[y] Miami Vacation Guide
Miami is a large coastal city located in the southern part of Florida. The city sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The western border rests against the Florida Everglades. The city has gone from a population of just 300 after it was incorporated in 1896 to over 400,000 today making it the 42nd largest city in the United States. The greater Miami metropolitan area, however, contains over 5.5 million residents making it the fourth largest in the country. Although the city of Miami only covers 35 square miles, the greater metropolitan area stretches on for 110 miles in a narrow strip running north to south. Source: cervezasmiami.com
Miami is a major tourist destination and is one of the richest cities in the country. Many people from around the world come to Miami during the winter in order to enjoy the normally temperate to warm weather. The city is also a popular tourist destination because it is a boarding point for a large number of major cruise lines. Visitors to the city will be able to enjoy some of the most distinctive cuisine available at the many world-famous restaurants in the city. There are also a number of diverse neighborhoods offering unique experiences. Little Havana is a center of Cuban culture, shopping, and cuisine. South Beach is an area frequented by celebrities that contains a large number of nightclubs and nighttime entertainment venues.
Miami Fun Guide
The peak season for Miami is between December and April. This is when the temperatures are the most comfortable. Peak season draws the largest crowds and sees an influx of students celebrating spring break. The off-season is between May and September. This is summer in Miami and the temperatures can become incredibly hot and uncomfortable although there are far fewer people around. The holidays between October and December serve as the shoulder season where some deals can be found on food and lodging.
Visitors to Miami usually spend some time at one of the many beaches in the area. The beaches are crowded during peak season but are large enough to accommodate everyone comfortably on most days. Families looking for activities away from the beach can visit one of the many attractions in the city like the Seaquarium, Miami Zoo or the Miami Museum of Science. These casual locations are less crowded than the beaches and some well-known restaurants
American Airlines Arena
The defending NBA champion Miami Heat play their home games at American Airlines Arena. You’ll get to see LeBron James play, and he’s easily the best basketball player in the world right now. Dwyane Wade is no slouch either. Together, these two superstars put on a show unmatched by any other team in the entire NBA. The electrifying pace of the game will have you on the edge of your seat from the first minute of play until the very last, so watch a game there if you want a good time in Miami.
The Florida Everglades
Here’s an opportunity to see the one and only everglades. That’s right. The glades are unique and spending some time exploring here is nothing short of unbelievable. The wildlife, the hardwood hammocks and the river of the grass itself will truly keep your shutter finger busy! If you have time, get off the beaten path and experience what few people ever get the chance to see.
You’ll find plenty of cool things to do at Miami Beach. The clean sand and water invite visitors to relax and take in some Florida sunshine. The waves are great for surfing, and you can even have someone give you lessons if you would like to learn. Reading under a cool umbrella on the sand is a terrific way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Miami Beach. You can also go swimming in refreshing waters, and most of the waters are calm enough for younger children to enjoy as well. Miami Beach draws the crowds each and every day. Also, check out the Miami Beaches Guide
Miami Metro Zoo
You will see wildlife from all around the world. In addition, the culture education and free-range exhibits make this zoo a must-see for anyone coming to South Florida. In our opinion, this is one of the best walks in Miami. We are annual pass holders and enjoy visiting the zoo on a regular basis. With over 700 acres of zoo, open range exhibits and tons of shade, this is a paradise for those who love wildlife and enjoy the great outdoors.
National and State Parks
Miami is right in the middle of two National Parks. The Everglades National Park to the east, and Biscayne National Park to the south. Also, the Dry Tortugas National Park is only a couple hundred miles to the southwest! Besides it’s close proximity to these national treasures, Miami contains and is surrounded by Florida State Parks. You could spend a month here and not see all of the parks available.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
If you can name it, you might just find it at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Ancient sculptures provide great backdrops for thrilling views of gorgeous sunsets. You’ll only have to spend a few hours there to see everything, but the moments you experience are life-changing to say the least. There’s even a band that plays in the courtyard of the main garden as you browse the wonderful planets available to see. The music sets the relaxing, tranquil mood. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better set of gardens anywhere in the United States.
Miami Downtown Hotels
Miami is the well-known vacation spot for individuals who desire to indulge in the excitement and allure of Miami’s downtown area. Miami is known for its electrifying nightlife as well as the city’s quintessential and famous South Beach, which attracts millions of tourists each year. In addition to enjoying recreational time on the shore of South Beach, downtown Miami is also famous for its shopping sites, restaurants, and recreational activities for an entire family. Along the shore of South Beach, take some time to shop at many of Miami’s designer stores and vintage shops. Take a shopping trip on Lincoln Road; it is a pedestrian-only shopping strip, and you will see authentic art galleries and boutiques as well as one of a kind eateries and elegant restaurants. Ocean Drive and Washington Avenue are known for various clubs, bars, and designer boutiques. The Miami Seaquarium is a kid-friendly adventurous spot for the entire family. At the Miami Seaquarium, you will find some of the world’s exotic animals, including dolphins, sea lions, whales, and other unique sea creatures. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Miami that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!
