This glittering metropolis in south Florida is a cultural melting pot, with a distinctly Latin American flavour and a whole lot of flair.

The tropical climate, breathtaking beaches and the abundance of activities draw visitors from around the world, many of whom have come to call Miami home. Hospitality, dining, arts, culture, sports and recreation – Miami’s a world leader in all these areas. Discovering why is part of the fun of travelling here.

Miami is also known as the Magic City. It earned the name early in its history due to its rapid growth, which seemed to happen overnight, as if by magic. This tradition continues today. Miami is a city where expansion never stops. The city’s skyline has given rise to a record number of skyscrapers in just over a decade. The highway system is continually being improved. And Miami Beach continues to be an innovator in hospitality and tourism.

Famous for its sun, sand and surf on the Atlantic Ocean, Miami also has hundreds of top restaurants, serving virtually any type of food. In between beach days, you can sample the cuisine while also discovering the museums, parks and recreational activities available both outdoors and indoors.

Whether you visit for pleasure or for work – or both – you will not run out of things to see and do. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll need to return several times, just to see all the major sights. And that would be just scratching the surface. It’s a Magic City, after all.

Miami is a fantastic destination for:

  • beaches
  • shopping and dining
  • nightlife

Airport served by: MIA

Destination basics

Miami boasts a subtropical climate, offering an annual average daily temperature of 23 C. The balmy waters of the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current and an idyllic location at the southeastern tip of Florida give Miami its beach-perfect climate.

Although any time of year is a good time to visit Miami, the best seasons are late winter and spring – from January until May. This is when you can enjoy an average daytime temperature of 25 C. During these months, the cooler evenings are perfect for exploring the city’s dining and nightlife.

With the perk of near-constant beach weather also comes high humidity in the summer, from mid-May until October. The days feel hotter and there are more frequent afternoon rainstorms. However, this rarely spoils a beach day. You can usually count on rain to come after 2 p.m., so just be sure to hit the pool or beach earlier in the day for a full dose of sunshine.

Average monthly temperature and average monthly rainfall diagrams for Miami

From the beginning, Miami has had a love affair with Spain. Its founding fathers wanted it to be a resort for the rich and famous. “America’s Riviera” was seen as a Mediterranean paradise, with Spanish-revival architecture present in the homes, buildings and hotels of the time. You can still see much of this Spanish influence in the areas of Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and The Roads.

In the mid-20th century, Cubans began to arrive in Miami and established Little Havana, which soon became woven into the fabric of the city. Just about everyone in Miami, Cuban or not, can enjoy a croqueta (croquette), empanada (dough patty with filling) and a cortadito (Cuban espresso topped with steamed milk) for breakfast.

Jamaicans, Bahamians and Haitians also make up a large part of the population. They, too, have provided cultural traits to the city, creating a uniquely Afro-Caribbean community. Enjoy jerk chicken and chicken curry from the islands in a number of restaurants here. Bright colours, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and an insatiable joie de vivre all have become hallmarks of Miami, and they can be traced directly attributed to the wealth of communities here.

It’s hard to believe that Miami was a rural trading post just a little over a century ago. Founded in 1896, many of the city’s original families are still present.

If you encounter older residents whose families span many generations here, you may hear a slight twang in their voice. Not quite a Southern drawl, that twang is an old Florida (or “Flahr-dah,” as they would say) accent that goes back to pioneer days. As you venture toward the outskirts of Miami, you may hear this accent more and more.

On the other hand, the influx of Cuban immigrants in the 1960s gave rise to a new population and a new accent. Several generations later, you can hear this distinct Miami accent almost everywhere in the city, even among non-Hispanic residents. Influenced by Spanish, consonants are slightly exaggerated. If a restaurant hostess asks you to “pah-lese” wait while she checks for a table, you know you’re talking to a born-and-bred Miamian.

Of course, the best sounds to look for are in the music. Popular music styles here are salsa, merengue, soca and zouk – all derived from the Caribbean and Latin cultures in Miami. You’re likely to hear these beats at some point during your visit, whether at a nightclub, a restaurant or even a shopping centre.

