Miami Beach is a city in Florida. This small barrier island near Miami was originally cleared of mangroves in the late 1800's to make way for a coconut farm, and was later incorporated as a city by real estate developers in 1915.
Despite occasional cold snaps, Miami Beach is known for its genrally warm, muggy weather. Located just above the Tropic of Cancer, Miami Beach has a subtropical climate, with dry, warm winters and springs, and hot, humid and rainy summers and falls. Miami Beach, due to ocean breezes, has lower humidity and heat than inland areas in South Florida, and also does not get as cool as inland South Florida during cold spells.
Although tourists generally consider Miami Beach to be part of Miami, it is in actuality its own municipality. Located on a barrier island east of Miami and Biscayne Bay, it is home to a large number of beach resorts and is one of the most popular spring break party destinations in the world. Because of its length, it is generally broken up into three districts.
Often known just as "Miami Beach", this district refers to the "Mid-beach" area between 23rd Street and 63rd Street.
Southern tip of the island to about 23rd Street.
Northern tip of the island, from about 63rd Street on up.
Miami Beach is a barrier island connected to the mainland city of Miami by a series of bridges.
Miami Beach, like Miami, has a huge Latin American population, and Spanish is a language often used for day-to-day discourse in many places. However, English is the language of preference, particularly when dealing with businesses and government. Spanglish, a mixture of English and Spanish, is a somewhat common occurrence, with bilingual locals switching between English and Spanish mid-sentence. The local Latin population is mostly Cuban exiles (which have now become second and third generation locals,) with South Americans from various countries gaining ground. There is also a large Haitian community and many signs and public announcements are in English, Spanish and Creole.
Miami Beach has been one of America's pre-eminent beach resorts for almost a century. The city of Miami Beach is a barrier island connected to the mainland city of Miami by a series of bridges. The city is often referred to under the umbrella term of "Miami”, with a population of 87,925. As a world-class destination, Miami Beach offers several kinds of lodging options. The visitor can stay in a normal hotel or choose from a variety of Miami Beach vacation rentals. Visitors can plan to stay in a Miami Beach condo rental. Miami Beach has a rich history as a trend setting arts center from the world famous nightclubs of the 1950s, to the rich cultural life of today's modern South Beach. The City of Miami Beach has an identity that is intrinsically linked to the arts, and today the entertainment, production and arts communities are stronger than ever. Miami Beach is truly a major international entertainment and cultural destination.
If you come to Miami to shop, then Miami Beach can give you the best shopping experience ever. With the famous Lincoln Road Mall and glamorous shopping centers located in South Beach and all over the island, you’ll have great options to spend your time and money in the trendy retails stores that carry garments from international designers. Art museums, ballet performances, cultural events and entertainment are a part of this great city. You will have the chance to choose from a wide variety of Miami attractions. Art Center at Lincoln Road has performance art exhibitions. Classes and courses are available as well and they include photography, jewelry-making and painting.
Beyond the radiant sun, surf and sand, discover Miami Beach’s rich history as an entertainment and cultural destination, from world-famous Art Deco architecture to renowned nightclubs to designer fashions on Collins Ave and Lincoln Rd. There’s so much going on in Miami Beach, you will need an extra day to enjoy everything that makes this city so vibrant. Plan to lodge in an affordable Miami vacation home and completely enjoy the world’s elite playground. Miami Beach promises a 25-hour day, and whether you're an arts enthusiast, a socialite or a sun worshipper, there are plenty of options for where to spend that extra hour.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is closest, but Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) is only around 40 minutes away (depending on traffic) by shuttle and the rates are often better.
You can take the J or 150 Bus from Miami International Airport to Miami Beach. To Get to South Beach, then transfer to a southbound C, L, or S bus. The fare is approximately $2. If you get the 150, you can also transfer to the South Beach Local at the last stop.
From Fort Lauderdale Airport, you can take the #1 Broward County bus to Aventura Mall for the Miami-Dade S bus.
Taxis are generally expensive, but available at almost any time and place. Car rentals are the most convenient form of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience regarding return policies and shop times.
When traveling within Miami Beach, a good choice is the South Beach Local , a shuttle bus that operates in a loop from 19th St to the southern end of Miami Beach (buses travel in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions). Fare is only 25 cents. Regional transit buses throughout the greater Miami area are available, but may be slow and inconvenient. Schedules and routes are available from the Miami-Dade Transit  website or by calling +1 305 770 3131.
By electric golf cart
South Beach Decocarts, 1000 5th St, +1 786 383 2278  is the newest addition with stylish Eco-friendly golf cart rentals. Hourly, daily and weekly rentals are available. Each Decocart can fit 4 adults (great for groups) and requires a driver's license. It can hold shopping bags and other items you won't be able to transport with a bike or scooter. Decocarts also offers trendy E-Bikes that don't require a license.
