|— City —|
Images from top, left to right: Skyline of Downtown and Midtown, Freedom Tower, Villa Vizcaya, Bank of America Tower, Virginia Key Beach, Performing Arts Center, American Airlines Arena, Port of Miami and the Downtown skyline at night.
|Nickname(s): The Magic City, The MIA, The 305|
Location in Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida
|Incorporated||July 28, 1896|
|- Type||Mayor-Commissioner Plan|
|- Mayor||Tomás Regalado (I)|
|- City Manager||Pedro G. Hernandez|
|- City Attorney||Julie O. Bru|
|- City Clerk||Priscilla Thompson|
|- City||55.27 sq mi (143.1 km2)|
|- Land||35.68 sq mi (92.4 km2)|
|- Water||19.59 sq mi (50.7 km2)|
|- Urban||1,116.1 sq mi (2,890.7 km2)|
|- Metro||6,137 sq mi (15,894.8 km2)|
|Elevation||6 ft (2 m)|
|- Density||6,558.2/sq mi (2,532.1/km2)|
|- Estimate (2008)||413,201|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|- Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP Code||33101-33102, 33107, 33109-33112, 33114, 33116, 33119, 33121-33122, 33124-33170, 33172-33190, 33193-33197, 33199, 33222, 33231, 33233-33234, 33238-33239, 33242-33243, 33245, 33247, 33255-33257, 33261, 33265-33266, 33269, 33280, 33283, 33296, 33299|
|Area code(s)||305, 786|
|GNIS feature ID||0295004|
Miami (pronounced /maɪˈæmi/ or /maɪˈæmə/) is a major city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida, in the United States. Miami is the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida. It is a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which had a 2008 population of 5,414,712; ranking 7th largest in the U.S.. The Miami Urbanized Area (as defined by the Census Bureau) was the fifth most populous urbanized area in the U.S. in the 2000 census with a population of 4,919,036. In 2008, the population of the Miami urbanized area had increased to 5,232,342, becoming the fourth-largest urbanized area in the United States, behind New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Miami is a well-known global city due to its importance in finance, commerce, culture, fashion, print media, entertainment, the arts and international trade. An international center for popular entertainment in television, music, fashion, film, and the performing arts, Miami also has a powerful international influence. The city is also home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States, as well as home to many international company headquarters, and television studios. The city's Port of Miami is the number one cruise/passenger port in the world and is known for accommodating the largest volume of cruise ships in the world, and is home to many major cruise line headquarters.
The Miami area was first inhabited for more than one thousand years by the Tequestas, but was later claimed for Spain in 1566 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. A Spanish mission was constructed one year later in 1567. In 1836, Fort Dallas was built, and the Miami area subsequently became a site of fighting during the Second Seminole War.
Miami holds the distinction of being the only major city in the United States founded by a woman, Julia Tuttle, who was a local citrus grower and a wealthy Cleveland native. The Miami area was better known as "Biscayne Bay Country" in the early years of its growth. Some published reports described the area as a promising wilderness. The area was also characterized as "one of the finest building sites in Florida." The Great Freeze of 1894-1895 hastened Miami's growth, as the crops of the Miami area were the only ones in Florida that survived. Julia Tuttle subsequently convinced Henry Flagler, a railroad tycoon, to expand his Florida East Coast Railroad to the region. Miami was officially incorporated as a city on July 28, 1896 with a population of just over 300.
Miami prospered during the 1920s with an increase in population and infrastructure but weakened after the collapse of the Florida land boom of the 1920s, the 1926 Miami Hurricane and the Great Depression in the 1930s. When World War II began, Miami, well-situated due to its location on the southern coast of Florida, played an important role in the battle against German submarines. The war helped to expand Miami's population; by 1940, 172,172 people lived in the city. After Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959, many Cubans sought refuge in Miami, further increasing the population. In the 1980s and 1990s, various crises struck South Florida, among them the Arthur McDuffie beating and the subsequent riot, drug wars, Hurricane Andrew, and the Elián González uproar. Nevertheless, in the latter half of the 20th century, Miami became a major international, financial, and cultural center.
Miami and its metropolitan area grew from just over one thousand residents to nearly five and a half million residents in just 110 years (1896–2006). The city's nickname, The Magic City, comes from this rapid growth. Winter visitors remarked that the city grew so much from one year to the next that it was like magic.
Miami is one of the country's most important financial centers. It is a major center of commerce, finances, corporate headquarters, and boasts a strong international business community. According to the ranking of world cities undertaken by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC) and based on the level of presence of global corporate service organizations, Miami is considered a "beta world city".
Several large companies are headquartered in or around Miami, including but not limited to: Alienware, Arquitectonica, Arrow Air, Bacardi, Benihana, Brightstar Corporation, Burger King, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Lines, CompUSA, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Espírito Santo Financial Group, Fizber.com, Greenberg Traurig, Interval International, Lennar, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Perry Ellis International, RCTV International, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ryder Systems, Seabourn Cruise Line, Telefónica USA, TeleFutura, Telemundo, Univision, U.S. Century Bank, and World Fuel Services. Because of its proximity to Latin America, Miami serves as the headquarters of Latin American operations for more than 1400 multinational corporations, including AIG, American Airlines, Cisco, Disney, Exxon, FedEx, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Oracle, SBC Communications, Sony, Visa International, and Wal-Mart.
Since 2001, Miami has been undergoing a large building boom with more than 50 skyscrapers rising over 400 feet (122 m) built or currently under construction in the city. Miami's skyline is ranked third most impressive in the U.S., behind New York City and Chicago, and 18th in the world according to the Almanac of Architecture and Design. The city currently has the eight tallest (as well as thirteen of the fourteen tallest) skyscrapers in the state of Florida, with the tallest being the 789-foot (240 m) Four Seasons Hotel & Tower.
Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami are among the nation's busiest ports of entry, especially for cargo from South America and the Caribbean. Additionally, Downtown has the largest concentration of international banks in the country located mostly in Brickell, Miami's financial district. Miami was also the host city of the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations, and is one of the leading candidates to become the trading bloc's headquarters. Tourism is also an important industry in Miami. The beaches, conventions, festivals and events draw over 12 million visitors annually from across the country and around the world, spending $17.1 billion. The historical Art Deco district in South Beach, is widely regarded as one of the most glamorous in the world for its world-famous nightclubs, beaches, historical buildings, and shopping. However, it is important to note that Miami Beach is a separate city from the City of Miami.
Miami is the home to the National Hurricane Center and the headquarters of the United States Southern Command, responsible for military operations in Central and South America. In addition to these roles, Miami is also an industrial center, especially for stone quarrying and warehousing.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2004, Miami had the third highest incidence of family incomes below the federal poverty line in the United States, making it the third poorest city in the USA, behind only Detroit, Michigan (ranked #1) and El Paso, Texas (ranked #2.) Miami is also one of the very few cities where its local government went bankrupt, in 2001. However, since that time, Miami has experienced a revival: in 2008, Miami was ranked as "America's Cleanest City" according to Forbes Magazine for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets and city-wide recycling programs. In a 2009, UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States (of four U. S. cities included in the survey) and the world's fifth-richest city, in terms of purchasing power.
In 2005, the Miami area witnessed its largest real estate boom since the 1920s. Midtown, having well over a hundred approved construction projects, is an example of this. As of 2007, however, the housing market has crashed and more than 23,000 condos are for sale and/or foreclosed. The Miami area ranks 8th in the nation in foreclosures.
At only 35.68 square miles (92 km2) of land area, Miami has the smallest land area of any major U.S. city with a metro area of at least 2.5 million people. The city proper is home to less than 1 in 13 residents of South Florida. Additionally, 52% of Miami-Dade County's population doesn't live in any incorporated city. Miami is the only major city in the United States bordered by two national parks, Everglades National Park on the west, and Biscayne National Park on the east.