It is advisable to carry some U.S. cash with you for general expenses. For entertainment and shopping, your credit card will give you the exchange rate at the time of purchase. There are also numerous ATMs inside banks and public spaces where you can withdraw funds at your convenience. Just be aware that transaction fees vary by ATM.

Miami's cultural diversity is apparent from the moment you set foot on its soil and hear the rise and fall of a dozen different languages being spoken. It is an easygoing beach town, a cultural melting pot, and a 24-hour party all at once.

Miami Beach
When talking about Miami, the beach is the best place to start. In the 1940s, when vacationers began to arrive, Miami Beach was the center of the action. Although years have passed and times have changed, the beach remains a perennial hot spot. Enormous luxury resorts such as Fontainebleau and Eden Roc rise majestically against the skyline, shops and restaurants line the streets, and who could forget the miles of white sand beach?

South Beach
Once home to a number of retired citizens and struggling artists, South Beach has now risen to international fame as a popular vacation destination. Every block is packed with restaurants, bars, shops, and - of course - dance clubs, each trendier, more glamorous and cutting-edge than the last. One could spend days soaking in the sights and sounds of South Beach. Take a walking tour along Ocean Drive or down Lincoln Road, where the beautiful people come out to play. Whether it's three in the morning or three in the afternoon, there is bound to be plenty to do.

Bal Harbour
Located on the northern end of Miami Beach, Bal Harbour is the most exclusive neighborhood in Greater Miami. Luxury resorts sit serenely amid the lush foliage and palatial homes. No visit to this district is complete — or even begun — without a visit to the Bal Harbour Shops. Versace, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Prada are just a few of the fashion houses that have retail outlets in this shopping center. Plenty of fine dining can be found in Bal Harbour as well. If you're on a budget, this isn't the place to dine or shop!

Downtown Miami
Although primarily a business district, there's a lot to see and do in downtown. Tour the design district between Northeast 36th and 41st Streets, or check out the museums at the Metro-Dade Cultural Center. Shoppers will delight in the Bayside Marketplace with its retail shops, open-air crafts market, half-dozen restaurants, and pier. The Port of Miami is next to Bayside, where you can easily find a boat to take you on a tour around the bay.

Coconut Grove
Although this bustling district is one of the oldest in Miami, it seems to just be hitting its prime. Full of energy and creativity, the Grove is as busy as South Beach, but in a different way. Instead of attracting models and bodybuilders, it draws in artists, writers, and patrons of the arts. There are hundreds of fabulous shops and restaurants crammed within this small area, most of them located on the CocoWalk.

Coral Gables
Coral Gables is a gated enclave crisscrossed by canals, just a few minutes' drive from Downtown Miami. This small, tree-lined village is home to many of Miami's most famous attractions, including the Biltmore Hotel, Venetian Pool and Miracle Mile. Excellent shopping and dining can be found on the Miracle Mile as well as on the side streets surrounding it.

Little Havana
This area is located west of Brickell Avenue and runs along the thoroughfare known as Calle Ocho (Southwest 8th Street). Many immigrants and refugees from Cuba have settled here, along with natives of Colombia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries. It is in this district that you can enjoy authentic salsa music, indulge in a complete Cuban meal that's light on your wallet, or try a steaming cup of shockingly strong café cubano in an outdoor cafe.

Key Biscayne
Though located just over the Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne might as well be 1000 miles away. Things are different on this peaceful tropical island: the pace slows down, people are friendly and matter-of-fact. If the marvelous white sand beaches and varied leisure sports aren't enough reason to go, consider the prospect of kissing a dolphin at the Miami Seaquarium!

West Miami
West Miami is a quieter, more residential area. It's spread out and almost impossible to sightsee without a car. Hialeah and Miami Lakes, two residential communities, are located in this area. The Miami International Airport is also situated here along with the Hialeah Park Racetrack.

North Miami/Aventura
While it may be slightly out of the way, Aventura is easy to reach even without a car, thanks to the shuttle buses that run regularly from the major downtown hotels to the Aventura Mall. The mall is well worth a day trip, as it boasts over 250 shops, restaurants and attractions. This district is also home to dozens of excellent restaurants, many of them specializing in "Floribbean" cuisine.