Miami Beach has become more bicycle friendly in recent years with the addition of new bike paths and bike lanes, although not as comprehensive as other major cities. Notable additions to the biking and pedestrian infrastructure include the paved "Beach Walk" which runs parallel to Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue and is directly on the beach, plus the new South Point Park along the bay. In Miami Beach and South Beach riding is permitted on sidewalks, which luckily are wider than average. That said, it doesn't stop many people from trying to utilize bicycles (including locals) to get around town. Pedestrians and drivers tend to be tolerant of bikers and willing to share the right of way. However, be prepared to slow down and go on foot, particularly on the congested streets closer to the beach. Absent heavy auto traffic, South Beach is biking bliss.
There are better attempts at bike-friendliness in the South Beach district, where most of the bike rental shops are located. Lummus Park and Lincoln Road Mall are great for bikers, and have plenty of bike racks throughout; meanwhile, if you are trying to go north or south, go a few blocks west and take one of the roads less traveled. Meridian Ave is a good choice: plenty of interesting Miami-style houses to see and a local park. If you didn't bring your own bike, bike rentals will run about $8/hour or $30/day (or 24-hour time period).
- City of Miami Beach "DecoBike" Official Bike Rental & Sharing Program, 723 Washington Ave., +1 305 532 9494 . Rent a bike from any of 100 stations in the city and simply drop off to any station when done. DecoBike provides maps for self-guided Art Deco bike tours. Available to both residents and visitors.
- Miami Beach Bicycle Center, 601 5th St, +1 305 674 0150.
- Two Wheel Drive, 1260 Washington Ave, +1 305 534 2177.
- Bike and Roll, 760 Washington, +1 305 538 2121 .
By free taxi
They say there's no such thing as a free ride, but that's exactly what SWOOP Miami  (+1 305 409-6636) is. Supported by advertisements, the SWOOP taxi is a six-passenger white electric golf cart that will pick you up and take you anywhere within South Beach — no fee or fare required, although the drivers will gladly accept tips. Call ahead to be picked up within 15 minutes, anytime between noon and 2AM daily. Unfortunately, though they have "Miami" in the name, they won't go outside the South Beach district.
- GoCar GPS Tours, 1661 James Ave . See Miami Beach in the world's first Storytelling Car. The GoCar will guide you to see what most visitors never see, while telling stories and history along the way that bring the city to life. It's like having your own private tour guide with you. Tours take place at your own pace in a fun to drive, open-air, two-person scooter car. Rates begin at $29 per hour. Discounted daily rates are also available.
- Beach: Miami Beach features warm, clear and calm waters all year long, with soft golden sands, palm trees and skyscapers right on the coastline. Also, cool breezes from the ocean may make the weather more tolerable for you.
- Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition . This fair is ranked one of the largest and most successful fairs in the nation and attracts nearly 700,000 visitors each year. Typically held in late March and early April, the 18-day event offers close to 100 rides, nearly 170 food vendors, 50 games, souvenir and gift shops and the World Agriculture competition. Not to be missed – a daily Mardi Gras parade.
- Eco-AdventureTours, 1+305 365 3018 . Miami-Dade Park's Eco-Adventures offers a line up of naturalist-guided nature adventures. Activities include kayaking and snorkeling in the clear water, canoe trips through scenic mangrove creeks and biking along paths in Key Biscayne.
- ArtCenter/ South Florida, 800 & 810 Lincoln Road, ☎ 305.674.8278, . 11 am - 10 pm. ArtCenter/ South Florida is a non-profit organization with a public gallery featuring art by some of South Florida's most talented artists. The ArtCenter is best known for its artist-in-residence program, which provides 42 studios for professional artists. All studios and the gallery are open to the public free of charge. Free. edit
- Art Deco Walking Tour, ☎ 305-672-2014, . Learn the colorful history of the architectural buildings, the pioneers, the heroes and villains, and other cultural contributors of Miami Beaches history. edit
- The Holocaust Memorial, ☎ (305) 538-1663, . A tribute to the victims of Nazi terrorism, the inspiring memorial is dominated by a giant bronze arm reaching skyward. The Holocaust Memorial, located on 1933 Meridian Avenue, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. edit
- Miami Boat Rentals and Yacht Charters, 10800 Collins Ave (Collins Ave at Haulover Beach Marina), ☎ 305-490-0049, . 24 hrs. Fun and affordable Miami boat rentals and yacht charters. Enjoy a day on the water and see Miami from the water. Visit website for online specials, including free jet ski with yacht charter on select vessels. Vessels range in size from 43' to 125'. Half day and full day charters available. edit
- Miami-Dade Community College 
- Barry University 
- Florida International University 
- University of Miami 
Miami Beach is a fashionista's paradise, with strips dedicated to designer, from Versace to Missioni, from Vivienne Westwood to Chloe. Don your most comfortable shoes and indulge!
- Collins Avenue/Washington Avenue— Heralded as the designer district, all your favorite designers labels are within walking distance from each other, which means that more time can be spent in the changerooms. Start at Collins and Fifth Avenues and walk north, toward 10th Street. Peek down the side streets and you will find smaller, one-of-a-kind boutiques.
