Miami - Dade A to Z
(Miami International) - the
busiest international airport in the US, and
hence often very crowded. Good road, bus and rail
connections to the rest of the SE Florida area.
Alligators - thriving
in SE Florida, they are particularly dangerous
during mating season in May and July. However,
there are still less than ten deaths by them in
the last ten years in Florida. Nevertheless, DO
NOT try to feed them! To view them, go on one of
the Everglades tours or to an alligator reserve.
Mall - the
largest shopping mall in Dade with six anchor
department stores. A new section was added a few
years ago, which includes an 18-screen cinema.
The mall is particularly convenient for many
tourists as it is close to the hotels on the
beaches. The food court is a little small and is
sometimes too busy.
Marketplace - part
shopping centre, part entertainment complex, this
is in a fantastic location in downtown Miami. Get
some delicious food and enjoy the gorgeous view!
Beaches - glorious, sandy and
well-kept. South Beach is probably the most
popular, but the best are on Key Biscayne.
National Park - near Key Biscayne, a
well-preserved marine ecosystem with mangroves, live coral reefs
and archaeological sites. Take one of the boat tours to enjoy
Boardwalk - just over one mile long,
running alongside Miami Beach. Great for those
who a like a little bit of walking as their
Bookstores - there are
countless great bookstores in the area, all of
them incredibly relaxing! Choose your reading
material and settle down in one of the comfy
armchairs or have a latte in the cafe! Or attend
one of the free talks by authors.
(County) - Just above Miami - Dade,
with Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood as the main
Car rental - it is
best to reserve, book and pay in your home
country as you are sure to get a better deal.
Castle - a national historical site built
entirely out of corals, a labour of love by one single person.
Cubans - the main ethnic group in
Greater Miami (making up 55% of the population).
They are credited with revitalising Miami but
criticised for their hard stance against their
old homeland Cuba (and Castro).
Downtown (Miami) -
definitely worth visiting, particularly for
shopping. Take a ride on the Metromover for an
(Miami) - of the sporting kind! The
American football team, they are one of four
major sports teams based in the county.
Driving - stick to the main roads.
If lost, stop at a gas/petrol station and ask for
Gloria - the
well-known singer is Miami's darling! Involved in
a few restaurants in the area, she lives on Star
Everglades - an
amazing river of grass, unfortunately in decline
because of human interference. See it while you
Farmer's Markets - a very
good way to buy inexpensive fresh food, we
especially like the one in Coconut Grove on
Saturdays. Many are seasonal, running from
January to April.
Fishing - the best
location is from piers as you do not need to
obtain a fishing license to fish from them, and
therefore only need to pay an entrance fee. You
can also hire out a boat for deep ocean fishing.
Hotel - the grand
dame of the Miami Beach hotels, one of the
largest on the beach. Nice gardens and pool area.
Gambling - illegal
in Florida, so take one of the numerous casino
ships which take you outside the 3-mile limit.
Golf - numerous
public and private courses, SE Florida is a
paradise for golfers.
Gray Bus Tours - the best
way to visit the Miami area sights in a short
period of time (say half a day).
Davidson - classic
American bike, admired by many. You will see them
often in SE Florida.
Carl - our
favourite Florida writer. Please get one of his
books, you'll definitely enjoy them! Also read
his weekly comments on local life in the Miami
High season - from a
week or so before Christmas to one week after
Easter. SE Florida becomes especially crowded!
Hurricanes - the hurricane seasons
starts in June and goes on until the end of
November. The worst one ever to have hit the
region was Hurricane Andrew in June 1992.
Internet cafes - the are
many, but we like Kafka Kafe on
Washington Avenue, South Beach best. In the last few years, all
public libraries have introduced Internet facilities which are
free, although there is sometimes a queue and normally you are
limited to only 45 minutes.
Gleason Theatre - on Miami
Beach, a place to see top broadway shows, the
Miami city ballet, concerts and similar.
Basque-originated, apparently the fastest game in
the world. Popular in SE Florida.
