What distinguishes Miami

Attractions in South Florida: More than just sandy beaches

Miami Beach: Miami Beach, known as the “American Riviera” or “Hollywood of Latin America”, presents itself as a visual festival of pastel colors and bizarre details. The offshore island became the epitome of beach life and nightlife.

The world famous one is considered the figurehead Art Deco District on South Beach (also called SoBe). The more than 800 lovingly restored buildings from the 1920s to 1940s are considered the world's largest ensemble of Art Deco buildings. Conservationists and business people invested years of work and millions of dollars in this area to preserve the wonderful old buildings and turn them into hotels, restaurants, clubs and boutiques. www.mdpl.org

Miami has the highest density of boutique hotels in the world, which primarily attract young, trendy audiences to the area between Ocean Drive and Biscayne Bay - where the world-class architect Frank Gehry does new concert hall for the New World Symphony built on around 8,000 m². The $ 200 million construction with first-class technical and acoustic equipment is the star architect's first building in Florida. The concert hall is characterized by its broken geometry, the angled levels, tilting rooms and inverted shapes. It offers a 700-seat concert hall, a music library, a studio for conductors, 26 individual and six group rehearsal rooms. A park adjoining the house and a multi-storey car park offer space for the curious audience - so the front of the building also functions as an oversized screen on which video projections or live broadcasts can be shown in the open air. www.nws.edu

Downtown Miami: In addition to the financial and business mile, the Brickell Avenue, the quarter now stands for art and culture. The architecturally impressive one Adrienne Arsht Centers for the Performing Arts by Cesar Pelli offers famous artists and talented newcomers an extravagant platform. Visitors interested in culture experience Broadway musicals, ballets, dance and cabaret as well as jazz, rock and pop concerts by world-famous music greats in front of a breathtaking backdrop. www.arshtcenter.org

Wynwood Arts District, Design District, MiMo District: From Betancourt to Botero, Reggae to Rumba, Art Deco to Art Basel - Miami has blossomed into a top-class art mecca within a few years. The Design District As the hub of the furniture design and furnishing industry in South Florida, it is north of Downtown Miami. Interior decorators, exhibition rooms and art galleries are lined up here and are also accessible to the general public. In addition, chic clubs and lounges have settled here, which with their mixture of techno, house and art events attract an illustrious scene audience late in the evening. You can find it in the immediate vicinity Wynwood Arts District, in which, among other things, the Rubell Family Collection, the largest private collection of contemporary art in the US and the Margulies Collection with their exciting photographs and art exhibits. www.wynwoodmiami.com; rfc.museum; www.margulieswarehouse.com

When it comes to architecture, Miami is now returning to its roots on the mainland as well as the famous Art Deco District: The MiMo style (Miami Modern) has been experiencing a renaissance for several years. Along the Biscayne Boulevards Fresh green shines between 50th and 77th streets, surrounded by the futuristic Jetson style of the 50s, embodied for example by the Motel Blu.

Little Havana and Little Haiti: Miami's Cuban atmosphere is best experienced in Little Havana. Here the air is saturated with the scent of the strong Café Cubano and sweet sugar cane juice, which the Cubans call "guarapo". Although many people from Nicaragua and Honduras have moved here over the years, the Cuban authenticity has been retained in the restaurants, nightclubs, theaters and cigar shops around the main street, Calle Ocho. Salsa and merengue sounds can be heard everywhere.

To the north of the Design District lies Little Haitiwhere many Haitian artists, musicians and entrepreneurs live. Against the backdrop of Caribbean colors and Creole charm, the visitor repeatedly encounters a piece of Afro-Caribbean religion. Between family-run grocery stores and restaurants, you can sometimes even feel a little of the magic of voodoo. The pride of the church is this Caribbean Marketplace: an open-air replica of the famous Iron Market in Port-au-Prince. littlehaiticulturalcenter.com

Coconut Grove: South of downtown is Miami's oldest community Coconut Grove. Known as an artists' colony at the time of its wedding, the culturally diverse place today attracts tourists and locals alike. Numerous restaurants and cafes along the streets invite you to linger after a stroll through the galleries, antique shops, boutiques and bookshops. If you like, you can also be chauffeured through the lively district on a bicycle rickshaw. That lies behind walls made of coral rock Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a 70-room mansion full of European art treasures spanning four centuries. Every February, the neighborhood hosts the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, the largest outdoor art spectacle in the United States, in honor of its artistic roots.