Miami and its suburbs are located on a broad plain between the Florida Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east that also extends from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee. The elevation of the area never rises above 40 ft (12 m) and averages at around 6 ft (1.8 m) above mean sea level in most neighborhoods, especially near the coast. The highest undulations are found along the coastal Miami Rock Ridge, whose substrate underlies most of the eastern Miami metropolitan region. The main portion of the city lies on the shores of Biscayne Bay which contains several hundred natural and artificially created barrier islands, the largest of which contains Miami Beach and South Beach. The Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current, runs northward just 15 miles (24 km) off the coast, allowing the city's climate to stay warm and mild all year.
The surface bedrock under the Miami area is called Miami oolite or Miami limestone. This bedrock is covered by a thin layer of soil, and is no more than 50 feet (15 m) thick. Miami limestone formed as the result of the drastic changes in sea level associated with recent glaciations or ice ages. Beginning some 130,000 years ago the Sangamonian Stage raised sea levels to approximately 25 feet (7.6 m) above the current level. All of southern Florida was covered by a shallow sea. Several parallel lines of reef formed along the edge of the submerged Florida plateau, stretching from the present Miami area to what is now the Dry Tortugas. The area behind this reef line was in effect a large lagoon, and the Miami limestone formed throughout the area from the deposition of oolites and the shells of bryozoans. Starting about 100,000 years ago the Wisconsin glaciation began lowering sea levels, exposing the floor of the lagoon. By 15,000 years ago, the sea level had dropped to 300 to 350 feet (110 m) below the contemporary level. The sea level rose quickly after that, stabilizing at the current level about 4000 years ago, leaving the mainland of South Florida just above sea level.
Beneath the plain lies the Biscayne Aquifer, a natural underground source of fresh water that extends from southern Palm Beach County to Florida Bay, with its highest point peaking around the cities of Miami Springs and Hialeah. Most of the South Florida metropolitan area obtains its drinking water from this aquifer. As a result of the aquifer, it is not possible to dig more than 15 to 20 ft (4.6 to 6.1 m) beneath the city without hitting water, which impedes underground construction. For this reason, the mass transit systems in and around Miami are elevated or at-grade.
Most of the western fringes of the city extend into the Everglades, a subtropical marshland located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida. This causes occasional problems with local wildlife such as alligators venturing into Miami communities and major highways.
In terms of land area, Miami is one of the smallest major cities in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, the city encompasses a total area of 55.27 sq mi (143.1 km2). Of that area, 35.67 sq mi (92.4 km2) is land and 19.59 sq mi (50.7 km2) is water. That means Miami comprises over 400,000 people in a mere 35 square miles (91 km2), making it one of the most densely populated cities in the United States, along with New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago among others. Miami is located at .
Miami has a true tropical climate, specifically the Tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification Am) with hot & humid summers and warm winters, with a marked dry season in the winter. The city does experience cold fronts from late October through March. However, the average monthly temperature for any month has never been recorded as being under 64.4 °F (January averages 67 °F). Most of the year is warm and humid, and the summers are almost identical to the climate of the Caribbean tropics. The wet season lasts from May to October, when it gives way to the dry season, which features mild temperatures with some invasions of cool air, which is when the little winter rainfall occurs — with the passing of a front. The hurricane season largely coincides with the wet season.
In addition to its sea-level elevation, coastal location and position just above the Tropic of Cancer, the area owes its warm, humid climate to the Gulf Stream, which moderates climate year-round. A typical summer day does not have temperatures below 75 °F (24 °C). Temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s (30-35 °C) accompanied by high humidity are often relieved by afternoon thunderstorms or a sea breeze that develops off the Atlantic Ocean, which then allow lower temperatures, although conditions still remain very muggy. During winter, humidity is significantly lower, allowing for cooler weather to develop. Average minimum temperatures during that time are around 60 °F (16 °C), rarely dipping below 40 °F (4 °C), and the equivalent maxima usually range between 70 and 77 °F (21 and 25 °C).
Miami has never recorded a triple-digit temperature; the highest temperature recorded was 98 °F (37 °C). The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city of Miami was 30 °F (−1 °C) on several occasions. Miami has never recorded an accumulation of snow, and has only once recorded snow flurries, on January 19, 1977. Weather conditions for the area around Miami were recorded sporadically from 1839 until 1900, with many years-long gaps. A cooperative temperature and rainfall recording site was established in what is now Downtown in December, 1900. An official Weather Bureau Office was opened in Miami in June, 1911.
Miami receives abundant rainfall, one of the highest among major U.S. cities. Most of this rainfall occurs from mid-May through early October. It receives annual rainfall of 58.6 inches (1,488.44 mm), whereas nearby Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach receive 63.8 in (1,620 mm) and 48.3 in (1,230 mm), respectively, which demonstrates the high local variability in rainfall rates. Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, although hurricanes can develop beyond those dates. The most likely time for Miami to be hit is during the peak of the Cape Verde season which is mid-August through the end of September. Due to its location between two major bodies of water known for tropical activity, Miami is also statistically the most likely major city in the world to be struck by a hurricane, trailed closely by Nassau, Bahamas, and Havana, Cuba. Despite this, the city has been fortunate in not having a direct hit by a hurricane since Hurricane Cleo in 1964. However, many other hurricanes have affected the city, including Betsy in 1965, Andrew in 1992, Irene in 1999, and Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005. In addition, a tropical depression in October 2000 passed over the city, causing record rainfall and flooding. Locally, the storm is credited as the No Name Storm of 2000, though the depression went on to become Tropical Storm Leslie upon entering the Atlantic Ocean. Miami has been identified as one of three cities in the United States most vulnerable to hurricanes, mainly due to its location and it being surrounded by ocean and low-lying coastal plains, the other two cities being New Orleans and New York City.
|Average high °F (°C)||75.2
|Average low °F (°C)||59.2
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.01
|Avg. precipitation days||5.3||4.6||4.9||4.5||9.0||13.8||13.3||15.0||14.2||10.9||7.1||4.5||107.1|
|Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN)|
Miami is partitioned into many different sections, roughly into North, South, West and Downtown. The heart of the city is Downtown Miami and is technically on the eastern side of the city. This area includes Brickell, Virginia Key, Watson Island, and the Port of Miami. Downtown is South Florida's central business district, and Florida's largest and most influential central business district. Downtown has the largest concentration of international banks in the U.S. along Brickell Avenue. Downtown is home to many major banks, courthouses, financial headquarters, cultural and tourist attractions, schools, parks and a large residential population. East of Downtown, across Biscayne Bay is South Beach.
The southern side of Miami includes Coral Way, The Roads and Coconut Grove. Coral Way is a historic residential neighborhood built in 1922 connecting Downtown with Coral Gables, and is home to many old homes and tree-lined streets. Coconut Grove was established in 1825 and is the location of Miami's City Hall in Dinner Key, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, CocoWalk, many nightclubs, bars, restaurants and bohemian shops, and as such, is very popular with local college students. It is a historic neighborhood with narrow, winding roads, and a heavy tree canopy. Coconut Grove has many parks and gardens such as Villa Vizcaya, The Kampong, The Barnacle Historic State Park, and is the home of the Coconut Grove Convention Center, as well as many of the country's most prestigious private schools, and numerous historic homes and estates.
The western side of Miami includes Little Havana, West Flagler, and Flagami, and is home to many of the city's traditionally immigrant neighborhoods. Although at one time a mostly Jewish neighborhood, today western Miami is home to immigrants from mostly Central America and Cuba, while the west central neighborhood of Allapattah is a multicultural community of many ethnicities.
The northern side of Miami includes Midtown, a district with a great mix of diversity with many West Indians, Hispanics, bohemians, artists, and Whites. Edgewater, and Wynwood, are neighborhoods of Midtown and are made up mostly of high-rise residential towers and are home to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The wealthier residents usually live in the northeastern part, in Midtown, the Design District, and the Upper East Side, with many sought after 1920s homes and home of the MiMo Historic District, a style of architecture originated in Miami in the 1950s. The northern side of Miami, also has notable African-American and Caribbean immigrant communities such as Little Haiti, Overtown (home of the Lyric Theater), and Liberty City.
