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Discover Miami, Florida!
Miami is known around the world for the glamour and style reputation that the city has built for itself. With the beautiful weather and the renowned beaches, Miami doesn’t need much of an introduction. If you are going to spend any amount of time here, it will be good to see past the expensive lifestyle that most people see on TV and explore the true local side of Miami that lies beneath the surface.
Tourists know the well-known attractions, but a worldwide local knows how to experience it best. This is an insider’s guide to some of Miami’s best local spots.
Worldwide Local Tip: One of the coolest neighborhoods that is off the tourists’ beaten path is the Art Deco District. This neighborhood was the hit of the 1930s and has been recreated on the silver screen in several movies. Mostly prevalent in the early 1930s, the theme of these movies revolves around the drug trafficking history that Miami is also known for. Wandering the streets of this neighborhood is a must while you are visiting! There are pastel painted buildings where the iconic neon signs of bars and restaurants light the night.
Beachfront Miami: Shops, Cafes, and More
If you’re flying into the Miami airport, you will have a bird’s-eye view of the snake-like waterline in and out of the city, since the city was built around sandbars and coastlines. While you are near the water, be sure to visit the Bayside Marketplace. This market is known for the amazing shopping stores, boutique outlets, cafes, and restaurants, all brimming with life. When the sun sets, the marketplace lights up with live music and local dancers. Performers choose their corners where they will make their night’s living.
Cuban Culture in Miami
Miami is known not only for the lavish elegance of the city but also for the major Cuban culture that has gathered in the city. A trip to Little Havana is a must no matter how long you have to spend time in Miami. The flavor of Little Havana is in ethnic foods, rowdy music, and the local culture that is bleeding from every building and street corner. Non-stop, lively Latin music sings through the air and every wisp of wind brings a new tune from around the neighborhood. Calle Orcho is the heart of Little Havana and is known to be the best place to really see beneath the surface of Miami.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you want to visit the best Miami beach, there are tons of options, but the best choice is South Beach. One of the most famous beaches in all of the city, this beach is renowned for locals and is an ideal place to enjoy the Miami heat (or to chat with the locals about the Miami Heat). Summer or winter months, this beach is the best place to visit to soak up not only the sun but one of the best views of the setting sun.
Miami’s Unique History
One thing you might not know about Miami’s history is the major railroad hub. Many people associate Miami as a shipping port, which it is, but how did the supplies and items arrive in Miami before getting loaded up on the ships? Trains! Visit the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, which was created in the 1950s by the Miami Railroad Historical Society, and is still one of the most fascinating things to do in Miami. It is home to more than 30 historical locomotives, still in good condition. One of the more famous railway cars was the unofficial “President’s car” that transported Roosevelt, Truman, and Reagan. Here there is something to keep everyone entertained during your visit.
Worldwide Local Tip: Cool off from the sweaty Miami weather with a taste of original Cuban ice cream. Azucar’s Ice Cream makes it original and in-house. The owner, Suzy Batlle’s, idyllic Little Havana ice cream shop churns out delicious Cuban flavors inspired by her favorite childhood combinations, including Maria crackers, guava, and cream cheese. Find it by looking for the giant ice cream cone on Calle Ocho.
Miami Cuisine: Where and What to Eat
Wide diverse cultures can be found throughout Miami, so it is safe to say that the foodie scene is to die for! If you are going to taste your way through Miami, you have to start with the iconic dish--the Cuban Sandwich. A collaboration between Cuban migrant workers and the Floridians from the late 1800s, this spin on the classic ham sandwich, but spiced up, is a staple and an instant classic. Next, try some local seafood! Try Stone Crab Claws. This crab is found in the beautiful waters just off of Miami and has a sweet, almost lobster-tasting meat. Another stable of Miami cuisine is one that might throw you off a little but is true to the southern roots of Florida: fried chicken, watermelon, and waffles. The last city delicacy that we can suggest is Pan Con Minuta. This is a favorite by travelers and locals alike, a fish sandwich served on a warm Cuban bun with a secret sauce and chopped onions. Just reading this we are sure that your mouth is watering as much as ours.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Miami is a wonderful city with hidden neighborhoods that house the city’s truest gems, the people. The cultural scene is what makes Miami so special. Roaming the city as a worldwide local will grant you unparalleled access to its amazing sights and fascinating sounds.