the city
  • Little Havana (Spanish: La Pequeña Habana) is a Cuban enclave within the city
  • Little Havana, West Flagler, and Flagami make up the western side of Miami.

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Sights and Activities

Miami hosts many entertainment venues, theaters, museums, parks and performing arts centers.

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Events and Festivals

  • Calle Ocho is a week long Cuban street festival held in Little Havana. In March.
  • The Orange Bowl - one of the big five American Football "bowl" games, is held each year at the Dolphin Stadium.
  • Hispanic Heritage Festival.
  • Miami Carnival.
  • King Mango Strut.

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Weather

Miami has a tropical climate. During summer (June to September), temperatures range between 24 °C and 32 °C and there is quite a bit of rain. In winter (December to April), the temperatures are between 15 °C and 24 °C, but there is little rain. In winter, Miami tends to attract a lot of Americans trying to escape the cold, while avoiding the humid heat of the summer. Note that officially the hurricane season is from 1 June to 30 November, though hurricanes rarely cause any problems for travellers in Miami itself.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max24 °C24.7 °C26.2 °C28 °C29.6 °C30.9 °C31.7 °C31.7 °C31 °C29.2 °C26.9 °C24.8 °C
Avg Min15.1 °C15.8 °C17.9 °C19.9 °C22.3 °C23.9 °C24.6 °C24.8 °C24.4 °C22.3 °C19.3 °C16.4 °C
Rainfall51.1 mm52.8 mm60.7 mm72.4 mm157.7 mm237 mm144.8 mm192.5 mm193.8 mm143.3 mm67.6 mm46.5 mm
Rain Days5.34.64.94.5913.813.31514.210.97.14.5

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Getting There

By Plane

Miami International Airport (MIA/KMIA) is the city's main airport and is one of the United States' largest airports. It is located around 13 kilometres from downtown Miami. There are non-stop routes from and to well over 100 destinations worldwide, including cities throughout North and South America, Europe and the Middle East. Miami International Airport is also the largest international gateway for American Airlines, which has nearly 100 destinations served alone!
Some of the main destinations are Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Havana, Düsseldorf, Toronto, Madrid, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Aruba, La Paz, Lima, London, Rio de Janeiro, St. Thomas, Panama City, Manaus, Santiago, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo and Washington, D.C..

To/from the airport

  • Bus: Miami-Dade Transit provides excess with its Metrobus.
  • Rental cars, shuttles and taxis are available at the airport
  • Rail: There are free shuttle buses to nearby Tri-Rail stations.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) has a number of international connections as well as a fair number of domestic flights. It is located about 5 kilometres from the CBD of Fort Lauderdale and about 33 kilometres from Miami.

To/from the airport

  • Bus: The airport is served by Broward County Transit bus Route 1. It has connecting service through the Central Terminal, and also buses to Aventura, in Miami-Dade County.
  • Rail: Rail service is provided by Tri-Rail, at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Tri-Rail station, where there is a shuttle that goes to the airport.
  • Car: The airport offers airport parking and has rental car facilities. Taxis are available as well.

By Train

Miami is part of Amtrak's Atlantic Coast The Silver Service/Palmetto travels between New York and Miami.

By Car

Four interstate highways (I-75, I-95, I-195, I-395) and several U.S. Highways service the Miami-Dade County.

From the airport:
Take the SR 112 (Airport Expressway) into downtown.

By Boat

Miami has been dubbed the "Cruise Capital of the World". The Port of Miami is one of the most significant ports in the United States and the world's largest cruise ship port. In 2005, over 3.5 million cruise passengers passed through Miami.

Eight cruise lines sail out from Miami:

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Sixt, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Metrobus, Metromover and Metrorail are all operated by Miami-Dade Transit.

By Foot

Miami is considered a dangerous city for pedestrians. South Beach is as safe as anywhere for walking any time of the day or night. As are most of the neighborhoods of Miami.

By Bike

Cycling in South Beach can be fun, but rollerblades are better.

