Miami: City of Sun. With its gorgeous stretches of beaches, Art Deco designs, fabulous hotels and delicious food, there’s not a lot that’s not to like about this lively, fun city. Whether you’re visiting for an event like the Winter Music Conference in March, travelling on business, or taking a well-earned sunshine break, there are some famous landmarks in Miami that you just cannot miss.
Nicknamed ‘SoBe’ by the locals, South Beach is probably one of the most famous spots in Miami and the scene of some of the defining characteristics of the city, from the enthusiastic rollerbladers, to the convertibles cruising along Ocean Drive. South Beach is entertainment central, with a huge number of hotels and restaurants based here, as well as some of the best nightclubs in the city that keep the crowds entertained long after the sun has gone down. Miami Beach has a substantial gay community and there are lots of gay events here such as The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the annual Gay Pride Parade that is open to everyone. For the shopaholics, Ocean Drive borders the beach and is a haven for anyone looking to flex their credit cards on some new threads.
Miami is all about the glitz and if you want a great big hefty dose of celebrity lifestyle then a trip to Millionaire’s Row is the best way to get it. Although Millionaire’s Row is accessible from dry land, you would need a pretty high level of security to get to it on foot, so for the average visitor to the city, a boat cruise is the best way to get a glimpse of how the other half live. You won’t be able to see all the residences of the rich and famous like this but your average boat cruise can take in some interesting spots – such as the homes of Julio Iglesias, Shaquille O’Neal, Gloria Estefan and the former residence of Al Capone.
The Art Deco District
The 18-block area of Miami that makes up the Art Deco District is one part of this city that is so individual you just have to take a trip there. The area is populated by 1930s built hotels painted in bright and beautiful pastel colours that make for quite an arresting sight, especially on a gorgeous sunny Miami day. If you like to celeb spot then this is a great place to loiter with a coffee as many of the international glitterati hang out here.
Little Havana is Miami’s Cuban district and offers a fascinating insight into this part of the city’s culture. Stop for lunch at one of the food stalls that line the streets and try a Cuban delicacy like Cuban tamales and rice and beans. El Crédito Cigars was one of the first businesses to set up in Little Havana and is a haven for cigar lovers who can watch their smokes being hand rolled by experts before buying a box.
If you want to lay your head where the likes of Ginger Rogers, Al Capone, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby have gone before then the Biltmore is the place. The Biltmore was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996 and has appeared in countless films and TV shows, such as the movie Bad Boys and TV series CSI: Miami. Franklin D. Roosevelt even set up a temporary White House office here when he was fishing in Florida. As well as a historic landmark, the hotel is also a luxury five star resort with a fantastic golf course and spa. (http://www.biltmorehotel.com).
Miami is a vibrant and lively spot, with lots to offer anyone, whatever the reason for visiting the city. These famous landmarks in Miami make for a great way to kick off a trip here and to start getting to know the colourful local culture.