What Is Miami Known For? (19 Things It’s Famous For)

Miami is the epitome of a coastal metropolis. It has a large population, a collection of high-rise buildings, and leading figures in the urban economy, culture, and arts. It is also home to various tourist attractions, ranking second as the best tourism hub for international guests in the United States, next to New York City. Miami is a ridiculously wealthy city in most aspects. It has a booming economy, a dynamic arts and culture scene, delectable food and drinks, and enticing sights of pristine beaches, a spectacular skyline, luxurious malls, and high-end hotels to tie it all up together.

Miami is known for its being the “Cruise Capital of the World,” with PortMiami being the busiest port, receiving a large crowd of passengers and cruise lines daily. The city is equally famous for its pristine beaches, eclectic nightlife, and luxurious experiences. You will never get bored coming here and enjoying the high life.

Founded by a Woman

Miami is the only major US city founded by a woman, Cleveland, Ohio native Julia Tuttle. She owned the land from which the town was built and incorporated on July 28, 1896. She was a wealthy citrus grower who convinced American industrialist and railroad chief Henry Flagler to extend the Florida East Coast Railway project to the region. For owning the land and for the opportunity to become a significant economic player in the state and the whole country, the city considers Tuttle, the “Mother of Miami.”

The Land of Promise and High-Rise Buildings

Even before civilization came in full blast in Miami, it was associated with a bright future. The area held a promise. Historically known as Biscayne Bay Country, it was also impressed as one of the finest building sites in Florida. True enough, the Miami skyline is one of the biggest in the US, with around 300 high-rise structures, 58 of which are over 150 meters. Its tallest skyscraper is Panorama Tower, which stands 265 meters tall.

9 of the 10 Tallest Buildings in Florida are in Miami

Miami started its love affair with high-rise structures in 1912 when they completed the six-story Burdine’s Department Store. Other skyscrapers followed, the most popular of which is the Freedom Tower, a 78-meter stunner at Biscayne Boulevard built-in 1925. It was initially the printing headquarters for The Miami News but is now listed as a National Historic Landmark, and used as a contemporary art museum. Before everyone knew it, the Miami skyline gets populated with towering structures. 9 of the 10 Tallest Buildings in Florida are from Miami. Only Muse Residences of Sunny Isles Beach was from another city.

Tall, Taller, Tallest

If you think Miami has enough tall buildings already, think again. The site works for several buildings 50 stories and up are ongoing. The 66-story Aston Martin Residences located downtown is the tallest residential building and the second tallest building both in the city and in Florida. The tallest is the 85-story Panorama Tower in Brickell District, which surpassed all the skyscrapers in the city in 2017. But it could not rest on its laurels for long because a 100-story Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Residences Miami will soon soar on 5th St. at 320 meters.

The Magical Miami

Miami has been known as “The Magic City” for as long as it was incorporated. Interestingly, the man who gave it its oldest nickname, freelance writer Ethan Vernor Blackman, had never been to the place when he gave it the tag. Railroad tycoon Henry Flagler requested Blackman to write an article about the still unnamed city situated between Biscayne Bay and Miami River. Attached were pictures and blueprints, which Blackman felt enthusiastic about, he referred to it as the “Magic City.” Other publications picked up the name as the city progressed, which happened overnight, like magic.

The Many Other Nicknames of Miami

Apart from “The Magic City,” Miami uses many other nicknames. It is called the “Cruise Capital of the World” for hosting the largest port passenger and cruise lines traffic at the PortMiami. It is also known as the “Capital of Latin America” for having the largest Cuban-American population. Other nicknames include: “The City of Pleasant Living,” “The Gateway to the Americas,” “Little Cuba,” “Little Havana,” and “The Enchanted Tax City.”

The Miami Manmade Beach, Seriously?

Miami is popular among tourists from all over the globe, mainly for its pristine beaches. But did you know they are manufactured? You read that right. What you know today as Miami beaches was a slender sandy coast populated with mangroves, mosquitoes, and crocodiles. Entrepreneur Carl Fisher saw the area’s potential and developed it, erasing most traces of nature. In place was a stunning sandbar that never fails to impress millions of people who come in droves to experience the Miami beach life.

The True Pleasure of the Miami Beach

Artificial or natural, you cannot deny how alluring the Miami beach is. It is the top choice for tourists for its supreme experience of sidewalk bars and cafés, food trucks and concession stands, and a handful of historical sites. The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is an iconic hotel worth checking out, with almost seven decades of history, standing along the Millionaire’s Row with such an outstanding oceanfront view and experience. Miami Beach is also the best place to enjoy watersports and activities like swimming, kayaking, and surfing.