- The Setai in Miami
The Setai offers a 5-star luxury suite experience on South Beach. A beautiful serene resort on a great stretch of beach.
- Fontainbleau Hotel in Miami
This happening resort is located close to tons of great restaurants and nightclub choices.
- Ritz Carlton South Beach
The sophisticated luxury resort in south beach is unparalleled.
- Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne
Luxurious suites, impeccable service and an array of activities.
The sunshine and breezes offered by Miami, Florida, make it an attractive destination year-round for guests from all over the world. The city is characterized as a tropical monsoon climate with warm, humid conditions. Whether a guest desires to escape the cold in northern parts or seeks a destination for summer vacation, the city’s weather provides a major reason to come to Miami.
Many visitors capitalize on the city’s wonderful winter weather to escape the cold in northern areas. The season features mild to warm weather with average highs of
67.2 °F Cool air typically produces low readings of 50 °F. The warmest weather reaches around 70–77 °F. At this time of year, humidity levels are much lower providing the foundation for cooler weather.
Summer Wet Season
The city’s wet season commences in May and lasts through October. At this time of year, temperatures average in the mid-80s to low 90s °F. with high humidity. During the summer months, temperatures rarely drop below 75 °F. Afternoon thunderstorms or breezes from the Atlantic Ocean provide some relief, though the muggy conditions remain. The city receives tremendous rainfall with annual levels reaching 58.6 inches yearly.
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June through the end of November, even though these storms can occur beyond this range of months. The city is most vulnerable to hurricanes from mid-August to the end of September. Because of its geographic location between two significant bodies of water, the city is statistically more vulnerable to a hurricane than any other place in the world followed by its Caribbean neighbors Havana, Cuba, and Nassau, Bahamas.
The city experiences more severe thunderstorms than any other location in the United States with an average of 80 per year featuring lightning and substantial rainfall. Waterspouts and tornadoes at times happen, though tornadoes are exceedingly rare compared to other parts of the country. The highest temperature in Miami ever recorded was 100 °F on July 21, 1942. The coldest reading was 27 °F on February 3, 1917.
A glamor city, Miami features sunny warm weather that attracts a bevy of visitors from around the globe. The best months to visit are in the winter months where humidity levels fall and moderate warmth permeates the area. The summer months are attractive as well, though a guest should consider the rainfall, extreme heat and risk for hurricanes. Regardless of when a visitor comes to Miami, they are certain to have the opportunity for a wonderful tan and to rejuvenate in style.
As one of Florida’s most popular resort destinations, Miami can be easily reached by public and private modes of transportation. Millions of drivers use Interstate 95 to get to this beautiful city. In fact, Miami is the southern terminal for this busy highway that stretches for more than 1,900 miles as far north as Maine. Interstate 95, therefore, links Miami with all of the states on the entire East Coast.
After reaching Miami, drivers will probably want to cross the Julia Tuttle Causeway and Venetian Causeway bridges that lead to the community of Miami Beach. Once in Miami Beach, visitors can cruise the beautiful waterfront streets in the popular South Beach district, which is where most of the beachfront hotels are. The beautiful palm tree-lined Biscayne Boulevard is one of the main roads in Miami city proper. This popular boulevard leads to Dodge Island, which is home to the Port of Miami where major cruise ships wait to pick up passengers.
Miami-Dade Transit offers an extensive public transportation network consisting of bus and rail services. The Metrobus network includes more than 100 total bus routes that circulate Miami and the surrounding communities. The Metrorail system is the subway (metro) service in Miami. The Green Line runs between Palmetto Station and Dadeland South while the Orange Line operates between Miami International Airport and Dadeland South. The elevated track Metrorail network consists of more than 20 total stops throughout the city of Miami. Miami-Dade Transit also operates the Metromover, an automated rail system that circulates throughout various parts of Miami and nearby communities. This modern people mover network consists of the Inner Loop, Brickell Loop, and Omni Loop. The Inner Loop circulates throughout the Downtown District of Miami. Best of all, the Metromover is free to ride and offers an exciting way to experience the heart of this beautiful city.
Tri-Rail is a commuter rail service that connects Miami with communities in other parts of Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County. Consisting of 18 total stops, the 71 miles long Tri-Rail route runs between Magnolia Park Station and Miami Central Station at the Miami International Airport. The Miami Central Station is also served by the Amtrak Silver Meteor and Silver Star lines.
Serving more than 38 million passengers each year, Miami International Airport is a major gateway into Miami-Dade County. American Airlines operates more than 100 direct flights from this major airport. Miami International Airport is located only a few miles west of Downtown Miami. Visitors can also take flights to the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, which is located about 25 miles north of Miami.