Coral Gables: Red roofs, Mediterranean-style houses, streets named after Spanish cities and conquerors, and a network of waterways where sleek yachts anchor shape the image of Coral Gables. The area known as “City Beautiful”, designed by George Merrick in the 1920s, has some interesting sights to offer: The Venetian pool - for many the most beautiful swimming pool in the world - was designed in 1923 from an old coral quarry and, due to its playful ornaments, fountains, paved bridge, caves and waterfalls, was one of the most glamorous meeting places in the place.

The legendary one is in the immediate vicinity Biltmore Hotel, which hosted illustrious guests such as Al Capone, the Duchess of Windsor and later Judy Garland during its heyday in the 1920s. During the Second World War it served as a military hospital. In 1986 it was extensively renovated and went bankrupt just a few years later. It reopened in 1992. The Biltmore has the largest pool of any US hotel, as film Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller was a swimming instructor and set a world record in the 1930s. www.biltmorehotel.com

The open-air shopping mall only opened in December 2002 The Village of Merrick Park as the latest highlight. More than 100 shops, boutiques and restaurants are grouped around an attractive park with colorful flowers. www.shopsatmerrickpark.com

Food for the head: more bmuseums worth visiting

The Bass Museum of Art in the heart of the Art Deco district offers various temporary exhibitions and an attractive collection of European art and sculptures. www.bassmuseum.org

The Historical Museum of South Florida tells, among other things, the story of the Cuban exiles very vividly. www.historical-museum.org

The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is an art museum dedicated to modern, contemporary, international art of the 20th and 21st centuries. pamm.org

The Jewish Museum of Florida shows the history of the Jews in Florida back to 1763. www.jewishmuseum.com

Not just in MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art, lovers of contemporary art get their money's worth. www.mocanomi.org. That too Miami Art Museum is committed to this. www.miamiartmuseum.org

The Lowe Art Museum belongs to the University of Miami and shows works of art from all over the world that are up to 5,000 years old. www6.miami.edu/lowe

The Haitian Heritage Museum describes itself as a Haitian Mecca in Little Haiti, where everyone is invited to marvel at the beauty of Haitian art, whether in the form of historical collections, films, music or books. www.haitianheritagemuseum.org

The renowned Patricia and Philipp Frost Art Museum on the Florida International University campus is dedicated to Latin American and modern American art. www.thefrost.fiu.edu

The Miami Science Museum, houses over 140 interactive scientific exhibits on the subjects of physics, electricity, light, acoustics and anatomy. Astronomy and laser shows are offered daily in the connected planetarium. In addition, the house has the largest natural history collection in South Florida. The attached animal center, which takes care of injured birds of prey and reptiles, is home to 175 animals. www.miamisci.org
It's a pretty bizarre museum Ancient Spanish Monatery in North Miami Beach. The monastery cloister was built near Segovia in Spain from 1133 to 1141. In 1925, the newspaper mogul William R. Hearst bought the building, which was built in the early Gothic-Romanesque style, packed the around 35,000 stones in boxes and had them transported to America. Due to a foot-and-mouth disease that was rampant at the time, the boxes were opened to examine the straw, and the stones were incorrectly packed back. Then the boxes were stored in New York until the decision was made in 1952 to reassemble the largest and most expensive puzzle in the world. The cloister is similar to the original, but some of the stones are still in the garden because they could not be assigned. www.spanishmonastery.com

For the youngest visitors to the city, that is Miami Children's Museum dedicated. www.miamichildrensmuseum.org

Excursions and tours in the surrounding area

Key Biscayne: One of the most famous islands in the Florida Keys archipelago is Key Biscayne. The Rickenbacker Causeway connects the mainland with the island located just a few miles southeast of Miami, which has beautiful beaches. Most impressive is the five kilometers long, very wide beach in Crandon Park in the upper half of the island. At the southern end is the Bill Braggs Cape Florida State Park.

In Key Biscayne is that too Miami Seaquariumwhere you can learn a lot about the wonders of the sea and swim with dolphins. You can also spot sea turtles and manatees here. The aquarium is one of Miami's most famous attractions.

Another sensation are the swamps of the Everglades National Parkfed by Lake Okeechobee. The unique landscape consists of large areas of sedge, interrupted by forest islands and waterways. This biotope is home to many animal and plant species - including more than 400 species of birds and the only crocodile population in the USA.

Biscayne National Park: Dense mangrove swamps protect the coast of Biscayne National Park with the northernmost islands of the Florida Keys. The highlight of the park is the coral reef with its coral formations, myriads of fish and other marine life. The beach wall islands here are untouched, so the corals are healthier and the water clearer than in the underwater parks further south. Glass-bottom boat trips as well as diving and snorkeling trips are offered. All excursions are arranged by the visitor center.

© Photos Andreas Sturmlechner