Day 16 - Miami - Florida (United States)



With a very sub-tropical climate, Miami is located on the Atlantic Coast of the southeast United States. Known as the "Cruise Capital of the World", its port is home to over 20 cruise ships and can handle more megaships than any other port in the world.

Miami's first boom began in 1896 when Henry Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railroad to Miami and began developing the city as a resort center. Miami was incorporated later that same year. The largest population boom occurred in the late 1940's, with an additional wave of immigration from Cuba beginning in the late 1950's. The city has developed into a major metropolitan area within the United States, with extensive ties to South and Central America and the Caribbean. Miami is also a major seaport for cargo as well as an international banking center. Greater Miami has a population of over two million people.


Miami Beach
It is by far one of the most popular destinations in the world. The beaches stretch for miles and the blue waters are wonderful for swimming. You can walk for blocks looking for a good spot that is right for you. Most of the activity is situated on Ocean Drive between 1st street and 20th street. The beach does not end here, so if it is to busy on the main drag continue walking north to find a quieter area. Located right behind the beach on Ocean Drive are the scenic and world renowned Art Deco hotels. Make sure to walk along Ocean Drive and choose from one of the many sidewalk cafes to have lunch or dinner.

Vizcaya Palace
Built at the turn of the century Vizcaya is a stunningly beautiful Italian Mediterranean style palace with formal gardens at the water's edge. You will enjoy over 10 acres of spectacular gardens and fountains scattered all over the place. This villa is located to the north of Coconut Grove on South Miami Avenue and thanks to its splendour has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. 


Crandon Park
This is a beautiful 2-mile stretch of sandy white beach located on Key Biscayne. Crandon is ideal if you don’t want to deal with the crowds that you normally find on Miami Beach. There is plenty of space on the beach to rest and relax, as it is a long wide beach which offers calm waters year round due to the sandbar offshore.

Art Deco District
Art Deco as an art form developed around the turn of the century, making its way into the silver screen and eventually into American popular culture. In about the mid-thirties, a handful of architects got busy building hotels for middle-class vacationers in South Beach (familiarly known as SoBe), all decked out in high Art Deco style, but with a little twist. 

This Miami version has been dubbed "Tropical Deco" for the pelicans, nautical themes, stylized sunsets and tropical flowers blended into its lines. That may seem all very fancy to you, but at the time the buildings were all painted white with a little bit of pastel here and there, muting the effect to achieve a sense of sophistication for the era.

Miami Seaquarium
A popular attraction at the Seaquarium is the 750,000-gallon saltwater aquarium filled with reef fish, groupers, loggerheads, moray eels and other sea life. If you are there at the right time you may even witness a diver hand feeding the colorful tropical fish. Don’t forget to catch the Dolphin show featuring the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin or Lolita the killer whale. Be careful not to sit to close to Lolita's tank as she may surprise you with a big salt-water splash!!


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