Miami has long been one of USA’s favourite holiday destinations, especially in the winter months, as the city stays consistently warm; although it has been known to have the occasional cool snap. With some of the best beaches in the country, impressive Art Deco landmarks, world-class cultural sights, stunning coral reefs and aquatic life of Biscayne Bay, there's no shortage of exciting places to visit during your Miami holiday. Whether you’re a beach lover or here with the family, holidays here have it all.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.
Even though its latitude is not quite tropical, the climate could certainly be described as such, with warm winters and hot summers. The city does experience quite a lot of rainfall overall, but much of this falls from June to October, when daytime temperatures are generally around 30 (°C) and night-time temperatures don't usually fall below the mid-20s (°C).
It’s 9 hours from the UK to 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.
Spend some time at the beautiful Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, where you can see many rare tropical plant species. This huge garden includes the Wings of the Tropics exhibit, where you can watch exotic butterfly species native to South and Central America. Or head to the Miami Seaquarium, where you'll see some of the most amazing marine life in the world, from Orca Whales to Sea Turtles.
If you're a foodie, you'll love the restaurant scene, which reflects the city's diverse population and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The city has long been touted for its vibrant Caribbean and Central American cuisine, and is home to some superb Spanish, Argentinian, and Peruvian restaurants. During your getaway, you'll also find plenty of places serving American and European cuisine, as well as delicious cocktails like minty Cuban-inspired Mojito and the coconut-rum blended Pina Colada.
If you're a nature lover, you'll be in heaven here; as this destination is next to one of America's greatest wildernesses, the Everglades National Park. Home to many rare and endangered species from panthers to crocodiles, it's an incredible contrast from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Miami. Experience peace and tranquillity in its scenic pinelands, go canoeing on the lakes, and head to the Shark Valley visitor centre for a magnificent panoramic view of the park. By car, you can reach the Everglades in about 30 minutes.
To be right at the heart of all the action during your holidays in Miami, head to South Beach, which is nicknamed 'America's Party Beach' and is great for people-watching. The South Beach is the city's most gay-friendly destination, while the two-mile-long Sunny Isles Beach further north is perfect for water sports enthusiasts and families.
If you're looking for somewhere a bit quieter, consider heading to Homestead Bayfront Park Beach, the most southerly beach in this area. Here you'll find a natural atoll pool, pristine white sands, and a fantastic seafood restaurant that's popular with the locals and those on holiday.
You can’t visit Miami without spending some time soaking up the sun on the beach. Head to downtown Miami and take a 15-kilometer drive over the MacArthur Causeway towards South Beach. Here, you’ll be met with long stretches of golden sand, shimmering waves and a breath-taking skyline. Find a quiet spot to top up your tan before going for a refreshing swim in the sea. If you’ve come to Miami for its buzzing nightlife, you’ll want to head to the A1A, where you’ll find a host of Art Deco buildings, neon nightclubs and a great selection of bars that stay open until the early hours of the morning.
Back in the 1940s, the creator of the Coral Castle stood at the entrance of his fantasy masterpiece and charged just ten cents per admission. He wasn’t a particularly strong man, but he still managed to build this unusual castle using almost 1,000 metric tons of coral rock. His method is still debated today and we’ll probably never understand exactly how Ed Leedskalnin constructed the castle with just his bare hands. However, it’s fun to hear the theories, which include everything from him having wizardry powers to the more logical explanations brought forth by local scientists. The Coral Castle is well worth a visit as you’ll get to walk around the unique structure and snap memorable photos of this mysterious historical site along the way.
Stroll past the colourful monuments and artistic wall murals in the Cuban neighbourhood of Little Havana. Traditional salsa and merengue music spills out of every café and restaurant, creating an upbeat tempo as a backdrop to your visit. Fill your stomach at Versailles Cuban Bakery, where you’ll find homemade pancakes, scrambled eggs, Cuban sandwiches and delicious croquettes served throughout the day. Soak up the culture at a nearby live show in one of Little Havana’s spirited venues, which often host live band shows, dancing events and regular open-air art festivals that brings the party out into the streets.
The fabulous tropical climate gives you year-round blue skies and sunshine.
After dark, the club scene brings the already energetic city to life.
With an excellent festival scene, endless museums, and a varied restaurant scene, culture seekers will love their holiday to Miami.
Language: The language spoken in here is English. Spanish is also widely spoken across the city and throughout this part of Florida.
Currency: The American Dollar ($) is the currency used in this holiday hotspot.
Local time: It’s 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Miami International Airport (MIA), which is 7 miles northwest of downtown Miami.
Flight time from UK: It’s approximately a 9 hour flight here.
Tourist information: If you'd like to find more tourist information, you can find great tips here http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/.
Visa & health: Before start your holiday, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa for recommendations and advice on security, visas and health.
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 journeys in the South Beach area.
By bus: Within the beach area the bus connections are good, and it’s easy to get around.
By car: Hiring a car is a convenient way to get around other parts of the city and the coast during your time away, especially from South Beach.
By rail: The Metrorail and Metro Mover systems are also great for getting around the city.
Temperatures: A mild average of 20 (°C) in January, and up to 33 (°C) from July to September.
Best time to visit: Between May and December, it’s more likely to have less crowded beaches for sunbathing, warm seas for swimming, and balmy temperatures in the mid to high 20s (°C).
The weather is generally warm all year round with only the odd cold or cool snap between December and February, thanks to its tropical climate. In the driest months of December to April, about four out of five days are dry, whereas in the wettest month, September experiences rain one in every two days, and about four times as much rain as in December or January. That's why the city is such a popular winter and spring- holiday destination. In the past, hurricanes have occurred, although fortunately these do not happen here very often, despite the city's location.
Parties: Practice those salsa moves on your holiday. Between the Pride celebrations in April, Latin Carnival in March and the Caribbean Carnival in October, you’ll always have something to look forward to see.
Culture: Music lovers are spoilt 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, where the art scene bursts into life by 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 here for the speedway fans. The Doral Golf Classic is a great event for golf enthusiasts, too.