15 Fun Facts & Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Miami

Discover something new about this chic beachfront metropolis.

fun facts about miami
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Miami is a destination unlike any other in the United States. This city is known for having an unforgettable nightlife scene and there is a lot more to explore than simply sunny beaches. Initially a swamp, this destination evolved into a tropical paradise. Here are 15 fascinating facts about this exciting city.

1. Over 70% of the population in Miami is Hispanic/Latinx.

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The city is primarily made up of Cuban residents who immigrated to Miami during the 1960s after the Cuban Revolution. Many have stayed, several generations later. According to NBC News, “Miami is a majority Latino city — 70 percent of its population is Hispanic.” What makes the Sunshine City special is the Caribbean culture in an American metropolis, which makes this destination an unforgettable experience.

2. Spanish is a must.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

The city of Miami is bilingual in English and Spanish due to the largely Hispanic and Latinx communities. On the streets, a combination of both languages can be heard. Spanglish is spoken by locals and younger generations to converse more easily. The majority of street signs, menus, and posters are written in both English and Spanish.

3. Third best view In America.

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According to Everywhere Forward,  the best view in the country goes to New York, the runner-up is Boston, and third place is Miami. The skyline combines skyscrapers and beaches that can’t be found anywhere else in the country. The most breathtaking and scenic views in all of Miami are at the bridges connecting downtown to Miami Beach.

4. Sunscreen was invented in Miami.

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In America, the first person to successfully develop a sunscreen was Miami-based pharmacist Benjamin Green, who also served in the Pacific during World War II. When he and his fellow soldiers needed some way to protect against damage from the sun, upon returning home, he developed what we now know as Coppertone.

5. A deep divers’ paradise.

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Photo by Ayman Zaki on Pexels

There is a legend that a man who used to live on Elliot Key sailed to Miami for supplies. A thunderstorm appeared so he docked on a very shallow reef to pick up ballast rocks as a makeshift anchor for his boat. The boat was docked for 6 months before he scraped one of the rocks to discover that it encrusted silver bars. The man died without pinpointing where the treasure was found, however, the area is suspected to be Dry Rocks coral reef near Elliot Key.

6. A longstanding Native American history.

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Photo by Boston Public Library on Unsplash

Even before the influx of Hispanic and Latinx immigrants in Miami, there were a group of Native Americans – or The Timucua – who came from southern Georgia and settled in northern Florida.

The tribe spoke dialects of the same language and they were not united, politically. The community grew much of its own food, but also hunted for meat. When Europeans first arrived in Florida in the 1500s, over 19,000 square miles of land was owned by the Timucua and their population was likely about 200,000. By 1800, the tribe was wiped out of existence with no one to tell their story.

7. Miami has only seen snow once.

snow in miami
Photo by Snow In Miami

On January 19, 1977, snow fell between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. in Miami. Residents believed snow could never fall in this warm city, but they were proven wrong. A cold arctic front reached the Magic City in the early morning and many residents wrote the famous date on the snow-covered windshields of their cars to remember this special day.

8. Basements don’t exist in this paradise.

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Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Florida’s thin limestone foundation means digging for a basement will lead you straight to water. There is also a low elevation across South Florida of only 6ft above sea level. In the state of Florida; there is a high water table which means there are rivers, lakes, and swamps all within close proximity making it difficult to dig for a basement without reaching the water.

9. Some may believe: that the rudest and worst drivers live here.

traffic in miami
Photo by Pontus Wellgraf on Unsplash

According to Florida Toyota Rental, “Drivers here tend to drive however they want and this leads to accidents, road rage, and general stress on the road.” Thus, Miami is often considered to be filled with rushed drivers resulting in over a thousand pedestrian accidents due to cars speeding near crosswalks. Expect drivers to cut in lanes, without the use of indicators, flipping off, honking repeatedly, and much more.

10. There are man-made islands in Miami.

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Photo by Brendon Spring on PexelsPhoto by Brendon Spring on Pexels

The Venetian Islands, Palm Island, and Star Island were all constructed in the 1950s. In the present day, the islands have turned into Millionaire’s Row, which offers 360 scenic views of the cruise port, downtown Miami, and the Atlantic Ocean.

11. The largest Hispanic festival in the country.

Calle Ocho Festival
Photo by Calle Ocho Festival

Calle Ocho is one of the biggest Hispanic festivals in the whole country and dates back to 1978. Initially, the festival was meant to educate South Floridians about Cuban culture, but as the years went on, the festival began to include other Hispanic and Latinx countries.

12. Coconut Grove is one of the oldest inhabited neighborhoods.