Miami is home to many entertainment venues, theaters, museums, parks and performing arts centers. The newest addition to the Miami arts scene is the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the second-largest performing arts center in the United States after the Lincoln Center in New York City, and is the home of the Florida Grand Opera. Within it are the Ziff Ballet Opera House, the center's largest venue, the Knight Concert Hall, the Carnival Studio Theater and the Peacock Rehearsal Studio. The center attracts many large scale operas, ballets, concerts, and musicals from around the world and is Florida's grandest performing arts center. Other performing arts venues in Miami include the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Colony Theatre, Lincoln Theatre, New World Symphony House, Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Jackie Gleason Theatre, Manuel Artime Theater, Ring Theatre, Playground Theatre, Wertheim Performing Arts Center, the Fair Expo Center and the Bayfront Park Amphitheater for outdoor music events.
The city is home to numerous museums as well, many of which are in Downtown. These include the Bass Museum, Frost Art Museum, Historical Museum of Southern Florida, Jewish Museum of Florida, Lowe Art Museum, Miami Art Museum, Miami Children's Museum, Miami Science Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Wolfsonian-FIU Museum and the Miami Cultural Center, home of the Main Miami Library. Other popular cultural destinations in the area include Jungle Island, Miami MetroZoo, Miami Seaquarium, Coral Castle, St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church, Charles Deering Estate, and parks and gardens in and around the city; there are over 80 parks in Miami. The largest and most popular parks are Bayfront Park and Bicentennial Park (located in the heart of Downtown and the location of the American Airlines Arena and Bayside Marketplace), Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Tropical Park, Watson Island, Morningside Park and Key Biscayne.
Miami is also a major fashion center, home to models and some of the top modeling agencies in the world. Miami is also host to many fashion shows and events, including the annual Miami Fashion Week and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami held in the Wynwood Art District. Miami is also the home of the world's largest art exhibition, dubbed the "Olympics of Art", Art Basel Miami Beach. The event is held annually in December, and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.
Miami music is varied. Cubans brought the conga and rumba to Miami from their homelands instantly popularizing it in American culture. Dominicans brought bachata, and merengue, while Colombians brought vallenato and cumbia. West Indians and Caribbean people have brought reggae, soca, kompa, zouk, calypso, and steel pan to the area as well.
In the early 1970s, the Miami disco sound came to life with TK Records, featuring the music of KC and the Sunshine Band, with such hits as "Get Down Tonight", "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" and "That's the Way (I Like It)"; and the Latin-American disco group, Foxy (band), with their hit singles "Get Off" and "Hot Number". Miami-area natives George McCrae and Teri DeSario were also popular music artists during the 1970s disco era. The Bee Gees moved to Miami in 1975 and have lived here ever since then. Miami-influenced, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, hit the popular music scene with their Cuban-oriented sound and had huge hits in the 1980s with "Conga" and "Bad Boys".
Miami is also considered a "hot spot" for dance music, Freestyle, a style of dance music popular in the 80's and 90's heavily influenced by Electro, hip-hop, and disco. Many popular Freestyle acts such as Pretty Tony, Debbie Deb, Stevie B, and Exposé, originated in Miami. Indie/folk acts Cat Power and Iron & Wine are based in the city, while alternative hip hop artist Sage Francis, electro artist Uffie, and the electroclash duo Avenue D were born in Miami, but musically based elsewhere. Also, punk band Against All Authority is from Miami, and rock/metal bands Nonpoint and Marilyn Manson each formed in neighboring Fort Lauderdale. Popular Cuban American female recording artist, Ana Cristina, was born in Miami in 1985, and became the first Hispanic person in history to perform the "Star Spangled Banner" at a presidential inauguration.
The 80's and 90's also brought the genre of high energy Miami Bass to dance floors and car subwoofers throughout the country. Miami Bass spawned artists like 2 Live Crew (featuring Uncle Luke), 95 South, Tag Team, 69 Boyz, Quad City DJ's, and Freak Nasty. Examples of these songs are "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team in 1993, "Tootsee Roll" by 69 Boyz in 1994, and "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" by the Quad City DJ's in 1996. These songs all reached the top 10 in the pop charts and gave Miami Bass a new commercial success.
Miami is also home to a vibrant techno and dance scene and hosts the Winter Music Conference, the largest dance event in the world, Ultra Music Festival and many electronica music-themed celebrations and festivals. Along with neighboring Miami Beach, Miami is home to some famous nightclubs, such as Space, Mansion, Parkwest, Ink, and Cameo. The city is known to be part of clubland, along with places such as Mykonos, Ibiza and Ayia Napa.
Miami has one of the largest media market in the nation and the second highest in the state of Florida. Miami has several major newspapers, the main and largest newspaper being The Miami Herald. El Nuevo Herald is the major and largest Spanish-language newspaper. Both The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald are Miami's and South Florida's main, major and largest newspapers and are both headquartered in Downtown Miami in Herald Plaza.
Other major newspapers include Miami Today, headquartered in Brickell, Miami New Times, headquartered in Midtown, Miami Sun Post, South Florida Business Journal, Miami Times, and Biscayne Boulevard Times. An additional Spanish-language newspapers, Diario Las Americas also serve Miami. The Miami Herald is Miami's primary newspaper with over a million readers and is headquartered in Downtown in Herald Plaza. Several other student newspapers from the local universities, such as Florida International University's The Beacon, the University of Miami's The Miami Hurricane, Miami-Dade College's The Metropolis, Barry University's The Buccaneer, amongst others. Many neighborhoods and neighboring areas also have their own local newspapers such as the Coral Gables Tribune, Biscayne Bay Tribune, and the Palmetto Bay News.
A number of magazines circulate throughout the greater Miami area, including Miami Monthly, Southeast Florida's only city/regional; Ocean Drive, a hot-spot social scene glossy, and South Florida Business Leader.
Miami is also the headquarters and main production city of many of the world's largest television networks, record label companies, broadcasting companies and production facilities, such as Telemundo, TeleFutura, Galavisión, Mega TV, Univisión, Univision Communications, Inc., Universal Music Latin Entertainment, RCTV International and Sunbeam Television. In 2009, Univisión announced plans to build new production studios in Miami, dubbed 'Univisión Studios'. Univisión Studios will be headquartered in Miami, and will produce programming for all of Univisión Communications' television networks.
Miami is the twelfth largest radio market and the seventeenth largest television market in the United States. Television stations serving the Miami area include: WAMI (Telefutura), WBFS (My Network TV), WSFL (The CW), WFOR (CBS), WHFT (TBN), WLTV (Univision), WPLG (ABC), WPXM (ION), WSCV (Telemundo), WSVN (Fox), WTVJ (NBC), WPBT (PBS), and WLRN (also PBS).
In Miami, a unique accent, commonly called the "Miami accent", is widely spoken. It developed mostly by second- or third-generation Hispanics whose first language was English. It is very similar to accents in the Northeast, but contains a rhythm and pronunciation heavily influenced by Spanish. However, a Miami accent is not Spanish-accented English, as many Miami residents who are not Hispanic, or do not speak Spanish, speak with the Miami accent as well. It is most common amongst those born and raised in Miami, and can commonly be heard in Blacks and White non-Hispanics, as well as in Hispanics. However, not all Miamians have the accent. The accent is acquired in some areas, but not others.
The Miami Dolphins, the NFL team, Miami Heat, the NBA team, Florida Marlins, the MLB team, and the Florida Panthers, Miami's NHL team. As well as having all four major professional teams, Miami is also home to Miami FC, Miami Tropics, the Sony Ericsson Open for professional tennis, numerous greyhound racing tracks, marinas, Jai-Alai venues, and golf courses.
