Want to learn more about Miami? This article will show you all the interesting facts about Miami, Fl you probably didn’t know.
Miami is a tropical paradise and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Florida.
With its beautiful beaches and warm weather, it’s no wonder that people flock to Miami year after year. Right from its rich history to its vibrant culture, Miami has something for everyone!
Disclosure: This post might contain affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) should you choose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using one of our links. You can read our full disclosure here for more details!
Miami is also one of the largest cities in the United States, and there are so many things you can do here, like going to a sporting event, exploring new places to eat, or even looking for those cute Miami Instagram spots if you’re an Instagrammer.
But even with all that, there are a few things that may surprise you about this popular tourist destination.
Curious about what they are? here is a list of 33 facts about Miami that you probably didn’t know.
Interesting Facts About Miami, Florida
Miami is one of the most exciting cities in the U.S., with a diversity that cannot be matched by any other city.
The city also attracts millions of tourists each year from around the world, but despite being so well known, there are still many lesser-known facts that even locals might not know!
If you want to be in the know, keep reading to explore these 33 interesting facts about Miami, Florida and you might just be surprised.
1. Miami is the only major city in the United States founded by a woman
We start the fun facts about Miami with it being the only major city in the United States to have been founded by a woman.
The city was founded in 1896 by Julia Tuttle, who used her parents’ estate money to purchase 640 acres of land. That area is where Miami city is now located!
When Tuttle moved her family to this area, she knew she wanted the area to develop into a city but the only way that was possible is to bring transportation closer.
She reached out to Henry Flagler, an oil businessman asking him to extend his railroad to Florida, and in exchange, she would give him part of her land.
While this was in vain at first, an unfortunate weather incident (the Great Freeze ) helped her case and Flagler accepted to bring the rail network to Florida.
He constructed a hotel on the land Tuttle gave him and slowly the area developed and was later voted to become a city.
To date, Julia Tuttle is still nicknamed the “Mother of Miami.”
2. Miami’s name originates from a Native American tribe
Miami city was originally called Chequescha in 1513 a name that was only discovered in a European man’s diary. Later, it was known as Biscayne Bay Country.
Ultimately, its name was changed to the current one in 1896.
The name Miami comes from the Miami River and the Native American tribe called Mayaimi, which lived in the area and settled around the river from the 1600s to the 1700s.
3. Miami Is nicknamed The Magic City
Apart from its official name, Miami has several nicknames but the most popular one is The Magic City which is actually its tagline.
It has also been called “The Magic Isle,” “the 305,” and “Wonderful Island.” In fact, there was a campaign back in the 1900s to officially change the city’s name to “The Wonder City” but it was not successful.
4. Miami is the 2nd most populous city in Florida
Another one of the many interesting Miami facts is that it is the second-most populous city of Florida and eleventh-most populous city in the South-eastern United States, with nearly 440,000 people calling it home.
5. Miami is known as the Cruise Capital of the World
Miami is a major center for international trade but what you may not have known is that the Port of Miami, or PortMiami, is the busiest cruise port in the world with over 5 million passengers annually embarking on cruises from its port.
With numerous cruise lines and passenger vessels crowding its waters, Miami is known as the “Cruise Capital of the World.”
6. The Miami-Dade County of Florida is the 7th most populous county in the USA
Miami-Dade County (where Miami is located) has a population of nearly 3 million people making it the most populous county in Florida and the seventh-most populous county in the U.S.
Along with Broward and Palm Beach, which are the second and third most populous counties in Florida, Miami-Dade County forms the Miami metropolitan area. This in itself is the ninth-largest in the USA.
7. Miami has More international banks Than Any City in the USA
Here’s another random but interesting piece of information about Miami you may not know.
Miami is a major hub for trade, finance, and commerce. Hence, it should not come as a surprise that Downtown Miami has the largest concentration of international banks in the USA. If you’re wondering how many they are, they are 60 international banks in Miami.
All this wealth makes Miami one of the richest cities in the U.S. and a rich global power in purchasing.
8. Miami Beach was created in 1915 as a man-made island by Carl Fisher
We bet this is another Miami fun fact that you didn’t know. Sand was dredged from the ocean floor to create many of Florida’s man-made beaches, including Miami beach.
The deposits of the coral sand on Miami beach meant that it was primarily made of calcium carbonate.
However, since the size and color of this sand and regular quartz sand match, it is not identifiable to beachgoers.
