Miami Florida Vacation Guide
Miami: The Beaches and Beyond
See why Miami continues to be a popular tropical playground, with gorgeous beaches, culinary hotspots, historic landmarks and plenty of attractions for kids and adults alike.
When you think of Miami, you think beaches, sun and fun. Known for incredible nightlife, extensive water sports, professional sports teams and champion golf courses, Miami has even more to offer. Miami’s additional attractions range from museums to film festivals to historic landmarks to national parks. Labeled the Cruise Capital of the World, the Port of Miami is home to more than 20 different cruise lines, making it the largest home port in the world.
Prior to being claimed by the Spanish in 1566, Miami was inhabited by the Tequesta Indians and was better known as Biscayne Bay Country. After a local citrus grower convinced railroad tycoon Henry Flagler to extend his railroad to Miami, the city was officially born in 1896.
Miami’s history is deeply rooted in Spanish culture, both from early settlements and an influx of Cubans seeking refuge after Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959. This is very evident in the city’s architecture and historic landmarks. Despite ups and downs, hurricanes, controversy and drug wars, Miami has grown into an international destination, welcoming millions of tourists from around the world.
Visitors on Miami weekend getaways or family vacations have no lack of places to see and things to do. This Miami guide offers up some of the highlights and travel tips to a city that welcomes its visitors with open arms.
Trip Planning Essentials
Best Time to Visit
Although Miami offers year-round activities, the high season runs from December through April, when most of the festivals and events take place. The winter months offer the best weather, so if you dislike the heat and humidity, it’s advisable to visit before May or after October.
The summer is however a great time for family vacations, especially if you are on a budget, as most of the hotels offer great deals and reduced rates during the off-season. Hurricane season runs from June through November, and although that may be a deterrent for some, there is always fair warning before a hurricane hits, giving tourists enough time to make alternative plans, if necessary.
How Long to Stay
A Miami vacation makes for a great weekend getaway, especially if you’re looking for a romantic escape. If you plan on bringing the family, allow at least a week to give you time to visit all the attractions and sample Miami’s great hospitality.
If you are staying on the beach, you don’t need to rent a car as it’s easy to get around via taxi, scooter or GoCar. There are several rental places that offer a variety of fun vehicles which come fully equipped with talking GPS. If you’re staying down south or intend on visiting any of the major tourist attractions, it’s advisable to rent a car during your stay.
Transportation from the airport is pretty inexpensive, either by taxi or shuttle. The majority of visitors fly into Miami International Airport (MIA), however Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) is only about 40 minutes from South Beach. For the most part, flights into Fort Lauderdale are a lot cheaper if you’re flying domestically.