The Miami Heat is the only major professional sports team that plays its games within Miami's city limits at the American Airlines Arena. The team recently won the 2006 NBA Finals, winning the series 4-2 over the Dallas Mavericks. The Miami Dolphins and the Florida Marlins both play their games in Miami Gardens. The Orange Bowl, a member of the Bowl Championship Series, hosts their college football championship games at Sun Life Stadium. The stadium has also hosted the Super Bowl; the Miami metro area has hosted the game a total of nine times (four Super Bowls in Dolphin Stadium, including Super Bowl XLI and five at the Miami Orange Bowl), tying New Orleans for the most games.
Miami FC, Florida's only professional soccer team, plays at Tropical Park Stadium. Miami signed world-famed soccer player Romario in March 2006 to a one year deal. The Florida Panthers NHL team plays in neighboring Broward County, Florida at the BankAtlantic Center in the city of Sunrise. Miami is also home to Paso Fino horses, where competitions are held at Tropical Park Equestrian Center.
Miami is also the home of many college sports teams. The two largest are the Florida International University Golden Panthers whose football team plays at FIU Stadium and the University of Miami Hurricanes, whose football team formerly played at the Miami Orange Bowl, but moved to Sun Life Stadium starting with the 2008 season.
A number of defunct teams were located in Miami, including the Miami Floridians (ABA), Miami Matadors (ECHL), Miami Manatees (WHA2), Miami Gatos (NASL), Miami Screaming Eagles (WHA), Miami Seahawks (AAFC), Miami Sol (WNBA), Miami Toros (NASL), Miami Tropics (SFL), Miami Tropics (ABA), and the Miami Hooters (Arena Football League). The Miami Fusion, a defunct Major League Soccer team played at Lockhart Stadium in nearby Broward County.
|Miami Dolphins||Football||National Football League; AFC||Sun Life Stadium||Super Bowl (2)
|Florida Panthers||Hockey||National Hockey League||BankAtlantic Center||none|
|Miami Heat||Basketball||National Basketball Association||American Airlines Arena||NBA Finals (1)
|Florida Marlins||Baseball||Major League Baseball; NL||Sun Life Stadium||World Series (2)
|Miami FC||Soccer||United Soccer League First Division||Tropical Park Stadium||none|
|College / Athletics||Football||Football
|FIU Golden Panthers||FIU football||FIU Stadium||FIU basketball||U.S. Century Bank Arena||Sun Belt Conference||4 (1984 - Men's Soccer)|
|Miami Hurricanes||Miami football||Sun Life Stadium||Miami basketball||BankUnited Center||Atlantic Coast Conference||30 (2001 - Football & Baseball)|
|Barry Buccaneers||-||-||Barry basketball||Health & Sports Center||Sunshine State Conference||7 (2007 - Men's Golf)|
|NSU Sharks||-||-||NSU basketball||Don Taft UC Arena||Sunshine State Conference||11 (2009 - Women's Golf & Women's Rowing)|
Miami is the 43rd most populous city in the U.S. The Miami metropolitan area, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, had a combined population of more than 5.4 million people, ranked seventh largest in the United States, (behind Houston), and is the largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States. As of 2008, the United Nations estimates that the Miami Urban Agglomeration is the 44th-largest in the world. As of the census of 2000, there were 362,470 people, 134,198 households, and 83,336 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,160.9/mi² (3,923.5/km2). There were 148,388 housing units at an average density of 4,159.7/mi² (1,606.2/km2).
The racial makeup of the city proper is as follows:
As of 2000, in terms of national origin and/or ethnic origin, 34.1% of the populace was Cuban, while 5.6% of the city's population was Nicaraguan, 5.5% of the population was Haitian, 3.3% of the population was Honduran, 1.7% of all residents were Dominican, and 1.6% of the population was Colombian. In 2004, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) ranked Miami first in terms of percentage of residents born outside of the country it is located in (59%), followed by Toronto (50%).
There were 134,198 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 18.7% have a female head of household with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.25. The age distribution was 21.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,483, and the median income for a family was $27,225. Males had a median income of $24,090 versus $20,115 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,128. About 23.5% of families and 28.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.2% of those under age 18 and 29.3% of those age 65 or over.
Miami's explosive population growth in recent years has been driven by internal migration from other parts of the country as well as by immigration. Miami is regarded as more of a multicultural mosaic, than it is a melting pot, with residents still maintaining much of, or some of their cultural traits. The overall culture of Miami is heavily influenced by its large population of Latinos, and Blacks, mainly from the Caribbean, from islands such as Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas.
Today, the Miami area has a sizable community of citizens, undocumented populations, and permanent residents, of Argentines, Bahamians, Barbadian, Bolivians, Brazilians, Canadians, Chileans, Chinese, Colombians, Costa Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Ecuadorans, French, Germans, Greeks, Guatemalans, Guayanese, Haitians, Hondurans, Jamaicans, Koreans, Indians, Italians, Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Panamanians, Peruvians, Russians, Salvadoran, Spanish, Trinidadians and Tobagonians, Turks, South Africans, and Venezuelans, and Puerto Ricans. While commonly thought of as a city mainly of Latino and Black Caribbean immigrants, the Miami area is home to large French, French Canadian, German, Italian, and Russian communities.The communities have grown to a prominent place in Miami and its suburbs, creating ethnic enclave neighborhoods such as Little Buenos Aires, Little Haiti, Little Havana, Little Managua, Little Brazil, Little Moscow, Little San Juan, and Little Tel Aviv.
As of 2000, speakers of Spanish as their first language accounted for 66.75% of residents, while English was spoken by 25.45%, Haitian Creole by 5.20%, and French speakers comprised 0.76% of the population. Other languages that were spoken throughout the city include Portuguese at 0.41%, German at 0.18%, Italian at 0.16%, Arabic at 0.15%, Chinese at 0.11%, and Greek at 0.08% of the population. Miami also has one of the largest percentage populations in the U.S. that have residents who speak first languages other than English at home (74.55%).
The government of the City of Miami, Florida, uses the mayor-city commissioner system. The city commission consists of five commissioners, are elected from single member districts. The city commission constitutes the governing body with powers to pass ordinances adopt regulations and exercise all powers conferred upon the city in the city charter.The mayor is elected at large and appoints a city manager. The City of Miami is governed by Mayor Tomás Regalado and 5 City commissioners which oversee the five districts in the City. It holds regular meetings in the City Hall of Miami located in 3500 Pan American Drive Miami, Florida 33133 in the neighborhood of Coconut Grove on Dinner Key.
Public schools in Miami are governed by Miami-Dade County Public Schools, which is the largest school district in Florida and the fourth-largest in the United States. As of September 2008 it has a student enrollment of 385,655 and over 392 schools and centers. The district is also the largest minority public school system in the country, with 60% of its students being of Hispanic origin, 28% African American, 10% White (non-Hispanic) and 2% non-white of other minorities. Miami is home to some of the nation's best high schools, such as Design and Architecture High School, ranked the nation's best magnet school, MAST Academy, Coral Reef High School, ranked 20th-best public high school in the U.S., Miami Palmetto High School, and the New World School of the Arts. M-DCPS is also one of a few public school districts in the United States to offer optional bilingual education in Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Mandarin Chinese.
Miami is home to several prestigious Roman Catholic, Jewish and non-denominational private schools. The Archdiocese of Miami operates the city's Catholic private schools, which include: Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, St. Hugh Catholic School, St. Agatha Catholic School, St. Theresa School, La Salle High School, Monsignor Edward Pace High School, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Christopher Columbus High School, Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School, St. Brendan High School, amongst numerous other elementary and high schools. Some of the most well-known non-denominational private schools in Miami are Ransom Everglades, Gulliver Preparatory School, and Miami Country Day School, which are traditionally known as some of the country's best schools. Other schools in the outlying areas include Belen Jesuit Preparatory School and Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School.
(List includes institutions in and around Miami.)
The city ranks second-to-last in people over 18 with a high school diploma, with 47% of the population not having that degree.
