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The average Joe knows Miami by Miami Vice, CSI: Miami, perhaps even Dexter. Most people know Miami has a Latin population, too. But there is no way to truly know Miami without visiting, because it is such a multi-faceted city. Within one county, you can drive for hours north to south on I-95, which runs from Key West to as far north as Maine!
Many visitors choose to park themselves on South Beach, which is an understandable endeavor; enjoy the beaches, an array of fantastic cuisine, and wonderful art institutions such as ArtCenter/South Florida, which are even free and open to the public most days of the year. However, Miami has various neighborhoods that are worth exploring, and there is truly something for everyone. Art buffs will revel in the various galleries and public art in the hip Wynwood Art District and should pursue the art walks around the city that take place each month.
For those who want to get an insider look at Miami’s Cuban culture, it’s easy to spend a whole day in Little Havana, dining on local food at Versailles, shopping for Cuban cigars, and people-watching. Speaking of, people-watching may be one of Miami’s best assets, something that isn’t hard to come by anywhere, but particularly on Miami Beach’s open-air pedestrian mall, Lincoln Road. The Coconut Grove neighborhood is another fantastic people-watching destination, as are the more low key outdoor cafes in South Miami. Coral Gables is another shopping and strolling mecca, particularly for its unique Spanish-Mediterranean architecture and historical sites including The Biltmore and the Venetian Pool.
A car in Miami will help visitors get to know the whole city - not just South Beach - but even the beach has its pluses, including being walkable and not paying for parking! If you know of more great spots in Miami that aren’t yet included, please help us by adding them! We also love to hear from you with feedback and questions.
Photo by Dara Bramson
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