Miami is the 2nd largest city in Florida after Jacksonville with over 400,000 residents. When it is combined with other cities such as Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, the metro population is 5.4 million people, making it the 7th largest metro area in the US. Miami is a growing city due to its increasing ethnic population, for being a gateway to the Florida Keys, and a major port destination for cruise ships going to and from the Caribbean.
Miami International Airport is the largest airport in the area. It is a hub for American Airlines and it services most of its destinations to Central and South America. There are also two other international airports in Fort Lauderdale and in West Palm Beach. Both of these cities are near Miami and they make a great alternative to the large and busy Miami International Airport.
Miami has the largest foreign born population of any city in the world and only Toronto comes close with 50%. The majority of Miami’s foreign population is Hispanic with the majority being Cubans. 8th Street in Miami is the center of the largest Cuban neighborhood in the city. Named for the capital of Cuba, Little Havana is filled with shops, restaurants, and specialty stores. If you are looking for authentic Cuban food, this is one neighborhood you need to visit. But don’t forget about Miami’s other great cuisines from places such as Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil.
For the sport enthusiasts, Miami is home to the Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Florida Marlins, and the Florida Panthers. Landshark Stadium, previously known as Dolphin Stadium, is home to the Dolphins, Marlins, and even the University of Miami Hurricanes. The stadium also hosts the annual NCAA Orange Bowl after the stadium where it has been held since 1938 was demolished. The Florida Marlins will be leaving Landshark Stadium in 2012 to play in their new stadium which is being built on the site of the demolished Orange Bowl Stadium. NASCAR fans can watch races at Homestead Raceway in nearby Homestead.
Miami is known for having great beaches but it also known for its close proximity to the Everglades National Park. Most people forget that Miami is close to another national park, Biscayne National Park. It preserves the Biscayne Bay and 95% of the park is water. There is a visitor’s center and the only fee is if you want to take a boat tour through the bay. The Miami skyline is clearly visible from Biscayne.
From great cuisine, National Parks, and sandy beaches, Miami has something for everyone.