From North to South, Calm to Energetic

The North and South beaches are known for different things. While the North Beach is a calm place to relax and unwind, the South Beach offers countless amenities to keep you awake all night. In addition, the North Beach is not too crowded while the South Beach is teeming with the party crowd who love hanging out at the world’s most renowned clubs. Therefore, going North or South is a decision depending on the kind of experience you are aiming for.

More Than Half of the Locals Speak Spanish!

Miami prides itself on the large waves of immigration from various Hispanic regions. Latin Americans and their descendants have also run their local government for many years. Plus, there are many Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Colombians, and Brazilians who call the city home up to this day. So it is no longer surprising that 60% of the local population speaks Spanish rather than English. If you are to do business, work, or live in Miami, you better brush up on your foreign language skills. You will need it.

The Sunshine City Offers Diverse Sports Activities

Owed to the fact that it gets a large amount of sunshine the whole year through, Miami is one of the most diverse cities offering a wide range of sports activities both on land and water. There are opportunities for basketball, baseball, football, tennis, horse racing, and bowling as much as there are for free diving, fishing, kayaking, boating, snorkeling, and water skiing. As a result, the city produced some of the greatest athletes in history: NFL great Dan Marino, NBA legends Dwayne Wade and LeBron James, and Miami Dolphins’ pride Jason Taylor and Larry Csonka.

Miami Only Had One Snowfall Ever Recorded

It would not be called “The Sunshine City” for nothing. Miami enjoys a tropical monsoon climate that gives off wet and hot summers and dry and warm winters. In addition, it never had single-digit or triple-digit temperatures, which means it does not know what extreme weather conditions are all about. In addition, the city only had a one-time experience of snowfall between 8 and 9:30 am on January 19, 1977. Although short-lived, the snow caused about $300 million worth of agricultural damages in the citrus industry.

Miami: A Major Hub of Finance and Commerce

Miami’s solid global business community put it on top in terms of economy. It is the second-richest US city and third globally based on purchasing power. Downtown Miami has a large concentration of international banks and national and international macro enterprises. The economy may be fueled by tourism, but agriculture, international trade, and media industries are also at the forefront.

The Wreckreational Diving Capital of the World

The Miami reefs and wrecks host some of the most exciting diving experiences, earning the city “The Wreckreational Diving Capital of the World” tag. Diving is a popular “Miami Vice,” an activity well-loved by locals and tourists alike. The beautiful diving conditions and the equally beautiful life underneath make the city the most sought-after dive destination. It has the third-largest coral reef and over 50 divable wrecks. What more can you ask for?

Miami’s Dynamic Art and Culture Scene

Miami is a hub for a dynamic art and culture scene. It has impressive street art and high culture that keeps everyone entertained throughout the year. You can roam around The Bass, The Wolfsonian, and the Jewish Museum of Florida to discover notable works and masterpieces. You may also visit around the last week of November and towards the first week of December to experience the Miami Art Week, highlighted by a flurry of art activities. The Miami Beach Culture Crawl held every third Thursday from October to May is a great reason to come for a cultural visit.

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival

One of Miami’s more significant events is the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. It is a five-day celebration for all senses held at Miami Beach towards the end of February. It features wine seminars, fitness activities, dinners, live auctions, etc. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival started as a one-day event from 1997 to 2001 as Florida Extravaganza. It was 2002 when it was renamed and relocated to South Beach. Since then, it has never looked back and was constantly hailed as the biggest and most recognized wine and food festival in America.

7 of the 10 Original Burger King Locations Are Still Open

Before Burger King exploded to have 14,000 locations worldwide, it opened its first Miami store, then named Insta-Burger King, on 36th Street on December 4, 1954. It was only a few months after the burger chain was founded in Jacksonville on July 23, 1953. Of the ten original stores that opened in the 1950s in Miami, seven are still in the same spot. The first store, however, had already relocated to 27th Street.

Of Key Lime Pies and Latin Dishes

The Miami culinary scene is definitely interesting. It is peppered with Key West’s key lime pies, served tarty, sweet, creamy, and crunchy, plus a handful of Latin favorites, which are all over. From arepas to fritas to Cuban sandwiches—you will never get short of delicious dishes to try at widely varied food stops that dotted the streets. But, of course, ceviche and stone crabs are also considered the city’s most iconic dishes.

The Miami Vice

Unlike earlier, we are not talking about the local’s love affair with the diving scene of the city. Instead, it is about the favorite cocktail drink you must try when visiting the Miami beaches. It is a beautiful mix of ingredients that puts it up between a piña colada and a strawberry daiquiri. Other notable drinks include the Rum Runner, the Cafecito, and the all-time tropical treat Mojito.