Interesting Facts about Miami

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The city of Miami has a lot to offer its residents and tourists who come there every year. You can find a lot of information about this city via the internet, but some of the most interesting facts may be unknown to many. Let’s talk about 20 of these interesting facts that you should know before visiting or moving to Miami.

1. The Origins of the Name “Miami”

The Origins of the Name “Miami”

The name “Miami” may have derived from Mayaimi, the historic Native American tribe who lived at the mouth of the Miami River; or from Tequesta that inhabited parts of modern-day Dade County, including what is now Miami Beach, Broward County, and Palm Beach County; or it may have been derived from ochuse (pronounced ou-SHEE-see), which means “Big Water” in Choctaw. [1]

2. Mother of Miami

Mother of Miami

Julia Tuttle, also known as Mother of Miami, was a wealthy widow who moved to what is now downtown Miami in 1891 with her son and daughter-in-law after her husband died. She purchased several hundred acres of marshland and set up housekeeping on a seven-acre homestead between Biscayne Bay and Biscayne Boulevard. [2]

3. Miami and Beaches are Synonymous

Miami and Beaches are Synonymous

Miami is home to more than 100 beaches along its coast. Some of these beaches include El Portal Beach, Virginia Key Beach Park, North Shore Beach Park, South Pointe Park Beach, and Virginia Key Natural Area Preserve.

4. The First Major Hurricane to Strike Miami

The First Major Hurricane to Strike Miami

The first major hurricane to strike Miami was in 1926, when a Category 4 storm hit the city and killed 408 people (at least half of whom were black). This storm was known as the “Great Miami Hurricane” and caused $128 million worth of damage at the time ($2 billion in today’s dollars).

5. The Foundation of Miami

The Foundation of Miami

Miami was founded by a group of investors who wanted to create a tropical resort that would rival those in Cuba and Latin America. They were led by Julia Tuttle, an Ohio widow who had grown up in a log cabin on the edge of Lake Erie. She came to Florida with her family when she was nine years old after they had been evicted from their farm during the Panic of 1837.

6. Xavier Suarez was the First Cuban-American Mayor of Miami

Xavier Suarez was the First Cuban-American Mayor of Miami

The city’s current mayor is Francis Suarez. He took office on November 15th, after being elected on November 7th, 2017. Francis’ father, Xavier Suarez, was the first-ever Cuban-American mayor of the city. 

7. Miami Lies between Two Bodies of Water

Miami Lies between Two Bodies of Water

Miami lies between Biscayne Bay and Biscayne Bay Harbor (east), which together form an estuary that flows into Biscayne Bay; and Government Cut (southwest), a channel through which ocean-going vessels pass from the Atlantic Ocean to Key Biscayne and ultimately to Port Miami for delivery to points north via trucks or trains.

8. Home to Several Famous Latin-American Artists

Home to Several Famous Latin-American Artists

Miami is home to many famous Latin-American artists, including Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan Jr., who have won 13 Grammy Awards for Best Tropical Latin Album; Celia Cruz and Enrique Iglesias, who have won 7 Grammys for Best Latin Pop Album; Shakira who has won 5 Grammy Awards for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Performance; Jennifer Lopez who has won 3 Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance; Daddy Yankee who has won 3 Grammys for Best Urban Music Album; and Pitbull who has won 3 Grammys including one for Best Rap Song.

9. The Story behind the City’s Symbol

The Story behind the City’s Symbol

The city’s symbol is a tree branch with leaves and fruit, which is found on the official seal of the city government. The tree branch symbolizes life, while its leaves represent prosperity and growth. Its fruit represents happiness and abundance. It also represents the different ethnic groups that make up the population of Miami.

10. Miami is a Major Resort Destination

Miami is a Major Resort Destination

Miami became a major resort destination with the opening of the Fontainebleau Hotel in 1954, which was meant to compete with hotels like The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, and The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii (which still exists today). It was designed by Morris Lapidus and featured a rooftop pool. It has since been removed due to safety concerns but is now restored once again!

11. Miami is nicknamed “The Magic City.”

Miami is nicknamed “The Magic City.”

Miami is nicknamed The Magic City, named after its spectacular art deco architecture, vibrant nightlife, and its annual Miami International Boat Show; “Magic City” was also the nickname of Detroit, Michigan, before it went bankrupt. 

