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South Florida
Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach
Miami
Fort Lauderdale
West Palm Beach
Country United States of America
State Florida
Principal cities Miami
 - Hialeah
 - Fort Lauderdale
 - Pompano Beach
 - West Palm Beach
 - Miami Beach
 - Hollywood
Area
 - Metro 6,137 sq mi (15,896 km2)
Elevation 0 - 20 ft (0 - 7 m)
Population (2007 est.)[1]
 Density 890/sq mi (315/km2)
 Urban 4,919,036 (5th)
 - MSA 5,413,212 (7th)
  MSA/CSA = 2008, Urban = 2000
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

The South Florida metropolitan area, more commonly South Florida, and officially the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach Metropolitan Area encompasses a three-county area of the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Florida. The metropolitan area covers the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. The three counties are the three most populous in Florida. The term "South Florida" is roughly synonymous with the Gold Coast. The principal cities include Miami, Miami Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. The Florida Keys are also included in the metropolitan area at times.

Because the population of South Florida is largely confined to a strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades, the Miami urbanized area (that is, the area of contiguous urban development) is about 110 miles (180 km) long (north to south), but never more than 20 miles (32 km) wide, and in some areas only 5 miles (8.0 km) wide (east to west). South Florida is longer than any other urbanized area in the United States except for the New York metropolitan area.[2] It was the eighth most densely populated urbanized area in the United States in the 2000 census.[3] As of the 2000 census, the urbanized area had a land area of 1,116 square miles (2,890.7 square kilometers), with a population of 4,919,036, for a population density of 4,407.4 per square mile (1,701.7 per square kilometer). Miami and Hialeah (the second largest city in the metropolitan area) had population densities of more than 10,000 per square mile (more than 3,800 per square kilometer).[4][5] The Miami Urbanized Area was the fifth largest Urbanized Area (but 7th largest metropolitan area) in the United States in the 2000 census.

The Miami metro area also includes several urban clusters (UCs) as of the 2000 Census which are not part of the Miami Urbanized Area. These are the Belle Glade UC, population 24,218, area 20,717,433 square metres and population density of 3027.6 per square mile; Key Biscayne UC, population 10,513, area 4,924,214 square metres and population density of 5529.5 per square mile; Redland UC, population 3,936, area 10,586,212 square metres and population density of 963.0 per square mile; and West Jupiter UC, population 8,998, area 24,737,176 square metres and population density of 942.1 per square mile.[6]

In 2006, the area had an estimated 5,463,857 persons, of which 1,671,398 live in unincorporated areas.[7][8][9] Considering that the area has an urban population of 4,919,036, only 544,821 residents live outside of the urban area, meaning that at least 1,126,577 persons live in urban unincorporated areas, but the number is actually higher.

Contents

Metropolitan divisions

The Miami Urbanized Area stretches along the Atlantic Coast for most of the length of the Miami metro area, but is confined to a relatively narrow area between the coast and the Everglades.

The Miami metropolitan area contains of three distinct metropolitan divisions, subdividing the region into three divisions according to the region's three counties: Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.

Metropolitan Divisions 2007
Population
Miami--Miami Beach—Kendall 2,478,745
Fort Lauderdale--Pompano Beach—Deerfield Beach 1,787,636
West Palm Beach--Boca Raton—Boynton Beach 1,351,236

Cities

Downtown Miami, South Florida's largest and most influential central business district. With the construction of many new office and residential towers, Miami ranks as the third largest skyline in the United States.[10]

Principal cities

Ten largest cities
(Cities with over 100,000 inhabitants)
City Population County
Miami 424,662 Miami-Dade
Hialeah 212,217 Miami-Dade
Fort Lauderdale 183,606 Broward
Pembroke Pines 146,828 Broward
Hollywood 142,473 Broward
Coral Springs 126,875 Broward
Miami Gardens 108,862 Miami-Dade
Miramar 108,240 Broward
Pompano Beach 104,355 Broward

Principal cities are defined by the Census Bureau based on population size and employment. In general, a principal city has more non-residents commuting into the city to work than residents commuting out of the city to work.[11] As of November, 2007 the Census Bureau defined the following principal cities in the metropolitan area:[12]

