Practical Information


Appropriately nicknamed “The Sunshine State,” you have more than a 60% chance of sunshine on any given day in Florida. As no part of Florida is far from water, seasons are determined more by precipitation than by temperature. The Florida summer records daily high temperatures around 90 degrees and daily low temperatures around 70 degrees. In the winter, daily highs average around 65 degrees and daily lows around 50 degrees.


Around two-thirds of the Miami populace speak Spanish at home as their first language. As such, Spanish is an essential part of Miami life. Aside from improving your English language skills, you may have to pick up at least some basic Spanish to get around more easily in Miami. Other languages you may come across while living in Miami include Haitian Creole, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, and Arabic. In fact, there are more than 100 different languages spoken in Miami’s households.



Be prepared and know before you go. There’s country specific information for travelers visiting from abroad. Read on for information from the International Travel page from the U.S. Department of State including what to do about a lost passport; emergencies; travel warnings; safety alerts; and information for student travelers. The page includes visa application and waiver information; embassy locations; security and crime information; medical treatment information and more. If you’re a traveler coming from another country be expect the very best trip that you can imagine, but be prepared for any emergency situation that may occur. This link includes an A-Z index that should cover just about any issue that may arise and will help you find valuable resources for everything from receiving mail and medical treatment to finding attorneys and travel alerts. If you’re an American and Miami is the first stop on a trip abroad, you’ll find all the information you need here for planning a safe and swift trip to a foreign country.


All travelers, whether U.S. citizens or international visitors are subject to the laws of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, so before you know the basics before you go. No one likes a surprise when traveling. Some frequently asked questions and resources on their website include information regarding traveling with pets, traveling with children, bringing food into the United States and traveling with medication and everything you need to know about necessary documentation. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection website also includes travel warnings about conditions abroad to be aware of before traveling and what to expect at the airport’s port of entry and Customs and Border Protection. The Department of Homeland Security’s website is a great resource for travelers with questions ranging from how to find overseas travel alert to getting a green card. The “How Do I?” section of the website breaks down topics in alphabetical order including a wide range of security issues and legislation. International Travelers will find the “For Travelers” section of great use. There you’ll find information on everything you need to know for smooth traveling between your country and the United States including how to enter the country from ports of entry including land, air and sea and basic information on visiting the United States.


Stay in touch with work or family and friends and plan ahead for ways to communicate internationally. Today, Internet access to easy to come by and most hotels offer it for free or to purchase at reasonable cost. Look for cafes and coffee shops with sign in the window indicating free WiFi. Travelers can easily stay connected through WiFi options on their portable devices like laptops, iPads and phones with Internet options. Remember that you’ll need an AC adapter for your laptop and a plug adapter for U.S. sockets. Travelers who need to make phone calls have several convenient options. The only cell phones that work inside the United States are GSM tri or quad band models. The most cost effective method is usually to buy a compatible SIM card for the USA (sold by major carriers like AT&T and Cingular) or to buy a no-contract, prepaid phone with a set number of minutes (available form Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile, AT&T and more starting at $15). Phone numbers within the U.S. start with a three digital are code followed by a seven-digit number. To call long-distance (from state to state) you may need to first press 1. 1 is the international country code for USA if calling from abroad. Dial 011 to make an international call from with the U.S., followed by the country code and phone number.

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Design District

Located between Midtown and Wynwood, this little neighborhood is quickly on the rise as one of Miami’s newest luxury designations for shopping. Find a host of stores at the outdoor mall, including Marc by Marc Jacobs, Cartier, Emilio Pucci, Celine, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and more.

Lincoln Road Mall

Lincoln Road is Miami Beach’s outdoor mall with great a shopping and dining options just north of Collins Avenue with tons of well-known retailers, like Kiko, Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, Penguin, Gap, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Athleta and more. After shopping until you drop, try dinner at Spris or one of the other outdoor cafes, then save room for dessert at the Frieze.

Bal Harbour

Arguably the ritziest shopping spots in Florida, you will often find celebrities at this glam indoor-outdoor mall. Packed with major designers, such as Chanel, Chloe, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and many more, Bal Harbour is a luxury shopper’s dream.

Dolphin Mall

Looking for convenient, easy outlet shopping? Dolphin Mall has more than 240 retailers, plus an entertainment center with a movie theater. Go here for a more relaxed pace when it comes to outlet shopping and to score some of your favorite designer and retail labels for less, like Aldo, BCBG Max Azria, Calvin Klein, Peace, Love World and more.

Sawgrass Mills

Sawgrass Mills is located about 30 miles north of Miami in Sunrise, and is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States, providing more than 350 name-brand outlet and off-price retail stores. Many visitors to Miami make the journey up to Sawgrass Mills to experience budget shopping at its biggest and best. With 40 to 60 percent off at stores like Jimmy Choo, Gucci, La Perla, DVF, Kate Spade New York and more, you’ll save while you stock up.


CocoWalk is a unique outdoor shopping area located just south of Miami in Coconut Grove. It features a mix of big retailers like Gap, along with local boutiques such as consignment and antique shops. And the shopping is just the start—there are also plenty of restaurants and a movie theater to explore.

Miracle Mile

Miracle Mile is another great outdoor shopping area, and this one is located just south of Miami in Coral Gables. You will find tons of locally owned boutiques among these tree-lined streets, including several bridal salons, Dominque Boutique and Sweet Boutique for women

Shops at Merrick Park

Also located in Coral Gables, the Village of Merrick Park is a three-story, outdoor shopping mall that is often hailed as a local favorite. Prices are more reasonable than the luxury shops at Bal Harbour; however, the Village is an upscale mall suited for shoppers with mid to high budgets. Featuring high-end department stores, like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom and retailers, like Calypso St. Barth, Coach, Furla and Gucci, this picturesque mall is a great place to spend the afternoon.

The Falls

Another picturesque mall is The Falls, located even farther south in South Miami. You won’t want to miss walking the path winding through the waterfalls (hence the name “The Falls”) at this outdoor mall. Come take a stroll and experience all of the mid-range stores this shopping center has to offer, like Gap, Macy’s, Loft and more.

Aventura Mall

Aventura Mall is not technically in Miami, it’s in Aventura, about 15 miles north of Miami. Generally considered to be the biggest and best indoor shopping mall in South Florida, its more than 300 stores provide something for the luxury shopper and the mid-range shopper alike. Find Burberry, Dior, Fendi, Cartier and more.

Dadeland Mall

Dadeland is sometimes referred to as “the Aventura Mall of the south,” meaning it’s a huge indoor mall, perfect for one-stop shopping. The stores are mid-range, and free parking and convenience to those in the South Miami area definitely make it one of the top places to shop in Miami. Find anchor stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Saks and more.

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitor Bureau (GMCVB) Visitor Center

The GMCVB hosts a limited Visitor Center for Greater Miami and the Beaches. Located in the heart of Miami’s business district, the GMCVB offers brochures, maps and tourism information. We can offer guidance and general assistance with questions you may have regarding your visit to Greater Miami and the Beaches.

Address: 701 Brickell Avenue, Suite 2700,
Miami, FL 33131. 305/539-3000.
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Public safety

Miami-Dade Police Department
9105 NW 25 St.
Doral, FL 33172
Phone: 305-4-POLICE (Non-Emergencies)
Emergencies: 911

Post Office

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