Miami Luxury Villas

About South Miami, Florida

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Miami, officially the City of Miami, is the seat of Miami-Dade County, and the cultural, economic and financial center of Florida in the United States. The city covers an area of about 56 square miles between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east.

Amaya $900 /night

Villa Balinese $1875 /night

Villa Manuela $7800 /night

Villa Tura $4375 /night

Villa Ubud $1500 /night


Miami Most Famous For?

  • Start your day on the Miami Riverwalk.
  • Go on adventures at Jungle Island.
  • Shop and dine at the Bayside Marketplace.
  • Enjoy walks through The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
  • Go on a safari at Zoo Miami.
  • Admire street art at Wynwood Walls.
  • Experience Cuba in Little Havana.
  • Try Cuban Sandwiches at El Mago De Las Fritas.

Miami so popular?

Amazing Architecture. South Beach, Miami is rightly famous for its Art Deco architecture. Stroll the streets and feast on the creamy yellow, pink, blue, and purple walls around you, walls flowing into the fanciful shapes of Art Deco style. ... There's just something about Art Deco Architecture that makes people happy.

Click on the map to enlarge it
Welcome to Miami. Long gone are the days where Miami was reserved for the snowbirds and boring travelers. Today’s Miami is a bustling city filled with culture, fine restaurants, wonderful museums, Art Deco architecture, beautiful beaches and some of the top clubs in the world.

Miami has become a melting pot of cultures, and a warm and friendly city in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. One thing is sure, you will not be bored!

Beaches

Greater Miami has numerous free beaches to fit every style. Miami Beach built a boardwalk and protective walkways atop a landscaped dune. A trip to South Beach would not be complete without going to its beautiful beach.

Other beaches include: Bal Harbour Beach, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach, Crandon Park Beach, Haulover Beach Park, Hobie Beach/Windsurf Beach, Homestead Bayfront Park, North Shore Open Space Park, Oleta State Recreation Area, Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside, and Virginia Key Beach.

Climate

Miami has a true tropical climate, with warm, humid summers, and warm, dry winters. The area owes its warm, humid climate to the Gulf Stream, which moderates climate year-round. The yearly average high temperature is of 28° C and the average low temperature is 20° C. The city does experience somewhat cooler fronts from November through March. The wet season, which is hot and humid, lasts from May to September, then gives way to the dry season. Miami receives abundant rainfall, one of the highest among major U.S. cities. The hurricane season largely coincides with the wet season.

Temperature in CelsiusJFMAMJJASOND
Maximum242526283031313231292625
Minimum151617202223242424221816
Rainfall (mm)505060701402201501902101707040

Geography

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 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 the city of Miami Beach. The Gulf Stream runs northward near the coast, allowing the city's climate to stay warm and mild all year.

Miami is the commercial center. The city has over 380,000 people and is the anchor of the South Florida Metropolitan area (Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach) with over 5.5 million people.

History

The earliest evidence of Native American settlement, the Tequesta Indians, in the Miami region dates back about 10,000 years. The first inhabitants settled on the banks of the Miami River, with the main villages on the northern banks.

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and his men first visited and claimed the area around Miami for Spain in 1566. A Spanish mission was established one year later. Fort Dallas was built in the mid-1800s. At about the same time, the Seminole Indians arrived, along with a group of runaway slaves. The area subsequently was a site of fighting during the Second Seminole War. It was the most devastating Indian war in American history.

The Miami area was better known as “Biscayne Bay Country” in the early years of its growth. The few published accounts from that period describe the area as a wilderness that held much promise. However, the Great Freeze of 1894 changed all that, and the crops of the Miami area were the only ones in Florida that survived. Julia Tuttle, a local citrus grower, convinced Henry Flagler, a railroad tycoon, to expand his Florida East Coast Railroad to Miami. On July 28, 1896, Miami was officially incorporated as a city.

During the early 1920s, the authorities of Miami allowed gambling and were very lax in regulating Prohibition, so thousands of people migrated from the northern United States to the Miami region. By the early 1940s Miami was recovering from the Great Depression, but then World War II began. Miami was well-situated due to its location on the southern coast of Florida and played an important role in the battle against German submarines. After Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959, many Cubans immigrated to Miami, further increasing the population. Hurricane Andrew caused more than $45 billion in damage just south of the Miami-Dade area in 1992. Miami remains a major international financial and cultural center.

Nature

The Miami Seaquarium was the first major marine park attraction in South Florida. Its grand opening was in 1955. In addition to the marine mammals, the Miami Seaquarium also houses fish, sharks, sea turtles, birds, reptiles and manatees. The staff also works together to conserve the endangered Florida Manatee and rehabilitate injured marine animals.

Miami MetroZoo is fast becoming one of the best zoos in the nation. Its climate allows it to keep a wide variety of animals from Asia, Australia and Africa. It is 5 km around if walked on the path, and has over entirely cageless 80 exhibits.

The Oleta River State Park is the largest urban park in the Florida State Park system. The park contains one of the largest concentrations of Australian Pine trees found in a Florida State Park. The central feature of this park is the mouth of the Oleta River, for which it is named.

