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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Miami

January 1 : New Year's Day (national holiday)

Third Monday in January : Martin Luther King Day (national holiday)

A federal holiday in the United States, celebrating the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. In recent years, it has increasingly been seen as a day of service, when Americans are encouraged to volunteer to help others less fortunate than themselves. It is also celebrated in Miami with a colourful parade, including floats, marching bands, athletes and cheerleaders on foot, cars and fire trucks bearing local politicians, union leaders and activists, dance and music performances. Once the parade reaches its destination in Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, revellers can enjoy food, activities for children and further entertainment.

January/February : Chinese New Year (celebrated nationwide in major cities)

Miami rings in the Chinese New Year with dragon parades, lion dances, tai chi demonstrations, food and entertainment. The largest celebration takes place at the Kendall campus of Miami Dade College and is jointly hosted by the Confucius Institute and the Chinese Cultural Foundation in Miami.

Second weekend in February : Miami International Boat Show (local event)

No serious boating enthusiast would want to miss this five-day event, one of the largest shows of its kind in the world, a chance to ogle cruising, racing and sailing boats, catamarans and yachts, check out the latest maritime products and take in any number of hands-on activities, including seminars, boating clinics and sailing lessons, all in lovely South Florida weather.

May : Miami Museum Month (local event)

During the entire month of May, both visitors and locals can take advantage of buy-one-get-one free admission deals and other special offers at all participating museums.

July 4 : Independence Day (national holiday)

Commémoration de la Déclaration d'indépendance de 1776. Nombreuses manifestations dans toute la ville : grands feux d'artifice, défilés militaires.

First Monday in September : Labour Day (national holiday)

Second Sunday in October : Miami-Broward One Carnival (local event)

An annual celebration of Caribbean culture held in Bicentennial Park, this event attracts over 100,000 visitors every year. Revellers in colourful, extravagant and daring costumes, steel bands, masquerade bands, food and craft vendors, a junior carnival, live entertainment and DJs are among the festivities.

October : Miami Attractions Month (local event)

During the month of October, enjoy buy-one-get-one free admission and other great offers for tourist attractions (from historical to adventuresome, natural to man-made) and heritage trails, as well as exclusive restaurant deals and hotel packages.

31 octobre : Halloween (celebrated nationwide)

Halloween is celebrated each year by Americans of all ages. In the late afternoon and early evening hours, children don costumes and go door-to-door in their neighbourhoods to ask for treats, typically candy. Adults often attend costume parties in the evening. In Greater Miami, many residents really get into the spirit, transforming their homes with over-the-top special effects and decorations.

Fourth Thursday in November : Thanksgiving (national holiday)

Originally a Christian religious observance, for many years Thanksgiving has been a secular holiday in the United States, celebrated by Americans of all faiths. Families come together to prepare and enjoy a large feast at home. The meal typically includes roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce as well as various side dishes and ends with an assortment of pies (pumpkin, pecan, apple).

December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Miami

Miami has a subtropical climate. Summers are hot and humid, with occasional thunderstorms from May to October. This period coincides with hurricane season. Among US cities, Miami has one of the highest average relative humidity levels, but it is also one of the sunniest. Temperatures often exceed 30°C (86°F). Winters are mild and dry. At this time of the year, temperatures range from 15°C (59°F) at night to 25°C (77°F) during the day.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 15/59 2475 41/1.6 Not the best period to go
February 17/63 25/77 57/2.2 Not the best period to go
March 18/64 27/81 76/3.0 Not the best period to go
April 20/68 28/82 80/3.1 Not the best period to go
May 23/73 30/86 137/5.4 Good period to go Good period to go
June 24/75 32/90 245/9.6 Good period to go Good period to go
July 25/77 33/91 165/6.5 Good period to go Good period to go
August 25/77 33/91 226/8.9 Good period to go Good period to go
September 25/77 32/90 250/9.8 Not the best period to go
October 23/73 30/86 160/6.3 Not the best period to go
November 20/68 27/81 83/3.3 Not the best period to go
December 17/63 25/77 52/2.0 Not the best period to go
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Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport is located approximately 11 kilometres (7 miles) from the city centre.