Miami International Airport, located in an unincorporated area in the county, serves as the primary international airport of the Miami Area. One of the busiest international airports in the world, Miami International Airport caters to over 35 million passengers a year. Identifiable locally, as well as several worldwide authorities, as MIA or KMIA, the airport is a major hub and the single largest international gateway for American Airlines, the world's largest passenger air carrier. Miami International is the busiest airport in Florida, and is the United States' second-largest international port of entry for foreign air passengers behind New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, and is the seventh-largest such gateway in the world. The airport's extensive international route network includes non-stop flights to over seventy international cities in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Alternatively, nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport also serves commercial traffic in the Miami area. Opa-Locka Airport in Opa-Locka and Kendall-Tamiami Airport in an unincorporated area serve general aviation traffic in the Miami area.
Miami is home to one of the largest ports in the United States, the Port of Miami. It is the largest cruise ship port in the world. The port is often called the "Cruise Capital of the World" and the "Cargo Gateway of the Americas". It has retained its status as the number one cruise/passenger port in the world for well over a decade accommodating the largest cruise ships and the major cruise lines. In 2007, the port served 3,787,410 passengers. Additionally, the port is one of the nation's busiest cargo ports, importing 7.8 million tons of cargo in 2007. Among North American ports, it ranks second only to the Port of South Louisiana in New Orleans in terms of cargo tonnage imported/exported from Latin America. The port is on 518 acres (2 km2) and has 7 passenger terminals. China is the port's number one import country, and Honduras is the number one export country. Miami has the world's largest amount of cruise line headquarters, home to: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and Windjammer Barefoot Cruises.
Public transportation in Miami is operated by Miami-Dade Transit and SFRTA, and includes commuter rail (Tri-Rail), heavy-rail rapid transit (Metrorail), an elevated people mover (Metromover), and buses (Metrobus). Miami has Florida's highest transit ridership as about 17% of Miamians use transit on a daily basis.
Miami's heavy-rail rapid transit system, Metrorail, is an elevated system comprising 22 stations on a 22-mile (36-km)-long line. Metrorail runs from the western suburbs of Hialeah and Medley through the Civic Center, Downtown, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Miami and ends in the southern suburban neighborhood of Dadeland; construction on a direct Metrorail connection to Miami International Airport began in 2009 with expected passenger service beginning in early 2012. A free, elevated people mover, Metromover, operates 21 stations on three different lines in Downtown, with a station at roughly every two blocks of Downtown and Brickell. Several expansion projects are being funded by a transit development sales tax surcharge throughout Miami-Dade County.
Tri-Rail, a commuter rail system operated by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), runs from Miami International Airport northward to West Palm Beach, making eighteen stops throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
Construction is currently underway on the Miami Intermodal Center and Miami Central Station, a massive transportation hub servicing Metrorail, Amtrak, Tri-Rail, Metrobus, Greyhound Lines, taxis, rental cars, MIA Mover, private automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians adjacent to Miami International Airport. Completion of the Miami Intermodal Center is expected to be completed by 2010, and will serve over 150,000 commuters and travelers in the Miami area. Phase I of Miami Central Station is scheduled to be completed in June 2010, and Phase II in 2011.
Two new light rail systems, Baylink and the Miami Streetcar, have been proposed and are currently in the planning stage. BayLink would connect Downtown with South Beach, and the Miami Streetcar would connect Downtown with Midtown.
Miami is the southern terminus of Amtrak's Atlantic Coast services, running two lines, the Silver Meteor and the Silver Star, both terminating in New York City. The Miami Amtrak Station is located in the suburb of Hialeah near the Tri-Rail/Metrorail Station on NW 79 St and NW 38 Ave. Current construction of the Miami Central Station will move all Amtrak operations from its current out-of-the-way location to a centralized location with Metrorail, MIA Mover, Tri-Rail, Miami International Airport, and the Miami Intermodal Center all within the same station closer to Downtown. The station is expected to be completed by 2011.
Future Florida rail plans could bring high-speed rail to Miami, connecting Miami with Orlando and Tampa in a single high-speed rail line. The Tampa-Orlando segment was approved by the federal government in 2009, and is set to start construction with an expected completion date of 2014. High-speed rail to Miami is planned to be completed by 2018, and would connect at the Miami Central Station. Other rail plans include the re-opening of the Florida East Coast Railway connecting Miami to Jacksonville up along the Atlantic coast of Florida
Miami's road system is based along the numerical "Miami Grid" where Flagler Street forms the east-west axis, "streets", and Miami Avenue forms the north-south axis, "avenues". The corner of Flagler Street and Miami Avenue is in the middle of Downtown in front of the Downtown Macy's (formerly the Burdine's headquarters). The Miami grid is primarily numerical so that, for example, all street addresses north of Flagler Street and west of Miami Avenue have "NW" in their address. Because its point of origin is in Downtown which is close to the coast, therefore, the "NW" and "SW" quadrants are much larger than the "SE" and "NE" quadrants. Many roads, especially major ones, are also named (ie: Tamiami Trail/SW 8th St), although, with a few notable exceptions (ie: Coral Way), the number is in more common usage among locals.
All streets and avenues in Miami-Dade County follow the Miami Grid, with a few exceptions, most notably Coral Gables, Hialeah, and Miami Beach. Some neighborhoods, such as The Roads, is thusly named because its streets run off the Miami Grid in a 45-degree angle, and therefore all named 'roads'.
Some of the major Florida State Roads (and their common names) serving Miami are:
Miami has six major causeways that span over Biscayne Bay connecting the western mainland, with the eastern barrier islands along the Atlantic Ocean. The Rickenbacker Causeway is the southernmost causeway and connects Brickell to Virginia Key and Key Biscayne. The Venetian Causeway and MacArthur Causeway connect Downtown with South Beach. The Julia Tuttle Causeway connects Midtown and Miami Beach. The 79th Street Causeway connects the Upper East Side with North Beach. The northernmost causeway, the Broad Causeway, is the smallest of Miami's six causeways, and connects North Miami with Bal Harbour.
In 2007, Miami was identified as having the rudest drivers in the United States, the second year in a row to have been cited, in a poll commissioned by automobile club AutoVantage. Miami is also consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States for pedestrians.
In recent years, the city government under Mayor Manny Diaz, has taken an ambitious stance in support of bicycling in Miami for both recreation and commuting. Every month, the city hosts "Bike Miami", where major streets in Downtown and Brickell are closed to automobiles, and left open for pedestrians and bicyclists. The event began in November 2008, and has doubled in popularity from 1,500 participants to about 3,000 in the October 2009 Bike Miami. This is the longest running such event in the U.S. In October 2009, the city also approved an extensive 20-year plan for bike routes and paths around the city. The city has begun construction of bike routes as of late 2009, and ordinances requiring bike parking in all future construction in the city is now mandatory as of October 2009.
Many television shows have been set or are filmed in Miami. The controversial Emmy winning drama Nip/Tuck, CBS's CSI: Miami and Miami Medical, USA's Burn Notice and Showtime's Dexter all take place in Miami. The Jackie Gleason Show was taped in Miami Beach from 1964 to 1970. The NBC show Good Morning, Miami was fictionally based around the workings of a Miami television station. The popular sitcoms The Golden Girls and Empty Nest were based in Miami. Miami Vice was also based and filmed in the Miami area. Keeping with its modern music tradition, the city has recently hosted the 2004 and 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. Other music award shows to be hosted in Miami, are the Latin Grammys in 2003 and Lo Nuestro Awards in 2006.
In the mid-2000s, Miami started to become a popular backdrop for reality television shows. Reality programming set in the city include the TLC show Miami Ink; Discovery Channel's After Dark; Animal Planet's Miami Animal Police; MTV's 8th & Ocean, Making Menudo, the fourth season of Making the Band, Room Raiders; The Real World: Miami, and The X Effect; VH1's Hogan Knows Best and its spin-off Brooke Knows Best; TruTV's Bounty Girls: Miami; A&E's The First 48; E!'s Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami, Bravo's Miami Social, and the third season of Bravo's Top Chef.
