Miami

Glamorous parties on the beach, fab Art Deco architecture and world-class museums and attractions make Miami a must.

Few cities live up to their reputations for sexiness and style, but Miami's Latin rhythms and tropical climate are sure to get your heart pumping. The city's beach rates alongside Sydney's glistening waters: Miami Beach and South Beach are the places to go for world-class people-watching – the sheer numbers of bronzed, bikinied babes and muscle-bound men playing volleyball a la Baywatch will amaze.

But it's not all about a festival of flesh – there are plenty of cultural highlights too, such as the 4-hectare Italian-style Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on Biscayne Bay with its ornate Main House built for a wealthy Industrialist and stunning collection of rare orchids. Architecture buffs flock to the Miami Beach Architectural District. Known as the Art Deco District, the neon signs, pastel colours and clean lines are as appealing now as they were back in the 20s. Many of the best examples along Ocean Drive have been converted into fabulous restaurants and hotels so you can admire them with a cocktail in hand, too.

When it comes to entertaining the kids, the Miami Seaquarium will wow the whole family. Home to aquatic superstars Flipper the dolphin and Lolita the killer whale, both take part in shows throughout the day. Jungle Island is another must for animal lovers. Located near South Beach, the zoo houses rare animals such as white lions and orang-utans that communicate with their keepers using iPads...

If you're in the city in March and love Latin culture, you're in luck. This is when the Little Havana neighbourhood struts its stuff at the Calle Ocho street festival. More than a million people flock to the loud and lively celebration of the music, history and food of Miami's Latin American culture, and it should not be missed.

Away from the beaches and the city's other major attractions there are plenty of other things to do. Flash the plastic at designer boutiques at theMiracle Mall - Miami or rub well-tanned shoulders with celebrities at cutting-edge bars and dusk-til-dawn clubs. Sports fans should catch a Miami Heat basketball game while foodies will drool over the offerings of the city's fashionable and glamorous restaurants. There really is something for everyone.

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Guide to Exploring Miami


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