Miami, Florida. Wonderful view of city buildings along the sea. South Beach Miami, Florida Miami Downtown skyline in daytime with Biscayne Bay

City Overview

A haven for Americans who want to hide away from winter, a playground for trendsetters, a glamorous background for VIPs, Miami is indeed the Magical City. So what hurricanes tend to visit Miami’s shores too often and alligators are common residents in the gardens of Miami’s homes? Nobody seems to care about the so called disadvantages that try to spoil Miami’s obvious charm and joie de vivre. Everybody loves this city and they have all the right reasons for doing so.

From a mosquito-infested swampland to a glamorous destination

Yes, it’s true! Only 100 years ago, Miami was simply put a swampland where only the mosquitoes wanted to spend their days. However, the railroad came to Miami, and then a few visionaries decided to give this Indian trading post on Miami River a shot to become famous! And so it became! They built hotels and bridges, brought in electricity and dredged the port. What was once strip of mangrove coast became the spectacular Miami Beach. Of course, tourists came and kept coming, and coming and they still do!

Trendy, flashy, lovely Miami

Everybody loves this city! The city is just like a pair of Spanx: it makes everybody look absolutely stunning. Once you step in this city, you’re instantly taking over by waves of glamour and all you want to do is just pose in South Beach. However, once you snap out of the magic, you realize that the trendiness of Miami is much more than the impressive South Beach. Wynwood and Design districts that lie north of Downtown are definitely more and more present on the list of things to visit in Miami, especially since they are home to fashionista and hipster movements.

And the city keeps growing

Fontainebleau is open once again and this means new nightclubs and restaurants are lined and looking absolutely pretty along Mid-Beach. Of course, hotels, resorts and lounges made an appearance there in a frenetic rhythm. Next year, Miami will see a new multiblock project inaugurated, Soho Beach House and the Faena District Miami Beach, developed by Alan Faena.

Pan-American mosaic of culture

Miami is a bit more Latin American than American, and a place where an impressive number of cultures have found the perfect home to just be themselves and grow. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if you hear a Metallica song sung in Spanish by a Venezuelan, somewhere in a karaoke bar in the historical Coral Gables. Of course, one of the best secondary effects of this pot of cultures is the diversity of the city’s cuisine.

A culinary revolution happens as we speak

This is definitely the best kind of revolution that can happen in a city, especially in such a high-end destination such as Miami. Everybody takes part at the revolution, from street food vendors to awarded chefs and, of course, curious and hungry locals and tourists. You just have to try every type of cuisine here: American, French, Asian and Latin, Cuban and novelties, such as Floribbean or New World cuisine, that mixes and matches Caribbean and American flavors. For the pricey restaurants head over to Miami Beach, the Caribbean specialties are to be found in Coconut Grove, Cuban sandwiches await in Little Havana, while locals eat in Downtown Miami, Midtown, the Design district and Wynwood.

Life beyond beach…is that possible?

It is indeed possible! There’s more to Miami than its beaches, snorkeling, scuba diving and boating, although no one visits the city especially for its impressive museums and high-end galleries. However, they might come especially for some absolutely spectacular cultural events and festivals that take place every year, such as South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Miami Fashion Week, Art Basel or Winter Music Conference. The Wynwood Arts District is also a must visit if you’re into art, as are the Art Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art. Passionate about science? The Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science is set to open in 2017 and dazzle visitors with a 3D planetarium and 600,000 gallon aquarium.

Ocean-view room? We say boutique room!

We have to be honest! Not everybody can afford the famous sea-view rooms in Miami, although everybody longs for them. It’s just the harsh reality. You may feel glamorous here, but if you’re not actually rich to sustain your illusion, then you should look for your hotel beyond South Beach and the dazzling hotels on Collins Avenue. The silver lining in this is that you will get to stay at one of the beautiful boutique hotels in the city, and you’ll just love it there. You can easily spot the most expensive hotels in Miami by their designer vibe and names like Marriott Miami Biscayne Bay, Conrad Miami and Aqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach. So, if you have the strength to say no to an ocean view room and yes to hotels like Circa 39 and The Vagabond Hotel, you will probably save a lot of money.

So much to shop for in Miami

Although it might sound incredible, some people fly here just for the shopping experience. The city is indeed worthy it! From sophisticated malls and haute couture boutiques to entire avenues invaded by affordable chain stores, shopping in Miami has never been more thrilling. Shopping here is quite fun, since you can find a bargain shop sitting proudly right next to a fancy Dior or Prada shop. The number one destination for shopaholics is the Aventura Mall, but crowds of fashionistas can also be found at the Bal Harbour Shops. The Design District is definitely a favorite too. If you’re more into thrift shops and vintage clothing or if you just want to visit a lot of smoke shops, the streets of South Beach are the place to wander.

One more thing…

Miami is not the same thing with Miami Beach! They are two separate cities. Miami is situated on the mainland, being the commercial hub of South Florida, while Miami Beach is America’s Riviera. The latter h spans 17 islands in Biscayne Bay and it’s all about beaches, palm trees, nightlife and an absolutely stunning Art Deco District.

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