Here is a truly excellent tool for getting your bearings, courtesy of Google maps. Click on the link just above to locate neighborhoods, addresses, attractions or other places of interest. A visual “lay of the land” can help you decide exactly where might be your own “place in the sun.”
However you might choose to do a little homework, you may be very glad you did. First, Miami is a big place, geographically. Roughly 40 linear miles (or about 64 km.) of highway connect its northern boundary (let’s say Miami Shores) and its southern tip (at Homestead). In an urban area as intense and convoluted as this one-of-a-kind subtropical metropolis, that covers an awful lot of ground, a journey in space and time that can seem almost surreal.
The place is cobbled together, too, of an astonishing number of different neighborhoods of all kinds, large and small, along the way. In many of those areas you’re just as likely to hear two languages as one, and in some of those English will not be among them.
Then, there’s the traffic. It gets worse and worse. Miami was recently ranked 4th in the nation for congestion in the 2007 National Urban Mobility Report (just ahead of Philadelphia, and second behind L.A.), and that is most definitely not good news.
America’s “Age of the Automobile” only in its infancy, and the city already has serious parking problems! It only stands to reason: Miami is one of the few great cities to have been (essentially) given birth contemporaneously with the car.
“Up the Creek,” with a Car.
All of that said, Miami is indeed a wonderful place, bursting with rare opportunities and blessed with beautiful vistas of land, sea, and Florida’s famously big sky. With just a little forethought, you’ll have done your best to make the memories of your stay here sweet ones. You can always sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or be cut off, cursed out, or generally driven to your wits end back home, or on another trip!