Miami Flights and Travel Guide

Miami

General Information

Miami

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Miami - Introduction

Miami is located in southeastern Florida, on the Atlantic coast. It is a famous and popular US beach destination that enjoys sunny weather throughout the year.

The city is also a major center of commerce, finance, international trade, media and culture. It is Florida’s second most populous city and is sometimes humorously called the retirement capital of the US. On the other hand, Miami is also home to the largest US Cuban population, which gives the city a vibrant atmosphere.

Apart from the popular beach life, Miami offers great shopping, superb restaurants and vivid nightlife.

At the other end of the spectrum, the city lies in close vicinity to two amazing natural reserves, The Everglades National Park and The Biscayne National Park. To round out these attractions, Florida is dotted with all sorts of amusement parks offering entertainment for the entire family.

Next: Miami Climate »

Miami - Climate

Miami has a tropical monsoon climate. Summers are hot and humid, with levels of humidity between 85-90%. Most rainfall occurs in summer and early autumn. Winters are short, warm and drier.

January average temperature 20 deg Celsius 51 mm rainfall
February average temperature 20 deg Celsius, 53 mm rainfall
March average temperature 22 deg Celsius, 61 mm rainfall
April average temperature 23 deg Celsius, 76 mm rainfall
May average temperature 26 deg Celsius, 150 mm rainfall
June average temperature 27 deg Celsius, 224 mm rainfall
July average temperature 28 deg Celsius, 152 mm rainfall
August average temperature 28 deg Celsius, 198 mm rainfall
September average temperature 27 deg Celsius, 216 mm rainfall
October average temperature 26 deg Celsius, 178 mm rainfall
November average temperature 23 deg Celsius, 79 mm rainfall
December average temperature 20 deg Celsius, 46 mm rainfall

Next: Miami Getting There »

Miami - Getting There

PLANE

Miami International Airport (MIA) is located to the west of the city. The airport is an important transportation link between North and Latin America.

Transfer

Free shuttle connects to the nearby Tri Rail station and Metrorail and Metromover.
Taxi: available at the airport
Car rental: available at the airport

 

Getting Around

METROBUS

The Metrobus network is extensive and can be confusing at first. Single fare tickets cost the same for all destinations. Transfer tickets are more expensive.

METRORAIL

The elevated train service connects North and South Miami and is located at one mile intervals.

METROMOVER

Downtown Miami is served by a free elevated monorail which connects to Metrorail. It is the most effective way of getting around Downtown, and as a bonus it provides great views of the city.

TAXI

Taxis can be costly due to fact that the city is so spread out. They must be ordered by phone as passengers are not allowed to be hailed on the streets due to security and legal reasons.

CAR RENTAL

Car rental is very useful for visiting places outside downtown as the city is spread out a lot. Drivers must be over 21 to hire a car, and hold a valid credit card. Please note that a driver’s license in English is essential for foreigners.

Next: Miami Activities »

Miami - Activities

SPORTS

Miami offers excellent golf, tennis and water sports facilities.
There are over 20 public golf courses and 500 tennis courts where it is possible to play day and night.
Miami has over 300 parks and nature centers, two of which are national parks: Biscayne and the famous Everglades.
In other parks various activities can be pursued, such as picnicking, canoeing, boating, hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, basketball, and biking, with 80 miles of Class I bike trails.

Water sports include diving, and snorkeling. Most dive shops offer lessons, certification courses, and dive trips for scuba and skin diving. The most popular diving spots are Haulover Park and Biscayne National Park.

Surfing is also popular at Haulover Beach in Sunny Isles and South Pointe in South Miami Beach. Windsurfing is possible at Hobie Beach in Key Biscayne.

 

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

Web: http://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm

Take a tour of the stunning Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, home to rare and endangered animal species.
It has more than 1.5 million acres of natural habitat with over half of it under water.

The park has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance, and significant to everyone in the world.

Ranger-led tours or boat tours as well as renting canoes and kayaks are a superb way to explore the habitats of Everglades National Park. Paddle through shady mangrove tunnels, bright sawgrass prairies, open ponds and lakes, or along the stunning coastlines for an experience of a lifetime.

 

BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK

Web: http://www.nps.gov/bisc/index.htm

Biscayne National Park boasts unspoiled coastline, islands, crystal-clear ocean waters and coral reefs all within sight of downtown Miami! The majority of the Biscayne Park is actually under water, located in the area along the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula and around the northern keys.
Visitors can indulge in a number of activities, including boating, snorkeling, diving, camping, wildlife watching …or simply relaxing, gazing out over the bay.

 

MIAMI SEAQUARIUM

Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami
Web:
http://www.miamiseaquarium.com/
Phone: (305) 361-5705

Miami Seaquarium is a world-class marine-life entertainment park with eight different marine animal shows and lots of fun daily presentations.

It is a 15 hectare tropical paradise with spectacular skyline views of Miami. The park features dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, as well as offering a safe haven for the endangered sea turtles and manatees, and is also home of Flipper, television's star dolphin. The park is also home to thousands of other sea creatures in display tanks, as well as tropical gardens and a wildlife sanctuary.