Broward County
While Broward County is not officially a part of Miami, it might as well be — it's less than a half hour away. The thriving art community of Hollywood, the outlets at Sawgrass Mills and, last but not least, the decadent little city of Fort Lauderdale are a few possible destinations in Broward. The pace is slightly more relaxed than in Miami, but people are here to have fun, make no mistake about it. Enjoy the shops on Las Olas or dine in a restaurant that has its own private boat dock for guests traveling by water.

With such a diverse mix of people, it is no wonder that Miami has come to be a cultural mecca. From theater to music to dance, Miami delivers world-class entertainment. Beyond the stage and screen, the streets of South Beach offer some of the best nightclubs in the world. At night, in any given hotspot you can let loose to the sounds of salsa, jazz, hip-hop, and techno. The different cultures that revolve around the arts and entertainment scenes blend to form Miami's unique flavor.

Some of the best nightclubs in the nation can be found in South Beach. The ever-popular dance clubs around the Beach include the always rocking Cameo. Salsa dancing can also be found all over the city. South Beach generally carries the bulk of the dance clubs, while Coconut Grove offers a variety of live music venues. Miami's nightlife, however, is much too diverse and extensive for such generalizations. You can always find something going on every corner.

Some of the best of the best are Story - a megaclub that oozes exclusivity, with bottle service and a line-up of underground musicians and top-notch DJs - while the Basement is a multi-room, nighttime escape with a stellar program of thrilling club nights. Then there's the uber-glitzy LIV at Fontainebleau, - a celebrity hangout, and host to fantastic DJs from across the globe and big-name hip-hop acts on any given night. For a party on the sands, head to Nikki Beach, or try the Purdy Lounge for a cocktail by the sea. From scintillating nightclubs and glamorous bars to laid-back pubs and underground haunts, Miami has it all and more in spades.

Shopping in Miami is an experience to be savored. The city's retail therapy landscape is a delightfully diverse one with everything from shopping streets lined with department stores, luxury boutiques and cafes, to sprawling malls, kitschy souvenir stalls and quaint vintage shops.

The Aventura Mall is one of Miami's most upscale, anchored by six department stores and luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Fendi. The Brickell City Center is another popular destination for luxury shopping, while the Dadeland Mall is home to the state's largest Macy's. The Shops at Merrick Park and Bal Harbour Shops are other great Floridian shopping destinations.

While Miami's malls are sure to thrill, the city's fabulous shopping streets are the way to go for an authentic and eclectic Floridian shopping excursion. South Beach's Lincoln Road, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue top the list when it comes to big-name brands, while Sunset Harbour is the place to be for locally-owned boutiques and hip specialty shops. In downtown Miami, you'll come across a host of fabric shops down Flagler Street. The Design District is thronged with designer boutiques while Wynwood dazzles with a quirky mix of art galleries and hip little stores. The Miracle Mile in Coral Gables and CocoWalk in Coconut Grove are other iconic shopping locales in Miami.

Miami attracts a medley of sounds and talents. Whether it's a jazz festival, a symphony orchestra concert or the Latin beats of Miami's own Gloria Estefan, the city's musical offerings are never at a loss. The innovative New World Symphony showcases fresh talent. Also of interest is the talented Miami Symphony Orchestra. The New World Center is Miami's premier concert hall, designed by renown architect, Frank Gehry.

There is also the Florida Grand Opera, which presents five productions annually, and a whole host of bars that showcase live music. At the top of the list are Gramps, Ball & Chain, Churchill's Pub, Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern, Wynwood Yard and Lagniappe, each catering to distinct tastes and genres.

You'll come across a fair share of modern multiplexes across the city, but Miami's penchant for indie entertainment best shines through at its many independent and arthouse cinemas. The Miami Beach Cinematheque is one of the best, an HD, Art Deco gem built in 1927 that screens limited-release films and is a venue for several of Miami's prestigious film festivals. The O Cinema, on the other hand, is a contemporary theater featuring foreign, independent, art and family films. The Soundscape Cinema at the New World Center is another stellar venue, an al fresco cinema that screens movies and simulcasts of symphonies for free. Other acclaimed venues include the historic Tower Theater and the Coral Gables Art Cinema.

