Miami, Florida, has always billed itself as a travel destination. Warm weather, sandy beaches and bright sunshine were selling points more than 100 years ago, just as they are today. But Miami’s allure extends beyond its shores. People from all over the Caribbean and Latin America have settled in Miami, giving the city its distinctive, lively international character.

The warm-weather fun is still a big attraction, but the biggest draw is the cosmopolitan flavor coupled with all the great restaurants, sports teams (Dolphins, Heat, Hurricanes and Marlins) and upscale sheen—plus a long list of TV shows that have “Miami” in their titles.

South Beach, with its cheerful, sherbet-colored art-deco buildings and palm-tree-lined avenues, is the center of Miami’s trendy dining and nightlife scene. Other corners of Miami, including Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, offer their own versions of fine living and colorful happenings.

And don’t overlook the natural world—though you may have to drive to the Everglades to get a good view of it.


Miami is a sparkler of a city set against the water. The downtown area hugs the junction of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. A surge of development brought life to sleepy downtown neighborhoods, transforming them into urban vistas of galleries, cafes, nightlife, restored homes and high-rises. To the south, Coconut Grove is 3 mi/5 km along the water, and South Miami is about 6 mi/10 km away. Farther south, you’ll find Homestead and, beyond that, the Florida Keys.

The neighborhood of Coral Gables is approximately 6 mi/10 km west of Miami. Beyond that is Kendall—a vast stretch of condos, homes, shopping malls and restaurants that reaches the edge of the Everglades. Miami Beach is a finger of land separating Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic, connected by five causeways to the mainland. At its southern tip is South Beach, also known as the Art Deco District.