 

KEY WEST

Key West sits in the middle of the sea, not far from the US coast. The scenic ride to Key West is across 42 bridges and 32 islands.

Counted a must among the attractions is the Hemingway House (907 Whitehead Street, Old Town, Key West). It was home of the artist from 1931 to 1939. Today it is open to the public and populated by over 60 cats, supposedly the descendants of Hemingway’s cats. The rooms where this writer spent some of his most prolific years, as well as the lush gardens surrounding the house are all open to the public.

Another popular attraction is Mallory Square, the center of Key West’s historic waterfront, which stages the famous Key West sunset celebration.

 

WALT DISNEY WORLD

Location: Orlando

Web: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/

Walt Disney World spans 4 Theme Parks and the best known is the Magic Kingdom –where one day scarcely suffices to do all the fun things that await the adventurer: riding the boat with the pirates, traveling in the jungle, riding the ‘death’ train, and visiting the mesmerizing Cinderella Castle.

Others will be attracted to the Disney Hollywood studios and the Animal Kingdom, where over 1700 animals of 250 species live. The Blizzard Beach, one of 2 Water Parks in Walt Disney World Resort, features one of the world's tallest and fastest free-falling waterslides. There are a multitude of rides for the whole family including kid-sized rides and the snow-castle fountain play area with scaled-down versions of the more thrilling attractions.

Next: Miami Attractions »

Miami - Attractions

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is actually Miami’s neighboring city. It is world renowned for its beach resorts, magnificent properties, great shopping and fabulous nightlife.
South Beach is the place to come to see and be seen. The glamorous area is filled with exclusive nightclubs, art deco buildings, dazzling ocean, and palm - studded beaches under cloudless skies.

 

Art deco District

Miami’s Art Deco District, listed on the National Historic Register, is home to over 800 historic buildings and is the world’s largest collection of Art Deco buildings.
They were built between 1920s and 30s and display the distinctive features of that era: stucco walls, flat roofs, pastel-colors made up of a combination of industrial and modern design.
The district also has great shopping, as well as chic cafes and restaurants.

 

Brickell

Miami’s major financial district, nicknamed the Manhattan of the South, is home to the largest number of international banks in the US, upscale apartments, top restaurants, shops and entertainment venues.
The nearby Brickell Key is a gated island of upscale, high-rise residential and hotel towers.

 

Key Biscayne

The paradise island of Key Biscayne lies south of Miami Beach, and is renowned for its brilliant white sandy beaches.
On the island’s northeast side lies Crandon Park, considered one of the best beaches in the US. It is a frequent site for fashion shoots and movie sets.
From the Bayside Marketplace there is a boat tour in the Biscayne Bay that offers views of the stunning mansions of the rich and famous.

 

Coral Gables

Coral Gables boasts tree-lined boulevards, green spaces and winding roadways which make it one of the prettiest parts of the city. It is also a popular shopping area, featuring exquisite boutiques and specialty stores; cruise its Miracle Mile to discover this season’s hottest new styles.
The area also abounds in top end restaurants catering to the most demanding customers in terms of elegance and quality.

 

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove is an upscale district located at the edge of Biscayne Bay that is a treasure trove of tree-lined streets, great shopping, fantastic restaurants, chic outdoor cafés, theaters and a buzzing nightlife. The area also hosts art festivals and cultural events. The area boasts a typical South Florida architecture with cobble stoned walkways, Spanish tile roofs, and colorful awnings and archways.

 

Bayside Marketplace

Web: http://www.baysidemarketplace.com/

Located in Downtown Miami, Bayside Market Place is one of the best places for shopping in Miami. The open-air mall features over 150 popular stores, fast food restaurants and bars, Latin eateries and cafés.

 

Little Havana

Little Havana, located west of Brickell Avenue, is an enclave that originated in the 1960s as Cuban refugees began settling around Miami's “Calle Ocho”. The second major influx of Cubans occurred during the Mariel boatlift of 1980, which increased the Cuban population in this area. Today this area is an authentic Cuban cultural hub.
Signs are in Spanish, there are fruit stands, cafeterias, cigar factories, and music. Vibrant colored murals decorate quirky houses, dominos are played on the streets, and people sit around discussing politics. The authentic, vibrant area is a must for any visit to Miami. The area is full of cafés and restaurants, and it is the best place in town to go for delicious coffee and great authentic Cuban food!

 

Next: Miami Restaurants »

Miami - Restaurants

Miami is an international city that mixes flavors from around the world. It offers a wide variety of cuisines in its many restaurants, including Cuban, Haitian, Peruvian, Colombian, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Argentinean and many more.
Miami and Miami Beach are especially world-famous for excellent and fresh seafood.

