The exciting metropolis of Miami is located in the ‘Sunshine State’ of Florida on America’s southeast coast. With its plentiful beaches, green spaces and nightlife, the city attracted over fourteen million visitors in 2013. Although it is hard to imagine, Miami has been inhabited since the sixth century BC. The area was claimed by Spain in 1566 and was ceded to America in 1821. Miami has an average elevation of just below two metres, and is situated on plains between the Florida Everglades and Biscayne Bay. Because of its proximity to the latter, a large lagoon, Miami was initially known as Biscayne Bay Country, before being officially incorporated in 1896. The warm currents of the Gulf Stream keep Miami’s climate mild throughout the year. Miami is nicknamed ‘The Magic City’ because of its rapid population growth, which increased from around a thousand inhabitants to almost five-and-a-half million in just over a century.
Location: Transport Links in Miami
Being a leader in commerce and international trade, as well as having a culture rich in the arts, Miami attracts visitors for both business and pleasure. It is easy to reach by air via Miami International Airport, situated 13 kilometres northwest of the city centre. Shuttle buses and taxis are on hand for hotel transfers. For getting around the city, there are various public transport options available, such as buses and the Metrorail, but car hire can be a more convenient way to explore.
Business: The City of Banking and Medicine
In addition to numerous international businesses, Miami is home to two Fortune 500 companies, World Fuel Services and Ryder System Incorporated. The city’s downtown area has the largest concentration of international banks in the country, while the Civic Center neighbourhood is a base for hospitals and medical research institutes. Exhibition space and conferencing facilities can be found at numerous venues, including the Miami Airport Convention Center and the Miami Beach Convention Center, where Muhammad Ali won his first World Heavyweight Championship in 1964. Tourism is also a big contributor to the local economy, and the Port of Miami is known as the ‘Cruise Capital of the World’.
Culture: Conga at the Carnival
Visitors in spring are well-advised to participate in the festivities of the Calle Ocho Carnival. The Latin-themed event culminates in a massive street party at the beginning of March, and it features live music, food, and drink. In the month prior to this, there is a variety of special events, including a charity golfing tournament at the Country Club of Miami. During the rest of the year, there are a plethora of museums and art galleries to peruse, and music fans can enjoy a wide range of international genres. Influences from places including Cuba, Brazil, and the Caribbean can be experienced throughout Miami culture, from diverse cuisine to eclectic nightlife.
Activities: Embrace the Great Outdoors
Visitors are never short of entertainment in Miami, and a great place to enjoy the sunshine is at one of the city’s large parks. Stunning ocean views can be enjoyed at South Pointe Park, while the more adventurous can go kayaking or mountain biking in the Oleta River State Park. The Tradewinds Park provides opportunities for fishing and pony rides, and Butterfly World, within Tradewinds Park, has beautiful botanical gardens and aviaries. Retail therapy can be catered for at one of the huge malls, or browse boutiques and bohemian stores in Coconut Grove. After a long day, there’s no better way to unwind in Miami than on one of its beaches before indulging in some fresh seafood or sampling the local ‘Floribbean’ cusine.