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Eat

Coconut Grove was established in 1825 and is the location for many nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

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Drink

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
AAE Miami Beach Lombardy Hotel and HostelCollins Road 6300Hostel70
Airport Villas4325 N.W. 18th StreetHostel-
Chateaubleau Hotel1111 Ponce De Leon Blvd Coral Gables, FloridaHotel-
Deco Walk Hostel | South Beach928 Ocean DriveHOSTEL73
Freehand Miami2727 Indian Creek DriveHOSTEL78
Island House South Beach1428 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139Hotel75
Jazz on South Beach Hostel321 Collins AvenueHostel73
Miami Beach International Hostel236 9th Street Miami BeachHostel82
Miami Beach Vacation Apartments919 Michigan Av South Beach Miami BeachApartment-
Midtown Inn - Port of Miami3400 Biscayne Blvd.Hotel71
Motel Blu7700 Biscayne Blvd.Hotel69
Red Roof Miami Airport3401 NW Lejeune RdHotel72
Santa Barbara Hostel230 20th StreetHostel-
The Clay Hotel and Hostel1438 Washington Avenue South Beach, Miami BeachHotel-
South Beach Hostel235 Washington Avenue Miami BeachHostel79
The Tropics Hotel and Hostel1550 Collins AveHostel76
Days Hotel Thunderbird Beach Resort18401 Collins Avenue Sunny Isles BeachHotel-
Travelodge Monaco17501 Collins Avenue Sunny Isles BeachHotel-
Rodeway Inn Miami Airport1050 NW 14 STHOTEL-
Chesterfield Hotel, Suites & Day Spa855 Collins AvenueHotel-
Whitelaw808 Collins AvenueHotel-
Hotel Chelsea944 Washington AvenueHotel-
Catalina Hotel & Beach Club1732-1756 Collins AvenueHotel-
Metropole South Beach635 Collins AvenueHotel-
Riviera South Beach2000 Liberty AvenueHotel-
Everglades Hostel & Tours20 SW 2nd AVEHostel96
The Best Miami Hotel5959 SW 71 Street 0000Hotel-
River Park Hotel & Suites100 SE 4 Street 00000HOTEL-
Airways Inn5001 nw 36 street 0000HOTEL-
Ocean Surf7436 Ocean Terrace MiamiHotel-
Holidays Golden Glades148 nw 167 st North Miami Beach 0000HOTEL-
Venezia Hotel3865 Indian Creek DrHotel-
Hawaii Hotel7430 Ocean TerraceHotel-
Beach Place Hotel8601 Harding AveHotel73
Greenview Hotel1671 Washington Ave,Miami Beach 0000Hotel-
Leamington Hotel-Downtown/Port of Miami307 NE 1st StreetHotel71
Miami Hostel810 Alton Rd. Miami Beach, FLHOSTEL79
The New Casablanca On The Ocean6345 Collins AvenueHotel-
Hotel 18230 18th StreetHotel-
Miami Apartment Hostel1620 Bay Road #4Hostel74
SoBe Design Studio420, 15th streetApartment-
Sobe studios at the Royal763 Pennsylvania AvenueApartment-
Bikini Hostel Miami Beach1247 West Avenue Miami BeachHostel79
First on Lincoln1619 Lenox AvenueApartment-
First Sofi130 3rd streetApartment-
Hotel Roma16805 NW 12th Ave.Hotel-
Circa 39 Hotel3900 Collins AvenueHotel-
AWA Miami Hotel and Hostel226 Northeast 1st AvenueHostel-
Hotel Shelley844 Collins AvenueHotel-
Sadigo Court Apartment Hotel334 20 streetAPARTMENT-
Zuly's Guest Rooms7861 NW 113 PlGUESTHOUSE74
Bikini Hostel1255 West AveHostel78
Quality Inn Miami Airport3959 NW 79th AvenueHOTEL74
European Guesthouse721 Michigan Avenue Miami BeachGUESTHOUSE-
Alamo Hotel4121 Indian Creek DriveHOTEL-
Miami Springs Inn661 East DriveHOTEL73
Wishes Motel4700 SW 8th StreetHOTEL73
Aladdin Miami Hotel901 S. Royal Poinciana BoulevardHOTEL-
Collins Hotel6600 Collins Avenue Miami BeachHOTEL-
Design Suites at Castle Beach5445 Collins AvenueAPARTMENT-
Comfort Inn & Suites Miami Airport5301 N.W. 36th StHotel-
Posh South Beach808 Collins AvenueHOSTEL-
Mercury Resorts100 Collins AvenueApartment-
Room in Apartment in Miami Brickell Bay950 Brickell Bay Dr unit 4907GUESTHOUSE-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 25.774252
  • Longitude: -80.190262

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Miami Travel Helpers

This is version 70. Last edited at 11:48 on Jun 4, 14 by Utrecht. 153 articles link to this page.

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