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Little Cuba: The Gateway to the Americas

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17 Dec 2021, 04:24 GMT+10

Miami, more affectionately known as 'Little Cuba', is the second most visited city in the U.S, beaten only by New York. In 2019 a recorded 5,211,000 foreign visitors flocked to the area to enjoy all that Little Cuba has to offer.

The city is a cultural melting pot that showcases its diversity through a vibrant food, entertainment, and art scene. Throw in beautiful beaches, incredible wildlife and temperatures that rarely drop below 75F (24C), and it's easy to see why Miami is so popular with tourists and locals alike.

With so much to see and do, we've rounded up the best that Miami has to offer.

Art Deco district

Beautifully restored, the pastel painted Art Deco buildings are an iconic feature of Miami. The district is situated on Miami Beach and stretches between 5th Street and 23rd Street, taking in Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue.

This historic area consists of over 800 buildings and is easily accessible by foot. The Cardozo South Beach, Clevelander and Celino hotels are Art Deco highlights that are well worth checking out.

Many of the buildings come with sea views, meaning this is a great place to relax and have lunch. But it's at night that the area truly comes alive with its neon signs, colourful canopies, and vibrant nightlife.

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park is quite unlike any other park, because 95% of it is under water. Covering over 270 square miles, the Park stretches from southeast of Miami, all the way to the Florida Keys.

Biscayne is largest marine sanctuary in the U.S. National Park Service. The area is home to multiple endangered species including manatees, crocodiles and sea turtles.

There are several islands dotted around, many with thriving mangrove forests. While the Florida Reef, the only living coral reef in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world, is found in these waters.

The park's most-visited island is Boca Chita Key, where a 65-feet-tall lighthouse is the main attraction, offering stunning sea and city views. Scuba diving and snorkelling the many shipwrecks in the area, or paddleboarding through Jones Lagoon with its stingrays and turtles are also hugely popular.

The park's largest island is Elliott Key, once home to pineapple plantations in the late 19th century. Now fishing, walking trails and camping under the stars are the reasons to visit.

With miles of sparkling waters to explore, it's no surprise that boating is one of the most popular activities in Biscayne National Park. Why not charter a catamaran explore this beautiful area for yourself.

Miami Design District

This creative neighbourhood and shopping destination, is dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining experiences. Found north of Midtown Miami, the Design District is packed with shops, galleries and restaurants for every taste.

The restaurants offer ethnic cuisine from around the world, high end dining and more modern American food. Shops are at the luxury end of the market, with Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Dior and Gucci among the many luxury brands with retail outlets.

The Haitian Heritage Museum is a collection of Haitian culture, history and arts. The Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, De La Cruz collection and The Arsenale are all deserving of a visit when you've done shopping.

Street Art

Wynwood Walls is one of the most popular graffiti sights in the world and a great place to see a variety of stunning street art styles. However, the appeal of the Walls draws large crowds and it can get busy at peak times.

The world's first Museum of Graffiti is also located here. So, if you want to try your hand at street art then the museum offers entertaining graffiti classes for all ages.

Each year, a selection of international artists - that range from old school graffiti artists to newer innovators create art for the Wynwood Walls. Urban art is not restricted just to Wynwood though, with colourful murals and graffiti visible throughout the city.

Doral

Only 13 miles from Downtown Miami, Doral is a thriving residential city just west of Miami International airport. Often dubbed 'Doralzuela' thanks to its large Venezuelan population, the city is infused with a vibrant South American culture.

The area houses a variety of shopping and entertainment complexes, plus beautiful parks, and world-class golf courses. With so much entertainment around, there is enough here to make Doral a day trip destination.

Perhaps the most famous landmark in Doral, is the legendary golf resort Trump National Doral Miami. Built in the 1960's and an instant hit with celebrities, the resort boasts four championship golf courses and unrivalled service.

A free trolley service runs throughout the city, making it easy to get around and explore. Doral is home to Miami International Mall with over 100 stores, making it a prime shopping destination.

Downtown Doral is home to a great selection of restaurants, while the Doral Contemporary Art Museum has exhibitions that range from fashion to photography. Doral is a worthy destination in its own right.

Destination Miami

Little Cuba is a hugely popular tourist destination with so much to offer visitors. Whether you come for the weather, food, culture or crystal-clear waters of the Bay of Biscayne, you will not be disappointed.

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