The Filling Station
This is the spot that has the best burgers in Miami. Diners will have a wide selection of burgers from which to choose, all of them quite tasty. Their sides are great as well. The tater tots are particularly wonderful. They have a very big collection of brews on tap for beer-lovers to enjoy.
Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar and Latin Grill
Miami is a town with a lot of places that make excellent ceviche, but no place makes it any better than the Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar and Grill. For anyone that has never had the pleasure of trying a ceviche before, they won’t go wrong by making this the first place they experience it.
Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink
This is one of the best restaurants in Miami. The food is incredibly sophisticated and the service is excellent. Because it is so good, it is very popular. Diners should make reservations as far in advance as possible to secure a table for dinner.
Nobody walks out of Truluck’s Restaurant unhappy. The servers are fantastic and very knowledgeable. The food is simply extraordinary. The seafood is as good as anywhere in the world. They also do an excellent job with steaks. Diners looking for a fabulous high-end restaurant will be completely satisfied with this place.
Miami has the largest Cuban population outside of Cuba, and that means there are hundreds of great Cuban restaurants for eaters to enjoy in the city. None of them are any better than Tuto’s Place. They make home-style Cuban cuisine that is the best this side of Havana. Everything is impeccably prepared with the freshest ingredients. The service is great and the prices are very reasonable. This is a nice place for lunch or dinner. Everything here tastes great, but the flan may be the best in the world.
neMesis Urban Bistro
Diners who venture into neMesis will find a small place that has a funky charm. The restaurant is very cozy and the menu is very small, but the food it amazing. This is a truly unique dining experience that should not be missed on a visit to Miami. The best way to have a meal here is to enjoy the tasting menu. Patrons who put themselves in the chef’s capable hands will not leave here disappointed. They also have one of the best wine menus in the city. This is the kind of place where the food is presented so beautifully that the diners take pictures of their dishes.
Miami events range from small music festivals to large, international fashion shows. Additionally, the city is home to a number of events that feature Miami’s unique cultural heritage. Travelers to Miami have numerous options for things to do in the city, but many of them plan their visits to coincide with some of the city’s most well-known events and festivals.
Miami International Boat Show
Some of the most popular Miami events take advantage of the city’s proximity to the ocean. The Miami International Boat Show is one such event. It takes place every year during the third week of February, and it attracts boating enthusiasts from around the world. Visitors to this family-friendly event can see the latest in marine technology from powerboats to sailboats. The show also features displays of the most advanced electronics and accessories in the boating world. Entertainment is also provided at the Miami International Boat Show with street performers and a variety of exciting contests.
Miami International Film Festival
The Miami International Film Festival provides opportunities for people to come inside from the rainy weather of Miami springtime. The festival occurs each March, and it is centered in Miami’s downtown section. It features films from the world’s best directors, many of whom call Miami home. The festival has been held since 1983, and it attracts tens of thousands of film lovers each year.
The beauty of Miami’s natural environment is unmatched by many other locations, and those who enjoy the semi-tropical landscape of the city love visiting during late February when the Miami International Orchid Show takes place. At this show, visitors can view some of the most beautiful flowers on the planet in a single location. Additionally, attendees are given the chance to purchase unique plants and other items related to orchids.
International Mango Festival
People who come to Miami are able to enjoy some of the sweetest natural treats in the world when they visit during the International Mango Festival. This festival is held at the Fairchild Tropical Garden in South Miami each year during the second weekend in July. Visitors can enjoy a surprisingly wide range of mango products from smoothies to full brunches at this special event.
Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Tournament
Finally, one of the best ways to experience the sun and warmth of Miami is by attending the Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Tournament. This event is one of the largest tennis tournaments in the world, and it attracts the best athletes in the sport. It takes place over 12 days in March and April, and it gives visitors a chance to relax in the sun with a tasty beverage while enjoying one of the city’s finest athletic spectacles.
Family Fun near Downtown Miami
Those looking for family fun in Miami should start with a trip to Zoo Miami. Zoo Miami is a large zoo with a total area of over 700 acres. More than 2,000 animals call this zoo their home. One of the zoo’s highlights is the American Banker’s Family Aviary. Over 70 different bird species occupy this exhibit from loud parrots to ducks gently floating on the pond. Children will enjoy all of the exhibits in the Children’s Zoo area including the special meerkat exhibit and the camel rides. Several animal feeding demonstrations are held throughout the day. Zoo Miami is open every day of the year.
This unique attraction brings back the feelings of classic arcades. Parents will remember how they felt as youngsters when they saw arcade games in Laundromats, grocery stores, and pizza shops. Many of their favorite childhood arcade games are available to play again at Arcade Odyssey, and the kids have new games that they will like as well. Pinball games, shooting games, and sports interaction games provide countless hours of excitement. You’ll hardly be able to leave the arcade when the day is over, and the kids will sigh in anguish at the thought of saying goodbye to their new favorite place.
