The world awaits...
North and South, East and West converge in South Florida, creating an energy unlike that of any other location. Ours is a place of economic growth, with thriving business and financial districts - and an abundance of career opportunities. It is home to a conglomeration of the world's cultures, offering an unparalleled diversity of ethnic backgrounds, religions, cultural traditions and lifestyles. With temperatures averaging 75-80 degrees year round, South Florida offers a never-ending calendar of events.
You can explore sailing on Biscayne Bay, hiking in the Everglades National Park or diving in the Florida Keys. Or maybe you'll venture to South Beach for its art deco architecture, sidewalk performers, world-famous nightclubs or relaxed afternoons by the ocean. Over 40 golf courses, 500 public parks and thousands of miles of paths for biking, jogging or inline skating and the miles of beaches make South Florida an outdoor lover's paradise.
Coral Gables and South Miami
Coral Gables and nearby Miami's strategic location, multicultural and multilingual employee base and high quality of life make them preeminent residential and corporate sites. Today, global leaders in communications, computers, information, transportation, banking and hospitality, as well as manufacturers and exporters are all prominent parts of industry here.
The Downtown Coral Gables area is also noted for fine art galleries, which are a feature of Gables Gallery Night on the first Friday of each month. The events bring in thousands of people to view the works of local and international artists. Coral Gables gently winds down after-hours as a mellower mood takes over. Energy is redirected to quieter pursuits - live music in an art cafe, smooth jazz in a supper club or a film in one of the city's three art cinemas.
Check out any list of fine restaurants and you will see that Coral Gables has a selection of highly rated dining establishments. Coral Gables restaurants appear on the culinary map for a variety of cuisines: French, Spanish, Brazilian, Caribbean, Cuban, Italian and classic steak houses. Their elegant ambience and exacting service are taken for granted in a city dedicated to fine living.
The Biltmore Hotel is a signature building in the Coral Gables area, it is both a historic landmark and a popular site for international business conferences, presentations and University of Miami events.
Actors' Playhouse on Miracle Mile this theatre has received critical acclaim from the South Florida Critic's Association receiving numerous Carbonell Awards in recognition of creative excellence for main-stage productions. GableStage provides South Florida with classical and contemporary theatrical productions.
The Venetian Pool, Built in the early 20's, is listed as a Historic Place in the National Register and one of Coral Gables most beautiful sites.
Fairchild Tropical Garden is one of the world's premier botanic gardens, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants.
A few blocks from the university in South Miami, Sunset Place offers 502,000 sq. ft. of shopping space, featuring specialty shops, fine dining and entertainment set in an attractive open-air, three-level streetscape. Anchored by AMC 24 Theaters, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, GameWorks, IMAX Theater, Nike Town, Virgin Megastore and Z Gallerie. “Sunset,” as it is called locally, offers over 60 specialty stores and restaurants catering to all ages. This retail/entertainment center is host to nightly laser-light shows and weekly musical entertainment. South Miami itself is home to many shops, restaurants, movie theatres and coffeehouses.
UM sponsors a shuttle from campus to Sunset Place on Saturday nights.
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In Downtown Miami, UM's medical campus consists of 12.5 acres within the 67-acre University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center complex.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens - An Italian Renaissance palace furnished with priceless European art and antiques, and Italian Baroque landscaping.
Low buildings and storefronts recall Miami's origins as a trading town. On West Flagler Street the original 1920s Olympia Theater has become the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, a venue for concerts and performances.
A few blocks away, the Miami-Dade Cultural Center is cornered by the graceful arches, Spanish tile roofs and salmon-colored stucco of the City of Miami's expansive main library. On the same piazza resides the Miami Art Museum displaying exhibits of international art, while the Historical Museum of Southern Florida combines the tapestry of local and regional history through permanent and special exhibits.
Across Biscayne Boulevard, the American Airlines Arena houses popular music concerts, operas, Disney on Ice, tennis exhibitions, the Soul Beach Festival and all the concentrated intensity of the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat, the WNBA's Miami Sol and 19,600 of their closest friends. Football is celebrated in the Orange Bowl, home of the University of Miami Hurricanes team.
On Biscayne Boulevard, Bayside Marketplace next to Bayfront Park, borrows from the past as it looks to the future. The open-air shopping and entertainment complex built on the site of Pier 5 fishing pier, one of Miami's most popular tourist spots in the 1950s, is now a waterfront destination for gift shopping, dining and enjoying outdoor performances. Here you can browse through shops and pushcarts selling everything from T-shirts to souvenirs.
Just a few minutes north of downtown, the city's historic Buena Vista Village, is the charming setting for The Miami Design District, overflowing with exciting interior design showrooms and stores; art studios and galleries; movie production and theatrical costume companies and more. Here you find interesting furniture, carpets, lighting, fabrics and cutting-edge design accessories, presented in a stylish environment. Don't miss a unique opportunity to explore the area's vast galleries during Gallery Night at the Miami Design District, taking place the second Friday of each month.