The video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which became one of the best selling video games in history, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, take place in Vice City, a fictional city inspired by Miami, including some of the same architecture and geography. There are also characters in the game who speak Haitian Creole and Spanish.
Miami has acted as the backdrop for many movies, including There's Something About Mary, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Wild Things, Marley & Me, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Out of Time, Bad Boys & Bad Boys II, Transporter 2, The Birdcage, The Substitute, Blow, True Lies, Police Academy 5, Reno 911!: Miami, Quick Pick, Miami Vice (based on the 1980s television series of the same name), Red Eye, The Bodyguard, Any Given Sunday, Cocaine Cowboys, Scarface, Miami Blues, and the James Bond films Goldfinger, Thunderball,and Casino Royale.
Miami is a center for Latin television and film production. As a result, many Spanish-language programs are filmed in the many television production studios, predominantly in Hialeah and Doral. This includes gameshows, variety shows, news programs, and telenovelas. Arguably, the most famous Miami-filmed programs are Sábado Gigante, a Saturday night variety show seen throughout the United States, South America and Europe, and the daytime talk shows Cristina and El Gordo y la Flaca. Country singer, the late Keith Whitley (1955–1989), sang a song called, "Miami, My Amy", obviously about a special woman from Miami, one of his biggest hits to this day.
Miami  is a major city in the southern United States and makes up part of the largest metropolitan area in Florida. Being part of the South Florida region, it is 20 miles from Fort Lauderdale, 106 miles from Naples (Florida) and 156 miles from Key West.
Although Miami is the eighty-first most populous city in Florida, the Miami metropolitan area is the largest in the state with an estimated population of over 5.4 million (2007), which makes it the 7th most populous metro area in the United States. A 2007 estimate by the United Nations, labeled the Miami metropolitan area as the fourth largest urban area in the United States after New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Due to being sandwiched in by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Everglades wetland area to the west, the Miami metropolitan area is a lengthy 110 mi(180 km) north to south, but never more than a mere 20 mi (32 km) east to west.
Flagler’s railroad sparked a wave of expansion in areas such as Miami Beach, Homestead and Cutler. Soon after the railroad was built, the Overseas Highway was created. This highway connected the Florida Keys to the mainland. Growth and progress in Miami continued through World War I as well as into the mid-1920s.
A devastating hurricane in 1926 halted Miami’s growth and temporarily put the city, as well as Miami Beach, in a recession. It was the city’s support of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal that helped the city rebuild. Roosevelt almost lost his life, however, when Giuseppe Zangara attempted to assassinate Roosevelt when he came to Miami to thank the city for its support of the New Deal.
When a Nazi U-boat sank a US tanker off Florida’s coast, the majority of South Florida was converted into military headquarters for the remainder of World War II. The Army’s WWII legacy in Miami is a school designed for Anti U-boat warfare.
Because of its proximity to the equator, Miami's weather is generally hot to really hot! The summer months of June-September will see most daytime highs over 90º fahrenheit. Combined with the region's humidity, these can make for stifling temperatures, both day and night. You won't see nearly a car or home without running air conditioning. Winters average an impressive 75º fahrenheit for daytime temperatures and nights are slightly cooler. During June to November, rain and thunderstorms can be expected.
Miami has the largest Latin American population outside of Latin America, with nearly 65% of its population either from Latin America or of Latin American ancestry. Spanish is a language often used for day-to-day discourse in many places, although English is the language of preference, especially when dealing with business and government. It is not at all uncommon to encounter a local who does not speak English, though this is usually centered among shops and restaurants in residential communities and not generally the case in large tourist areas or the downtown district. Even when encountering a local who does not speak English, you can easily find another local to help with translation if needed, since most of the population is fluently bilingual. In certain neighborhoods, such as Little Havana and Hialeah, most locals will address a person first in Spanish and then in English. "Spanglish", a mixture of English and Spanish, is a somewhat common occurrence (but less so than in the American Southwest), with bilingual locals switching between English and Spanish mid-sentence and occasionally replacing a common English word for its Spanish equivalent.
Haitian Creole is another language heard primarily in North Miami. It is not uncommon for a person to hear a conversation in Creole when riding public transportation or sitting at a restaurant. Many signs and public announcements are in English, Spanish and Creole because of Miami’s diverse immigrant population. Unlike Spanish, Haitian Creole is generally centered among the Haitian neighborhoods in North Miami. Most Haitians are more adapted to English than their Hispanic neighbors. Portuguese and French are other languages that may be encountered in Miami. These languages tend to be spoken mainly around tourist areas. Most speakers of these languages have adapted to English as well.
The simplest way to get a response in English is to use the "approach rule," where most locals will only respond in the language they were spoken to unless they are not able to speak it. This rule can be used on anyone whether or not their first language is Spanish, English or any other language.
Miami International Airport (ICAO: KMIA, IATA: MIA)  is located just west of the city in an unincorporated suburban area. It is an important hub for traffic between North America and Latin America, and one of the largest airports in the world. As a result, Spanish is just as likely to be understood as English. The international traffic makes MIA a large and congested place. Be sure to allow extra time when departing MIA, particularly if flying internationally, as you may face an hour-long line just to check your bags. Curbside check-in is an excellent idea.
The predominant carrier at MIA is American Airlines, which has direct flights to most major cities in the Americas, and several European cities as well. European, Latin-American and Caribbean carriers are well-represented at MIA. The airport has no non-stop service to Asia, Africa or Oceania. The recent construction of two new terminals at MIA has helped with the airport's passenger capacities as well as the efficiency in going through customs and baggage claim.
MIA also has several restaurants ranging from local chains such as La Carreta to national chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King and Starbucks. Be aware that some restaurants serve beer, wine and/or cocktails. If you drink too much the airlines can refuse your boarding on a plane. MIA also has several retail stores, including several magazine stands and bookstores (including a Borders). Other retail stores include, but are not limited to, Brookstone, K-B Toys and Ron Jon Surf Shop. There is also a hotel connected to the airport.
Money can be exchanged for US dollars at the airport. Wireless internet is also available at MIA for a small fee.
Fort Lauderdale International Airport (IATA: FLL)  is 25-40 minutes north of Miami proper, depending on traffic, and does not have nearly as many international routes. It only offers a small variety. However, it is smaller and less trafficked than MIA, making customs, immigration and security a bit easier to go through. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and other low-cost carriers generally use Miami's other airport, FLL, instead of MIA, making FLL a cheaper alternative in many cases as well.
Public transport is available to MIA and FLL. If you are arriving from FLL, there is a free shuttle to the Tri-Rail nearby  train station. Tri-Rail trains connect West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The cheapest way to get t Miami is to take the #1 Broward County Bus to Aventura Mall and transfer to the S Miami-Dade bus to downtown Miami via South Beach. This option is inadvisable if traveling with a lot of luggage.
At MIA, public transportation includes a free shuttle to the nearby Tri-Rail station, as well as to Metrorail  and Metromover . Your best option is to take a taxi from the airport or rent a car, depending on what your stay involves (if you need to get around parts of Miami with no nearby Metrorail stations). MIA's car rental facilities are scattered around the airport and connected to the terminal by shuttle buses. FLL's facilities are more conveniently located in the parking garage adjacent to the terminals.
Currently at MIA, construction of the new Miami Intermodal Center is slated to become Miami's Grand Central station with hub connections of Amtrak , Metrorail, Tri-Rail, taxis, Metrobus , and all car-rental facilities. The M.I.C. is expected to be completed around 2009/2010.
Amtrak's Silver Service operates two trains daily to Miami from New York City, Washington, D.C. and other cities along the Eastern Seaboard. The ride from New York is about 24 hours but is often subject to delays, as Amtrak uses poorer-quality freight lines south of Washington and must cope with slow freight trains along the way.