- Lincoln Road— This seven block strip is closed to traffic but open to shoppers and pedestrians. There's the standard stores such as Bebe alongside unique boutiques such as Brownes & Co, an upscale spa/body and bath products store. Great for a stroll and people watching; and Art Deco fans will enjoy the architecture too. If you're looking for a place to eat, a number of excellent restaurants and cafes as well.
- Espanola Way— A pedestrian mall off Washington Avenue near 14th Street. Its charming architecture is reminiscent of a Spanish village, complete with red roofs. On Sundays, the street turns into something of a farmers’ market, with locals selling everything from freshly cut flowers to souvenirs in stalls.
Those without a budget head to Bal Harbour (9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour) where the locals shop at the Versace boutique.
Many international cuisines are to be found, with a heavy leaning towards Latin foods, particularly Cuban cuisine. Some Cuban cuisine to try includes a sandwich cubano (Cuban sandwich) and a cafecito (literally it means little coffee, but compares to a strong, sweet espresso).
- George's Italian Restaurant and Lounge, 300 72nd Street, ☎ +1 305 864-5586, . Italian food. $5-$25. edit
Most of Miami Beach's nightlife is concentrated in South Beach, but there are still a few places along the rest of the beach. If you go inland, Miami's nightlife will be centered on Coconut Grove. "Cuba Libre" is a popular drink, known to the rest of the world as plain old "Rum and Coke". Also popular is the "Mojito", a sugar/mint/soda-water and rum drink.
- Liv Nightclub, 4441 Collins Ave (located in the Fontainebleau hotel), ☎ +1 305 674-4680, . The Liv is touted as one of Miami Beach's hottest nightclubs—and since there's no end to the number of celebrities that get photographed here, that's probably true. However, cover is as much as $20-$30 (even for ladies) unless your presence is super-desirable (which means you're rich, famous, or a very hot, very well-dressed girl). Drinks will run around $15 for a glass. If you're at the Liv, you're here for glamour and glitz; cheaper drinks and better dancing can be had elsewhere. edit
Miami Beach is a tourist town and has many hotels, located mostly around the beach area. High season (fewer rooms, higher prices,) is during the winter months of November through February, with summer being the low season. There are hostels throughout the city.
Do your homework when booking a hotel in South Beach. Nearly all of the hotels have a restaurant, at least a small one, out in front of the hotel. That appears to be what gets the hotel a three-star rating. However in many cases, the hotel by itself is far from three-stars. Read reviews from other travelers before booking or you might be very disappointed.
- The Bentley Hotel and Beach Club , 510 Ocean Drive (at the crossroads of Ocean Drive and 5th Street). A boutique hotel offering luxurious suites. $150-300+.
- Casablanca On The Ocean, 6345 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33141 . Casablanca On the Ocean is a historical South Florida landmark resort hotel in Miami Beach on Millionaires Row offering lodging accommodations with full kitchens and near tourist attractions.
- Westgate Resort, 3611 Collins Avenue Miami, Florida 33140 . Beachfront resort hotel at the doorstep of Miami's South Beach/Art Deco district offering oversized one and two-bedroom lodging accommodations and featuring uniquely individualized decor with a full kitchen, complete with a dishwasher and microwave.
- Acqualina Resort & Spa, 17875 Collins Ave, . A luxury five diamond-rated beach resort offering oceanfront rooms and suites. $375-1,600. edit
- Alexander Hotel, 5225 Collins Avenue (located in Millionaire's Row), ☎ +1 (305) 865-6500, United States reservations toll-free number 1 (800) 327-6121, . Individual suites all with balconies overlooking either the Intercoastal Waterway or the Atlantic Ocean. All suites with living and dining rooms, fully equipped kitchens and two bathrooms. $299 - $1200 per night. edit.
- Eden Roc, A Renaissance Beach Resort & Spa, 4525 Collins Avenue, ☎ 305 531 0000, . Eden Roc is a unique Florida spa resort located in Millionaire's Row. This Renaissance Miami Beach Resort & Spa features four pools, a marina, italian restaurant and so much more. edit
- The Fontainebleau Hotel, 4441 Collins Ave, ☎ +1 877 669-5002, . Upscale resort hotel with a large pool area, which has a long history of representing Miami Beach in pop culture; it's been used as a filming location for movies such as Scarface and Goldfinger. One of Miami Beach's hottest nightclubs, Liv, is located on the ground floor of this hotel. $300-$1000. edit
- Miami Beach Resort, 4833 Collins Avenue, ☎ 866-765-9090, . Situated directly on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean: oceanfront views and luxurious accommodations. Just 2.5 miles from world-class shopping and nightlife destinations of South Beach. edit
Emergency telephone number for fire, police and rescue emergencies is 911.
The main area code for Miami Beach is 305, with an overlay of the 786 area code.