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Miami information

Miami , known as the “Magic City,” is the southernmost of Florida's major cities. Part of the South Florida region, it is 20 miles from Fort Lauderdale, 106 miles from Naples (Florida) and 156 miles from Key West.

Note: This article concerns the city of Miami proper, for information regarding the rest of the Miami Metropolitan Area, please see the articles: South Florida, Florida Gold Coast.

Understand

The population of the Miami Metropolitan Area has an estimated population (2007) of over 5.4 million, making it the 7th most populous metropolitan area in the United States. A 2007 estimate by the United Nations, labeled the Miami metropolitan area as the forth largest urban area in the United States after New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Due to the proximity of the Everglades wetland area to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Miami metropolitan area is 110 mi(180 km) north to south but never more than 20 mi(32 km) east to west.

History

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 the early 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 him when Roosevelt 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. After WWII, several soldiers decided to stay in Miami to become permanent residents.

Climate

Because of its proximity to the equator, as opposed to other parts of the United States, Miami's weather is often, but not always, warm. Although winter weather averages around 60 to 70º Fahrenheit, temperatures can fall to around 50º during the day and 40º at night. Summer weather can go over 90º Fahrenheit (36.6º Celsius), but very rarely. It usually averages around 80ºF. During June to November, rain and thunderstorms can also be expected to occur.

  • Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Drive, +1 305 672-2014, – Daily 10AM-10PM.
  • Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, 1920 Meridian Avenue – Open Mon-Fri, 9AM-6PM, Sat-Sun, 10AM-4PM.
  • Greater Miami and the Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau, 27th floor of 701 Brickell Ave,, + 1 305 539-3000 – Open Mon-Ffri 8:30AM-5PM.

