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Adventures in Awesome, Authentic Miami


Miami is Florida’s big city with palm trees, but it’s also filled with century-old mansions, authentic gardens, vintage hotels, natural pools, funky neighborhoods, vibrant art communities and decadent dining and shopping options.

Known for sun worshippers and bikini-clad in-line skaters parading the Ocean Beach boardwalk, Miami’s international culture, food and entertainment come together at “America’s Rivera.”

However, there is so much more to Miami than its beaches, beautiful people and nightlife.

Historically, Miami is a latecomer to Florida’s growth and even up until the 20th century it was not much more than a trading outpost. Following World War I there was a land boom. People came in droves searching for new opportunities and a respite from the colder climates as developers lured newcomers to buy into the American Dream. Hurricanes and the Great Depression stymied growth for awhile, but with World War II came the construction of military training bases throughout the state and guess what? When the war ended many of those soldiers and sailors returned to the land of sunshine. From the earliest land boom to the post-World War II eras, Miami experienced waves of visitors, many of whom became new residents. These migrations shaped Miami and the state – and to this day, millions continue to be drawn to its beaches enthralled by its magical, tropical allure.

There is plenty to see and enjoy in Miami, but to gain a deeper appreciation of the town and its history, we highly suggest starting with these classic, authentic Florida favorites:

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens

If you are looking for Florida’s tropical paradise, you may want to start at Miami’s Fairchild Gardens. The vast 83 acres (and 11 lakes) create a premier garden setting with a vast selection of tropical plants, flowering trees and palms.

Opened in 1938 and named for Dr. David Fairchild, a foremost botanist of his time, the renowned traveler and plant collector retired to Miami in 1935. Fairchild shared his research and findings with his friend Col. Robert H. Montgomery, who was also an avid plant collector. Inspired by Fairchild, Montgomery founded the botanical garden and named it in honor of his friend.

AuthenticFlorida, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, April 28, 2018