Biscayne National Park is home to the longest stretch of mangrove forest on Florida's East Coast. A glass-bottom boat and a diving and snorkeling catamaran takes adventurers across southern Biscayne Bay, through wilderness, mangrove creeks, islands, and out to tropical coral reefs teeming with sea life. The Dante Fascell Visitor Center offers exhibits, films, information, and is the place to reserve a boat tour or rent a canoe or kayak.

Everglades National Park, protecting more than 1.5 million acres, is one of the most unusual public parks in the United States. The park is home to 14 rare and endangered species, including the American Crocodile, the Florida Panther and the West Indian Manatee. Over 1,000 species of plants live here.

Unique to Here

Miami has the largest Latin American population outside of Latin America itself, with nearly 65% of its populace either Latin American 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. "Spanglish", a mixture of English and Spanish, is a somewhat common occurrence, with bilingual locals switching between English and Spanish mid-sentence and occasionally replacing a common English word for its Spanish equivalent.

Activities & Sports

There is absolutely no shortage of activities for the restless visitor. Everything you can think of can be found here. The following is a short list of options:

- Canoe trips, kayaking, fishing, diving and snorkeling. And everything else that can be done in water.

- Those wanting to stay on firm ground can go hiking in national parks, rock climbing, or do bike tours.

- Horse rides at the Tropical Park Equestrian Center.

- Plenty of companies offering eco-adventure tours.

- Golf, golf and more golf. There are more than 50 private and public golf courses in the Miami area, including several PGA Tour championship golf courses. A few suggestions include the Doral Golf Resort and Spa, the Fontainebleau Golf Club, the Miami Beach Golf Club and the Palmetto Golf Course.

Archaeology

The Historical Museum of Southern Florida is a historical museum located in Miami, which gives information about the history of South Florida and The Caribbean. Visit the Research Center which houses prints, antique maps, books and over a million historic photographs. Other exhibits display archaeological materials from 10,000 years ago to the early 20th century: Seminole and Miccosukee Indian objects, Pan American Airways artifacts; musical instruments and religious items.

The Miami Circle is an archaeological site in downtown Miami. It consists of a perfect circle of 24 holes or basins cut into the limestone bedrock, on a coastal spit of land, surrounded by a large number of other minor holes. It is believed to have been the location of a structure, built by the Tequesta Indians, in what was possibly their capital. It is believed to be somewhere between 1700 and 2000 years old, though some have questioned both its age and its authenticity.

Attractions & Sights

Here is but a sampling list of some of the top attractions in Miami by district:

South Beach is a district in Miami Beach that consists of several distinct neighbourhoods: Oceanfront, Bayshore, City Center, Flamingo/Lummus, South Pointe, Venetian Islands, West Ave. and Star, Palm & Hibiscus Islands. There is plenty to see at South Beach and not enough time to see it all.

- Casa Casuarina aka Versace House: Built by Gianni Versace in 1993 and the site of his tragic death is the most photographed landmark and was sold to Peter Loftin and it is not open to the public.

- Art Deco District: World's largest collection of modern Art Deco architecture.

- Espanola Way: Modeled after Mediterranean villages found in France and Spain.

- Miami Beach Cultural Campus: Known as the museum district which includes the Miami City ballet building, the Bass Museum, Miami Beach Regional Library and Collins Park.

- Miami Beach Botanical Garden: A collection of subtropical palms and plants and includes a Japanese Garden, orchid collection, exotic plants and subtropical palms.

- Jewish Holocaust Memorial: An idea conceived by Holocaust survivors in Miami and was funded by a private, non-profit organization.

- Maurice Gibb Memorial Park, Flamingo Park, Lummus Park, South Pointe Park.

Brickell, which includes the Financial District, is home to the majority of the big corporation and large businesses in Miami. Along Brickell Avenue, you will find headquarters for major banks, real estate and law firms. However, there are plenty of places to eat and relax by beautiful Biscayne Bay. Brickell Key, also known as Claughton Island, is a small community attached to Brickell by a pedestrian friendly bridge.

Little Havana is located just west of downtown Miami. It is also referred to as the Latin Quarter. It has many authentic Latin shops and restaurants on Calle Ocho, a perfect experience for tourists visiting the city to get an authentic feel of Latin American culture. The population speaks Spanish almost completely, but there are many bilingual speaking persons as well. It is advised to not wander into the neighbourhoods at night.

The Coconut Grove area has the lovely Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This European inspired estate includes a main house filled with art and furnishings and ten acres of gardens on Biscayne Bay. Also found in Cocnut Grove is the Miami Museum of Science. The museum is home to the Bird of Prey Research Center and the Weintraub Observatory.

Downtown Miami area is home to the Miami Children's Museum where kids can play, learn, imagine and create through a variety of interactive exhibits.

In Homestead/Florida City there is the Coral Castle, a truly unique monument. This attraction was built by a Latvian-born Miami resident as a monument to his lover.

