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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 Bus

  • Greyhound - The station is at 4111 NW 27th Street, near Miami International Airport.
  • RedCoach - Buses arrive and depart from the South Terminal at Miami International Airport. Service from various cities in Florida and Georgia.
  • Megabus - Service from Orlando and Tampa. The buses stop in downtown Miami in a parking lot at 600-642 NE 1st Ave, between 6th and 7th Sts about a block north of the College North Metromover station. There is also a stop at the Miami International Airport near the South Terminal, specifically bus stop 5 and 6 outside of concourse H.

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

Foodies and chefs alike herald Miami for its unique New World cuisine. Created in the 1990s, the cuisine alternatively known as New World, Nuevo Latino or Florribean cuisine blends local produce, Latin American and Caribbean culinary tradition and the technical skills required in European cooking. Nuevo Latino is said to be the brainchild of four chefs: Allen Susser, Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello and Douglas Rodriguez. All of them still work in Miami and most of them work at the restaurants they created in the 1990s. New World is not restricted to these chefs’ menus. This cuisine influences several restaurants around the city to this day.

Miami may be known for its Latin cuisine (especially its Cuban cuisine but also cuisines from South American countries such as Colombia), but there are other different kinds of restaurants to be found around the city. In addition to stand-alone Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Italian (among others) restaurants, there are cafés, steakhouses and restaurants operating from boutique hotels, as well as chain restaurants such as TGI Fridays and Ben & Jerry’s.

Miami is known for having nightclubs double as restaurants throughout the city. Most of these restaurants, such as Tantra (which had one of their chefs recently appear on Top Chef: Miami), BED and the Pearl Restaurant and Champagne Lounge (attached to Nikki Beach), are located throughout South Beach. However, some of these restaurants/nightclubs like Grass Lounge can be found in the Design District (north of downtown but south of North Miami).

If many of Miami’s premiere restaurants don’t fit into your daily budget, consider eating during Miami Restaurant Month (better known as Miami Spice) in August and September. This year at 80 select restaurants, lunch costs $22 and dinner is $35.

Miami’s dining scene reflects burgeoning diversity, mixing exotic newcomer restaurants with long-standing institutions, often seasoned by Latin influence and hot winds of the Caribbean. New World cuisine, a culinary counterpart to accompany Miami’s New World Symphony, provides a loose fusion of Latin, Asian, and Caribbean flavors utilizing fresh, area-grown ingredients. Innovative restaurateurs and chefs similarly reel in patrons with Floribbean-flavored seafood fare, while keeping true to down-home Florida favorites.

Don't be fooled by the plethora of super lean model types you're likely to see posing throughout Miami. Contrary to popular belief, dining in this city is as much a sport as the in-line skating on Ocean Drive. With over 6,000 restaurants to choose from, dining out in Miami has become a passionate pastime for locals and visitors alike. Its star chefs have fused Californian-Asian with Caribbean and Latin elements to create a world-class flavor all its own: Floribbean. Think mango chutney splashed over fresh swordfish or a spicy sushi sauce served alongside Peruvian ceviche.

Whatever you're craving, Miami's got it—with the exception of decent Chinese food and a New York-style slice of pizza. If you're craving a scene with your steak, then South Beach is the place to be. Like many cities in Europe and Latin America, it is fashionable to dine late in South Beach, preferably after 9PM, sometimes as late as midnight. Service on South Beach is notoriously slow and arrogant, but it comes with the turf (of course, it is possible to find restaurants that defy the notoriety and actually pride themselves on friendly service). On the mainland—especially in Coral Gables, and, more recently, downtown and on Brickell Avenue—you can also experience fine, creative dining without the pretense.

There are several Peruvian restaurants at SW 88th Street and SW 137th Avenue in Kendale Lakes. Take the 88 or 288 buses from Dadeland North train station. This is kind of out of the way, but it is worth it.

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

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Drink

Nightlife in Miami consists of upscale hotel clubs, independent bars frequented by locals (including sports bars) and nightclubs. Most hotel bars and independent bars turn the other cheek at your physical appearance, but you have to dress to impress (which does not mean dress like a stripper) to get into a nightclub. Also remember to never, under any circumstances, insult the doormen and/or nightclub employees that will grant you entry or touch the velvet ropes or you may as well be sitting on the opposite side of the clamoring masses trying to get in. Attempting to tip the doormen and claiming that you know employees that work in the nightclubs (unless you actually called and reserved a table or a spot on the VIP list) is also considered an affront. Getting to the club unfashionably early and pushing through the crowd (and not the doormen) also can help make you stand out in the crowd. Finally, most nightclubs won’t admit groups of men unless those men are waiting in front of a gay bar. Bring some women or leave the pack if you’re desperate to get in. And once you get in, remember that the charge to get in these clubs can cost up to $20, cash only (some clubs, however, mercifully have ATMs, that can charge up to $7 for a withdrawal). Popular drinks in Miami include the Cuba Libre and the mojito.

