Miami Downtown

Miami, the city of gleaming skyscrapers, palm-lined avenues, and endless beaches, attracts millions of tourists every year. However, behind this vibrant facade lie numerous fascinating facts and interesting features. Let’s dive into the world of amazing Miami and discover some interesting facts about this magnificent city.

The founding of Miami

The founding of Miami in 1896 itself presents a captivating history and an interesting fact.

In 1891, Julia Tuttle from Cleveland, Ohio, expanded her land to 640 acres by acquiring a vast citrus plantation. After acquiring new lands, Tuttle attempted to persuade Henry Flagler to extend the Florida East Coast Railway to Miami, but she was initially refused.

In the winter of 1894, due to abnormal cold snaps in Florida, almost the entire citrus crop was destroyed. The only area that was not affected by the frost was the Miami area, and Tuttle’s plantation was the only one whose fruits managed to reach the American market. Tuttle then approached Flagler again, and he agreed to extend the railway to Miami and build a resort hotel there. By 1896, the first train with Flagler on board had arrived in Miami.

On July 28, 1896, as a result of a vote at a joint meeting, Miami was granted city status. The right to vote was given to all males living in Miami and Dade County. After the affirmative decision, steps were taken to establish a city government, the official name “The City of Miami” was given, and the city’s boundaries were defined. The first residents of the city of Miami were 444 people.

The city was named after the Native American Mayaimi tribe, which lived in the area until the 17th or 18th century. The tribe received its name from Lake Okeechobee, which was called “mayaimi,” or “big water.”

Miami is the only major city in the United States founded by a woman.

Interesting facts about Miami

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most interesting facts about Miami:

  • Many beaches in Miami Beach were artificially created.
    The territory of South Florida is mostly swampland, and almost all of the land that the city now occupies was created manually. As a result, some of the beaches require regular replenishment of sand.
  • Miami was built on money from drug trafficking.
    Much of Miami was funded by proceeds from drug trafficking from South America. However, that’s all in the past. Miami has long transformed into a city with diverse culture, a strong economy, technological startups, and impressive skyscrapers. Moreover, today, the downtown area of Miami boasts the highest concentration of international banks in the United States.
  • The territory of modern Miami was popular among pirates.
    Blackbeard, Jean Lafitte, Jose Gaspar (Gasparilla), and possibly other famous pirates often visited South Florida to bury their plundered treasures.
  • Miami has the largest collection of Art Deco architecture.
    In 1979, the historic district of Miami Beach, essentially a suburb of Miami, was included in the National Register of Historic Places because it houses the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world, with over 800 buildings constructed between 1923 and 1943.
  • Miami is the only city in the United States surrounded by two national parks.
    Miami is surrounded by two national parks — Biscayne and Everglades. Also nearby Miami is the Big Cypress Swamp, which serves as a refuge for the endangered Florida panther.
  • The birthplace of suntan lotion.
    The world’s first suntan lotion was invented in Miami in 1944 by pharmacist Benjamin Green and was called “Coppertone Suntan Cream.”
  • The birthplace of Burger King.
    The first restaurant of the now globally popular chain “Burger King” opened in Miami in 1954, and just three years later, they introduced their “Whopper” hamburger priced at 37 cents per burger. The headquarters of Burger King is still located in Miami today.
  • Cruise capital.
    The world’s largest cruise ship port is located in Miami. Here’s just a partial list of cruise companies offering cruises from Miami: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, MSC Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Explora Journeys, Holland America Line, Virgin Voyages, and many more.
  • One of the Spanish-speaking centers of the USA.
    Miami is home to the headquarters of companies like Univision, Telemundo, and TeleFutura, as well as many of their production studios. According to 2015 data, over 70% of the city’s residents identified Spanish as their first language. Miami is one of the places in America where conducting business or finding a good job without knowledge of the Spanish language is nearly impossible.
  • The death of Gianni Versace in Miami.
    On July 5, 1997, the renowned fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot and killed on the steps of his mansion, Casa Casuarina, in Miami Beach after returning from a walk along Ocean Drive. Today, his mansion is home to the highly popular Gianni’s restaurant, which is frequented by the designer’s fans.

Day by day, Miami continues to attract people with its sunny beaches, cultural events, diverse cuisine, and picturesque landscapes. This city never ceases to amaze with its unique features and endless opportunities for entertainment and relaxation. Its rich history, cultural heritage, and dynamic atmosphere make Miami an unforgettable place worth visiting and exploring for everyone.