Jogging - as you
can imagine, lovely alongside the beach.
Kayaking - there are
many places to rent Kayaks, but the best is
probably Florida Bay
Outfitters on Key Largo.
Kreyol (Creole) - language
spoken by Haitians in Miami. You may sometimes
hear announcements in this language at Miami
Liberty City - an area
of Miami close to downtown, but best avoided by
Lovebugs - small insects
that stick to your car and make it tacky and hard
Low season - from one week after
Easter to the beginning of December. Many hotels
charge half price during this period.
Malls - numerous!
As we have mentioned, the most convenient is
Aventura Mall, but don't miss Sawgrass Mills Mall
Metrorail - public
transport in Miami, cheap and efficient.
Miccosukee Indians - a part of
the Seminole tribe. Visit their village and take
an airboat trip in the Everglades. They now have casinos - good
for gambling fans!
Cafe - good
value restaurant on South Beach (one of the most
popular too), which also sells newspapers from
many European countries
Newspapers - Miami
Herald, the city daily, is published in
English and Spanish with numerous local editions.
Get the Friday edition for the very useful and
informative weekly events guide. Also, our hat
off to the New Times weekly,
which is free.
Ocean Drive - the main
road alongside South Beach, filled with people
who want to be seen.
Overtown - again, one area of Miami
best avoided by tourists.
Jungle - bird
sanctuary - it is not difficult to guess which
animal is the main attraction, performing a
variety of stunts and shows. Wonderful gardens. Recently moved
to a location near South Beach.
Police - very helpful to tourists.
They patrol South Beach on rollerblades and
of Miami - if you
are taking a cruise, you will embark from here.
You will also see many cruise ships here on a
Portuguese Man Of War -
jellyfish-like sea creature with long, stinging
tentacles. If stung, see the lifeguard for
advice. Also look out for flags flying on beaches
indicating their presence.
Publix - the local
supermarket chain, essential to all those staying
in an apartment.
Queue - in Miami
you don't queue, you stand in line!
definitely something to do along South Beach,
although a little tricky because of the number of
pedestrians. However, Crandon Park Beach on Key
Biscayne is the best place to rollerblade,
according to many.
Neil - well known but
controversial local radio personality. Listen to his show on
Seafood - available
at many restaurants all over the city. Don't miss
Crab, just off South Beach.
well-loved marine park, the home of the famous
dolphin Flipper, plus sea lions, sharks and other
Sharks - plentiful in the tropics,
but very few accidents occur.
Will - enjoyed
the city so much, he wrote a song about it. To
quote him "Ain't no surprise in the club to
see Sly Stallone." We're not sure whether
this is a good thing or not.
Snow birds - visitors from North USA
and Canada who spend who spend the whole winter
in Florida. Lucky them!
Authority - one of
the best sporting goods stores for all your
absolutely not to be missed! A lively and
Road - one of
the oldest clubs in Miami, established almost 100
years ago. Excellent blues and jazz nights.
Tri-Rail - an
inexpensive way to travel from Miami Airport all
the way to Palm Beach.
motorway/highway between Miami and Orlando (and
beyond). There is a charge for using it ($7-8)
but you are in Orlando in less than four hours.
Unavoidable - the
beautiful people on South Beach!
particularly dangerous current of water (cause by
winds) which can sweep you away from the shallow
part of the sea and drag you 50-60 metres away.
Do not swim if there are signs on the beaches
warning you about it.
Venetian Causeway - one of
the best drives in Miami, you'll get fantastic
views of the city during sunset.
Venetian pool - the best
public pool in Miami, located in Coral Gables.
Weather - the best
is from November to Easter, when it is not too
hot and humid.
for marking Florida
Lottery tickets! - the odds
of winning are low, even worse than in Europe, as
you have to get a winning combination from 53
Your trip - you're
bound to have a great time! Please send us
reports on your trip and we'll post them on this
definitely worth a visit, it was renovated after
being partially destroyed by Hurricane Andrew.