The world's premier playground, Greater Miami offers visitors the best of all worlds -- a rare destination where the cutting edge of urban chic co-exists with the beauty and splendor of a tropical paradise. Great year-round weather, top-ranked beaches and the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay are the backdrops for a cosmopolitan metropolis, pulsing with the rhythms of its diverse population. Boasting a vibrant arts and cultural landscape, renowned nightlife scene and world-class dining and entertainment, Miami draws an eclectic mix of visitors from sizzling celebrities to frolicking families seeking fun in the sun. Glorious weather has always been the main attraction, with yearly temperatures in Miami averaging 76°F.
The Other Miami Beach
South Beach, a. k .a. "the American Riviera," draws throngs to its world renowned Art Deco District and the candy-colored hotels on famed Ocean Drive, its legendary beaches and night spots, and to Lincoln Road, a wonderful pedestrian promenade that features great al fresco dining, funky shops, art studios and theaters. Of course you need to see it, but how about trying something a little different? A great way to experience South Beach glamour is to do a Collins Avenue hotel crawl. There's no cost -- and no car necessary -- to wander from luxury oceanfront hotel to hotel, checking out the stunning lobbies, gorgeous pools and perhaps lingering over a signature martini at a poolside bar in celebrity haunts like the Shore Club, Raleigh, Delano, The Ritz Carlton South Beach, The Gansevort Hotel, The National and Sagamore hotels.
Lower in profile than Lincoln Road and other busy thoroughfares, but no less charming, is Espanola Way, an enchanting neighborhood with a European flavor, cafés, art galleries one-of-a-kind boutiques and a farmer's market on weekends. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a peaceful and lush spot for meditation and reflection, and for those who want to experience a truly original museum, The Wolfsonian contains the country's largest collection of twentieth-century German, Italian, and American political propaganda.
At the bottom of Miami Beach, the emerging SoFi (South of Fifth) neighborhood is more relaxed than the go-go Art Deco District. Here, stroll quiet streets and discover the Sanford Ziff Jewish Museum, Miami Beach's repository of Jewish culture and history in Florida. Stop by the Miami Beach Victory Garden, a community vegetable garden that honors Miami Beach's wartime contributions during WWII with a stunning decorative fence and visit South Pointe Park, a great locals' beach where kites fly and surfers ride the waves.
A bit further up the beach, North Beach, a revitalized neighborhood with unpretentious charms, great local restaurants and uncrowded beaches boasts plenty of parking, inviting oceanfront cafés, quaint shops and an uninterrupted concentration of MiMo (Miami Modern) 50s- and 60s-era apartment buildings that give the entire neighborhood a unique character. Start off in the morning with a MiMo walking tour and discover the particular form of mid-century modernism that is unique to Miami Beach and then unwind at North Shore Park. Mosey over to a local restaurant for an Argentine, Italian, Thai or Greek feast, then take in the farmer's market for fresh produce or unique bargain gifts.
A sexy, modern city as well as an international resort destination, Miami is ascending quickly as serious culinary destination thanks to cultural diversity and sophistication. Attracting the attention of acclaimed restaurateurs, chefs and critics, Miami is home to a breathtaking array of serious and see-and-be-seen restaurants featuring cutting-edge design and innovative cuisine. Over 6,000 dining spots cater to an increasingly sophisticated resident population as well as more than 12 million annual visitors. From casual alfresco cafés perfect for people watching to palaces of haute cuisine, Miami is a full-fledged culinary hot spot, with a flavor-packed menu filled with spicy and delicious options.
With a great mix of natural wonders to explore, fun-filled tourist attractions to discover amidst Miami's unique multicultural vibe and the always-present lure of beach, ocean and bay, Miami spoils families with a multitude of choices. Nowhere else in the United States does such a wealth of natural resources present itself as in Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. The hammocks, pinelands, wetlands, mangrove forests and seashores of Miami-Dade County that remain undeveloped and protected within these practically adjacent parks are home to an unrivaled and diverse array of flora, fauna and marine life.
Visitors to Miami with agendas beyond the perfect poolside mojito have never been disappointed exploring the city's lively arts scene. The city is home to a diverse, sophisticated population that has sparked an increase in non-profit cultural groups from 100 to more than 700 over the past 20 years. Defined in part by its geographic location at the crossroads of Latin America and with a kaleidoscope of cultural groups that reflect its mix, Miami's cultural milieu is rich with grassroots organizations as well as world-class cultural institutions. Miami's evolution into an international destination directly impacts cultural life. As more and more important visual and performing artists are attracted to live and work in Miami, the quality of exhibits and performances rises.