Miami Science Museum
The Miami Science Museum is a place to learn all about the natural world. In addition to the museum, there is a planetarium, observatory, and wildlife rehabilitation center. Numerous science exhibits, many of them interactive, will keep visitors interested for hours. One of the highlights of the museum is the Hurricane Exhibit. At this exhibit, visitors are able to build a small structure and see how it would withstand hurricane-force winds. The planetarium has several special programs throughout the year. The Miami Science Museum is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Miami Seaquarium is a great place to see dolphins and other ocean-dwelling wildlife. Killer whale, dolphin, and sea lion shows are held at various times throughout the day. There are also several wildlife exhibits to see including Discovery Bay filled with birds and turtles. Another great exhibit is Tropical Wings with its parrots, peacocks, and flamingos. The Miami Seaquarium is open every day of the year.
Miami Children’s Museum
According to the Miami Children’s Museum, their goal is to provide an atmosphere that encourages learning and creativity. One way that this is accomplished is through the museum’s many interactive exhibits. In the Safety Zone area, children can experience what it is like to drive a fire truck to an emergency. The All About Art area allows children to express their creativity through drawing and painting. The Miami Children’s Museum is open each day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Shopping near Downtown Miami
Miami is a city bursting with excitement, adventure, and entertainment. Not only is it a beautiful Florida city with inviting white sandy beaches and serene blue waters, but it also provides a wonderful shopping experience. Here are some places you can visit to check out the latest fashion styles during your stay in this very fashionable city:
This mall is easily accessible due to its central, convenient location near the airport. Good thing, too, since it’s definitely a place where you’ll want to go. With over 240 specialty stores and restaurants, this mall is like a small city. From casual beachwear at the Playa to the most extravagant runway styles at Moda, and everything in between, Dolphin Mall has it all. There are sunglasses shops, sportswear, fragrance shops, and even children’s stores if you’ve got little ones to shop for. You can also pick up the latest gadgets or accessories in our ever-advancing world of technology at one the electronic stores.
This outside mall allows you to bask in the warm Miami sun while figuring out which shoes go best with your new dress. Here you can experience the winning combination of shopping while working on your tan. The place has some big names in the fashion world, too, like Macy’s, Hollister, Gap, Brooks Brothers and White House/Black Market. The Falls mall caters to individual fashion taste so you can look chic and unique in your own personal style. As an additional treat, there’s a Crate & Barrel and Williams-Sonoma where you can purchase some décor for your home.
This pedestrian mall offers 10 blocks of shopping heaven. Seven of those blocks are off-limits to auto traffic, probably in consideration for those light-headed swooning shoppers who may be too enthralled with their purchases to focus on approaching vehicles. Lincoln Road is fraught with unique shops and boutiques that offer rare items not normally found in malls. There are art galleries displaying aesthetic beauty and talent that offer a touch of class and culture to this outdoor shopping frenzy. Most restaurants offer outdoor seating so you can people-watch and window shop while loading up on energy for the next leg of your shopping marathon.
This delightful shopping area is close to South Beach and offers a variety of stores and styles right on the waterfront with a view of the skyline. There is usually live entertainment with outdoor music and dancing, so you can shop with a wiggle and shake, or just add a little spring in your step. Whether you plan to get decked out for that night’s outing or do the touristy thing and buy some souvenirs, this lively marketplace makes shopping just another adventurous and fun-filled Miami experience.
Map of Hotels in Miami
Miami has tens of thousands of hotel rooms available spread over more than 1,000 hotels. These rooms must accommodate nearly 1.9 million tourists each year. Visitors coming to Miami for the first time will find that the price of lodging in the city is higher than in many other areas. It is best to book rooms far in advance in order to guarantee a place to stay and to reduce costs. Families who will be driving through Miami might want to consider staying outside of the city in the greater metropolitan area.
- Miami International Airport – Find hotels Near Sweetwater and West Miami
- Miami Downtown Downtown – Find hotels Near Pinewood and West Little River
- University Of Miami – Find hotels Near Brownsville and Oceanfront
- Miami Beaches – Find hotels Near Fisher Island and Brickell
- Baggs Cape Florida Park – Find hotels Near Key Biscayne and Fisher Island
- Kendall Lakes – Find hotels Near Kendall West and Westwood Lakes
- Bay Harbor Islands – Find hotels Near Surfside and Biscayne Point
- Miami Art Museum – Find hotels Near Flagler and Brickell
- Coral Gables Miami – Find hotels Near South Miami and Coconut Grove WH Center
- Parrot Jungle Island – Find hotels Near Oceanfront and North Bay Village