Miami Travel Guide

Northern America

City Overview of Miami

Miami is hip, sexy and sensual, a city full of emotion, color and texture that couldn’t be more Latin American.

Miami is no longer the city plagued by drugs and crime, which became known in the 1980s through the Miami Vice television series, but a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis with the nickname America’s Casablancamagical city or America of the millennium. After Los Angeles and New York, Miami attracts most visitors from abroad, many of whom hope to catch a glimpse of one of the many prominent residents.

Miami is a haven and dream for those who leave South America and the Caribbean to start a new life in the land of freedom.

Miami is made up of a number of mainland islands and communities that together make up the Greater Miami area, as well as its beaches. It is particularly appealing because of the diverse neighborhoods that range from the mighty metropolitan skyscrapers in Downtown Miami – the commercial heart of the city – to South Beach.

Most say Miami, but mean the small, chic neighborhood of South Beach. It’s probably what Miami is most like: candy-colored art deco houses in a setting typical of South Florida – cloudless sky, enchanting blue sea, bright sandy beaches and swaying palm trees. South Beach has an incredible number of beautiful hotels, especially on and around Ocean Drive, Collins, Washington and Euclid Avenue.

However, near the port of Miami, the world’s largest cruise ship port, which handles more than three million passengers each year, Miami has a completely different face, because that’s where Little Havana, the center of the Cuban community, is located.

Greater Miami is also an international center of commerce, finance, culture, sports, entertainment, transportation and tourism. The biggest source of income is tourism, because Miami Beach is world famous for its Gold Coast, which is packed with hotels, palatial buildings and recreational facilities.

The most ingenious thing about the city, however, is that it has successfully managed to integrate the different cultures of its ethnically very diverse population. The result is a model city of the 21st century and an extremely interesting example of the changing face of the USA.

Important facts

Area code: 305

Population: 470.914 (2020)

Latitude: 25.799121

Longitude: -80.212600

Miami Weather

Because of the subtropical climate, Miami has warm weather and plenty of sunshine all year round. The temperatures are usually around 20-30 ° C. The most popular travel time is from January to April. The beaches are often crowded during these months and hotels should be booked in advance. From June to September it is a bit quieter. Summer can get very humid, with June being the wettest month. Hurricanes and tropical storms can occur from June to November.

Miami City History

Miami’s history dates back approximately 10,000 years when Native Americans lived on the banks of the Miami River, and the region was covered with pine and deciduous forests that included deer, bears and wild fowl. When the first Europeans came to Biscayne Bay from Spain around 1500 , the area was populated by Tequesta Indians. The geographic location of the region attracted settlers from different continents over the next 300 years – including migrants from Great Britain and the Bahamas.

The United States came into the possession of Florida and the southern part of the peninsula at the beginning of the 19th century. The island city of Key West grew rapidly thanks to its convenient location on some important trade routes. In order to provide land to settlers, the United States signed contracts, established reservations, and relocated the indigenous Indians. Years of resistance from members of the Seminole tribe followed.

The present-day city of Miami was founded around 100 years ago when the magnate Henry Flagler extended his railroad route, which he used to transport citrus fruits from the frost-free south. Additional countries for agriculture, tourism and real estate were soon developed, followed by roads, bridges and airfields. Thousands were attracted during the real estate boom of the 1920s, and cities, tourist spots, and skyscrapers shot up like mushrooms. The population continued to grow even during the Depression. At the time of prohibition, Al Capone moved to the city because he had gotten too hot in Chicago. During the Second World War, the mild climate of South Florida attracted the military – training centers for soldiers were built and more people moved to Miami.

The Mafia came after World War II, and since Fidel Castro’s seizure of power in Cuba in 1959 , large waves of Cuban refugees have reached the city, making Miami the Latin American capital of the United States in a few years. In 1965 alone, 100,000 Cubans fled from Havana to Miami. Most of the refugees settled near the river, and the Little Havana district  grew – with a predominantly Spanish-speaking community. By the end of the decade, more than 400,000 Cuban refugees were living in Miami-Dade County. The rural exodus continued in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Haitians joined the Cubans.

In the 1980s, Miami’s development was determined by the cocaine trade when the city became a hub for narcotics from South America. Money from drug trafficking transformed parts of the city by building sophisticated buildings and nightclubs, but the upswing was overshadowed by the increasing number of violent crimes; nevertheless, the city enjoyed a reputation as a subtropical paradise. The construction boom in downtown Miami continued until 2010, so that the city’s skyscraper-shaped skyline is right behind that of New York and Chicago.

In the recent past, Miami has increasingly become a thriving cultural center. The Art Miami Art Fair has been held annually in the revitalized Midtown Wynwood Arts District, home to a variety of art galleries , since 2002, and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival is the largest of its kind in the country.