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Areas with between 10,000 and 95,000 inhabitants

Areas with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants

Demographics

Population

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 4,955
1910 17,510 253.4%
1920 66,542 280.0%
1930 214,830 222.8%
1940 387,522 80.4%
1950 693,705 79.0%
1960 1,497,099 115.8%
1970 2,236,645 49.4%
1980 3,220,844 44.0%
1990 4,056,100 25.9%
2000 5,007,564 23.5%
Est. 2008 5,414,772 8.1%
An aerial view of Downtown Miami

South Florida is a very diverse community with much of the population coming from all over Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Canada, and Asia.

Another large factor are residents who were former snowbirds from the Northeast. Many of them come from a variety of age-ranges, mostly retirees, and tend to be Jewish-American, Muslim-American, Italian-American, Irish-American, African-American, Puerto Rican-American, Dominican-American, and other second and third-generation Americans.

To a lesser extent, snowbirds are also from the Midwest (mostly Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan) and West Coast (mainly California,) as well as the the South and the Pacific Northwest.

There is also a notable difference in the culture of South Florida and the rest of Florida, as it tends to be more of a multicultural mosaic and a salad bowl than a melting pot, whereas the majority of the Florida Heartland, the Florida Panhandle, North Florida, and portions of northern Central Florida (with the exception of Orlando) have more of a Southern culture.

Politically speaking, South Florida is heavily Democratic. Broward County is the second most reliably Democratic county in the state,[13][14] behind only Gadsden County (where African Americans make up the majority). Palm Beach County, like Broward, is largely Democratic as well, especially amongst its Jewish community,[15] while the rest of Florida tends to follow Southern politics and vote more Republican, with the exception of certain parts of Florida where Southern culture is not as influential. With a majority Hispanic population in Miami-Dade, Republican votes are mainly by older generations of Cuban Americans most of whom had fled to the United States to escape the Communist reign of Fidel Castro, but Miami-Dade County still remains very Democratic when compared with most of Florida's other counties.[16][17][18]

As of the 2005 American Community Survey[19][20] there is a total of 5,334,685 people living in the metropolis.

The largest religion in South Florida is Roman Catholic. Over 60% of total population.[citation needed] South Florida has a very large Jewish community; 10.2% of the population was Jewish in the 2000 Census.[citation needed] There is also a sizable Muslim community numbering at 70,000 some of whom are American born converts to Islam.[21]

Population: As of the 2005 U.S. Census, there were 5,334,685 people, mainly upper class people. 2.8 million (52%) were females and 2.6 million (48%) were males. The median age was 38.6 years. 24% of the population were under 18 years and 15% were 65 years and older. There were 2,338,450 households, and 1,326,391 families residing in the South Florida metropolitan area.

Ethnicity:
The racial makeup of population of South Florida [5,334,685] as of 2005:[22]

Language and national origin

National origin and language: Of the people living in the South Florida metro area in 2005, 63 percent were born in the United States (including 30 percent who were born in Florida) and 37 percent were foreign born. Among people at least five years old living in South Florida in 2005, 52 percent spoke English at home while 48 percent spoke some other language at home. Of those speaking a language other than English at home, 78 percent spoke Spanish and 22 percent spoke some other language (mainly Haitian Creole, but also French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Yiddish). About 47 percent reported that they did not speak English "very well."

Geographic mobility: In 2005, 83 percent of the people at least one year old living in the South Florida metro area were living in the same residence one year earlier; 12 percent had moved during the past year from another residence in the same county, 2 percent from another county in the same state, 2 percent from another state, and 1 percent from abroad.

Households and families: There were 2,338,450 households, The average household size was 2.6 people. Families made up 65 percent of the households in South Florida. This figure includes both married-couple families (45 percent) and other families (20 percent). Nonfamily households made up 35 percent of all households in South Florida. Most of the nonfamily households were people living alone, but some consisted of people living in households in which no one was related to the householder.