Each year, Miami also hosts a slew of film festivals, the most famous of which is the Miami International Film Festival. The Miami Short Film Festival and Miami Independent Film Festival also attract much interest.

Festivals & Fairs
Throughout the year, Miami plays host to a flurry of festivals, fairs and events. From January through March, visitors and locals look forward events like to the Art Deco Week, the Coral Gables Art Festival, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, Calle Ocho, the Funkshion Fashion Week, the International Boat Show and the Ultra Music Festival amongst many others. Later in the year, the Miami Beach Gay Parade, the Miami Fashion Week, Miami Carnival and International Auto Show take center stage. The International Book Fair, King Mango Strut Parade and Art Basel round off the year in Miami.

Outdoor Activities
Miami's sun-kissed beaches are its most popular feature; miles of golden sand littered with bronzed bodies lounging by the water. The beaches of Miami are an ideal destination for fans of water sports, as well as for those who simply want to bask in the sunshine. Miami has much more to offer besides. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the miles of hiking trails at the Oleta River State Recreational Area, embark on an airboat tour of the Everglades, sign-up for sailing lessons and indulge in deep sea fishing. Yacht charters and jet boat rides are other popular pastimes in Miami.


Whatever your interest, Miami offers a museum related to it. Celebrate the city's intriguing past at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. Take a stroll through the exquisite 16th-century Italian Villa Vizcaya and gardens. For those who enjoy the visual arts, there are outstanding collections at the Miami Art Museum, the Bass Museum of Art, the Wolfsonian, the Lowe Art Museum and the Jewish Museum of Florida.

No matter what the season, the stage is always set in Miami. Whether it's a Broadway road show or a local production, the audience is sure to be dazzled. In the elegant Biltmore Hotel, GableStage offers an exciting season of Florida premieres and New York hits. The Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre also offers quality productions by a talented residential troupe. The Miami Light Project - a non-profit organization that produces music, dance and theater - has the freshest talent in town. Teatro Avante presents regular performances in Spanish. Miami's cultural venues are as intriguing for their appearance as for the performances on their stages. Audiences have much to admire during intermission with the charming Art Deco design of the Colony Theatre.

Good humor comes naturally in a city blessed with beautiful weather year-round. A few local clubs feature comedians that keep the visitors and locals laughing into the wee hours. The Villain Theater tops the list of Miami's best comedy clubs, featuring sketch shows and Chicago-stye improv that have the audience shaking with mirth. Just the Funny is another worthy contender for the coveted title of Miami's funniest troupe. The ensemble showcases comedy of every genre, with everything from comedic songs and sketch shows to stand-up and parodies on the cards.

Other venues that also host comedians alongside musicians, spoken word artists and other performers are Artistic Vibes in Kendall, Speak! Fridays in Wynwood, the RedBar in Downtown and the Open Stage Club in Coral Gables. The Comedy Inn is another worthy contender for a rib-tickling good time.

From classical to modern to ethnic, Miami has a rich array of dance theater. Even the most classical repertoire is infused with a certain innovative quality. The Miami City Ballet is recognized as one of the top ten companies in the nation. The company's impressive repertoire (over 80 productions and counting) delicately blends the classical and the contemporary. For the more traditionally inclined, Ballet Etudes of South Florida performs classical masterpieces, while the thrilling performances by Ballet Flamenco La Rosa capture the passion and spirit of flamenco.

Miami takes its dining scene very seriously. People come from all over the world to drink and dine in this sunny city on the Atlantic Ocean. Restaurants here serve a wide variety of cuisine, ranging from South American to Continental to Caribbean, while the local fusion cuisine known as "Floribbean" borrows influences from all three regions.

Many of the city's restaurants specialize in fresh, local seafood. Swordfish, yellowtail, and oysters have a place on most menus. In the autumn and winter, stone crab season takes over. At restaurants such as the legendary Joe's Stone Crab, people wait for hours to enjoy the delicious crustaceans.

Many of Miami's eateries represent the countries and regions of Latin and South America. Brazilian rodizio, Argentine churrasco and Peruvian seafood are just a few of the ethnic specialties local restaurants dish out. Dozens of Cuban eateries serve filling, tasty meals at very low prices.

