A good-looking cosmopolitan city located at the southeastern tip of the state of Florida, the City of Miami basks in sunshine as its palm trees sway gently in the breeze. Hallmarks of Miami are its colorful architecture, colorful population, blazing nightlife, endless beaches and leading-edge creativity driven by a search for bold new ideas.
Sun-kissed beaches and colorful Art Deco buildings provide an attractive backdrop to the Miami art scene, creative cuisine and roaring nightlife.
The seventh largest metropolitan area in the United States extends from the Everglades in the west to Biscayne Bay in the east and is a major financial and commercial center, and leader in culture, media, entertainment and the arts. Miami comprises a variety of districts, reflecting the diversity of its culture, economy and society. Two-thirds of Miami’s population is Hispanic, the majority of whom are Cuban. The Cuban influence is heavy throughout the city, especially in the cigar shops and cafes in Little Havana.
When the sun goes down and the South Florida sunset has lit the sky in a rainbow of colors, Miami’s party people surface. The moonlight is like fairy dust in Miami, the magic of the city unfolds in its glow and the classy candlelit lounges, salsa halls, progressive nightclubs and rooftop bars overlooking Biscayne Bay come to life.
Pack your party clothes and come see what all the fuss is about – book your flight to Miami now.
How to get to Miami from the airport?
The main transportation hub for the county is the Miami Intermodal Center, which runs multiple transportation services between the airport and the city. Travelers are shuttled between the Center and Miami International Airport on an automated train called the MIA Mover. The airport is also connected to the Metrorail system, which runs to destinations throughout the city. SuperShuttle is the official airport shuttle service, available 24/7 and offering shared rides between the city and the airport. The Airport Flyer is an express bus service that runs every 30 minutes from 6:00 AM to 11 PM, seven days a week. There are also always a variety of taxis waiting outside the baggage claim area.
What about getting around the city?
The City of Miami covers an area of 55 square miles along the southern Florida coast, which makes it impossible to get everywhere on foot. If you plan to see a lot, your best bet is a rental car as Miami’s neighborhoods are scattered to the four corners of the 55 square miles. There are plenty of Uber drivers available to ferry you to your destination for reasonable fares. Miami has a trolley system that is free to use, but don’t count on it being on time if you’re in a hurry. The plus side is that they come approximately every 15 minutes and are a fun way to see some of the city. The Miami Metromover is another free form of transportation accessible in Brickell and Downtown. Although likely to stop a bit short of your destination, it does have a couple of stops at popular attractions such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Bayside Marketplace. The Metrorail network will easily get you to outlying districts such as Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, and the bonus is that trains travel above the city, so you’ll get some great sweeping panoramas of Miami below you. There are also plenty of buses servicing the City of Miami.
What else is good to know?
If you plan on walking, it’s a good idea to take the stifling Miami heat into account.
American Riviera, tropical haven
Blame it on the sunshine, the moonlight or put it down to the diversity of Miami’s population. Whatever it is, there’s something driving the city to constantly push the boundaries, reinvent the cutting edge and continue its creative quest. The unique and individual character of each neighborhood is reflected in the local cuisine, local residents and style of local shops, galleries and markets. You’ll find brilliantly creative chefs blending diverse cuisines and cooking styles and sustainable buildings inspired by the ecosystems of South Florida. Miami is where you’ll find something for everyone.
- Coconut Grove
- Wynwood Walls
- Pérez Art Museum Miami
Rent a car and drive out to Coconut Grove, one of the greenest areas in Miami and full of waterside and outdoor restaurants and cafes. Under the light of the moon, “The Grove” morphs into an epicenter of nightlife for young professionals, students from the nearby University of Miami and tourists. The Grove is also where you’ll find the popular attraction Vizcaya estate with its early 20th century mock Italian Renaissance gardens, native woodland landscape and historic village outbuildings.
