You might think you know a thing or two about picturesque Miami, Florida, but let us tell you: for every thing you know about the city, there’s a lot more that you don’t.
If you’re plotting a visit to Miami, and you want to wow your fellow travelers with your knowledge of the city, we’ve got you covered.
Without further ado, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about this sun-soaked sliver of South Florida.
1. It Was Founded by a Woman
Miami was founded by American businesswoman Julia Tuttle, who convinced oil mogul Henry Flagler to extend his railroad from Central Florida down to the Miami area. According to most sources, it’s the only major American city to have been founded by a woman.
2. It’s Named After the Mayaimi People
Miami is named after the Mayaimi people, a Native American tribe that lived around Lake Okeechobee until the 17th or 18th century. According to some sources, the term Mayaimi actually translates to “big water.”
3. It Grew Remarkably Quickly
Back in 1900, just four years after it was founded by Julia Tuttle, Miami was home to just 1,681 people. By 1980, it’s population had exploded to 346,865, and today, it’s home to over 450,000 people. The city’s extremely rapid growth is what earned it the nickname “The Magic City.”
4. It Has The Warmest Winters in the United States
It’s no secret that Miami is warm—that’s one of the main reasons so many tourists flock to it every year. That being said, Miami actually has the warmest winters in all of the United States. So next time the cold had got you down, Miami might be the best choice for a winter getaway.
5. It’s the Cruise Capital of the World
The port of Miami is the largest passenger port in the entire world. In 2017, before the pandemic slowed the cruise industry down, roughly 5 million passengers passed through the city. Figures like that have earned a reputation as the cruise capital of the world.
6. It’s Bordered by Two National Parks
Miami is bordered by not one, but two national parks. To the west is the famous Everglades National Park, and to the east is the stunning Biscayne National Park. It’s the only city in the United States to bordered by two such parks!
7. The Sand on Miami Beach is Imported
Miami Beach is known for its beautiful white sand, but that sand doesn’t occur naturally in the area. Most of the sand on the areas beaches was important from other parts of the Caribbean—with a price tag of more than $11 million. Luckily, the postcard-worthy views have definitely justified that cost.
8. It’s The Birthplace of Many Businesses and Inventions
Miami is the birthplace of a long list of businesses and inventions. For example, it’s the location of the first-ever Burger King, and the place where sunscreen was invented (which certainly makes sense, given the amount of sunlight the city gets).
9. It’s a Hub For Art Deco Architecture
There are over 800 Art Deco buildings in Miami beach—the largest collection of this kind of architecture in the world. Of course the city is also home to plenty of glitzy new condos, too.
10. There Are No Basements
You won’t find many basements in Miami. Because the city is so close to sea level, it’s not easy to dig or build more than a few feet underground.