Miami is the commercial center of Florida.
The local Latin population is mostly Cuban exiles (which have now become second and third generation locals,) with South Americans from various countries gaining ground. There is also a large Haitian community as well, and many signs and public announcements are in English, Spanish and Creole. There is also a large Caribbean population. Most of them originally from the islands of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Virgin Islands.
Miami has a huge Latin American population, and Spanish is a language often used for day-to-day discourse in many places, although English is the language of preference, especially when dealing with businesses and government. Spanglish, a mixture of English and Spanish, is a somewhat common occurrence, with bilingual locals switching between English and Spanish mid-sentence.
Miami has one primary airport, Miami International Airport (MIA), located in the north center of the city. Depending on flights, it may be easier and/or cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) and drive (45 minutes south) into Miami proper. Miami International Airport tends to be constantly congested and packed there's always people coming and going. Traffic within the airport seems to move as slow as a traffic jam on Friday evenings when everyone is happy they've gotten their paycheck and is dying to get home after a long week of work. As aforementioned it is easier to fly into Fort Lauderdale Airport and take the interstate down to Miami.
Miami has two primary expressways, SR826 (known as the Palmetto Expressway to the locals), which encircles the city and runs North-South and northward becomes East-West and joins to I-95. The other major one is SR836 (also known as the Dolphin), which runs East-West along Miami International Airport and joins the Florida Turnpike Expressway. Interstate 95 (I-95) runs North-South along the East side of the city through downtown after which it becomes State Road US1 on its way to South Miami, Homestead and the Florida Keys. The Florida Turnpike runs North-South along the west side of the city, connecting Miami to Orlando and points North as well as leading to US1, through Homestead and into the Florida Keys. For many Taking Interstate 75 (I-75) is convenient if traveling from cities along the west coast even central Florida, such as Tampa and Orlando. After making it to South Florida it is easy to merge onto I-95 and/or the two State roads.
Buses are available, but often slow and inconvenient. Schedules and routes are available from the Miami-Dade Transit website or by calling (305) 770-3131. The city's public transit train is the Metrorail but serves only selected areas and is not convenient. Taxis are generally expensive, but available at almost any time and place. Car rentals are the most convenient for of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.
There are many things to do in Miami, if not in Miami itself the travel to Fort Lauderdale and the Keys is not far off. Miami is home to many beautiful beaches, such as South Beach and a fun and lively night life. There are numerous dining places and night clubs as well as a drive in theatre for those who want privacy when watching a newly released film. There are lively, outgoing, smiling faces at every corner. For the daytime there are malls, fea markets, and museums to visit. There is also the Sea Aquarium for those who enjoy seeing and learning more about sea life.
Many international cuisines are to be found, with a heavy leaning towards Latin foods, particularly Cuban cuisine. Cuban cuisine to try: a sandwhich cubano (Cuban sandwich), and a cafecito (literally: little coffee, but compares to a strong, sweet expresso.)
Most of the drinking nightlife is centered around South Beach or Coconut Grove. "Cuba Libre" is a popular drink, known to the rest of the world as plain old "Rum and Coke".
Miami is a tourist town and has many hotels, located mostly around the airport area and along Miami Beach. High season (fewer rooms, higher prices,) is during the winter months of November through February, with Summer being the low season. There are a few hostels, all located in South Beach.
Emergency telephone number for fire, police and rescue emergencies is 911.