The Greater Miami
Miami Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
It is not a form of agrandisement, we just call the area where Miami is located, The Greater Miami and Beaches. Miami is actually a rather small city, but it has plenty of satelites that make it ... Greater!!! Those include the posh Coral Gables, the bohemian Coconut Grove, the over the top glamourous Bal Harbour , the nuveau-riches (more or less) Aventura, and the new Trump-esque Sunny Isles, between many others. We even have areas that will soon achive independence (just joking) such as Hialeah (Cuban) Little Haiti (well - Haitian) and a section called Boludo-City, something mostly Argentines would understand.
One of the biggest "attractions" in Miami is shopping. The Greater Miami sports an impressive array of malls. Supported equaly by business from the local community and international tourism mainly Latin America, malls in Miami do great. Top seller is Bal Harbour Shops, followed by Aventura and Dadeland. Depending on where you stay, one should be near you. Dadeland in the South and the other two up North. I love Bal Harbour Shops, even if it is not for everyone. If you are not ready to spent a fortune, at least go to the restaurants which are reasonable priced, take a stroll, see what's new in fashion, bump into some famous people, all that good stuff one thinks that happens in Miami everywhere.
One thing you need to know about Miami - it is grand and you will need a car. And if you have one, make sure you drive through Coral Gables, look up the pretty residential areas; lunch in Coconut Grove (Le Bouchon is great, or Tu-Tu-Tango). Take a detour to Vizcaya - we might not have the Louvre, but most people are surprised to see that we do have one of the most beautiful vilas in the country. Drive the McArthur Causeway to see the huge cruise ships docked one after the other (we have the largest port for passengers in the world), take a drive along Collins Avenue as far as you can go - it is a scenic route to see all the hotels along the beach. Make sure you drive into key Biscayne by night - you get the best view of DownTown Miami for night photos and it has less traffick. Stop at Rusty Pelican for the best view of whole Miami (ground level).
Mental note - some larger hotels have better prices than the smaller ones, and offer often transportation to shopping centers, South Beach, etc. in case that you don't want to rent a car. Make sure you ask in advance.
Miami has an amazing number of hotels, spas, restaurants and entertainment. As far as real "tourist attractions" - no better than in your corner of the world and expensive. Have fun at the beach (SP 30 if possibel!!!), drink lots of water (and other liquids), and go shopping!