If you’re looking for an American holiday with a touch of culture and a Latin beat at its heart, opt for Miami for your 2017 holiday. Culturally, Miami is nestled between the fast-paced living of the majority of the United States and the Latino culture you’ll find in Central America. The intermingling between traditional American and Latino cultures gives the city an eclectic feel that’s embodied in its varied restaurants, beaches and shops. If Miami can be summed up in one word, it’s flamboyant. From the bright shirts of locals to the colourful districts with their Art Deco buildings, Miami likes to live life at full volume.
Miami is located on the south-eastern tip of Florida. With 15 miles of glorious golden sandy beaches, Miami is a popular choice with beach lovers and those that enjoy water sports like snorkelling and surfing. Miami is also a prime cultural destination and has many attractions including the iconic Ocean Drive, where you’ll spot plenty of famous faces and can hit the shops like a pro. There’s also the trendy Art Deco district, which combines art and architecture on South Beach, and the famous Miami Beach Boardwalk.
At a glance
- Currency: United States Dollar
- Language: English
- Time Zone: GMT +-5
- Average flight time: 9h 15m
When to go
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The almost limitless attractions Miami has to offer make it a great choice of holiday destination, whether you are looking to enjoy a romantic couples’ getaway or a family summer holiday. Some of the most popular attractions in Miami include the Miami Seaquarium on Biscayne Bay, Miami’s Metrozoo and the Gator Park. Miami has a strong Latin culture, which you can learn more about at the Wolfsonian or Bass, while the extensive Cuban community is represented in the pastel-coloured buildings in Little Havana.
There are a number of cultural excursions here including the Millionaire’s Row Cruise and the Big Bus Miami Hop On and Off Tour. If you’re looking to learn more about Miami’s rich history, head to the Viczaya Museum, the Cubaocho Museum or the Wynwood Art Walk. You can round out your trip with some shopping at the iconic Dolphin Mall or watch a game at Marlins Park.
Wine and Dine
Miami offers everything from Cuban fritas (the Cuban equivalent of a hamburger) to gourmet bagels, ensuring you’ll never go hungry on your Miami holiday. The best bagels in Miami are served by the Egyptian brothers Islam and Khaled Mohammed at the Toasted Bagelry and Deli. The brothers serve an incredible 4,000+ bagels on Sundays with various genius topping combinations from salty whitefish salad to eggs and onions. If you’re looking to start the day off in style (or recover from too many Cuban cocktails), head to Mina’s Mediterraneo where you can enjoy an incredibly varied menu of brunch options. There’s everything from Egyptian brunch to shakshuka and eggs Benedict.
Holidays are all about having a good time, so ditch the diet and enjoy the delicious baked delicacies at Sugar Yummy Mama. Here you’ll find everything from bright cake pops to cupcakes and a fresh take on traditional Caribbean rum cake. Of course, Miami is famous for its iconic cocktails, the favourites here being Pina Colada, Mojito, Caipirinha, the Miami Vice and the Hurricane.
If you’re looking for a United States holiday destination to keep all the family happy, Miami is well worth a closer look. The scenic Miami coastline is an easy pick for families with young children, thanks to its shallow waters, pristine beaches and lifeguard patrols. There’s a wide range of water sports for both adults and children at many of Miami’s beaches. One of the best attractions for families with children is Jungle Island, a unique attraction with singing, dancing and bicycle-riding parrots (yes, you read that right). Once you’ve recovered from the parrots’ antics, all the family can cool off at the Jungle Island water park.
At The Everglades and Biscayne National Park, you’ll find a variety of wildlife including alligators. Following an indulgent breakfast at the Donut Gallery Café, head to the Miami Seaquarium to swim with dolphins, seals and other cute marine life. Try the Sea Trek Reef Encounter to join trainers for a day.
Action and Adventure
Thanks to its clean sands and clear waters, the beaches of Miami are a safe bet for running, swimming and playing sports on the sand. Other water sports available in the area include surfing, kitesurfing and paddle boarding - now considered the trendiest water sport in Miami.
Miami has the privilege of being the only city in the US that is bordered by two national parks, the Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. Both stunning natural wonders are the ideal venue for all kinds of outdoor activities, from wildlife watching to canoeing and hiking. Miami’s natural parks are sun-drenched all year round and bursting with nature trails for outdoor enthusiasts. Some of the paths wind through mangroves, while others run alongside the shore, giving you a versatile landscape to explore. Crandon Park is packed full of exciting outdoor activities including historic nature walks and guided tram tours of the Bear Cut Preserve.
Life's a Beach
Ever since Miami Vice, people around the world have longed to visit Miami’s South Beach. The destination has evolved to become a hugely popular beach holiday destination. The best Miami beaches are a wonderful melting pot for people of all cultures and backgrounds to mingle, sunbathe, swim and make new friends. At Lummus Park Beach you’ll find volleyball, thatch-topped huts and lifeguard stands, including a particularly quirky one with an Astroturf-topped roof.
One of the most spectacular beaches Miami has to offer is the Haulover Beach, with miles of white sand, soft surf and manicured dunes, as well as a number of picnic areas with shade. Surfside is a quiet residential commune with a small-town ambiance. While most of the visitors are locals, they are very welcoming to tourists too.
Miami Beach is an iconic nightlife destination that is enjoyed by revellers from around the globe. The highlight of the nightlife scene is Happy Hour, with the main cocktail bars serving reasonably-priced drinks in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Some of the best Happy Hour venues in Miami include the classically cool Doraku, which serves draft beer, sake and tasty sushi-themed snacks and salad. The Meat Market in South Beach is famous for its signature cocktails, complimentary appetisers and affordable £2 half-shell oysters.
Another distinctive feature of Miami’s nightlife scene is the rooftop bar, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing drink in the cooling night air. The most popular rooftop bars include Area 31 at the Epic Hotel and the Fifty Miami Ultra Lounge at the W Miami.
With its passionate Cuban influences, hot weather and gorgeous surroundings, Miami is the ideal place for a romantic getaway. The options for couples’ activities here range from the uber-glamorous to the laid back, giving you maximum versatility. Miami was recently rated the third most romantic city in America, and when you see the list of loved-up things to do here you’ll have no problem understanding why. For a romantic hand-in-hand stroll take a walk along the pedestrian promenade at Lincoln Road, which conveniently has a movie theatre at one end. If you’re looking to inject some excitement into your relationship, why not book a day of surfing or paddle boarding in Miami. Or hire a boat for a more debonair romantic experience that channels Old Hollywood glamour.
If you’re looking to treat your significant other to some special gifts, you could try an outdoor mall like Coral Gables, Bal Harbour Shops or the Village of Merrick Park. Couples that love to learn about history will appreciate a visit to the scenic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, making you feel as though you’ve stepped into the Italian Renaissance period.
Miami is one of the main cultural hubs of the United States and boasts a full complement of historic and contemporary cultural attractions. Miami’s Art Deco architecture is best exemplified in more than 800 buildings of the same style throughout the districts of Washington Avenue, Collins Avenue, Flamingo Park, Museum Espanola Way and the National Register Art Deco District.
Miami also has a cutting-edge art scene with Wynwood at the epicentre, boasting more than 70 galleries in the vibrant mural-decorated neighbourhood. At the Viczaya Museum, you can take in more than 200 years of artwork and an exquisite collection of orchids, while Miami Beach has a unique collection of MiMo (Miami modern) style buildings that were restored along with the North Shore Historic District.