 

Next: Miami Events »

Miami - Events

Calle Ocho Festival

Location: Little Havana
Date: March
Time: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Web:
http://www.calle8.com

The festival, which originated in 1978 and was initiated by Cuban immigrants to show their culture to the neighborhood, takes place in the heart of Little Havana.
It is a perfect opportunity for travelers to enjoy Cuban and Latin food, music, and art. Music ranges from salsa, reggeaton, merengue, bachata, balada to hop and the like. Concerts are given by star performers such as El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Celia Cruz, Oscar D’Leon, and Grupo Niche.

The food at the stalls, ranging from typical Cuban dishes to international food, is excellent. The most popular drink is Cuba Libre, but fresh fruit juices and Mojitos are also widely available.
Expect huge crowds as the festival attracts as many as 1 million people.

 

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

Location: McFarlane Rd, South Bayshore Drive and Pan American Drive in Coconut Grove
Date: February (annual)
Web:
http://www.coconutgroveartsfest.com

The upscale neighborhood of Coconut Grove, located south of downtown is the setting of this open-air fine arts festival. It attracts great crowds of people, and displays works by over 300 contemporary artists. The displayed creations range in medium from photography and sculpture to jewelry, painting and woodwork.
To provide atmosphere and succor, there is music and delicious food available.

 

Miami Carnival

Location: Bicentennial Park, Downtown Miami
Date: 8 - 11 October
Web:
http://miamicarnival.us

Miami’s Caribbean-flavored Carnival has established itself as a popular fiesta, attracting over 50,000 revelers to its colorful parade, featuring live bands, dancers, performers, and decorated floats.

 

Festival Miami

Date: October 8 - 30
Web:
http://www.miami.edu/frost/index.php/festival_miami/

Festival Miami is an annual music festival that opens the South Florida arts season. It offers a superior and diverse musical program which usually include 20 concerts over a four-week period in four categories: “Great Performances,” “Jazz and Beyond,” “Creative American Music,” and “Music of the Americas.”

Next: Miami Etiquette »

Miami - Etiquette

Tipping is widely used and expected everywhere in the United States and is an important social convention in the USA.

An appropriate tip is between 15 & 20% for good service, more for exceptional service or less for poor service. Leaving no tip means that the service was terrible.

As a general rule, tips are as follows:
Bartenders: $1 per drink if inexpensive or 15% of total
Hotel doorman: $1 per bag (if they assist), $1 for calling a cab
Food delivery: $2-5, 15-20% for larger orders
Taxis: a tip of 10-20% is expected in both yellow cabs and livery cabs
Full-service restaurants: 15-20% (some restaurants already include service charge, especially for larger groups, and it will say so on the check.)

Smoking in public places is highly restricted. It is banned in the indoor sections of restaurants and bars, as well as train and subway stations, outdoor stadiums, and many other places. The outside areas of sidewalk cafes and restaurants are usually exempt from this rule.

Next: Miami Safety »

Miami - Safety

Miami does have a high crime rate, but the usual safety precautions are usually sufficient to stay safe.
Visitors are advised not to venture away from tourist areas and at all times avoid dangerous neighborhoods, especially after dark!

Miami’s safe areas are Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Key Biscane.
Note, however, that major tourist areas are attractive to pickpockets as they usually operate in crowded places. Also know that in well-off areas car break-ins and similar often occur.

Beaches are not safe at night and the areas of Liberty City, Opa Locka, Carol City, and Overtown are high-crime areas and best avoided.
Being alone in crowded areas is not recommended.

Valuables should be left in a hotel safe and nothing worth stealing should be left in a hotel room. Hotel rooms should always stay locked.
Expensive jewelry and flashy watches are attractive to thieves. Women are advised to keep their purses worn across the chest and men are advised to keep their wallets in front pockets. Valuables should not be left in cars, especially for vehicles parked on public streets. Keep windows and doors locked even while driving.

Due to the threat of terrorism, security checks at airports have been much increased. Allow enough time for connecting flights.
Medical facilities are excellent but very expensive. It is essential to secure good travel insurance before a trip. Note that only emergencies are treated without prior payment. Treatment can be refused without evidence of insurance or proof of funds.


Emergency Phone Numbers

Emergency: 911 (includes police, fire, acute medical emergencies, accidents, crime, violence, person in trouble, etc)

Aventura Police
Address: 2960 Aventura Boulevard
Phone: 305-466-8989

North Miami Police
Address: 700 Northeast 124th Street
Phone: 305-891-8111

North Miami Beach Police
Address: 16901 Northeast 19th Avenue
Phone: 305-949-5599

South Beach Police
Address: 1100 Washington Avenue
Phone: 305-673-7900


Non-emergency:

Aventura: 305-466-8999
Miami: 305-579-6111
Miami Beach: 305- 673-7900
North Miami Beach: 305-949-5500

Next: Miami When To Go »

Miami - When To Go

Winter is the most popular and the most pleasant time to visit Miami. Summers tend to get unbearably hot and humid, with heavy thunderstorms - although prices of accommodation are cheaper. Whenever Miami is the destination, however, pack plenty of sun block!

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Current weather in
Miami
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