See

  • The_Holocaust_Memorial_Miami_BeachAncient Spanish Monastery 16711 West Dixie Highway (near Sunny Isles), +1 305 945-1461 . M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM (unless there is a wedding scheduled; call ahead or check the website for wedding dates). Originally built in Segovia, Spain in 1141, this monastery was originally to be a part of William Randolph Hearst’s property in California. Partly because he ran out of money and partly because the United States would not allow the monastery to be built in California, the monastery remained in New York Harbor until 1954, when a couple of businessmen bought the property and assembled it in Miami. Parts of the monastery have not been assembled because the government removed the pieces from numbered boxes and then placed the wrong pieces in the wrong boxes. Today the monastery is a church as well as a popular marriage location. As seen on the History Channel show Weird U.S. Adult admission $5, senior and student admission (with valid ID) $2.50, child admission $2.
  • Holocaust Memorial, center of Meridian Drive and Dade Boulevard, +1 305 538-1663 . Daily 9AM-9PM. This memorial was created with the help of Miami Beach Holocaust survivors and sculptor Kenneth Treister in 1984. It was finally opened to the public in 1990. The most noticeable features of this memorial are its large arm with Holocaust victims trying to climb up the arm (it even has an Auschwitz tattoo similar to the ones issued at Auschwitz), its pool with a dedication to the “Jewish victims of the Holocaust” just outside the pool and sculptures of a mother and her children perishing to death surrounded by Anne Frank quotes. Behind the massive arm is the Garden of Meditation, dedicated to life, and a history of the Holocaust etched (with some covered-up errors) in granite. Surrounding the arm is a tunnel highlighted by an eternal flame. The tunnel has the names of the concentration camps sculpted inside of it and leads you to more sculptures surrounding the arm as well as names of victims of the Holocaust etched in granite and items such as Jewish candles placed by visitors honoring the memory of the dead. Free.
  • Coral Castle, 28655 South Dixie Highway, (305) 248-6345 . An odd complex of stone structures, built with enormously heavy stones, and allegedly by one man, without the help of modern equipment.
  • Jewish Museum of Florida, 301 Washington Ave, +1 305 672-5044 (fax: +1 305 672-5933) . Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. Closed on Monday and civil and Jewish holidays. This museum, located in a 1936 synagogue that hosted Miami’s first Jewish congregation, has a permanent exhibit detailing how Florida’s Jews arrived in Florida as well as their history in Florida and their customs. The museum also has videos to view while you’re inside the museum, temporary exhibits in the center of the synagogue and a gift shop. A small and fairly uninteresting museum. Adult admission $6, senior and student admission $5, family admission $12, children under six and members of the Jewish Museum of Florida free. Admission is also free on Sat.
  • Frost Art Museum, SW 107th Ave & SW 8th St (FIU-University Park), (305) 348-2890. Open M-Tu,Th-F 10AM-5PM, W 10AM-9PM, Sa-Su 12PM-4PM. Located at Florida International University, the Frost Art Museum has a large variety of 1960's and 1970's American photography, pre-Columbian artifacts dating back from 200 to 500 AD, ancient African and Asian bronzes, and a growing number of Caribbean and Latin American paintings and artwork.
  • Bass Museum of Art, 212 Park Ave, +1 305 673-7530, (fax +1 305 673-7062) . Open Tu-W and F-Sa 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-5PM. This art museum, expanded by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, houses several European artworks from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Baroque and Northern European artworks are the highlights of the Bass Museum’s collection. The Bass Museum also hosts touring exhibitions and the New Information Workshop, a computer laboratory that allows visitors to create their own artwork. $12 adults, $10 students and seniors, children under 6 years of age free. Free admission the second Thu of each month from 6PM-9PM.
  • Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 1001 Washington Ave, +1 305 531-1001, (fax: +1 305 531-2133, e-mail: pr@thewolf.fiu.edu, +1 305 535-2622) . M-Tu and F-Sa 11AM-6PM, Th 11AM-9PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, this building was the headquarters of the Washington Storage Company, a facility where the rich could stash their valuables whenever they were out of town. Movie theater heir and Miami native Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. stored so much artwork here that he decided to buy the storage company and later give the building to Florida International University, hence the museum’s odd name. The Wolfsonian hosts a large Modernist art collection on its upper three floors (the only floors, excluding the first floor, that are open to the public) that includes propaganda posters and postcards and Art Deco household items as well as touring exhibits. There is also a café, bookstore, fountain and a modernist-inspired artwork on the first floor. After paying admission, patrons enter the Wolfsonian with a sticker that has a picture of an artifact from the museum’s permanent collection. Adults $5, seniors, students with ID and children 6-12 $3.50.
  • Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr, (305) 284-3535 . With many antique art, ceramics, pottery and sculptures ranging from Greco-Roman times, Renaissance, Baroque, Art of Asia, Art of Latin America, and ancient potteries, the Lowe Art Museum offers a great range of art through the centuries.
  • Venetian Pool, 2701 DeSoto Blvd (in Coral Gables), +1 305 460-5306, (email: info@VenetianPool.com, additional phone number +1 305 460-5357). Open 11AM-5PM every day, but call to verify hours. In the 1920s Denman Dink transformed this limestone quarry into a pool with a waterfall, an area for kids and an area for adults. The water in this pool comes from a spring and is drained daily. In addition to the swimming facilities there is a snack bar (you cannot bring outside food into the Venetian Pool) and lockers. Swimming lessons are also offered here. The Venetian Pool is best known for having Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller (the silver screen’s first Tarzan) swim here. $6 people 13 years and older, $3 children under 13 $ (between November and March); $9 people 13 years and older, $5 under 13 (between April and October).
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, 3251 South Miami Ave, +1 305 250-9133, (fax: + 1 305 285-2004) . European-inspired estate. Includes a main house filled with art and furnishings and ten acres of gardens on Biscayne Bay. $12 adults, $9 Miami-Dade residents with ID, patrons using wheelchairs, seniors 62 years of age or older with ID and students with ID, $5 children 6-12. Admission is free for children 5 years of age or younger.
  • Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd (in Downtown Miami). This park has two amphitheaters (one large and a one smaller) and hosts live performances. This park also has memorials for the astronauts who perished in the Challenger spaceship accident, former president John F. Kennedy (the JFK Torch of Friendship), and a fountain dedicated to Claude Pepper, a distinguished US congressman.
  • Oleta River State Recreation Park, 3400 N.E. 163rd St, +1 305 919-1846. Daily 8AM-sunset. The largest urban park in Florida has trails for biking, a beach for swimming, picnic areas and a playground for kids. Get a canoe or kayak to row to a mangrove island within the park. Several animals such as eagles and fiddler crabs also make their home here. Fourteen cabins with air conditioning are also on the premises, but bathrooms, showers and grills are located outside the cabins and guests should bring their own linens. $5 for a vehicle carrying up to eight passengers, $1 bicyclists, pedestrians and extra passengers ($50.85 a night in a cabin).
  • Miami MetroZoo, 12400 SW 152nd St Miami, tel (305) 251-0400. Open daily 9:30AM-5:30PM. Largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida. It houses over 1,200 wild animals and is a free range zoo. Its climate allows it to keep a wide variety of animals from Asia, Australia and Africa like no other zoo in the country.
  • Jungle Island, 1111 Jungle Island Trail, Miami, tel 305) 258-6453. Lush tropical garden that features animal shows and exhibits. Great outing for the family to enjoy.
  • Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway Miami, tel 305-361-5705. 35-acre oceanarium that features a wide variety of sea animals and exhibits. Expect to stay around two to three hours touring the large aquarium.