Whether you're looking for a cheap and filling meal, a gourmet dining experience or a night among the stars, you can find it in one of the districts of this splendidly diverse city.

South Beach & Miami Beach
South Beach is the epicenter of excitement and glamour in Miami. It is here at restaurants like Prime One Twelve that you're most likely to spot a celebrity at the next table. Although many of the restaurants are very pricey, places such as the ever-popular La Sandwicherie offer a pleasant atmosphere, low prices and great food. Grab an outside table and enjoy your gourmet sandwich as you gawk at the SoBe street scene.

Although central Miami Beach is not as jam-packed with restaurants as its southern neighbor, there are plenty of excellent dining options, many of them located within the luxury hotels. At Hakkasan, located in the famed Fontainebleau, patrons can savor the delicious contemporary Chinese cuisine while enjoying the tranquil view of the ocean.

Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami is popular with businesspeople and other locals. Nightlife is more subdued here, but there's a flourishing restaurant scene. The various steakhouses serve delicious food with a local twist. CVI.CHE 105 has Peruvian dishes on its menu and specializes in ceviche, while Soyka has American classics like burgers and fries. For those looking for something out of the ordinary, try the Asian fusion restaurant Bali Cafe.

Coral Gables
Coral Gables, a quaint village within Greater Miami, boasts a culturally rich entertainment and dining scene. Sample gourmet Jamaican dishes at Ortanique on the Mile, or try Su-shin Izakaya, where sushi is the specialty. Rustic Greek cuisine is the focus at Mylo's, and for a classic Italian meal look no further than Caffe Vialetto.

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove, another small and trendy community within Central Miami, boasts a number of excellent casual and gourmet dining choices. The Last Carrot is a popular vegetarian café in this area where you can get a great meal for a reasonable amount of money.

Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne's restaurants have a different feel from any other part of Miami. The dining establishments here are characteristically laid-back and informal; most of the time, they open and close when they choose and menus can change daily. Grab fish and fries at a local spot. The Rusty Pelican has classic American cuisine and a brunch on Sundays.

Little Havana

Little Havana, located in Central Miami, has the greatest number of excellent Cuban and South American eateries in the city. Versailles, while slightly more expensive than others, is justifiably famous for its food. Another excellent choice is Casa Juancho, where diners can enjoy authentic Spanish cuisine in a comfortable and elegant atmosphere that features live flamenco music.


The city of Aventura, best known for the gargantuan Aventura Mall, is home to a wide variety of gourmet and reasonably priced restaurants. For a classy dining experience, nothing can beat a meal at Bourbon Steak.


State: Florida

Country: United States

Miami by the Numbers
Population: 441,003 (city); 5,502,379 (metropolitan)
Elevation: 6 feet / 2 meters
Average Annual Rainfall: 61.9 in / 142 cm
Average January Temperatures: 68°F / 20°C
Average July Temperatures: 84°F / 29°C

Quick Facts
Electricity: 120 volts, 60 Hz, standard two pin plugs

Time Zone: GMT -5 (GMT -4 Daylight Saving Time); Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Country dialing code: +1

Area Codes: 305; 786

Did You Know?
Benjamin Green, a Miami Beach pharmacist, invented the first suntan lotion by cooking cocoa butter on a stove in 1944.

Miami also the only city bordering two national parks: Everglades and Biscayne.

Miami is located in southeastern Florida, right on Biscayne Bay. The city is about 205 miles southeast of Orlando.

Just off the shores of Miami’s beaches, you can find plenty of coral reefs and diving wrecks. You can also explore numerous ecosystems in the surrounding area, which includes the unique marshlands called the Everglades.

More than 2.5 million people live in Miami-Dade County, making it the ninth-most populous metropolitan area in the U.S. The city of Miami lies on a low, flat plain with an average elevation of only 1.8 metres above sea level. It borders the marshy Everglades to the west and south, and Biscayne Bay to the east, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Often described as a “river of grass,” the Everglades is actually a system of protected wetland ecosystems including pinelands, cypress swamps, mangrove forests, hardwood hammocks and coastal prairies. This diverse environment harbours a unique array of wildlife that you can admire while you’re on a nature hike or a trail bike ride. And, if you’re a birdwatcher, you’ll love seeing the hundreds of species living here. The Everglades form part of Everglades National Park, the third-largest national park in the United States.

