English Language Blog

Great American Cities – Miami Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

There are so many great cities in the USA, and we’re exploring them one by one here on the English Language & Culture Blog. For this edition, we’re going about as far south as we can to Miami.


Welcome to Miami!

Name – The first inhabitants of the area were the Calusa and the name comes from their word “Mayaimi” which means “Big Water” as they built their villages on the banks of the Miami River.

Location – Miami is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Southeast Florida.

Nicknames – There are a few nicknames associated with Miami. One is the “Magic City” because of its rapid growth – people remarked that the city grew so much in a year it was like magic. Because of its large Spanish-speaking and Latin American populations it is also called “Little Cuba” and “Capital of Latin America.”

Miami Views

Life on the water in South Florida.

Year Founded – The area was incorporated in 1896 after the Florida East Coast Railroad extended into the area bringing development and entrepreneurs. Miami grew from a village of 343 people to a flourishing resort city.

Population – The central city area has a population of 417,700 and the Miami metropolitan area has a total population of 5.5 million. It is the most populous metropolis in the Southeastern United States. The city has the second-highest number of Spanish speakers with Hispanic or Latino people making up 70% of the population. The rest of the population 19.2%  Black or African-American, 11.9% non-Hispanic White and 1% Asian.

Transportation – Miami has an international airport that serves as a major transportation hub and gateway to many international destinations. The port is known as the “Cruise Capital of the World” as it is the largest cruise ship port in the world. Public transportation within the city is operated by Miami-Dade Transit and SFRTA and includes a commuter rail running north to south called Tri-Rail, an elevated people mover around downtown called Metromover, a rapid transit rail called Metrorail and a public bus system called Metrobus.

South Beach

South Beach is a very popular place.

Famous Places – Miami is known for its Art Deco architecture along Miami Beach making it the most popular place in the city. South Beach sits at the southern tip of Miami Beach and is just as popular for shopping, dining, swimming and sunbathing. For shopping most people flock to Bayside Marketplace as it has over 150 specialty and tourist shops.

Wynwood Walls

The amazing Wynwood Walls.

There are several museums such as the Miami Children’s Museum, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the Miami Science Museum.Many artists have moved to Miami in recent years and the Wynwood Walls area has been transformed in to a graffiti and street art hot spot.

For visitors looking for green space, head to Bayfront Park which has a fountain and an area for hosting outdoor concerts. The Freedom Tower is the oldest skyscraper in the Southeast United States and served as the immigration processing center for Cuban refugees in the 1960’s. Because of the large influx of Cuban people there is a Little Havana and Calle Ocho which are well worth a visit.

Miami Art

The city loves artists!

Culture – Miami has a very diverse culture. It has everything from music, cuisine, arts, museums and has been featured many times in popular culture. Many different music styles were brought by the many immigrants to the city, popularizing them in American culture. Many types of music come from Miami such as Miami Disco, dance music, electro, hip-hop and different types of electronic dance music (EDM). The cuisine of Miami is representative of its diverse population and is heavily influenced by Latin American and Caribbean cuisines. The combination of these two cuisines with American cuisine has created a unique cooking style called Floribbean cuisine and can be found all over South Florida.

Sports Teams – Miami is host to four major sports teams:

  • NFL – Miami Dolphins
  • NBA – Miami Heat
  • MLB – Miami Marlins
  • NHL – Florida Panthers

There is also a Major League Soccer team led by David Beckham. The Miami Heat play at the American Airlines Arena which is in downtown Miami. The arena also hosts many concerts and is a popular tourist attraction. The team has been very successful in recent years, winning the NBA Championship in 2006, 2012, and again in 2013.


Have you ever been to Miami? What did you think of the city? If not, would you like to go there? Leave us a comment and let us know!


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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.