Downtown Miami is the heart of metropolis eminent by its sleek skyscrapers, impressive government buildings and cultural centres and bordered by the Port of Miami, the biggest cruise ship port in the world. Brickell Avenue is place to major international banks and businesses, as well as Brickell Village, the area around SW Sixth Street, which possess power-lunch restaurants cum buzzing nightspots. On the waterfront, the lively Bayside Marketplace is a famous shopping and entertainment arcade, clustered around a small harbour and abuzz with bars, shops and market stalls. Bayside is the principal stop for the water taxi service (examine Getting Around) and the starting point for diverse boat tours (see Tours of the City) of Miami Bay. Contiguous to Bayside Marketplace is the American Airlines Arena, a 20,000-person entertainment venue and place of the basketball team Miami Heat. The historic Gusman Center for the acting Arts nearby hosts the Miami Film Festival and other cultural events under a painted ‘starry sky’ ceiling. Beyond the port, exclusive Fisher Island, accessible only by boat or private plane, is the address in Miami and place to many celebrities.|
Glitzy, exciting South Beach is doubtless trendiest part of town, the place to note and be noted and a attractive feature for celebrities and fun-lovers who expand on its cosmopolitan atmosphere, designer shopping, cheerful restaurants and fast-paced nightlife. By day, a young, hip crowd of trendy film-star wannabes, international supermodels, artists, writers, visitors, strollers, strutters and the successful local gay community all cruise Ocean Drive and the pedestrian-friendly Lincoln Road Mall, with its art galleries, shops, and restaurants offering the colourful mix that fuels the district’s feverish energy levels. By night, salsa or techno music flows from the many dance clubs onto the fussy streets.
Miami Beach is situated on a long slender island associated to mainland Miami by four principal causeways. It contains numerous coastal towns, each one with its own personality containing Surf-side, the upmarket shopping district of BAL Harbour, Sunny Isles Beach, South Beach and Golden Beach. Miami Beach’s white sands widen from Lincoln Road Mall northwards to 87th Street, with a scenic boardwalk famous with joggers and strollers, and pastel-coloured Art Deco lifeguard stations dotting the shoreline. A diversity of water sports is free, containing windsurfing, sailing, jet-skiing and parasailing.
After Fidel Castro assume power in 1959, refugees escape of Cuba colonised just west of downtown Miami, in a neighbourhood called as Little Havana. Today, with its 800,000-strong Cuban-American community, this colourful district possess a clearly Latin atmosphere with its Spanish signs, Cuban coffee bars and restaurants, small cigar factories and street-side food stalls, selling such delicacies as baho (Cuban stew) and freshly squeezed juices. Monuments to anti-Castro Cubans line the streets, particularly about Calle Ocho (Eighth Street), the vital part of Little Havana and the venue for the Calle Ocho Festival, a popular annual spring carnival biggest street party of America.
Situated on beautiful Biscayne Bay, the Miami Seaquarium has about 10,000 aquatic creatures on show, containing crocodiles, ‘gators’ and seals, also fish of different shape, size and colour. Star acts contain to Lolita, a 7,000-pound killer whale (visitors should sit at least six rows back in the audience to maintain dry), Salty the sea lion and TV superstar Flipper the dolphin. The most impressive aspect of Seaquarium, even so, is its honest attempt to conserve and defend marine life. The in-house Marine Mammal Rescue Team is continually striving to save stranded or injured manatees, dolphins and whales in the waters of South Florida. Other displays contain Discovery Bay, a natural mangrove habitat used to rehabilitate rescued sea turtles; and the special Manatee Exhibit where manatees are nursed back to health, ready for release into the wild.
Situated on the border of Biscayne Bay, south of downtown Miami, Coconut Grove is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of city, with bohemian roots. Formed by a multicultural group of Bahamians and New Englanders, the neighbourhood drew artists and intellectuals, who establish summer homes here. Today, it is a fashionable district with a bustling village atmosphere, full of colourful galleries, theatres, nightclubs, fine restaurants, hip sidewalk cafés and shops. The principal attraction is The Gallery at CocoWalk, a stylish shopping mall packed with restaurants, bars, shops and a cinema. It is also place to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Historical Museum of Southern Florida
This museum provides a fascinating insight into the region’s past. It has a little but impressive collection of hands-on exhibits, archive material, historical objects and multimedia presentations, which covers 10,000 years of Florida history from the first colonist to the present day.
Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium
The nationally famed Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium, connected with the Smithsonian Institute, offers interactive scientific displays on physics, electricity, light, sound and anatomy, like daily astronomy and laser shows in the adjacent planetarium. It also have South Florida’s largest natural history collection and a wildlife centre that rehabilitates injured birds of prey and reptiles and exhibits more than 175 live animals.
Miami MetroZoo, just south of Miami, is a state of the art cageless zoo, with over 700 animals of 240 species roaming the 116-hectare (290-acre) grounds, divided by moats from spectators. Wildlife shows, a petting zoo, tram tours, monorail, gift shops, food courts and a playground offer fun for all the family. MetroZoo possess also a number of awards for its successful breeding of rare and endangered animal species.
More attractions in Miami
· Miami Coral Gables
· Miami Key Biscayne