Education

Education: In 2005, 83 percent of people 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 30 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher. Among people 16 to 19 years old, 7% were dropouts; they were not enrolled in school and had not graduated from high school. The total school enrollment in South Florida Metro Area was 1.4 million in 2005. Nursery school and kindergarten enrollment was 170,000 and elementary or high school enrollment was 879,000 children. College or graduate school enrollment was 354,000.

Occupation, Income, and Industries

List of Major Companies in South Florida

The Port of Miami is the world's largest cruise ship port.
The Brickell Financial District in Miami contains the largest concentration of international banks in the U.S. and is a major area of employment.

Occupations and Type of Employer: Among the most common occupations were: 32% were management, professional, and related occupations, 30% were sales and office occupations, 18% were service occupations, 11% were construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations, and 9% were production, transportation, and material moving occupations. 81% of the people employed were Private wage and salary workers; 12% were Federal, state, or local government workers; and 7% were Self-employed in own not incorporated business workers.

Income: The median income of households in South Florida was $43,091. 78% of the households received earnings and 13% received retirement income other than Social Security. 30% of the households received Social Security. The average income from Social Security was $13. These income sources are not mutually exclusive; that is, some households received income from more than one source.

Industries: In 2005, for the employed population 16 years and older, the leading industries in South Florida Area were Educational services, health care and social assistance, which accounted for 18%, and Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services, which accounted for 13% of the population.

Traveling to Work: 79% of South Florida workers drove to work alone in 2005, 10 percent carpooled, 4% took public transportation, and 4% used other means. The remaining 3% worked at home. Among those who commuted to work, it took them on average 28.5 minutes to get to work.

Poverty and Participation in Government Programs: In 2005, 14% of people were in poverty. 19% of related children under 18 were below the poverty level, compared with 14% of people 65 years old and over. 11% of all families, and 26% of families with a female householder and no husband present had incomes below the poverty level.

Housing characteristics and costs

Housing characteristics: As of 2005, South Florida had a total of 2.3 million housing units, 13% of which were vacant. Of the total housing units, 52% were in single-unit structures, 45% were in multi-unit structures, and 3% were mobile homes. 25% of the housing units were built since 1990.

Occupied housing unit characteristics: In 2005, South Florida had 2.0 million occupied housing units - 1.3 million (66%) owner occupied and 688,000 (34%) renter occupied. 5% of the households did not have telephone service and 9% of the households did not have access to a car, truck, or van for private use. Multi Vehicle households were not rare. 37% had two vehicles and another 13% had three or more.

Housing costs: The median monthly housing costs for mortgaged owners was $71,517, nonmortgaged owners $65,494, and renters $59,877. 50% of owners with mortgages, 26% of owners without mortgages, and 57% of renters in South Florida spent 30% or more of household income on housing.

Property tax increase: In March 2009, South Florida lawmakers have approved and passed a 5 to 10 percent hike in property tax millage rates throughout the metropolitan area to fund the construction of several new schools and to fund several more understaffed schools and educational institutions. The raise in millage rates will mean a very significant jump in residents' property tax bills starting in the 2009 tax year.

Education

Florida International University, with 40,455 students, is the largest university in South Florida

In Florida, each county is also a school district. Each district is headed by an elected school board. A professional superintendent manages the day-to-day operations of each district, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the School Board.

The Miami-Dade County Public School District is currently the 4th-largest public school district in the nation. The School District of Palm Beach County is the 4th-largest in Florida and the 11th-largest in the United States. Broward County Public School District is the 6th-largest in the United States.

Some colleges and universities in South Florida include:

In 2005, 82 percent of people 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 28 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher. Among people 16 to 19 years old, 7 percent were dropouts; they were not enrolled in school and had not graduated from high school. The total school enrollment in South Florida metro area was 1.4 million in 2005. Nursery school and kindergarten enrollment was 170,000 and elementary or high school enrollment was 879,000. College or graduate school enrollment was 354,000.

Transportation

Tri-Rail is South Florida's commuter rail and connects it north to south
Government Center is one of the main stations for the Metrorail.

