One of America’s most tourist-friendly cities, Miami is generally known for its vast beaches and perfect weather, but it is a far more complex and interesting city than people give it credit for. An increasingly important city in world finance, Miami has grown into an international powerhouse over a number of different industries. Culturally, the city is rich and diverse, considered by many as the Latin American capital of the United States, known particularly for its Cuban population. And then there is the stunning natural landscape – the likes of which cannot be compared to any other American city.
A short journey from Miami’s centre, Key Biscayne is one of the most picturesque areas in Miami-Dade County. Known mainly for its perfect beaches, natural beauty and luxury hotels, Key Biscayne also has a thriving nightlife and a range of top-notch restaurants. For those looking for an escape from the hectic madness of urban life, Key Biscayne is an indulgent and ideal destination.
Miami is well known for its immense and vibrant Cuban community, which forms a pivotal role in the city’s character and identity. The central hub of the city’s Cuban population, Little Havana is an essential cultural destination for visitors to Miami and encapsulates the city’s warm multiculturalism. Little Havana is known for its wealth of authentic and independent bars and restaurants, the most famous of which being the long-lasting institution Versailles. The area is also known for its festivities, which light up the already-vibrant community. Popular fiestas include the Calle Ocho Festival, which draws over a million attendees per year. For those seeking to sample an authentically ‘Miami’ experience, then a visit to Little Havana is a must.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Located in the affluent Coconut Grove neighbourhood of the city, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is one of Miami’s most valuable cultural institutions. Built in the early 20th Century as the home of wealth businessman James Deering, the Villa is known for its eclectic architectural design, combining Renaissance and Baroque influences. Its beautiful gardens are another major draw, flanked by natural woodland. The distinct building is well-preserved and open to the public, known for its opulent appearance and the wealth of artefacts it houses. One of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the building is certainly worth your time.
Perez Art Museum Miami
Miami’s main centre for contemporary art, the Perez Art Museum has served as a major cultural institution in the city for over three decades since its opening in 1984. Having recently moved to a new building designed by major architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, the museum has enjoyed a surge in popularity and attendance. In addition to its wealth of contemporary American art, the museum, in accordance with its location, also has a substantial collection of African and Latin American art.
Perhaps the city’s most famous neighbourhood, South Beach is known as the city’s main tourist haven. While it has perhaps been over-saturated with tourist traps, the area still has enough special draws to make it stand out from the city’s less manic neighbourhoods. The Art Deco district is full of stand-out, unique buildings. The area is also home to a wealth of high-end restaurants and hotels as well as a bustling nightlife for revellers. Then there is the eponymous beach itself, one of the most famous in the world. South Beach may be a magnet for tourists, but for good and ample reason.