Do

  • Port of Miami - Take a relaxing cruise to a variety of locations.
  • GoCar GPS Tours, 1661 James Ave (just off Lincoln Road between Collins and Washington in South Beach) . See Miami Beach in the world's first Storytelling Car. The GoCar will guide you to see what most visitors never see, while telling stories and history along the way that bring the city to life. It's like having your own private tour guide with you. Tours take place at your own pace in a fun to drive, open-air, two-person scooter car. ates begin at $29 per hour. Discounted daily rates are also available.
  • Lummus Park Beach is a beach where you’ll most likely see photo shoots and camera crews on certain days. Located between 6th and 14th streets along Ocean Drive, it is open 5AM to 12AM daily. Topless bathing is allowed here. A mostly homosexual crowd sunbathes around 12th Street. Also nearby is the wavy concrete path known as the Promenade, also a popular shooting locale as well as a favorite volleyball hangout for the locals. The bathrooms, located at around 11th Street, are in a stunning boat-shaped building but have rusty fixtures and are dirty.
  • Haulover Beach Park, Sunny Isles, north of Bal Harbour is any one of a handful of areas in Miami to surf and windsurf. Nude sunbathing is allowed here.
  • Dolphin Stadium, 2269 Northwest 199th St (in Miami Gardens), +1 305 623-6100 (fax: +1 305 625-6403, e-mail: DS@dolphinstadium.com, TTY +1 305 623-6266 ) . This football stadium has been renamed several times in its history. Some of its previous names include Dolphins Stadium and Pro Player Stadium. It is primarily known as the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Ironically, FedEx Orange Bowl games are held here instead of the Orange Bowl on 11th Street. In another strange twist of fate, the Miami Hurricanes will begin playing home football games here 2008, instead of the Orange Bowl. MLB’s Florida Marlins also play baseball here. For tours of Dolphin Stadium, contact rheard@dolphinstadium.com or call +1 305 623-6286. Tour prices are $3 for children under 14, $5 for those 14 and older and $4 for senior citizens. Check website for individual phone numbers for tickets to Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins games and the Orange Bowl.
  • Miami Orange Bowl, 1145 Northwest 11th Street, +1 305 643-7100 (fax: 305-643-7115, ticket/event information: +1 305 643-7100) . For several years, this was the actual site of the collegiate Orange Bowl games as well as the home of the Miami Hurricanes. This historic football stadium is also currently hosting Florida International University football games until FIU Stadium construction is completed. No one knows what will happen to the Orange Bowl when the Hurricanes and the Golden Panthers move out. There are no more games being held at least on the professional level, here at FIU and this stadium is already scheduled to be torn down. Check the Hurricanes’ official sports page and the Golden Panthers’ official sports page for tickets.
  • American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd (near Bicentennial Park), + 1 786 777-1000 (box office: +1 786 777-1250) . In addition to Miami Heat (an NBA team) games being played here, this arena has hosted several awards shows in its past such as the MTV Video Music Awards (twice). Several concerts are also held here. Call box office for ticket information.

 

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