The South Florida metropolitan area is served by five interstate highways operated by the Florida Department of Transportation in conjunction with local agencies. I-95 runs north to south along the coast, ending just south of Downtown Miami. I-75 runs east to west, turning south in western Broward County; it connects suburban North Miami-Dade to Naples on the west coast via Alligator Alley, which transverses the Florida Everglades before turning north. I-595 connects the Broward coast and downtown Fort Lauderdale to I-75 and Alligator Alley. I-195 and I-395 both connect the main I-95 route to Biscayne Boulevard and Miami Beach, which is located across Biscayne Bay. I-195 and I-395 also connect (at their interchanges with I-95) to the Airport Expressway (State Road 112) and the Dolphin Expressway (State Road 836), respectively, both of which run west to Miami International Airport; the Dolphin Expressway also connects to Florida's Turnpike and the western suburbs of Miami-Dade County.

In Miami, Miami-Dade Transit operates Metrorail, Florida's only rapid transit metro with 22 stations on a 22.4-mile (36.0 km) track, the Downtown Miami people mover, (Metromover) with 21 stations and 3 lines on 4.4-mile (7.1 km) track, as well as Metrobus. In Broward County Broward County Transit runs public buses as does Palm Tran in Palm Beach County. Additionally, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority operates Tri-Rail, a commuter rail train that connects the three of the primary cities of South Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach), and most intermediate points.

South Florida is served by three major airports:

The three airports combine to make the fourth largest domestic origin and destination market in the United States, after New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.[23]

The metropolis also has four seaports, the largest and most important being the Port of Miami. Others in the area include Port Everglades, Port of Palm Beach and the Miami River Port.

Major freeways and tollways

Climate

A view of Biscayne National Park in Miami-Dade County.

South Florida has a tropical climate, the only major metropolitan area in the 48 contiguous states that falls under this category. More specifically, it generally has a tropical monsoon climate (Koppen climate classification, Am).[24] The metropolis does experience cold fronts from November through March, however most of the year is warm and humid and the mean temperature for any month is never below 64.4 °F (18 °C). In addition, the metropolis sees most of its rain in the summer (wet season) and is mainly dry in winter (dry season). The wet season, which is hot and humid, lasts from May to October, when it gives way to the dry season, which features mild temperatures with some invasions of colder air, which is when the little winter rainfall occurs — with the passing of a front. The hurricane season largely coincides with the wet season.[25]

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 see 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 (15 °C), very rarely dipping below 40 °F (4 °C), and the maximum averages around 75 °F (24 °C).

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, although hurricanes can develop outside that time period. The most likely time for South Florida to be hit is during the peak of the Cape Verde season, mid-August through the end of September.[26] Due to its location between two major bodies of water known for tropical activity, South Florida is also statistically the most likely major area to be struck by a hurricane in the world, trailed closely by Nassau, Bahamas, and Havana, Cuba. Many hurricanes have affected the metropolis, 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.

Area codes

  • 305 Miami-Dade County and Florida Keys
  • 786 Miami-Dade County only
  • 954 Broward County
  • 754 Broward County
  • 561 Palm Beach County

Sports

Government

The Stephen P. Clark Government Center in Downtown Miami is the headquarters of the Miami-Dade County government.

The metropolis is governed by the 3 counties in the area. In total there are 107 municipalities or incorporated places in the metropolis. Each one of the municipalities has its own city, town or village government, although there is no distinction between the 3 names. Much of the land in the metropolis is unincorporated, which means it does not belong to any municipality, and therefore is governed directly by the county it is located in.

Congressional districts

South Florida has eight congressional districts of which three are Republican leaning district (18th, 21st and 25th) and five are Democratic leaning districts (17th, 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd). District 21 is the most Republican leaning district in the area, while District 17 is the most Democratic leaning district in the region.

The Cook Political report lists District 21 as "leans Republican" while District 18 and District 25 are listed as "likely Republican."[27] Other independent political analysts including the Rotherberg Political Report,[28] CQ Politics[29] and the Crystal Ball[30] rate all three South Florida Republican districts as either "Lean Republican," "Likely Republican," "Republican Favored," "Limited Risk" or "Safe Republican." None of the districts are listed in the toss-up column. All of the Democrat seats in South Florida are listed as either "Safe Democrat," "Democrat Favored" or "Limited risk."