There are three main highways coming into Miami. I-95 runs along the Atlantic coast of the United States and terminates in Miami. I-75 comes in from the midwestern United States and runs through Atlanta and Tampa before terminating in Miami. Florida's Turnpike is a toll road mainly useful for those driving in from Orlando. The only southbound route from Miami is US Highway 1, which runs through the Florida Keys all the way to Key West.
Miami has a large and elaborate public bus system which covers the entire county and connects to the bus system in Greater Fort Lauderdale. Recent developments have made the bus system more reliable than in the past. Even with the changes and because of high local traffic, buses tend to have a harder time remaining on schedule. However, buses run often enough through each route so as not to be a nuisance. Schedules and routes are available from the Miami-Dade Transit website  or by calling +1 305 770-3131.
Metrorail is a single-line elevated rail system serving Miami and surrounding areas running 22.4mi with 22 stations . Due to low funding, Metrorail has not been greatly expanded since its opening in 1984, but serves many areas of tourist interest. These include downtown Miami, Dadeland Mall, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Lowe Art Museum, Miami Museum of Science, Village at Merrick Park and many other nearby shopping areas. Coconut Grove and downtown Coral Gables can be reached via short shuttle bus from various stations. Metrorail operates between roughly 5AM and midnight, with a bus serving all Metrorail stations operating in the overnight hours, effectively providing 24-hour service. Fare is $2 per ride ($1 for persons with disabilities or on Medicare) and a monthly pass is available for $100. Tokens, exact change, or a bus-to-rail transfer ticket are required for all fare gates.
A northern expansion of the Metrorail, the 'Orange Line', was given over $4.3 billion in funding in the 2009 Federal "Stimulus Package" and should therefore be opened around 2012-14. This new line will more than double the length of Metrorail (adding 24.4mi)—connecting it with Miami International Airport, Dolphins Stadium, Florida International University, and the suburbs of Miami Gardens and Opa-locka—and add a "Miami Intermodal Center as a focal point of all Miami-area mass transit.
Downtown Miami is served by a free elevated people mover system known as Metromover, which connects to Metrorail at two stations at Government Center in the central business district and at Brickell Station in Brickell. Metromover is free of charge and is the most efficient way to move around Downtown Miami. It is a great way to take a rest when walking around downtown, and a great time to take pictures of the skyscrapers and growing Miami skyline from above.
Currently a funding boost has set forth an expansion for the Metrorail system including a connection to Miami International Airport to be operating by 2010. Further expansion to the north toward Dolphin Stadium (the home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins) is expected to be operating by 2012. A light rail line to Miami Beach is also under development, as well as the Miami Streetcar connecting Downtown Miami to the Media and Entertainment District as well as Midtown Miami.
Taxis are generally expensive with a surcharge of $2.50 for the pick-up and an additional $0.40 for each sixth of a mile traveled. Almost all cab companies in the area have pre-determined rates for travel into the barrier islands of Miami Beach and other beach and nightclub communities popular with tourists which can range from $30-$60 depending on arrival location. For example, South Beach may be the most expensive while a residential neighborhood in Miami Beach may be the cheapest. The charge is the same regardless of pick-up location on the mainland. All taxis are fitted with maps of the barrier islands which state the cost per location. The same applies for passengers leaving the islands onto the mainland, though normal rates apply for person traveling by taxi within the islands or within the mainland.
Service is available throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties regardless of pick-up location. The normal service charges apply for these four counties, but it is wise to ask for a pre-determined price beforehand if leaving the county as this will in most cases turn out to be cheaper and most drivers are willing to negotiate when leaving the county. If you wish to be taxied to a location outside of those four counties, you must negotiate a price and advise the cab company first. Drivers may refuse to drive outside of the metropolitan area if they are not advised to do so beforehand.
Usually you will have to call a cab company and request a pick-up. Taxis operated by the major companies are not normally allowed to pick up passengers at random locations for safety and legal reasons except at MIA, the Port of Miami and train stations. Some individual taxi drivers will not follow this rule, however. You can try hailing a taxi in the street.
All taxi drivers must have a valid license to operate. It is uncommon to hear of crimes involving unlicensed taxis anywhere in the metropolitan area since Dade County keeps track of all taxi activity in and around Miami and cooperates with other counties in getting this information. If you enter a cab and do not see a valid license placed in front of the passenger's seat, you should not enter the taxi and instead call another cab company regardless of what the driver says. If you willingly enter a taxi without a license or with an expired license and there is an incident or accident, it is possible that you may not be able to hold the driver accountable by law. When entering a cab you should make note of the driver's name, license number and cab number if any problems arise during the trip. This information should be easily found inside the taxi.It may be able to help you identify the cab driver to the police or the cab company.
Unless you plan to stay downtown or in a single location elsewhere, you will find that a car is very convenient in Miami, and car rentals are cheap in comparison to other major US cities.
You can find cheap car rentals off terminal from the Miami Airport from such companies as E-Z Rent-A-Car  and Ace Rent A Car. The major car rental companies can be found in terminal be can be often more expensive for the same service and vehicles.
Surface roads in Miami are usually easy to navigate. The area's roads are designed around a grid system, where most roads are numbered based on their distance from the city center. The two main axis roads are Miami Avenue (running north to south) and Flagler Street (running east to west). These two roads intersect in downtown Miami, the county's symbolic center. All avenues run north to south, while all streets run east to west. For example, the address, "9500 NW 30th Street" would be at the intersection of NW 30th Street (to the west of Miami Avenue, and 30 blocks north of Flagler Street) and NW 95th Avenue (north of Flagler Street, and 95 blocks west of Miami Avenue). Most roads in Miami conform to this nomenclature, but due to the more than 30 municipalities within Miami-Dade County, there are a few exceptions to be aware of. Examples include Coral Gables, the Coconut Grove section of Miami (city proper), Miami Lakes, and Hialeah. Hialeah is particularly notorious since it uses it's own grid system, in addition to the overall county system. For example, NW 103rd Street is also marked as E 49th Street, or W 49th Street in Hialeah.
Note that if you cross into Broward County, the roads will be numbered based on their distance from the Fort Lauderdale city center, which is generally the same going east-west but will be very different going north-south. Most of the municipalities in Broward County use their own limited grid systems as well. Some street names also change at the county line. The coastline highway, A1A, is known as "Collins Avenue" in Miami, but becomes "Ocean Drive" in Broward. Likewise, "Red Road" in Miami becomes "Flamingo Road" in Broward.
Miami has four primary expressways. In addition to I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike, there is state highway 836 (also known as the Dolphin Expressway) and state highway 826 (also known as the Palmetto Expressway). The Dolphin Expressway runs west from downtown Miami along the edge of Miami International Airport. The Palmetto Expressway and Florida's Turnpike form "F"-shaped loops around the city. The Turnpike continues north, roughly parallel to I-95, and will take you to Orlando if you keep driving. I-95, the Palmetto and the Turnpike intersect at a junction in North Miami called the Golden Glades. You may find driving in the Glades challenging, especially if you have little experience driving in it.
New visitors to Miami should be aware that the area's drivers are particularly aggressive. AutoVantage.com's Road Rage Survey has rated Miami drivers the rudest in the country for a third year in a row . This shouldn't discourage anyone from using the roadways, but a passive approach to Miami driving can save you from an unwanted exchange with another driver, or even worse an accident. Posted speed limits are ignored by most drivers, especially on larger roads with lower speed limits. Two examples are I-95 and state road 826 (The Palmetto Expressway). The eastern portion of state road 836 (The Dolphin Expressway) between Miami International Airport and downtown Miami handles traffic that exceeds its capacity, and contains several left-hand exits, including the eastbound off-ramp to Lejuene Road (NW 42nd Avenue), which is the posted route, and the quickest route to Miami International Airport.
There are very few city-wide events planned during Jul and Aug because of the high temperatures during the summer in Miami.
If you are not from the U.S., you will need a work visa. If you try to work while holding a tourist visa, you are still considered an illegal immigrant in the U.S. Immigration and Nationalization Services conduct frequent illegal immigrant checks in Miami businesses since Miami has several refugees from Cuba, Haiti and other nearby countries. If you don’t have the right visa, you may not get a job in Miami.