Miami's diversity inspires dining delights in a variety of culinary styles from sophisticated to casual. Fine restaurants, grills, bistros and bayside cafes feature flavorful food served in attractive surroundings making Downtown Miami an area of good taste. The James L. Knight International Center is a venue for concerts and sporting events.
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A few miles north of UM, the village of Coconut Grove is home to artists, writers and musicians. Graced with bicycle paths, charming sidewalk cafe and a vibrant nightlife, “the Grove” is teeming with UM students on weekends. UM sponsors a shuttle from campus to the Grove on Saturday nights.
CocoWalk - Offering a variety of nearly 40 shops, restaurants, nightclubs, cafes, sports bars, boutiques, and a cinema-plex, CocoWalk also features daily live entertainment. From bands and musical performers inside the nightclubs to strolling artists, artisans, musicians, sports stars and visiting celebrities throughout the courtyard.
The Coconut Grove Playhouse - A landmark from its glorious beginning in 1927 with the Paramount Enterprises chain of movie palaces to its elaborate conversion to a venue for live theater.
Coconut Grove's waterfront parks offer the best vantage points for observing manatees, wildlife and the sailboats in Biscayne Bay. Dinner Key, originally the base for Pan American World Airways' seaplane flights from Greater Miami in the 1930s, now houses Miami City Hall, which was converted from the original hangar. Earlier Grove history is evident at The Barnacle, the 110-year old home of pioneer Commodore Ralph Munroe.
The grandest home of all is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the Italian Renaissance-style villa built by millionaire James Deering in 1916. Set on 10 acres of formal gardens and fountains with Biscayne Bay as backdrop, the 70-room estate is filled with fabulous furnishings and antiques. Vizcaya was purchased by Miami-Dade County in 1952 and opened to the public as museum. Nearby, the Miami Museum of Science & Space Transit Planetarium features hands-on exhibits on everything from robotic dinosaurs to virtual reality basketball, as well as star and space shows.
Festivals and street fairs such as the extraordinary Coconut Grove Arts Festival; the Coconut Grove Food and Music Festival (formerly Taste of the Grove); the Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival and the Banyan Arts Festival, add to Coconut Grove's excitement.
There's nothing dull about shopping in Coconut Grove: from motor-bikes to fine jewelry, antique books to gourmet foods, cutting-edge style to classic clothes - the specialty stores on the downtown streets offer an exhilarating range of merchandise. In both CocoWalk's open-air enclave and the Streets of Mayfair strolling zone, shopping is part of the total dining and entertainment experience. Look for stores featuring some of the best known names in retailing, and individually owned shops that epitomize sophistication and cool. And when the joys of shopping fade, you can head for one of the bars or restaurants and round it all off with a movie.
Dining and Night Life
Coconut Grove's variety and originality is reflected in the dining choices offered by its fine restaurants, themed eateries, sports bars and casual outdoor cafes. On the menu find French, Italian or Spanish-inspired cuisine; Mexican and American dishes and seafood. In the Grove eating out is always in good taste.
Night life revolves around fun and funky neighborhood bars livened up with jazz, salsa and reggae. Nocturnal pursuits focus on the Grove's favorite pastime of seeing and being seen.
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Miami Beach and North Miami Beach
South Pointe Park is a great place to witness Miami's central location as the trade capital of Latin America while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Miami Beach. From the park-like setting with picnic tables and paths for walking and rollerblading, watch the cruise ships float in and out of Government Cut. If you get hungry, there is a wide assortment of restaurants serving food for all tastes. The outdoor tables at Smith & Wollensky's, famous for its steak and crab lunches, have an awesome view of the harbor.
North Miami Beach is a mixture of history, art and entertainment. Visit the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere, the Ancient Spanish Monastery. Dating back to 1141, the monastery was brought from Spain to the United States in pieces by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and in 1954 rebuilt on its current site. The North Miami Beach Performing Arts Theater presents a full program of shows during the winter season. There is a large residential business and shopping area that includes The Mall at 163rd Street for shopping, Greynolds Park for golfing on the 9-hole par-36 course, or kayaking, biking, or swimming at Oleta River State Recreation Area.
Culture resonates everywhere in Miami Beach. Known for its Art Deco architecture and world-class cuisine, Miami Beach does more than help you learn about diversity, you can experience it. Marvel at art from around the world in the Bass Museum of Art featuring a permanent European art collection or at The Wolfsonian, with its eclectic collection of more than 70,000 objects. Celebrate Jewish history and culture at the Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum, located in a restored Art Deco synagogue, and The Holocaust Memorial, built around a sculpted hand reaching skyward. Broadway shows, concerts, expositions, and special events are featured year-round at the Jackie Gleason Theater, Miami Beach Convention Center, or Lincoln Theater. The Alliance Cinema specializes in foreign, art, documentary, and independent films. Every second Thursday, the streets of Miami Beach turn into a celebration of culture with open dance, music and theater rehearsals, lectures, and art gallery openings and receptions.
