Miami, FL


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Miami is a city bursting with culture. Art, fashion, music, delicious food and a vibrant nightlife make it an enticing destination for all types of travelers. And there's certainly plenty to accommodate every taste and style.

Must see in Miami
Whatever you chose to do, you can't go wrong in Miami. History enthusiasts will appreciate a tour through Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Next on the list is Zoo Miami, which houses over 2,000 animals in a cageless environment to mirror their natural habitats. And finally, families won't want to miss the Miami Children's Museum, which offers 56,500 square feet of galleries and a 200 seat auditorium.

Where to stay in Miami
For the best beach views Miami can offer, select one of the trendy boutique hotels that line Miami Beach. Stop in to the ultra chic tapas restaurant The Bazaar while you're there and enjoy a meal or late-night snack created by the internationally-recognized chef, Jose Andres. Individuals wanting to get a taste of Miami's eclectic night life, or who are hoping to catch a sporting event, concert or show, will want to stay close to Downtown Miami. Everything of interest is within walking distance, and you can enjoy live music at one of the many open venues, or dance the night away at a stylish nightclub. For a quieter visit, families will enjoy the luxury of Key Biscayne. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center offers a unique look at the Florida habitat there — and admission is free.

Best/Worst time to go to Miami
June through November is hurricane season in South Florida, and unwelcomed storms can have a tendency to rain out many plans. For the best option, plan your visit between December and May. The weather is more predictable and the heat is more tolerable. December is also the time when art enthusiasts worldwide stop into Miami Beach for Art Basel, the acclaimed week-long show that draws 73,000 visitors each year.

Where to get lost in Miami
It's easy to get lost along Lincoln Road Mall for a long afternoon. Packed with everything from chic clothing boutiques, outdoor antique vendors, art studios and food galore, this is the perfect place to sample the true essence of Miami while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Cool off with a tasty treat from Dylan's Candy Bar, and be sure to browse the daily green markets for the freshest produce in Florida.

The best deal in Miami
The Holocaust Memorial at Miami Beach offers a unique and artistic portrayal that's sure to leave visitors awestruck. And with free admission, it should be at the top of everyone's itinerary.

Transportation in Miami
Miami is a bustling city, so traffic can be extreme during peak hours of the day. While public transportation isn't a reliable way to see the sights, we recommend calling a taxi. Or, if you're comfortable in high-volume traffic, renting a car is a great way to get around.

Getting in from Miami
Miami International Airport is conveniently located just outside the heart of the city. Taking 195 or 395 by either taxi or rental car will deliver you to both the downtown area or Miami Beach.

Local tip for visitors to Miami
Many museums and area attractions will offer a "free day" for guests. Miami Children's Museum, History Miami and Miami Science Museum are among those. Travelers also won't want to miss Big Night in Little Haiti. This free event, hosted the third Friday of every month, offers a fascinating infusion of Miami culture with live music, art displays and delicious food.

Author's bio: Renee Novelle is an author and journalist based in Florida.