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Sleep

Miami is known for its boutique hotels (especially those in South Beach). Designers such as Ian Schrager (the Delano, Shore Club), André Balazs (Raleigh, Standard on Belle Isle) and Todd Oldham (the Hotel) helped put South Beach on the map with their creative hotel designs. The downside of many of the boutique hotels is that rooms can be small, particularly if the building was built during the height of the Art Deco period in Miami. If you value space, a boutique hotel may not be the type of hotel for you. If you don't need to stay in a boutique hotel (and value space), Miami has several upscale high-rise hotels north and south of South Beach, as well as near the downtown area. Miami does have its share of less costly chain hotels for those who value space and/or money.

The high season for hotels is around Nov to Apr because of the lower temperatures. However, Miami's lower temperatures, in comparison to the majority of the United States around this time, are still warm. High season is also marked by the advent of many Miami events, such as the Winter Music Conference and Spring Break. If you wish to reserve a room during Miami’s high season, especially at a boutique hotel and/or a hotel on South Beach, you should book months in advance.

Be aware that hotels have a 12.5% room tax and some hotels may add a 15% service charge which may or may not be added if you reserve a room through the hotel, through a travel agent/agency (either in person or using an online site such as or similar to Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity) or through an opaque (prices are given, but the name and location of the hotel is unknown) travel site such as Priceline or Hotwire.

The cost of services in hotels can be pricey just like hotels elsewhere in the world but you can seek out local services within walking distances or online such as the popular Oliom. laundry service for hotel guests edit.

Some hotels offer garage and/or valet parking; check with your hotel about parking before booking a room if you wish to drive around Miami.

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
AAE Miami Beach Lombardy Hotel and HostelCollins Road 6300Hostel76
Airport Villas4325 N.W. 18th StreetHostel-
Chateaubleau Hotel1111 Ponce De Leon Blvd Coral Gables, FloridaHotel-
Deco Walk Hostel | South Beach928 Ocean DriveHOSTEL78
Freehand Miami2727 Indian Creek DriveHOSTEL83
Island House South Beach1428 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139Hotel80
Jazz on South Beach Hostel321 Collins AvenueHostel74
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.Hotel-
Motel Blu7700 Biscayne Blvd.Hotel76
Red Roof Miami Airport3401 NW Lejeune RdHotel79
Santa Barbara Hostel230 20th StreetHostel-
The Clay Hotel and Hostel1438 Washington Avenue South Beach, Miami BeachHotel-
South Beach Hostel235 Washington Avenue Miami BeachHostel81
The Tropics Hotel and Hostel1550 Collins AveHostel78
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 AVEHostel-
The Best Miami Hotel5959 SW 71 Street 0000Hotel79
River Park Hotel & Suites100 SE 4 Street 00000HOTEL79
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 AveHotel79
Greenview Hotel1671 Washington Ave,Miami Beach 0000Hotel-
Leamington Hotel-Downtown/Port of Miami307 NE 1st StreetHotel77
Miami Hostel810 Alton Rd. Miami Beach, FLHOSTEL81
The New Casablanca On The Ocean6345 Collins AvenueHotel-
Hotel 18230 18th StreetHotel-
Miami Apartment Hostel1620 Bay Road #4Hostel-
SoBe Design Studio420, 15th streetApartment-
Sobe studios at the Royal763 Pennsylvania AvenueApartment-
Bikini Hostel Miami Beach1247 West Avenue Miami BeachHostel77
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 PlGUESTHOUSE-
Bikini Hostel1255 West AveHostel-
Quality Inn Miami Airport3959 NW 79th AvenueHOTEL-
European Guesthouse721 Michigan Avenue Miami BeachGUESTHOUSE-
Alamo Hotel4121 Indian Creek DriveHOTEL-
Miami Springs Inn661 East DriveHOTEL80
Wishes Motel4700 SW 8th StreetHOTEL-
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

Accommodation in Miami

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Miami searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Miami and areas nearby.

Contributors

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Miami Travel Helpers

This is version 72. Last edited at 12:11 on Sep 2, 16 by Utrecht. 161 articles link to this page.

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