  • 3 terminals:
    • North Terminal
    • Central Terminal
    • South Terminal (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Miami and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via NW 72nd Avenue.
    • For parking, the Dolphin (North) Garage serves the North Terminal and the Flamingo (South) Garage serves the Central Terminal.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the Rental Car Center (RCC) in Central Station.
    • There are a number of other car rental companies that do not have counters at the RCC but have agencies located not far from the airport.
  • By rail
    • The Metrorail's Orange Line is the most convenient and affordable option to get to and from the city centre. The standard fare is USD 2.25.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available on the arrivals level, outside the baggage claim areas. The fare to central Miami is about USD 22.
  • Taxi
    • Taxis situés au niveau des arrivées, environ 22 $ pour rejoindre le centre-ville.
  • By shuttle
    • SuperShuttle offers van services on the arrivals level, outside the baggage claim areas. The fare to central Miami is about USD 15.
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants, Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : : +1 305 876 7000
  • Website : http://www.miami-airport.com

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GETTING AROUND Miami

Miami is quite a large city, but its public transport system offers extensive coverage of the entire area.

By rail

Miami's Metrorail is an elevated rapid transit system with 23 stations, providing service along the coast south of the city centre as well as to a number of inland points, including the airport. However, the northern portion of the city is not as well served and it is not possible to reach South Beach using the system. The standard fare is USD 2.25.

By tram

The Metromover tram system is ideal for short trips within the city centre. The system consists of three lines, known as loops (Inner, Omni and Brickell), with a total of 21 stations. Fully automated and electrically powered, the system is also free for all riders!

By bus

Miami's Metrobus network offers dense coverage of the city. More than 95 buses serve Miami's various neighbourhoods, 7 days a week.

The standard fare on Metrobus lines is the same as for the Metrorail, USD 2.25.

Useful tip: The EASY Card, a plastic reloadable fare card, valid for 20 years, makes it easy to pay for rides. Several discounted passes are available: for 1 day (USD 5.65), 7 consecutive days (USD 29.25), and 1 month (USD 112.50).

By trolley

Instantly recognizable owing to their orange-and-green colour scheme and retro design, these trolleys (in the City of Miami, Coral Gables and Miami Beach) connect Metrorail and Metromover stations with various intermediate points. They are also free for all riders.

By taxi

Taxis are recommended only in exceptional circumstances. The distances in Miami are so great that the simplest trip will cost more than USD 10.

By car

Exploring Miami by car is a good option. Vehicles may be easily rented on the airport property. Miami's streets can sometimes be quite congested with traffic. Many garages offering reasonable rates for parking are available in the city.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Miami, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Greater Miami Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Further information available online for visitors to the United States

Discover America, a public-private marketing entity, works closely with the travel industry to promote tourism in communities around the country. Its website offers excellent information on all US travel destinations, including Miami and South Florida.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in the United States of America is the dollar ($).

HKD 1 = USD 0.13

USD 1 = HKD 7.69

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Excellent medical care is available in Miami, but costs are high. As the United States has not entered into reciprocal health agreements with other countries, you should take out appropriate insurance before you leave home, covering both medical expenses and medical evacuation or repatriation.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to the United States.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Miami.

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Administrative formalities

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, whether for tourism or business. Two requirements must be met:

Travellers not eligible for the VWP, or who have not been able to obtain an ESTA, must apply for a visa.

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Miami and the United States, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations.

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Essential phrases

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Good to know

00 1
+ phone number (calls to Miami)
-12 : 00
of time difference with
Hong Kong
Start of daylight saving time: second Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: first Sunday in November

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
110 V / 60 Hz

And what about tipping?
In Miami as in the rest of the United States, a service charge is not included in the bill and tips form a major portion of income for waiting staff. Prices on restaurant menus are indicated before taxes and tips. You are therefore expected to leave a tip (generally between 15 and 20 percent of the bill). Tipping less than 15 percent (or leaving no tip at all) means that you are very dissatisfied with the service.