If you’re new to the area, you probably already know that Miami beckons like no other city. Like its residents, the city is fun-loving, cultured, exotic and alluring. There is astounding diversity—the city is a swirl of international languages, customs, and foods. You can hear Spanish, Portugese, Creole, Russian, and Hebrew in one afternoon. This cosmopolitan spirit is the pulse of the city. To get a true feel for the Latin American influence on the City, visit Little Havana, the heart of the Cuban exile community. Stroll among the restaurants and cigar factories, and make time for Calle Ocho—famous for its Latin celebrations.
But, Miami also has a more subdued and understated side. Key Biscayne, for example, which is a mere six miles off the coast, is an idyllic world-class resort community. It is bordered by Billi Baggs Cape Florida State Park to the south and Crandon Park to the North, and is home to some of the most stately and pristine beaches in the world. The view as you drive on Rickenbacker Causeway, over Virginia Key, is awe-inspiring. You seem to float above the world as the Atlantic’s aqua waters shimmer around you. It’s truly breathtaking. The blossoming and redeveloped Design District is another upscale Miami hot spot. This once neglected area has been transformed into a thriving art, fashion, décor, and culinary mecca. The District hosts numerous events and exhibitions throughout the year, including Art + Design nights on the second Saturday of every month.
A Miami city guide, of course, could never be complete without mention of infamous South Beach. SoBe is famous for a reason. Many reasons, actually. There is probably no better place to people watch than Lincoln Road. This outdoor shopping and dining promenade, between Alton Road and Washington Avenue, attracts a steady swarm of tourists, models, fashionistas, and eccentrics. There are street performers aplenty, as well as bars, high-end restaurants, and a variety of retailers. And what would South Beach be without its gorgeous beach? The beach has a wide shore, warm waters, and countless beautiful people. You can easily spend a day laying out, rollerblading, bicycling, or reading a book and resting up for SoBe’s electric night life.
With so much to see, do, taste, and experience in Miami, one City Guide can’t possibly suffice. So stay tuned for Part II: Miami with Kids.