There is an exception to getting work without a visa in Miami, however. Since yachts and cruise ships sail on international waters, these companies can freely hire any person they like.
Remember that sales tax is 7% in Miami.
This are only a handful of clothing shops located away from major Miami area shopping centers.
Foodies and chefs alike herald Miami  for its unique New World cuisine. Created in the 1990's, the cuisine alternatively known as New World, Nuevo Latino or Florribean cuisine blends local produce, Latin American and Caribbean culinary tradition and the technical skills required in European cooking. Nuevo Latino is said to be the brainchild of four chefs: Allen Susser, Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello and Douglas Rodriguez. All of them still work in Miami and most of them work at the restaurants they created in the 1990's. New World is not restricted to these chefs’ menus. This cuisine influences several restaurants around the city to this day.
Miami may be known for its Latin cuisine, especially its Cuban cuisine, but there are other different kinds of restaurants  to be found around the city. In addition to stand-alone restaurants offering up various cuisines from Chinese and Japanese and Middle Eastern and Italian (among other cuisines), there are cafés, steakhouses and restaurants operating from boutique hotels as well as chain restaurants such as TGI Fridays and Ben & Jerry’s.
Miami is known for having nightclubs  double as restaurants throughout the city. Most of these restaurants, such as Tantra (which had one of their chefs recently appear on Top Chef: Miami), BED and the Pearl Restaurant and Champagne Lounge (attached to Nikki Beach), are located throughout South Beach. However, some of these restaurants/nightclubs like Grass Lounge can be found in the Design District (north of downtown but south of North Miami).
If many of Miami’s premiere restaurants don’t fit into your daily budget, consider eating during Miami Restaurant Month (better known as Miami Spice ) in August and September. This year at 80 select restaurants, lunch costs $22 and dinner is $35.
As the commercial, cultural capital of the Americas, Miami’s dining scene reflects burgeoning diversity, mixing exotic newcomer restaurants with long-standing institutions, often seasoned by Latin influence and hot winds of the Caribbean. New World cuisine, a culinary counterpart to accompany Miami’s New World Symphony, provides a loose fusion of Latin, Asian, and Caribbean flavors utilizing fresh, area-grown ingredients. Innovative restaurateurs and chefs similarly reel in patrons with Floribbean-flavored seafood fare, while keeping true to down-home Florida favorites.
Don't be fooled by the plethora of super lean model types you're likely to see posing throughout Miami. Contrary to popular belief, dining in this city is as much a sport as the in-line skating on Ocean Drive. With over 6,000 restaurants to choose from, dining out in Miami has become a passionate pastime for locals and visitors alike. Its star chefs have fused Californian-Asian with Caribbean and Latin elements to create a world-class flavor all its own: Floribbean. Think mango chutney splashed over fresh swordfish or a spicy sushi sauce served alongside Peruvian ceviche.
Whatever you're craving, Miami's got it -- with the exception of decent Chinese food and a New York-style slice of pizza. If you're craving a scene with your steak, then South Beach is the place to be. Like many cities in Europe and Latin America, it is fashionable to dine late in South Beach, preferably after 9PM, sometimes as late as midnight. Service on South Beach is notoriously slow and arrogant, but it comes with the turf (of course, it is possible to find restaurants that defy the notoriety and actually pride themselves on friendly service). On the mainland -- especially in Coral Gables, and, more recently, downtown and on Brickell Avenue -- you can also experience fine, creative dining without the pretense.
Nightlife in Miami consists of upscale hotel clubs, independent bars frequented by locals (including sports bars) and nightclubs. Most hotel bars and independent bars turn the other cheek at your physical appearance, but you have to dress to impress (which does not mean dress like a stripper) to get into a nightclub. Also remember to never, under any circumstances, insult the doormen and/or nightclub employees that will grant you entry or touch the velvet ropes or you may as well be sitting on the opposite side of the clamoring masses trying to get in. Attempting to tip the doormen and claiming that you know employees that work in the nightclubs (unless you actually called and reserved a table or a spot on the VIP list) is also considered an affront. Getting to the club unfashionably early and pushing through the crowd (and not the doormen) also can help make you stand out in the crowd. Finally, most nightclubs won’t admit groups of men unless those men are waiting in front of a gay bar. Bring some women or leave the pack if you’re desperate to get in. And once you get in, remember that the charge to get in these clubs can cost up to $20—cash only (some clubs, however, mercifully have ATMs—that can charge up to $7 for a withdrawal). Popular drinks in Miami include the Cuba Libre and the mojito.
Miami is known for its boutique hotels (especially those in South Beach). Designers such as Ian Schrager (the Delano, Shore Club), André Balazs (Raleigh, Standard on Belle Isle) and Todd Oldham (the Hotel) helped put South Beach on the map with their creative hotel designs. The downside of many of the boutique hotels is that rooms can be small, particularly if the building was built during the height of the Art Deco period in Miami. If you value space, a boutique hotel may not be the type of hotel for you. If you don't need to stay in a boutique hotel (and value space), Miami has several upscale high-rise hotels north and south of South Beach, as well as near the downtown area. Miami does have its share of less costly chain hotels for those who value space and/or money.
The high season for hotels is around Nov to Apr because of the lower temperatures. However, Miami's lower temperatures, in comparison to the majority of the United States around this time, are still warm. High season is also marked by the advent of many Miami events, such as the Winter Music Conference and Spring Break. If you wish to reserve a room during Miami’s high season, especially at a boutique hotel and/or a hotel on South Beach, you should book months in advance.
Be aware that hotels have a 12.5% room tax and some hotels may add a 15% service charge which may or may not be added if you reserve a room through the hotel, through a travel agent/agency (either in person or using an online site such as or similar to Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity) or through an opaque (prices are given, but the name and location of the hotel is unknown) travel site such as Priceline or Hotwire.
Some hotels offer garage and/or valet parking; check with your hotel about parking before booking a room if you wish to drive around Miami.
The major area codes for Miami-Dade County are 305 and 786. The 305 area code also applies to the Florida Keys (Monroe County).
In addition to some of the places listed in Eat and Miami International Airport, several hotels have internet access—both LAN connections and wireless—but it is not free in all hotels. Check with your hotel to see if internet access is free or for a fee.
Several cafes have wireless internet connections, but depending on the café internet access may incur a fee. Unless it’s a nation-wide chain offering free internet access like Starbucks, check with your café to inquire about whether your internet access is charged separately from your meal.
There has been talk of free wireless to be installed all over Miami Beach and the Miami-Dade area, but nothing has been done about this yet.
Miami, frequently heralded in the news as a center of crime and drug smuggling, is only relatively dangerous for the passing tourist in certain areas. Overtown (next to Liberty City) has the highest violent crime rate in the city and is best if avoided all together. If you are in this neighborhood, or any other high crime neighborhood, take the same precautions as you would in other high crime neighborhoods around the country. Such as minding one's business, getting to your destination quickly, and avoid wearing flashy jewelry and electronics. Remember that most common sense rules such as being aware of your surroundings at night and traveling in high-traffic areas at night apply in Miami as it does in all other urban areas around the United States.
The emergency telephone number for fire, police and rescue emergencies is 911. If you require non-emergency assistance, do not call 911. To contact police in a non-emergency situation, call +1 305 4POLICE.
There are a lot of consulates in the Miami area. This is only a small listing of them. Check the United States Department of State's Foreign Consular Offices website  for more consulates.
|Routes through Miami|
|Fort Lauderdale ← Davie ←||N S||→ End|
|Tampa ← Hialeah ←||N S||→ End|
|Fort Lauderdale ← Hollywood ←||N S||→ Coral Gables → Key West|
|Tallahassee ← Belle Glade ←||N S||→ Miami Beach → End|
|Tampa ← Naples ←||N S||→ Miami Beach → End|
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!|
There is more than one meaning of Miami discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.