Within Biscayne Bay lie a number of islands, both natural and man-made, connected to the mainland via bridges and causeways. Among them are Brickell Key, the Venetian Islands, Hibiscus Island, Fisher Island and Star Island – all home to exclusive residential enclaves favoured by the rich and famous.

Miami’s barrier islands, which include the cities of Miami Beach and Sunny Isles Beach, lie east of the bay. They are connected to the mainland via causeways. On these barrier islands, miles of white-sand beaches stretch up the coastline. Walk along the water and bask in the warm Florida sun.

Driving down Highway 395 from Miami Beach, one can only gaze in wonder at the white skyline rising from the tropical waters and set upon the blue-pink-orange sky. It's amazing to think that not long ago, swampland vegetation and mosquitoes dominated the area. In a short period of time, the city has emerged as a major cosmopolitan center for international business, tourism, fashion and nightlife.

Long before the trendy street cafes of Coconut Grove or the pastel buildings of the Art Deco district, the Tequesta Indians made this region their home. The Spanish built a mission here in 1567, when the area was known as "Mayaimi," but it remained secluded and generally inactive until the U.S. acquisition of Florida in 1821. Hundreds of pioneers settled in the region around the Miami River, but growth was stymied by the lack of a speedy and efficient land route to the north.

Motivated by a vision of the region's potential, or simply because of a desire for "civilization," settler Julia Tuttle convinced magnate Henry Flagler to extend the route of the railroad he was building. In 1896, the completion of the Florida East Coast Railroad opened Miami to the rest of the United States, and marked the birth of a new city.

Flagler opened one of Miami's first luxury hotels, the Royal Palm, and its success inspired others to follow suit. In the 1910s, John S. Collins and Carl F. Fisher collaborated on an ambitious real estate project that transformed a mangrove swamp into present-day Miami Beach. A decade later, George E. Merrick developed the well-planned residential area of Coral Gables with its plazas, fountains, Spanish street names carved on white stones, broad boulevards and shady oak trees. To complement the residential developments, Merrick created the elegant Biltmore Hotel, with its elaborate Mediterranean-style design.

Other individuals decided to apply their investments to their personal estates. James Deering built his exquisite 16th-century Italian Villa Vizcaya by the bay and filled the architectural masterpiece with a collection of art work.

The 1920s are widely associated with extravagant spending and ostentatious lifestyles. With the sudden property boom and influx of investment capital, Miami was in full swing in this era of abundance. Its population burgeoned, and the Art Deco movement brought a unique flavor to Miami Beach. But just as Miami began to enjoy this prosperity, the Depression and two devastating hurricanes temporarily halted progress.

In the 1940s, Miami became home to soldiers living in the city's military training camps. Known to attract a diverse blend of people, Miami also became the residence of the outlaw Al Capone. In the 1950s, the tourism industry continued to grow. The white sandy beaches and warm climate provided the perfect setting for winter vacations. But Miami was still mainly a tourist playground and had yet to reach its full potential as a metropolis.

Following Castro's 1959 revolution, the mass Cuban immigration has been greatly responsible for Miami's growth as an area of international business and commerce. The first wave of political exiles included several educated professionals with a desire to apply their knowledge and skills to the city's growth. The Cuban community developed its own economic and social enclave and fostered ties to the Latin American market. International business took Miami's downtown by storm as the city rapidly grew into more than just a tourist town.

As with any big city, Miami began to experience problems in its transitional growth. Crime rose tremendously in the 1980s. Race relations grew tense, riots broke out, and the historic Art Deco district in South Beach was left to deteriorate. Today, however, the crime rate is down and restoration projects abound.

Miami has come a long way since the days of Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler. As the gateway to Latin America, Miami serves as the headquarters for many international companies and is home to the leading Spanish-language media in the United States. South Beach has become one of the country's hottest hubs of style, fashion and nightlife. The ethnically diverse city continues to attract a multitude of cultures. Miami is truly unique — a tropical paradise with a rich history, a diverse population and a "not quite in the United States" feel.

