Everyone the world over has seen images of or at least heard of Miami Florida, but what is this place? Miami is a major center and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. In 2012, Miami was classified as an Alpha- World City in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory. In 2010, Miami ranked seventh in the United States in terms of finance, commerce, culture, entertainment, fashion, education, and other sectors. It ranked thirty-third among global cities. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Miami “America’s Cleanest City”, for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets and city-wide recycling programs. According to a 2009 UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States, and the world’s fifth-richest city in terms of purchasing power. Miami is nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America”, is the second largest U.S. city with a Spanish-speaking majority, and the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality.
But what does this mean for the average traveler? Sure this looks nice on paper but what can humid Miami actually offer you? In a word, everything. There is no person on this planet who could not find something to tickle their fancy or keep them entertained in Miami. Even a cold loving Eskimo wouldn’t be found disappointed under this city’s bountiful sunlight.
So what is there entertainment wise that makes this place so great? The city attracts a large number of musicians, singers, actors, dancers, and orchestral players. In addition to annual festivals like CalleOcho Festival and Carnaval Miami, 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 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
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 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.
For the more tame amongst travelers, Miami has much to offer. The city is home to numerous museums as well, many of which are in Downtown. These include the Frost Art Museum, HistoryMiami, Miami Art Museum, Miami Children’s Museum, Miami Science Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, home of the Miami Main Library. Miami is also the home of the world’s largest art exhibition, dubbed the “Olympics of Art”, Art Basel Miami. The event is held annually in December, and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.
Looking for a place to eat? Miami doesn’t disappoint. The cuisine of Miami is a reflection of its diverse population, with a heavy influence especially from Caribbean cuisine and from Latin American cuisine. By combining the two with American cuisine, it has spawned a unique South Florida style of cooking known as Floribbean cuisine. Floribbean cuisine is widely available throughout Miami and South Florida, and can be found in restaurant chains such as Pollo Tropical. Popular are the Cuban sandwich, medianoche, Cuban espresso, and croquetas,
For those with a bit of a sports itch, Miami has many ways to scratch it. Miami’s four main sports teams are the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League, the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association, the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball, and the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. As well as having all four major professional teams, Miami is also home to the Major League Soccer expansion team led by David Beckham, Sony Ericsson Open for professional tennis, numerous greyhound racing tracks, marinas, jai alai venues, and golf courses. The city streets have hosted professional auto races, the Miami Indy Challenge and later the Grand Prix Americas, whereas the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval located 35 miles southwest, currently hosts NASCAR national races.
There is so much in this city that it must be experienced to be believed. So pack your shorts and your flipflops because Miami is a must do on your next vacation.