South Beach has more to offer than a trendy nightlife and award winning beaches. It is a favored location for film, music, television, and print production. Talented musicians and singers perform live both in clubs and on the streets. Spilling out from hotels, bars and clubs, you can hear all types of eclectic music ranging from house music to rock to jazz. Both gourmet and casual dining are available in the many restaurants. Although stone crabs are a South Beach specialty, there is cuisine inspired by Italy, France, China, Thailand, Cuba and Latin America.
SoBe's designer district, which spans Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Ocean Drive is lined with shops and boutiques that carry everything from high fashion pieces to limited edition merchandise. The largest concentration of 1920s and 1930s architecture in the world is in South Beach's own Art Deco Historic District. The Lincoln Road Shopping District is a pedestrian-only strip of boutiques, bookstores, art galleries, and home design shops. On weekends, Lincoln Road features popular antique shows. Espanola Way is a block of New Age and retro stores designed in the style of a Spanish village.
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South Miami-Dade offers numerous parks, ocean beaches, tropical gardens and wildlife sanctuaries. The Florida Keys and coral reefs, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Miami Seaquarium, and the Museum of Science are readily accessible for outdoor activities.
From Parrot Jungle and Gardens, radiant parrots alight on your shoulders to Monkey Jungle, where our species closest cousins roam free, nature ceases to be a spectacle and becomes a wonder. Fairchild Tropical Garden and nearby Deering Estate at Cutler are havens of rare and exotic vegetation. Miami MetroZoo is rated one of the top 10 zoos in the country and nearby the Gold Coast Railroad Museum is a living tribute to South Florida's history. Created by a lovelorn immigrant to Miami, the historic Coral Castle, carved from two million pounds of oolitic limestone, is a monument to enduring faith. Speed reigns supreme at The Homestead-Miami Speedway Complex home to NASCAR, Indy and other motorsports events including the Grand Prix of Miami, Pennzoil Miami 400 and NASCAR Winston Cup Race.
Inside of an hour's drive of Greater Miami is the largest wilderness in the eastern US. Everglades National Park, set aside in 1947 as one of the nation's largest parks, is home to many rare and endangered species.
Enter the Park at Shark Valley just off the Tamiami Trail and hike, bike or take a two-hour guided tram ride. For a different view of the 'Glades start from the Visitor Center at the Park entrance southwest of Florida City and drive the 38 miles through Long Pine Key to Flamingo, overlooking Florida Bay. A lodge, restaurant and marina distinguish this outpost. This is also a popular base for taking in the untouched beauty of the Everglades by canoe or on guided hiking trips.
Biscayne National Park, surrounding the northernmost coral reef in the U.S., is 95 percent underwater and best explored by boat. Glass-bottomed boat tours run regularly. Diving and snorkeling are also accessible.
At Miccosukee Indian Village and Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation you can safely patrol the sawgrass in swamp buggies or on air boats and observe local alligator wrestling acts. At the Everglades Alligator Farm, you can see 2,500 alligators, snakes and reptiles all on a working farm.
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Northwest and West Miami
Miami International Airport, is a short distance from UM, and provides non-stop access to international markets and operations. Handling more than 33 million passengers and 1.8 million tons of cargo annually, the airport is ranked the second airport in the United States for international passenger traffic, and first for international freight traffic.
Watch the world's fastest game at the Miami Jai Alai Fronton just east of the airport. Nearby Tamiami Park is a major venue for a variety of shows and events and the annual Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition in the spring.
Dolphin Mall, Mall of the Americas, Westland Mall and Miami International Mall maintain Miami's reputation as a shopper's paradise.
Miami's Hialeah area has a unique Latino culture and Spanish is the main language spoken on the streets, the supermarkets, and the cafes. Beautiful Hialeah Park, a race track and historic landmark dating back to 1925, and home to hundreds of pink flamingoes is a staple of this small community.
In Miami Lakes, Main Street orients visitors to the curvy residential streets, expansive corporate parks and lakes. You can enjoy fine dining and shopping in the quaint ambience created by old-fashioned lamps, colorful striped awnings and brick sidewalks. Live entertainment is a weekly mainstay and art and music festivals can be enjoyed year-round. Miami Lakes' golf courses are among South Florida's best.
The highways northeast of Miami Lakes lead to two major sporting facilities: Dolphin Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins and the Florida Marlins; and Calder Race Track, for thoroughbred racing.
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