Situated in south-eastern Florida and surrounded by a landscape of world-heritage swamps, marshlands and miles of luxury beaches is the cosmopolitan city of Miami. As the seventh most populated region in the United States, the metropolitan area of Miami sprawls for miles, offering a landscape like no other part of America.
The first settlers landed just a few miles from the city of Miami, bringing with them a wealth of Spanish and European traditions that have rooted themselves in the Miami way of life; today the city is alive with a vibrant Latin American culture. In fact, Latin Americans now make up 65% of Miami’s population, the greatest Latin American population outside of Latin America itself. So strong is this influence that in some parts of Miami, such as ‘Little Havana’, greetings are first in Spanish and then in English.
Miami’s strong Hispanic history means there are a lot of historical sites throughout the city. Take the opportunity to visit the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere at The Ancient Spanish Monastery. Originally built in Spain in 1411, this property was initially designed to be a part of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst’s property in California. Unfortunately Hearst ran out of money and the property remained in New York Harbour until 1954, before two businessmen bought the property and assembled it in Miami.
Of course, no trip to Miami is complete without enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches around the city. One of the most popular beaches is South Beach, which is located within the district of Miami Beach. Although technically another city due to its size, Miami Beach is easily accessible from Miami centre. With temperatures sometimes going above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, Miami Beach is the perfect place to relax and take in the ‘Sunshine State’.
With such a diverse landscape surrounding Miami, visitors are always recommended to take a day away from the beach and explore some of the scenery that makes Florida so unique. UNESCO World Heritage Park, The Everglades, is one of the most popular trips on a visit to Miami. And with over 1.5 million acres of swampland, it is one of the largest national parks in America.
The Everglades swamps are home to thousands of alligators and tourist-friendly alligator farms. In fact, during the 1960s, federal officials began to worry that the alligators were facing extinction and offered businessmen the opportunity to set up their own commercial farm in order to combat the problem. Today alligator farms are extremely popular in Miami, with many tourists snapping up the opportunity to have their photo taken with a baby alligator.
While baby alligator photos may not be for everyone, the city’s unique list of attractions and growing number of flights to Miami means the subtropical city has something for everyone to enjoy.
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