Miami Life and Travel Tips
(Miami, Florida - FL, USA)
As the county seat of the Miami-Dade County, the city resides on the southeasterly side of Florida. Currently ranking as the state's most densely populated city, Miami welcomes a stream of visitors all through the year, with its beaches and hedonistic lifestyle being all part of the overall appeal.
The Miami-Dade County is made up of some 35 individual cities and a number of unincorporated areas, with much of the coastline being lined with high-rise buildings. Located on the county's western side is the Everglades National Park, where the village of the Miccosukee Tribe serves as the only populated area, while to the east is Biscayne Bay and its national park.
Many corporation headquarters are now present in the Greater Miami area, employing literally thousands of workers. The University of Miami is another significant employer and boasts just under 14,000 members of staff, together with over 15,000 students, roughly two thirds of which are undergraduates.
Tourism and Tourist Information
Although Miami does not have actual offices devoted to tourism, there are numerous useful outlets throughout the city, providing free tourist information, magazines, leaflets and general practical advice. The following bureaus may be of use during your trip:
- The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Center
Address: 701 Brickell Avenue, Suite 2700, Miami, Florida FL, 33131, USA
Tel: +1 305 539 3000
This popular center provides tourist information and is situated within downtown Miami.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 17:00
- The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce
Address: 1920 Merian Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida FL, 33139, USA
Tel: +1 305 674 1300
This tourism kiosk is located at the intersection of the Lincoln Road Mall and Washington Avenue.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 17:00
- Visit Miami Beach Visitors Center
Address: 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, Florida FL, 33139, USA
Tel: +1 786 276 2763
Situated in Hall C of the Miami Beach Convention Center, this facility has multilingual staff who are able to assist tourists.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 16:00
- Art Deco Welcome Center
Address: 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida FL, 33139, USA
Tel: +1 305 672 2014
Situated within the historic Art Deco district of Miami South Beach, the Welcome Center organizes regular tours of the area for keen sightseers.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
- Tropical Everglades Visitor Information Center
Address: 160 US Highway 1, Miami, Florida City, Florida FL, 33034, USA
Tel: +1 305 245 9180
This excellent visitor center contains a huge amount of tourist information about the area, including free maps and brochures
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 14:00
Tipping is more or less compulsory in Florida (where applicable), with waiters in restaurants and taxi drivers usually being given a 10% or 20% gratuity, or thereabouts. Hotel staff, such as luggage handlers and porters, happily accept a tip of one or two US dollars. Generally, no other public service workers expect tips of any kind.
As in any large city, always maintain an awareness of your surroundings - basically, try to blend in and not look like a tourist. Look like you know where you are going and avoid street entertainers, who may possibly be clever confidence tricksters. Crowded places are where you are most likely to have your pocket picked.
Thieves are very skilled, so be particularly careful with hand baggage. Wear a bag or camera across your body, or even use a concealed money belt. Sensible rules apply - do not flash large amounts of cash, hide jewelry or leave it at a safe in your hotel and avoid the less populated subway lines late at night. However, don't be too concerned during your vacation, since Miami has actually never been safer and crime levels are down.
English is the principal language spoken in the USA, but Americans have developed there own version, 'American English'. This consists of many variations of words, such as 'sidewalk' for pavement, 'trailer' for caravan, 'fries' for chips, 'potato chips' for crisps, 'garbage' for rubbish, 'elevator' for lift, 'rest room' for public toilet / bathroom, and 'pants' for trousers.
Places of Worship
The cosmopolitan city of Miami is home to a large number of different cultures and most religions have a presence. Newspapers generally list times of services for the main denominations.
The city contains numerous churches, mosques, temples and synagogues, the most noteworthy of which include the likes of the Coral Gables Congregational Church, the Church of Notre Dame d'Haiti and the Plymouth Congregational Church.
Most pharmacies are open from at least 09:00 until 18:00. Drugstores will usually open until 21:00 and these have a pharmacy counter for dispensing prescriptions. Drugstores are like mini-supermarkets, with a wide range of products on sale.