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Holidays in Miami
Sun-kissed Miami, Florida is one of the USA’s great beach destinations. Here is the perfect backdrop to a metropolis that pulses with the rhythms of its diverse population: year-round sunshine, top-ranked beaches, and the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay. Boasting Art Deco architecture and a vibrant arts and cultural scene, plus renowned nightlife and world-class dining, Miami draws an eclectic mix of visitors, from celebrities to families seeking fun in the sun.
Between May and December, when you’re promised less crowded beaches for sunbathing, warm seas for swimming, and balmy temperatures in the mid to high 20°Cs
Miami International Airport (MIA), which is 7 miles northwest of downtown Miami.
A man-made island off the Miami mainland, Miami Beach was purposely created to be a glamorous winter getaway. To the north you’ll find Miami Beach itself, where you can take in panoramic views of the shimmering Atlantic Ocean while on its lovely soft sands. At the southern tip of the island is the famous South Beach (and its nightlife), not to mention the Art Deco hotels of Ocean Drive. Hotels in Miami place you near shopping destinations like Collins Avenue; Miami’s world-class boutiques, stores, restaurants and galleries are waiting to be explored.
Nicknamed the ‘American Riviera’, lively South Beach draws you in with its beautiful white sands and historic, iconic buildings – if you’re not already, you’ll definitely go home an architecture buff. Hang out on Lincoln Road, sipping cafecito (strong and sweet espresso) and watching the beautiful people stroll by.
There are plenty of things to do in Miami aside from beach strolls and shopping. For sporty types, there are watersports; wow the kids with Jungle Island’s exotic residents (including a tiger-lion cross called a ‘liger’). The Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral is a short drive away. Culture fans will enjoy the Wynwood Arts District - filled with galleries and outdoor murals, it’s full of hidden hotspots. The Design District, north of Downtown, has independent galleries and a creative vibe, while Little Havana, west of Downtown, revels in a Hispanic atmosphere and Cuban heritage.
There’s more than enough to keep you busy during the day, but Miami after dark doesn’t do ‘quiet’; the party’s only just started. Get your most stylish threads on and head to South Beach at ‘fashionably late o’clock’. Its famous club scene offers a range of musical flavours from dancehall and reggaeton to salsa, rock and R&B. Tobacco Road in Downtown is a sure hit for live jazz. If you’re dining out beforehand, you can choose from a world of cuisine – but Latin American is the main influence here. Enjoy Cuban cocktails before painting the pastel-hued town red.
For nature lovers, a visit to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens is a must; here you can explore 83 acres of botanic garden, with an extensive collection of rare tropical plants. As well as the Kennedy Space Centre and Jungle Island, the Miami Seaquarium is just a 10-minute drive from downtown. Venture to the Florida Everglades, where you can take to the airboat for a ride, and meet the charmingly-named ‘Killer’ – a friendly local alligator in the safari park. Fashion fans will want to see the late Gianni Versace’s flamboyant mansion, now an exclusive hotel. The Pérez Art Museum of Miami (PAMM) is the newest museum in Miami (downtown) and truly a first world class museum not to be missed.
Enticing golden sands, warm waters… No wonder Miami’s beaches are so popular. Take a relaxing walk along Miami Beach’s boardwalk to soak up the laid-back atmosphere, which is especially romantic at sunset. After a bit of sightseeing in the Art Deco district, wander over to South Pointe with the kids, who’ll love the mini waterpark. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a film or TV crew on location. Picture-perfect and lively South Beach is great for those who are there to party. Nearby Lummus Park is ideal for taking seriously envy-inducing photos, thanks to its tropical greenery and tall palm trees.
Miami’s fabulous tropical climate gives you year-round blue skies and sunshine.
After dark, the club scene brings the already energetic city to even more vibrant life.
Museums, music and festivals, plus beaches, equals an irresistible combination.
Language: The language spoken in Miami is English.
Currency: The currency used in Miami is the American Dollar ($).
Local time: Miami is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Miami International Airport (MIA), which is 7 miles northwest of downtown Miami.
Flight time from UK: 9 hours.
Tourist Information: Further Miami tourist information can be found here.
Visa & Health: Before you travel click here for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Miami.
Temperatures: A mild average of 20°C in January, and up to 33°C July-September.
Best time to visit Miami: Between May and December, when you’re promised less crowded beaches for sunbathing, warm seas for swimming, and balmy temperatures in the mid to high 20°Cs.
Miami’s weather is generally warm all year round (with only the odd cold snap), thanks to its subtropical climate. Watch out for the daily light shower, but that’ll only last the time it takes to continue leisurely eating your ice cream.
Golf carts Zip around in a hired golf cart and enjoy the sea breeze in your hair.
SWOOP These taxis aren’t like the regular ones – they’re golf carts, and free to use. Pre-book for journeys in the South Beach area.
By bus Within the Miami Beach area the bus connections are good; it’s easy to get to downtown Miami.
By car Hire a car for getting around other parts of Miami, especially from South Beach.
By rail Miami Metrorail and Metro Mover systems are great for getting around.
Parties Practise those salsa moves - between the Pride celebrations in April, Latin Carnaval in March and the Caribbean Carnival in October, Miami rocks with the party spirit it’s famed for.
Culture Music lovers are spoiled for choice, from the Miami Beach Jazz Festival in November to the Ultra Music Festival in March. Literary stars descend every November for the International Book Fair, and the art scene bursts into life come December for Art Basel. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Miami International Boat Show are also other popular events.
Sports The Sony Open takes over the courts in March, while November brings NASCAR’s Ford Championship to Miami for the speedway fans. The Doral Golf Classic is a great event for golf enthusiasts.