Category Miami the Keys day by day

Miami and South Florida: A Brief History

miami It wasn’t long after Florida became the 27th state in the union that Miami began to emerge as a city. During the war, the U. S. cre­ated Fort Dallas on the north bank of a river that flowed through south­ern Florida. When the soldiers left, the fort became the base for a small village established by William H. English, who dubbed it Miami, from the Indian word Mayami, meaning big water.

In 1822, the Homestead Act offered 160 acres (64 hectares) of

free land to anyone who would stay on it for at least 5 years. Edmund Beasley bit, and in 1868 moved into what is now Coconut Grove. Two years later, William Brickell bought land on the south bank of the Miami River, and Ephraim Sturtevant took over the area called Biscayne...

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Fast Facts

airport See “By Plane,” earlier in this chapter.

AMERICAN express You’ll find American Express offices in down­town Miami at 100 N. Biscayne Blvd. (S 305/358-7350; Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm); 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Har­bour (S 305/865-5959; Mon-Sat 10am-6pm); and 32 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables (S 305/446-3381; Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 10am – 4pm). To report lost or stolen travel­er’s checks, call S 800/221-7282.

area code The original area code for Miami and all of Dade County is 305. That is still the code for older phone numbers, but all phone num­bers assigned since July 1998 have the area code 786 (SUN). For all local calls, even if you’re just calling across the street, you must dial the area code (305 or 786) first...

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Getting Around

By Public Transportation

Officially, Miami-Dade County has opted for a “unified, multimodal transportation network,” which basi­cally means you can get around the city by train, bus, and taxi. However, in practice, the network doesn’t work very well. Things have improved somewhat thanks to the $17 billion Peoples’ Transportation Plan, which has offered a full range of transpor­tation services at several commu­nity-based centers throughout the county, but unless you are going from downtown Miami to a not-too – distant spot, you are better off in a rental car or taxi.

With the exception of downtown Coconut Grove and South Beach, Miami is not a walker’s city. Because it’s so spread out, most attractions are too far apart to make walking between them feasible...

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Getting There

By Plane

Miami International Airport (MIA)

has become second in the United States for international passenger traffic and tenth in the world for total passengers. Despite the heavy traf­fic, the airport is quite user-friendly and not as much of a hassle as you’d think. Visitor information is available 24 hours a day at the Miami Inter­national Airport Main Visitor Counter, Concourse E, second level (S 305/876-7000). Information is also available at www. miami – airport. com...

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Before You Go

Government Tourist Offices Miami: Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, 701 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL 33131. S 800/933­8448; www. miamiandbeaches. com. Greater Miami and The Beaches Hotel Association, 407 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139; S 800/ 531-3553; www. gmbha. org.

Because Miami is such a vast city, some of the more popular neighborhoods have their own chambers of commerce:

• Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, 420 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139; S 305/ 672-1270; www. miamibeach chamber. com.

• Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, 2333 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 650, Coral Gables, FL 33134; S 305/446­1657; www. gableschamber. org.

• Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce, 2820 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove, FL 33133; S 305/ 444-7270; www. coconutgrove chamber. com.

• Fort L...

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Key West Nightlife Best Bets

★ Captain Tony’s Saloon,

428 Greene St. (p 193)

Best Place to Get Lost In Durty Harry’s, 208 Duval St. (p 194)

Best for Live Music

★★★ Green Parrot, 601 Whitehead St. (p 194)

Best Biker Bar

*** Hog’s Breath Saloon, 400 Front St. (p 193)

Best Sports Bar

★★ Island Dogs Bar, 505 Front St. (p 193)

Best Karaoke

★★ Irish Kevin’s, 211 Duval St.

The Green Parrot is known for great live music.

(p 193)

Best Small Space

★ The Lazy Gecko, 203 Duval St.

(p 194)

Best Boater Bar

★★★ Schooner Wharf, 202 William St. (p 193)

Best for Spring Break

★ Sloppy Joe’s, 201 Duval St.

(p 193)

Best Drag Show

801 Bourbon Bar/One Saloon, 801 Duval St. & 514 Petronia St. (p 193)

Best for Campy Entertainment

La Terraza de Marti, 1125 Duval St. (p 193)

Best Gay Dance Club

Aqua...

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Alternative Accommodations

Vacation Key West (У 800/595-5397 or 305/295-9500; www. vacationkw. com) is a wholesaler that offers discounts of 20% to 30% and is skilled at finding last-minute deals. It represents mostly larger hotels and motels, but can also place visitors in guesthouses. The phones are answered Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, and Saturday from 11am to 2pm. Key West Innkeepers Associa­tion (У 800/492-1911 or 305/292-3600) can also help you find lodg­ing in any price range from among its members and affiliates.

Gay travelers may want to call the Key West Business Guild (У 305/294-4603), which represents more than 50 guesthouses and B&Bs in town, as well as many other gay-owned businesses. Be advised that most gay guesthouses have a clothing-optional policy...

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Sleeping Under the Stars

Bahia Honda State Park HHH (У 800/326-3521; www. abfla. com/parks/bahiahonda/bahiahonda. html) offers some of the best camping in the Keys, with more than 500 acres of land, 80 campsites spread throughout three areas, and three spacious and comfortable duplex cabins. Cabins hold up to eight guests each and come complete with linens, kitchenettes, wraparound ter­races, barbecue pits, and rocking chairs. For one to four people, camping costs about $26 per site. Depending on the season, cabin prices range from $75 to $120.

The Oceanside KOA Sugarloaf Key Resort ★★, near MM 20, has 200 fully equipped sites, with water, electricity, and sewer, which rent for about $94 a night (no-hookup sites cost about $84). Or you can pitch a tent on the 5 acres of waterfront property...

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It’s Not Easy Being a Green Hotel

The Gardens (below) is one of the first "Florida Green Lodging

Hotels" in the Keys, meaning the hotel has installed energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the property, uses all "green" cleaning prod­ucts, eliminated plastics and Styrofoam use, educates staff and guests on the importance of recycling, and raises room tempera­tures to 78°F (26°C) when not in use, among other eco-friendly efforts. For more info on the organization and participating hotels, see www. floridagreenlodging. org.

Curry Mansion Inn feels more like a home than a hotel.

★ Doubletree Grand Key Resort KEY WEST This hotel has been renovated with eco-sensitive materials as well as an interior cre­ated to conserve energy, reduce waste, and preserve the area’s natu­ral resources...

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Flavors of the Keys

It’s not a coincidence that Key Lime pie is the official dessert

of Florida; it’s named after the small limes found throughout the Keys. The American Pie Council has continuously recognized Key Lime Pie Co. (MM 22.8, Cudjoe Key; У 305/745-3355) for its pies, but you can also find everything from cookies and candles to mari­nades and lotions—all made from Key limes—at their main bakery in Cudjoe Key, right near Key West. Otherwise, their pies are avail­able in Key West at 5 Brother Grocery (930 Southard St.; 305/ 296-5205).

If you prefer tang rather than tart, Peppers of Key West (602 Greene St.; 305/295-9333) has hundreds of variations of hot sauce, from mild to brutally spicy. Grab a seat at the tasting bar and be prepared to let your taste buds sizzle...

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