Miami & Key West

Lee-Anne van Vuuren on 18 June 2002

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Miami, being the gateway to South and Central America, was the perfect place for us to visit en-route to Mexico. It is a city full of emotion & colour. It is hot and sexy and has a strong Latin culture. The sunny weather, spicy nightlife and fine dining made it an exciting and exotic destination to visit. Ranging from the big-city, towering skyscrapers of downtown Miami to Little Havana, home to the Cuban community, or to trendy Miami South Beach...it has something for everyone. South Beach is a must with its candy-coloured art deco buildings set against a pure South Florida cloudless sky, dazzling Blue Ocean, white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees. Locals gave us the feeling that nothing could ever be more important than taking a morning run along the beach, sunning oneself or shopping during the afternoon, then having cocktails at The Clevelander and dancing till dawn at Mangos or one of the many celebrity own nightclubs. There were many tours in and around Miami that we could do, such as a the very original Miami Duck City Tour on a Duck Bus which converts into a boat….taking you from a city tour straight into a harbour tour! A day trip to the Everglades National Park was also very interesting. Whilst in Miami, I would definitely recommend a visit to the Keys and in particular, Key West. At every sunset everyone gathers for the never planned, always varied Sunset Celebration on the Mallory Dock. Jugglers, mimes, musicians and street artists move the city to a different beat. The streets, filled with sidewalk cafes, open-air bars, legendary pubs and restaurants come alive. Drama, musicals and comedy appear on the stages. Old town Key West is one of America's true architectural and botanical treasures. On the tiny lanes there are restored old wooden homes with lush tropical trees and flowers. You can also visit Ernest Hemingway’s house where he wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and many of his other famous novels. One of the biggest attractions on the island is a concrete buoy that claims to be the southernmost point of continental USA. The trip itself to Key West was amazing, travelling over a highway that seemed to flow endlessly into the sea, with nothing but sea all around us!! The many tiny islands that we passed along the way were extremely beautiful. I can highly recommend a visit to this part of the world!

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