According to the August 14, 2008 Time magazine article, "Democrats are mounting serious challenges to at least two of Miami's three Republican lawmakers" and that "the Miami challenges have caught the GOP off guard. Democratic voter registration in Miami-Dade County, as in other places, is up, and Republican registration is down."[31]

Media

The Miami Herald headquarters in Downtown Miami. The Miami Herald is the largest newspaper in South Florida.

South Florida is served by several English-language and two major Spanish-language daily newspapers. The Miami Herald, headquartered in Downtown Miami, is Miami's primary newspaper with over a million readers. It also has news bureaus in Broward County, Monroe County, and Nassau, Bahamas. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel circulates primarily in Broward and southern Palm Beach counties and also has a news bureau in Havana, Cuba. The Palm Beach Post serves mainly Palm Beach County, especially the central and northern regions, and the Treasure Coast. The Boca Raton News publishes five days a week and circulates in southern Palm Beach County.[32] El Nuevo Herald, a subsidiary of the Miami Herald, and Diario Las Americas,[33] are Spanish-language daily papers that circulate mainly in Miami-Dade County. La Palma and El Sentinel are weekly Spanish newspapers published by the Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel, respectively, and circulate in the same areas as their English-language counterparts.

South Florida is split into two separate television/radio markets: The Miami-Fort Lauderdale market serves Miami-Dade, Broward and the Florida Keys. The West Palm Beach market serves Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast region.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale is the 12th largest radio market and the 17th-largest television market in the U.S. Television stations serving the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area include WAMI-TV (TeleFutura), WBFS-TV (MyNetworkTV), WSFL-TV (The CW), WFOR-TV (CBS), WHFT-TV (TBN), WLTV (Univision), WPLG (ABC), WPXM (ION), WSCV (Telemundo), WSVN (FOX), WTVJ (NBC), WPBT (PBS), and WLRN-TV (also PBS).

In addition to the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market, West Palm Beach has its own. It is the 49th largest radio market and the 38th-largest television market in the U.S. Television stations serving the West Palm Beach area include WPTV (NBC), WPEC (CBS), WPBF (ABC), WFLX (FOX), WTVX (The CW), WXEL (PBS), WTCN (MyNetworkTV), and WPXP (ION). The West Palm Beach market shares use of WSCV and WLTV for Telemundo and Univision respectively. Also, both markets cross over and tend to be available interchangeably between both areas.

See Also

References

  1. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008". US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/CBSA-est2008-annual.html. Retrieved March 22, 2009. 
  2. ^ PDFMiami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: Linear & Visionless - retrieved August 2, 2006
  3. ^ USA Urbanized Areas Over 500,000: 2000 Rankings - Rank by Density - URL retrieved September 5, 2006
  4. ^ Lists of Census 2000 Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters - URL retrieved August 27, 2006
  5. ^ NOTE: large (2.8 MB) PDF file - UMiami, florida Urbanized Area Outline Map, 2000 Census - URL retrieved August 27, 2006
  6. ^ State-sorted list for UCs - URL retrieved August 27, 2006
  7. ^ CTYPFL07_rev.xls
  8. ^ http://www.broward.org/planningservices/bbtn47.pdf
  9. ^ Population Served by Local Governments
  10. ^ World skyline rankings
  11. ^ Census Bureau Geographic Concepts - retrieved July 2, 2009
  12. ^ Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas defined by the Office of Management and Budget, November 2007 - retrieved July 2, 2009
  13. ^ State:Broward Power. St. Petersburg Times Last accessed November 14, 2006.
  14. ^ 2008 General Election Results. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  15. ^ sun-sentinel.com Election 2008 (Florida Presidential election results): 2008
  16. ^ South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com Election 2008 (Florida Presidential election results): 2008
  17. ^ CNN.com Election 2004 (Florida Presidential election results): 2004
  18. ^ CNN.com Election 2006 (Florida Gubernatorial election results): 2006
  19. ^ American Community Survey - URL retrieved January 4, 2007
  20. ^ American Community Survey: Narrative Profile - URL retrieved August 27, 2007
  21. ^ S. Fla's 70,000 Muslims start holy month of Ramadan
  22. ^ and Housing Narrative Profile: 2005
  23. ^ http://www.eclatconsulting.com/im_pdf/top_200_us_markets.pdf
  24. ^ Köppen Climate Classification Map: South Florida=Aw=tropical wet & dry
  25. ^ Climate Zones of the World, under Koppen's System, retrieved August 8, 2006
  26. ^ Weather.com Vulnerable cities: Miami, Florida, retrieved February 19, 2006
  27. ^ Cook Political Report, as of 2008-07-31
  28. ^ Rothenberg Political Report, as of 2008-07-29
  29. ^ CQ Politics
  30. ^ Crystal Ball, as of 2008-07-30
  31. ^ Time Magazine, Big Trouble in Little Havana by Tim Padgett, August 14, 2008.
  32. ^ Boca Raton News home page - URL retrieved August 19, 2006
  33. ^ Diario Las Americas