Discover Wynwood Walls
Don’t miss the Wynwood Walls – one of Miami’s most Instagrammable locations, with the multitude of open-air graffiti mural art providing countless backdrops to the perfect shot. From colorful to monochrome, cartoons to fun sayings, you’re bound to find something to suit your mood.
The contemporary Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), with its hanging columns draped in greenery and a spectacular view of Biscayne Bay, is well worth visiting. The collection contains a substantial number of post-1940 artworks, has an open-air sculpture garden and champions Latin American artists. Admission is free on the first Thursday and second Saturday of each month.
Visit Miami Beach
Miami Beach is the most popular area and home to the glamourous American Riviera, aka Art Deco Playground, aka South Beach, Miami. Separated from the mainland by the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay, South Beach is known for its white-sand beach, colorful Art Deco buildings, eclectic mix of world-class boutiques and galleries and trendsetting nightclubs. The familiar façade of South Beach’s Ocean Drive is renowned for its collection of Art Deco architecture, as much as it is for being prominently featured in countless movies and as the location of Casa Casuarina, the former residence of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace – and the most photographed house in the country. South Beach is also a culinary hot spot with everything from fine dining to casual beachside eats. South Beach comes into its own after dark as the crowds descend for an unforgettable night out.
Discover Miami’s mainland
Back on the mainland, to the north is the Wynwood Art District, home to more than 70 galleries and museums and hundreds of graffiti murals in one of the largest open-air art installations in the world. In the nearby Miami Design District is the Institute of Contemporary Art, which attracts connoisseurs of contemporary art, as does the internationally acclaimed Art Basel Miami Beach Festival.
Southwest of downtown is the Cuban-influenced Little Havana, a center from Miami’s social, cultural and political activity. Little Havana’s landmark Calle Ocho (8th street) holds an annual Calle Ocho Festival, a one-day fiesta culminating in the Carnaval Miami with a Walk of Fame for famous artists and Latin personalities. Heading south is Coral Gables, a district amenable to walking with its spacious boulevards, leafy side streets and ornate Spanish and Italian architecture. Key Biscayne, the southernmost of the barrier islands will appeal to sun worshippers. This smart, secluded island community is located between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, and in the northern part of the island is Crandon Park, which has a quiet beach and private cabanas.
Read more about Miami's attractions in our travel guide.
Miami’s creative cuisine
The culinary landscape is a melting pot of dynamic cuisine and creative approaches to food. Miami has a reputation for bold flavors with a multicultural influence. A special style has emerged here, called Floribbean cuisine, It is based on fish and poultry, lots of spices and fresh exotic fruit. Hearty comfort food is available all over the city – beans and rice, fried plantains and shredded pork sandwiches. Sushi bars sit alongside American-style diners and Haitian, Italian and new Floridian eateries. With Miami’s long coastline, it’s a given that seafood is plentiful. The local specialty is stone crab claws, available from October to May. Whatever your taste, you’ll find it in Miami.
Finest seafood in Miami
Seafood lovers rejoice – you’ll be spoilt for choice in Miami. Try a mahi-mahi or grouper sandwich, cooked to your specifications – grilled, fried or blackened. Or treat yourself to some stone crab when in season. Arepa is a popular Latin American food that is widely available in Miami and eaten stuffed with meats, cheeses or whatever you fancy. To experience arepa in true Miami style, order yours with pulled pork, melted cheese and avocado. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be hunting Key lime pie. Sweet, tart and made with Key limes and a graham cracker crust.
The heart of downtown Miami on Biscayne Bay is where you’ll find the Bayside Marketplace. Home to impeccable international cuisine, more than 150 shops and daily live music performances from local musicians in a beautiful two-level waterfront setting are waiting for you. Relax with a drink by the water and watch the Miami sunset.
Read more about eat and drink in Miami in our guide.
After dark, dance off the calories in the legendary Miami nightlife scene. Most of the action centers on the South beach clubs with DJs spinning techno, house, salsa or merengue beats until the small hours. Most clubs have a cover charge and door policies can be fierce, particularly in clubs that are currently the flavor of the month.