It is also called “the Gateway to Latin America” or “The Gateway to the Americas” because of its importance as a cultural and financial center for Latin America, particularly South America; it also has strong ties with Caribbean nations such as Jamaica and Haiti due to immigration from those countries.

12. Miami’s First Skyscraper Was Built in 1925

Miami’s First Skyscraper Was Built in 1925

The Burdines Department Store Building was Miami’s first skyscraper and one of its most iconic buildings. It was built in the 1930s and stood 13 stories high with a distinctive Art Deco style façade. The Burdines building was demolished in 1976 to make way for what is now known as One Biscayne Tower, which stands at 849 feet tall and is currently the tallest building in Miami-Dade County.

13. Miami is home to the Largest Cruise Ship Port in the World

Miami is home to the Largest Cruise Ship Port in the World

The Port of Miami is located just south of Downtown, and there are more than 100 cruise ships that make stops here every year. The Port has been a major gateway for travelers coming to South Florida since its inception in 1960.

14. The Oldest Outdoor Pool on Miami Beach

The Oldest Outdoor Pool on Miami Beach

The Venetian Pool, which opened in 1924, is the oldest outdoor pool on Miami Beach and one of only two saltwater pools left in the area (the other being South Pointe Park). It’s also one of only two pools that allow non-guests to use it for a fee (the other being Porsche Design Tower) because it has been designated as a historical site by the city of Miami Beach.

The Venetian Pool was also featured in an episode of “Modern Family.”

15. Miami’s Oldest Continuously Inhabited Neighborhood

Miami’s Oldest Continuously Inhabited Neighborhood

Coconut Grove is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Miami. It was settled in 1825 by three brothers from Spain’s Canary Islands, who grew sugar cane, oranges, and coconuts there (hence the name). The area has many historic buildings, including the Biltmore Hotel and Villa Vizcaya, which are now museums.

Coconut Grove also has many parks and gardens with old trees. These include McArthur Park and Peacock Park. There are many palm trees that provide shade for people to relax under them. Coconut Grove has been called “The City in a Garden” because of all these parks and gardens.

16. The Climate of Miami

The Climate of Miami

Miami has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with hot and humid summers and warm, dry winters. The city averages 68 inches (1.7 m) of rain per year, most of which occurs between June and October. Much of the vegetation in Miami is tropical due to its proximity to the equator and its location on the southern mainland of North America near the Gulf Stream current.

17. Miami is Fully Packed with Restaurants and Entertainment Options

Miami is Fully Packed with Restaurants and Entertainment Options

Miami is home to more than 800 restaurants — including more than 350 restaurants on Brickell Avenue alone! And there’s no shortage of entertainment options either: Miami has more than 80 performing arts venues and hosts more than 20 annual festivals each year.

18. Miami has all the Diversity in the World

Miami has all the Diversity in the World

The Miami Metro area’s ethnic mix is as diverse as its restaurants. In fact, it is often referred to as “one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in the nation.” Its population includes more than 100 different languages spoken by almost half of its residents!

19. Iguanas Roam Freely Through the Streets of Miami

Iguanas Roam Freely Through the Streets of Miami

Miami is home to more than 1,000 iguanas that have been domesticated by humans. They’re called “urban lizards,” and they roam freely through the city streets at night, looking for food and water from people’s gardens, patios, and poolside bars.

20. Say Hello When you see an Alligator Walking in Miami

Say Hello When you see an Alligator Walking in Miami

There are more than 100 alligators living in the storm drains underneath downtown Miami streets — so if you see one while walking down Biscayne Boulevard at night during a rainstorm, don’t worry: It’s probably just one of those urban lizards who escaped from its owner’s yard!

In fact, Miami Beach police and wildlife officials captured an unwanted visitor who had been seen swimming in the Atlantic Ocean near South Pointe Park Pier.

It is not surprising that so many people want to live in Miami—in a city renowned for having beautiful weather and being a great place to live. Add in the arts, shopping, and nightlife, and it is no wonder why over 330,000 people are moving to Miami each year! We hope you enjoy our list of facts about Miami.

References

  1. https://fcit.usf.edu/florida/lessons/miami/miami.htm
  2. https://www.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/ingraham/expedition/TuttleJ.htm

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