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Exotic Miami: from Art Deco to decadent art
by Isla Campell

Ever since the Art-Deco era of the 1930s, Miami has been an exotic location for a holiday; all-year round Florida sunshine, golden beaches and a pace of life to suit residents and visitors alike. This unique metropolis which bills itself as the 'Magic City' continues to be a massive tourist draw, offering luxury holidays in the best of settings.

As a major US hub at the gateway to the Americas, the city boasts a large port, which is the departure point for numerous cruise ships on their way to the nearby Caribbean. Close to the spectacular Everglades National Park, Miami is renowned for its unique culture, derived mainly from its celebrated ethnic diversity. The city certainly boasts an upbeat Latin feel, which is backed up by the 2000 census in which 60% of the population declared that they were Hispanic.

Miami was incorporated as a city in 1896, and has grown substantially since; now consisting of 13 major neighbourhoods. Covering a huge area of Southern Florida, as well as offering the seductive dual attraction of great beaches and sunny weather, Miami is also home to impressive culture, dazzling entertainment and a huge choice of shopping.

Bayside Marketplace offers an upmarket shopping experience set on the edge of the Port of Miami, off Biscayne Boulevard. There are over 150 fabulous shops and restaurants spread over the 16 acre open-air market, ranging from fabulous, little one-off boutiques to well-known, upmarket chains. In addition to the shopping and dining there is frequently thrilling, free entertainment on offer including Salsa and Cuban beat music.

Miami residents are generally very style-conscious and love art. The Miami Museum of Art reflects the make-up of the city, with a diverse range of genres on display and regularly hosts ground-breaking exhibitions that attract visitors in their tens of thousands. In addition, the Museum gives back to the community in the form of great educational initiatives, including morning lectures on the city’s diverse and dazzling architectural styles.

Some of the most luxurious and spectacular Miami hotels are found in South Beach and also along Collins Avenue, close to the Atlantic but not all hotels in Miami are restricted to the beaches. Indeed, they are spread across the city, many close to major attractions such as the Miami Art Museum, Design District and Spanish Monastery Cloisters, as well as the Downtown area.

Because the city is so spread out any potential visitor should ensure that they do their research and choose accommodation close to their particular area of interest, unless they are willing to hire a car.

About the Author

Isla Campbell is an online, freelance journalist and avid traveler and pilates devotee. When not on the road she lives on the outskirts of Oban.

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