Nightlife

Nightlife in Miami consists of upscale hotel clubs, independent bars frequented by locals and nightclubs. Most hotel bars and independent bars turn the other cheek at your physical appearance, but you have to be dressed to impress to get into a nightclub. Also remember to never insult the doormen, attempt to tip, or touch the velvet ropes...either of which guarantees you will not see the inside of the club. Popular drinks in Miami include the Cuba Libre and the Mojito.

The concentration of clubs is on South Beach along Washington Avenue, Lincoln Road Mall, and Ocean Drive. Other areas include Little Havana and Coconut Grove. Looking for something a bit quieter? Try the many lobby bars at South Beach's art deco hotels or other large hotels.

Home to some of the world's most famous nightclubs, the hip places to go include: Mansion, Twilo, Ink, Cameo, Space, and Opium Garden.

Side Trips

Two great day trip options are Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Keys.

For information on Fort Lauderdale please visit the Fort-Lauderdale section of this travel guide for a complete listing of things to see and do.

The Keys are an archipelago of about 1700 islands extending south and southwest of the Florida mainland. The major islands are Big Pine Key, Islamorada, Key Largo, Key West and Marathon. Most travellers visit:

Key West
Wildlife Rescue of the Florida Keys, McCoy Indigenous Park, Ghosts and Legends of Key West walking tour, Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West AIDS Memorial, Key West City Cemetery, Swim with Dolphins, and Glass Bottom Boat.
Activities such as diving, snorkeling, boating, sailing, fishing and watersport are all available.

Key Largo
Pennekamp State Park and casino boats
. Key Largo calls itself the "Diving Capital of the World". Other activities such snorkeling, glass bottom boat tours, para-sailing and fishing are all available.

Accommodations

Miami is known for its boutique hotels, especially in South Beach. The downside of many of the boutique hotels is that rooms can be small especially if the building was built during the height of the Art Deco period in Miami. Miami also has several upscale high-rise hotels north and south of South Beach as well as near the downtown area. You will find your share of less costly chain hotels.

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 White Party and Spring break put a strain on rooms around those times. Book months in advance if you can. Be aware that hotels have a 12.5% room tax and some hotels may add a 15% service charge.

Eating Out

Miami is definitely known for its unique New World cuisine. Alternatively known as Florribean, this cuisine, developed in the 1990s, blends local produce, Latin American and Caribbean culinary tradition and the technical skills required in European cooking. This cuisine influences several restaurants around the city to this day.

In addition to various international cuisines - such as Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern and Italian - there are cafés, steakhouses and chain restaurants. Miami is known for having nightclubs double as restaurants throughout the city. Most of these restaurants, such as Tantra, BED, the Pearl Restaurant and Champagne Lounge, are located throughout South Beach.

Some says there are over 6,000 restaurants to choose from. Here is a good idea of where to go to find the best: Coral Gables business district from Monday to Friday, Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road Mall, between 67th and 75th street and Collins Avenue, and around 96th street and Collins Avenue.

Shopping

Some visitors come to Miami exclusively to shop. Sometimes it is said that the main two things to do in Miami are to go shopping and going to the beach.

Some popular malls include:

- Dadeland Mall in South Miami
- Merrick Park in Coral Gables (exclusive and trendy stores)
- Lincoln Road Mall
- Bal Harbor Shops in Aventura
- Dolphin Mall - Largest Mall in Miami.
- Sawgrass Mills Mall - Outlet mall located in Broward County

The Bayside Marketplace, in downtown Miami, is a lovely open-air market where you can browse the artist's carts and stroll along the pier.

  • Airport :
    Miami International Airport
  • Airport Tax :
    Departure tax is usually included in your ticket price, inquire on booking.
  • Distance from Airport :
    10 km to downtown
  • Tourist Office :
    Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, 701 Brickell Ave., Ste. 2700 Tel: 305-539-3000.
  • Tourist Season :
    Year round but peak season is from November through March.
  • Festivals & Events

    January
    FedEx Orange Bowl Classic, Miami
    Art Deco Weekend, South Beach
    Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Parade, Miami.

    February
    Miami Film Festival
    Miami International Boat Show, Miami Beach.

    March
    Winter Party and Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Miami Beach.

    April
    Little Acorns International Kite Festival, South Beach
    Sunfest, West Palm Beach.

    July
    Miccosukee Everglades Festival, West Miami.

    October
    Caribbean Carnival, Miami.

    November
    White Party Week, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, parties to benefit AIDS research.

    Transportation

    Miami International Airport, one of the busiest international airports in the world, is the main airport serving the Miami metropolitan area. It is located just west of the city. There is also Fort Lauderdale International Airport located about 25 to 40 minutes north of Miami.

    The Port of Miami is a major cruise ship embarkation port. Miami is the southern terminus of Amtrak's Atlantic Coast services. Greyhound provides commercial bus service between different cities in Florida. Miami has a monorail system as well as a metro system, and most cities have bus service.

    Unless you plan to stay downtown or in a single location elsewhere, you will find that a car is a major convenience in Miami, and car rentals are cheap in comparison to other major US cities.

    Taxis are generally expensive. Usually, you will have to call a cab company and request a pick-up. Regular service is available throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties. 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.

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