What more can be said about Miami Beach? It is one of the world’s definitive names when the concept of beaches comes to mind. It has been immortalized in film, television and song. Donald Fagen’s hit song, “Walk Between the Raindrops”, features lyrics about Miami. The rich and famous live here and vacation here. For many Canadians, known as “snowbirds”, Miami is their winter home far from the snow and cold.
Seven miles of beautiful white sandy beaches line the greater Miami metropolitan area. The overall population is 5.5 million, 55% of whom were not born in Miami, making this a multi-cultural center. The city boasts three golf courses and 20 parks, plus the renowned Seaquarium.
While the warm sunshine and the beach are the main draws, Miami has a lot more to offer than sand and surf. A culturally rich area, it is home to the New World Symphony Orchestra, directed by Michael Tilson Thomas, and housed in a spectacular building design by Frank Gehry. Gorgeous architecture is everywhere, especially in the Art Deco Historic District, where 1920s-era buildings have been refurbished and put back into use as hotels, shops, restaurants and homes. One of the most luxurious mansions is “Casa Casuarina”, residence of late fashion designer, Gianni Versace.
Located near the Bass Museum of Art is the Miami City Ballet, established in 1985. If dance isn’t to your taste, perhaps sports is your pleasure; catch a football game with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, one of the Miami Heat’s NBA basketball games, or the Florida Marlins major league baseball rounds. While it may be warm here, you will also find the NHL’s Florida Panthers hockey team skating and scoring on a frozen surface!
Home to thousands of artists and artisans, Greater Miami Beach has an annual festival of art exhibitions, music, film, architecture and design known as the Art Basel Miami Beach. Sister to the event held each June in Basel, Switzerland, it draws ten of thousands and makes a busy, lively city all the more so.
There is a lot to do off-beach in Miami Beach. Lincoln Road offers some of the best al fresco dining in America, together with bicycling, roller-blading, shopping and plethora of art galleries. Miami is world-renowned for its nightlife, and in some areas the excitement doesn’t even begin until after the sun has set.
Between the cultural elements (don’t miss the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater!), sports, on and off the beach, lush landscapes like the Miami Botanical Garden, and the long, lovely beach, Miami Beach has it all!