A multicultural city, between fiction and reality
When it comes to Miami, everyone immediately thinks about its beaches and Art Deco architecture. But the city, one of the most populated in the state of Florida, also has many museums, green parks, and other surprising treasures that await you.
An image comes to mind when one mentions Miami: young people with sports-hardened physiques; girls, tanned and lovely, lying on a white sand beach. It's as if fashion models all flock here, looking for the omnipresent sun of Miami's subtropical climate. Though not completely misleading, this image is nonetheless simplistic. For Miami, the most cosmopolitan city in the United States, harbours many riches. Land of tourism, it has also been a haven for immigrants from Cuba and other Latin American countries since the 1960s. Spanish is Florida's second most widely spoken language.
In recent years, tourists have replaced retirees who have always come here for the heat in winter. Movement, vitality, and pleasure are what now characterise Miami, a fashionable and glamorous city. This revival is largely due to Miami Beach. While many show business stars have taken up residence here, they are not the city's main attraction, but rather, it's the Art Deco district, which you must visit. Facing the sea along Ocean Drive is a long line of pastel facades—all superbly renovated. If you have trouble going to sleep at night, go into hotel lobbies and admire the mirrors, chandeliers, and fireplaces. Because, at night, the flashing colour of neon signs makes for an unforgettable show.
Miami's cultural life is similarly vibrant. There are many private foundations and museums here, like the Wolfsonian and the Rubell Family Collection. In recent years, Miami has become an artistic hub due to Art Basel Miami, a major contemporary art fair, which, every December, brings together collectors from around the world. Many galleries have opened here, particularly in the Design District and the Wynwood Art District, both former warehouse districts. Painters and sculptors have workshops here. As usual, the artists were followed by the restaurants and bars, giving the district a new life.
Perhaps, after a few days, you will crave some quiet. If so, it is time to go to the Everglades, with its alligators, or to the Keys, a string of islands south of Miami. Go to legendary Key West, the one farthest away. There hovers the shadow of the writer Ernest Hemingway, who wrote some of his finest works while living there.