A to Z


Miami - Dade A to Z

Airport (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.
Aventura 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.

Bayside 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!
- glorious, sandy and well-kept. South Beach is probably the most popular, but the best are on Key Biscayne.
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 it.
- just over one mile long, running alongside Miami Beach. Great for those who a like a little bit of walking as their exercise.
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.
Broward (County)
- Just above Miami - Dade, with Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood as the main centres.

Car rental - it is best to reserve, book and pay in your home country as you are sure to get a better deal.
Coral Castle - a national historical site built entirely out of corals, a labour of love by one single person.
- 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 aerial view.
Dolphins (Miami) - of the sporting kind! The American football team, they are one of four major sports teams based in the county.
- stick to the main roads. If lost, stop at a gas/petrol station and ask for directions.

Estefan, Gloria - the well-known singer is Miami's darling! Involved in a few restaurants in the area, she lives on Star Island.
Everglades - an amazing river of grass, unfortunately in decline because of human interference. See it while you still can!

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.
Fountainbleu 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).

Harley Davidson - classic American bike, admired by many. You will see them often in SE Florida.
Hiassen, 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 Herald.
High season - from a week or so before Christmas to one week after Easter. SE Florida becomes especially crowded!
- 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.

Jackie Gleason Theatre - on Miami Beach, a place to see top broadway shows, the Miami city ballet, concerts and similar.
Jai-Alai - 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 Airport.

Liberty City - an area of Miami close to downtown, but best avoided by tourists.
Lovebugs - small insects that stick to your car and make it tacky and hard to clean.
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 in Broward.
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!

News Cafe - good value restaurant on South Beach (one of the most popular too), which also sells newspapers from many European countries
- 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.
- again, one area of Miami best avoided by tourists.

Parrot 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.
- very helpful to tourists. They patrol South Beach on rollerblades and bicycles.
Port of Miami - if you are taking a cruise, you will embark from here. You will also see many cruise ships here on a Saturday.
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!

Rollerblading - 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.
Rogers, Neil - well known but controversial local radio personality. Listen to his show on WQAM 560AM.

Seafood - available at many restaurants all over the city. Don't miss Joe's Stone Crab, just off South Beach.
Seaquarium - well-loved marine park, the home of the famous dolphin Flipper, plus sea lions, sharks and other sea creatures.
- plentiful in the tropics, but very few accidents occur.
Smith, 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!
Sports Authority - one of the best sporting goods stores for all your sporting needs.
South Beach
- absolutely not to be missed! A lively and beautiful beach.

Tobacco 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.
Turnpike - 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!
Undertow - 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 numbers.

Your trip - you're bound to have a great time! Please send us reports on your trip and we'll post them on this website.

Zoo, Miami - definitely worth a visit, it was renovated after being partially destroyed by Hurricane Andrew.