Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Florida Miami



Miami Beach, Florida - USA

Miami Beach, Florida - USA

© airwolf09

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.




Downtown Miami - Miami's central business district, including the Brickell neighborhood, full of skyscrapers. This article also covers the islands which are part of Miami (but not Miami Beach which is a separate city).
MiMo Boulevard - Home to post-WW2 modern architecture.
Design District - A small artsy neighborhood north of downtown.
Coconut Grove - On the coast south of downtown, with a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Little Havana - A heavily Latin American neighborhood - now inhabited by Central and South Americans rather than Cubans.
Overtown - A historic African-American neighborhood.



Sights and Activities

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



Events and Festivals


  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.


  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

Other 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.




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.

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.



Getting There

By Plane

Miami International Airport (MIA) 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, Warsaw, 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 and Metro: Miami-Dade Transit provides public transportation with its Metrobus and Metrorail.
  • Rental cars, shuttles and taxis are available at the airport.
  • Rail: There is a Tri-Rail station at the airport.

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 bus station is at the Rental Car Center at 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 bus station is at the Rental Car Center at the Miami International Airport. .

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.

Nine cruise lines sail out from Miami:



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.




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. Typically there are dozens of restaurants that participate each year, 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 9:00pm, 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.




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.

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




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.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




Keep Connected


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.


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.


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.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 25.774252
  • Longitude: -80.190262

Accommodation in Miami

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Miami searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


as well as prive (11%), dr.pepper (8%), Peter (6%), viamaya (5%), Hien (1%), GetEasyShu (1%), seenworld (1%), Sander (<1%), OceanFl (<1%), bigleap.abg (<1%), pic (<1%)

Miami Travel Helpers

This is version 91. Last edited at 15:04 on Nov 1, 19 by pic. 168 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License