External links

Coordinates: 26°8′N 80°12′W / 26.133°N 80.2°W / 26.133; -80.2


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The heart of downtown Miami as seen on February 2, 2007. The ongoing construction throughout the city, as depicted here, has inspired popular opinion suggesting Miami has become a prime example of "Manhattanization". Right of center in this image is the Freedom Tower, a historic landmark.
The heart of downtown Miami as seen on February 2, 2007. The ongoing construction throughout the city, as depicted here, has inspired popular opinion suggesting Miami has become a prime example of "Manhattanization". Right of center in this image is the Freedom Tower, a historic landmark.
South Florida is a region of Florida, in the United States of America. It includes a widely diverse area from quiet, unpopulated central areas with "Old Florida" feel to vibrant resort cities.
  • Florida Gold Coast - The tri-county region sometimes referred to as "South Florida", consisting of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties on the Atlantic coast. This is the most southeast region. Usually when people say South Florida they are referring to the Gold Coast (especially in the media).
  • Treasure Coast - Just north of the Gold Coast consisting of Indian River County, St. Lucie County, and Martin County.
  • Southwest Florida - The Gulf Coast counties of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier and Monroe.
  • Florida Heartland - The inland counties of South Florida. These counties are very rural, especially when compared to the bustling urban centers along the coast, and are much more economically reliant on agriculture and cattle ranching than on tourism. They are also overall more culturally Southern.
  • Florida Keys - An archipelago of about 1700 islands extending from Miami to Key West.

Cities

Some of the major cities in South Florida are:

  • Stuart- The heart of the Treasure Coast
  • Boca Raton - Outstanding landscaping, parks and beaches.
  • West Palm Beach - sub-tropical waterfront location, vibrant downtown for shopping, exciting dining experiences.
  • Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Beach,Deep Sea diving, Butterfly World, Thoroughbred racing.
  • Fort Myers- Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel and the exotic beaches of Captiva Islands.
  • Hollywood - Seminole Indian reservation
  • Key West - Charter saltwater deep sea fishing, kayak, SCUBA diving and snorkeling.
  • Miami - Boating, Watersports, Glass Bottom boats, Deep Sea Diving, cruising.
  • Naples- Enjoy the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, world class shopping, golf courses and the nearby untamed tropical wilderness of The Everglades.
  • Port Charlotte Hurricane Charley on August 13, 2004 hit this area badly. 20,000 roofs needed repairs, and businesses moved into trailers. However this area is on the way to a complete recovery.
  • Sarasota - Casey Key, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key, Venice, Manasota Key, Ringling Brothers Circus Museum
  • Vero Beach- Disney's Vero Beach resort community with priorities on art, education, culture and lifestyles.
  • Palm Beach- The Island of Palm Beach offers pristine beaches with glistening views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Understand

South Florida has a sub-tropical wet-and-dry climate, cold fronts from November through March, and most of the year is warm and humid. The dry season begins in October and lasts through the third week in May. The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30. The most likely time for South Florida to be hit is mid August through the end of September.