You won’t have trouble finding public transit options in Miami. In fact, the only difficult part is deciding which one to take.

Regional transit Metrobuses run throughout the greater Miami area, accompanied by Miami’s single-line elevated rail system, the Metrorail. The Metrorail provides locals and visitors with easy access to surrounding areas (many of which are local interest points). These include: downtown Miami, Dadeland Mall, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Lowe Art Museum, Miami Museum of Science, Village at Merrick Park and many other places to shop and dine. Adult fare is US$2 per person.

Downtown Miami is home to a free elevated train system known as Metromover. The Metromover is completely free of charge and is an efficient way to get around the downtown core, including some of Miami’s nicest downtown hotels. The Metromover also connects with the Metrorail at both the Government Center in the central business district and at Brickell Station in nearby Brickell.

When traveling within Miami Beach, a good transit choice is the South Beach Local – a shuttle bus that operates in a loop from 19th St. down to the southern end of Miami Beach (buses travel in both directions). Fare on the South Beach Local is a very affordable US 25 cents a person.

Taxis are also widely available in Miami, but it’s often a challenge to flag one down in the street. In this city, your best bet is to call ahead of time or catch one outside of your hotel. Fares in Miami start at US$4.50 and cost around US$2.40 for each additional mile. If you’re headed to or from the airport, ask about flat-rate fares offered by many taxi providers. Just make sure you call ahead to book your ride.

If you plan to travel to a wide range of attractions inside and outside the city limits, you might want to consider renting a car. Although downtown is easy to navigate using public transit, getting to attractions in the suburbs or outside the city can be a bit more challenging. If you opt to rent a car, try to avoid local rush hour times between approximately 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Before departing for Miami International Airport, you’ll pass through U.S. customs. After you exit your aircraft, just follow the sign to the baggage claim area and pick up your bags.

From baggage claim, step outside to catch a taxi or hotel shuttle waiting out front of just about any door. Or, grab a shuttle to the rental car vendor of your choice.


Located in the Central Terminal, Concourse E, you will find smiling WestJetters waiting to help you check in for your return flight home. While you wait, browse the Miami International Airport’s many concession stands, restaurants and shops.

You can also check in and select your seat online using WestJet’s simple Web check-in service to save you time.

Miami is known as The Gateway to the Americas because of its large Hispanic population and close proximity to Latin America. This melting pot of cultures has led to a strong Spanish influence in Miami. In fact, there are neighbourhoods like Little Havana where Spanish is the predominant language. It won’t take you long to find an authentic Cuban restaurant or a nightclub where you can learn how to salsa.

Although Cuban culture once dominated Miami, now there are also large numbers of people from Venezuela, Argentina, El Salvador, Colombia and Nicaragua. There are also significant populations of French, Russian, Brazilian, Haitian, Bahamian, Jamaican, Chinese and Greek people here, among many other nationalities.

Aside from the different ethnic communities, Miami also has distinct neighbourhoods centred around business and lifestyle. In Brickell and downtown, you’ll see glistening skyscrapers that are home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States.

North of downtown, the Design District and Wynwood Arts District attract a more bohemian crowd that makes a living from the creative arts. And, in the neighbouring city of Miami Beach, beach homes and oceanfront condos offer the best of both worlds to the unique community there.

Perhaps it’s because of this global mix that Miami has another claim to fame: its population’s good looks. The city is consistently ranked highly for having the most attractive people. Perhaps it’s the 365 days of beach tanning, or the ability to play sports outdoors and exercise year-round.

Good looks and great weather make Miami the No. 1 destination for festivals, many incorporating beach activities into the agenda. Among those events are the Miami International Film Festival, Winter Music Conference, Ultra Music Festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami and South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

But Miami is more than just pretty faces, toned bodies and fun in the sun – you’ll find a thriving arts scene here as well. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is the second-largest venue of its kind in the United States. And The New World Center in Miami Beach have made the opera, symphony and musical theatre must-do activities.

Departing from:

ˆTotal price one-way per guest. See terms and conditions. *Prices are per guest, based on double occupancy and are limited; may not reflect real-time pricing or availability. See terms and conditions.

Explore our world.

or find your dream vacation with our Vacation Finder