Fantastic year-round weather, beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels, a vibrant nightlife and myriad activities to enjoy for the whole family, Miami is one of America’s most popular vacation destinations. Located at the south-eastern tip of Florida, Miami is home to a melting pot of cultures, from the bright and lively Cuban cafés and private cigar bars of Little Havana to the colorful art deco buildings and luxurious oceanfront hotels of South Beach. It also boasts some of the world’s most exquisite beaches – sparkling warm waters lapping long, white stretches of white sand and filled with beautiful people sunbathing, surfing, strolling, and rollerskating – without a doubt, Miami will leave nothing but lasting memories.
Miami boasts beautiful weather all year round, pleasant and mild, with bright, sunny skies and warm temperatures. Due to this fantastic year-round weather, expect crowds throughout the year, who flock to these shores to escape winters elsewhere in the country or world. There is amazing open water swimming, snorkelling and diving.
There are several ways you can get to Miami, depending on where you are travelling from.
Miami boasts two major airports – the Miami International Airport (MIA) – to which most airlines in the world travel to and from and the smaller Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Most major airlines fly into MIA, which features all the amenities a main airport offers, from transport to the city, hotels, restaurants and other services. Transportation from the airport into Miami is simple – there is a range of airport shuttles, taxis and buses that run from both airports to various drop-off points in the city.
Expert tip! If you have some time and don’t mind dragging your luggage around, catch the bus! It will cost far less than a taxi and it’s an excellent to get a feel for the city and meet some of its local people.
Miami is one of the world’s most popular ports of call for cruise ships that jostle for space along the shoreline a daily basis. The skyline is always dotted with the behemoth vessels that disgorge passengers into the sunny city. If you are coming on a cruise ship and want to explore the city, it is easy to get transport to wherever you are staying with a bus, shuttle or taxi if there is no organised transport from the cruise.
Getting around Miami
Getting around the city is easy once you are there. Taxis are plenty and very easy to call, buses run efficiently and timeously, and there are hundreds of tour companies that offer guided tours around the city, most of which include a hotel pick and drop service. If you are staying within walking distance of the beach, the best way to explore is on foot or bike – rent a bicycle and cruise around like a local, or grab a pair of rollerblades and hit the beachfront to people watch. Scooter and Mopeds are also available to rent to ride around the city with ease and there are plenty of bike and scooter rental kiosks and shops along the beachfront.
Expert tip! Of course, walking is the best way to see a city – it keeps you lean and fit, so pack a good pair of trainers and hit the road.
When it comes to finding somewhere to stay, Miami offers a wealth of accommodation for every taste, ranging from budget backpackers to luxurious beachfront resorts and lavish penthouse apartments on ‘The Strip’. Accommodation prices will vary according to the area in which you are staying, so be sure to do some research before your trip to find a suitable spot that will suit your holiday needs.
Expert tip! Miami is packed with visitors and locals all year round and accommodation is very often fully booked, so be sure to book your hotel or rental apartment in advance to avoid any disappointment.
What to pack
1. Casual clothing such as shorts, T-shirts, summer dresses, skirts, sandals
2. Semi-casual for dinners – Men: dress-shorts / khaki trousers and a collared shirt; Women: dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, skirts
3. Swimsuits, flip-flops for beach and pool wear and comfortable walking shoes
4. Sunglasses, hat and/or visor, sunscreen
Things to see and do
Miami is brimming with a variety of stuff to see and do and activities and adventures for the whole family to enjoy. From the beautiful beaches along the coastline to museums, galleries, nature parks and more, Miami has something for everyone. Don’t miss a visit to South Beach, one of Miami’s quintessential hot spots where you will find everything from world-class shopping to unrivalled partying; head to the Everglades National Park to explore the sub-tropical jungles, swamps, prairies; pay a visit with the kids to the Miami Zoo and Seaquarium, home to animals and sea creatures from all over the world; or spend a day on Jungle Island and get an up-close look at tropical birds in their natural environment.
For the ultimate travel packing tips, check out this article.