Talk

A wide variety of languages are commonly spoken throughout South Florida with increasing diversity near the major cities. The City of Miami for example has three official languages: English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole (French Creole). English however is the most dominate and preferred language in South Florida. Even in areas where English isn't the native language, most people will be bilingual in the other language (although generally not the other way around for native English speakers). The simplest way to get treated in English is to use the "approach rule", where most locals will only respond in the language they were summoned in, unless they are not able to speak it, this rule can be used on anyone whether or not they were originally speaking Spanish, English, or any other language. In general the more south you go in South Florida (for instance, Miami-Dade), the more Spanish speakers there will be.

Occasionally you may run into someone who is not fluent in English. If this happens simply speak slowly and use only simple English. In a few places, especially near Miami you may find someone that cannot speak any English. Even when encountering a local who does not speak English, one could easily find another local to help with translation if needed without much effort, since most of the population is fluently bilingual.

Get in

By plane

Miami International Airport, one of the busiest international airports in the world, is the main airport serving the Miami metropolitan area. Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, and Sarasota also have large airports.

By boat

Coastal cities have excellent year-round marina facilities, often serving some of the largest and most luxurious yachts in the world. Miami is home to the Port of Miami, the largest cruise ship port in the world. Fort Lauderdale also has a cruise port.

  • Interstate 75 runs south from Northern Florida through Tampa's eastern suburbs, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples, until crossing the "Alligator Alley" as a toll road to Fort Lauderdale before turning south to end in Miami Lakes.
  • Interstate 95 continues south from the Atlantic Coast of the eastern USA through Treasure Coast cities into West Palm Beach, and Ft. Lauderdale before terminating in Downtown Miami.

Get around

Public transportation - Local public transportation includes Metrobus, Metromover, and Metrorail—an elevated rapid transit system—each operated by Miami-Dade Transit. There is also an commuter rail system named Tri-Rail, that runs north to south, from MIA all the way to West Palm Beach, making a stop at all three of the Gold Coast's international airports.

Hire a car to explore the unique countryside areas.

Key West Lighthouse
Key West Lighthouse
  • Marco Island, Captiva Island, and Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida.
  • Sebring International Raceway in Sebring.
  • Coral Castle in Homestead --An odd complex of stone structures, built with enormously heavy stones, and allegedly by one man, without the help of modern equipment.
  • Fakahatchee Strand State Park -The wild orchids [1].
  • Miami Seaquarium aquarium located on Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay in the city of Miami with a pair of local Manatees.
  • Lincoln Road in Miami - a popular pedestrian mall lined with shops, sidewalk cafes, bars and galleries.
  • City of Miami Cemetery is a historic cemetery in Miami.
  • Florida Lighthouses are numerous and beautiful in South Florida, take some time to visit these iconic images of the coast.
  • Discovery Cruise Line sails every day to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale, departing at 7:45AM & returning at 10PM. With Discovery's convenient daily schedule, you choose how and when to cruise from the following options: One Day Bahamas Party Cruise Cruise 'N Stay Bahamas Resort Getaways
  • Butterfly World in Coconut Creek. Amidst thousands of flowers, tropical plants, waterfalls, gardens, and classical music, Butterfly World is a unique, breathtaking site that is one of Florida's leading tourist attractions.
  • Miami Yacht Charters & Rentals[2]South Florida yacht charter services. Convenient boarding locations such as Miami Beach, South Beach, Coconut Grove, Aventura, North Miami, Key Biscayne, Bahia Mar, Marriott Portside Marina, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and more.
Miami's population growth in recent years has been caused by internal migration from other parts of the country as well as by immigration. Greater Miami is known as a cultural melting pot, while still maintaining some of their cultural traits. The overall culture of Miami and Miami-Dade are heavily influenced by its large population of ethnic Latin Americans and cultures from Caribbeans from islands such as Jamaica, The Bahamas, Cuba and who mainly Spanish or Haitian Creole.

Enjoy such meals such as a Cuban dish of ropa vieja (shredded flank steak in a tomato sauce base), black beans, yellow rice, plantains and fried yuca with beer.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

South Florida (plural: uncountable)

  1. the southeasternmost portion of the state of Florida, particularly the area extending southward from the city of West Palm Beach and including the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and the Florida Keys

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