Related Post: Most Beautiful Cities Near Miami
9. It snowed ONCE in Miami in 1977
These historic Miami fun facts are leaving you amazed, right? Even though Miami is known as a hot destination (pun intended!), it snowed once on January 19, 1977.
Despite the fact that it wasn’t a lot of snow and it didn’t last long, it was the only time to date that Miamians experienced this anomaly.
Due to this one-day event, a lot of crops were destroyed and farmers suffered an invaluable loss.
If you’re surprised by this fact about Miami, you’re not alone! Most locals at that time couldn’t believe their eyes and it suffices to say that this day will always be in Miami’s history.
10. Miami has the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world
Miami Beach Architectural District or Art Deco Historic District as commonly known houses the world’s largest collection of Art Deco and Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern (MiMo) architecture.
It has more than 900 historic buildings with colorful façades and intricate details built between the late 1920s and early 1940s.
They’re mostly located between 5th Street and 23rd Street along Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive in the South Beach neighborhood.
11. Miami is one of the most diverse cities in the USA
Miami is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., with a mix of ethnicities, cultures, and languages.
The commonest languages spoken in Miami include Spanish, English, Creole, and Portuguese.
The majority of the population comprises settlers from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, Colombia, etc., thus making it a melting pot of people from all over the globe.
12. It is the most visited city in the USA by international tourists after New York City
With more than 15 million international and domestic tourists visiting Miami annually, it is the second spot on everyone’s favorite travel destination in the USA, and being a warm place, Miami attracts tourists all year round.
From the 1920s, it became a popular destination for people looking to escape the cold winters. It is also a popular destination for students to come to for their spring break.
Related Post: Romantic date ideas in Miami
13. Miami International Airport is the busiest airport in Florida
Miami International Airport services over 50.6 million passengers per year across 1,000 daily flights to more than 150 destinations within and outside the USA, making it the busiest airport in Florida.
For years, it was considered the 2nd busiest only behind Orlando airport but recent 2022 figures suggest that MIA surpassed Orlando International airport.
14. Miami’s Liberty Square was the first public housing complex in the USA for African Americans
Adding to the list of historical facts on Miami is this point. During the 1930s, there was a lot of racial segregation of black Americans hence they were concentrated in Overtown in South Florida.
The Public Works Administration then decided to build Liberty Square in Liberty City to relieve overcrowding in Overtown.
As a result, a public housing project with 753 housing units came up in 1937. This apartment complex was the first of its kind in the U.S. for black Americans in the Southern United States.
15. Miami is The only U.S. city bordered by two national parks
Miami is bordered by Biscayne National Park to the south and The Everglades National Park to the southwest.
The former is an off-shore national park accessible by boat or kayak. It even has an underwater trail you can take since it borders the Florida Reef, known for scuba diving.
The latter is a UNESCO Heritage site and the 3rd largest national park in the USA. The Everglades also have the largest mangrove ecosystem in the US.
16. Miami has the second-highest percentage of foreign-born residents Of any U.S. city
Nearly 60% of Miami residents are foreign-born, i.e., born outside of the United States.
Many immigrant communities call Miami their home after moving to the city decades earlier.
White Hispanics from Cuba form the majority, followed by Haitians, and Colombians.
17. The city also has the largest concentration of Haitians outside of Haiti
When the Haitians moved to Miami, they were concentrated in an area that eventually came to be known as the neighborhood of Little Haiti (Ti Ayiti).
The place also had other nicknames, like Lemon City and Little River. Through the years, establishments, galleries, theatres, and other businesses were started here by the immigrants, whose population is now close to 30,000.
The neighborhood is culturally Creole-rich, with everything having the Caribbean island’s influence.
18. Miami is home to the largest Cuban community outside Cuba
Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood is home to the largest Cuban-American community in the United States and you’ll find many Cuban restaurants, shops, and cigar factories here.
The neighborhood of Little Havana is also famous for the only evergreen tree native to Florida, the sabal palm or Florida Thatch Palm.
19. The first sunscreen in the USA was invented in Miami
It should come as no surprise that one of the first formulas of sunscreen was invented in the Sunshine State right in Miami.
Benjamin Green developed sunscreen in 1944 using a mixture of red veterinary petroleum, or in short red vet pet, and cocoa butter.
He called it Coppertone Suntan Cream and was used by soldiers during wartime at that time.
20. Miami has One of The largest concentrations of street art in The US
The Wynwood neighborhood in Miami, better known as Wynwood Arts District, is where the largest concentration of street art murals and galleries are housed. Every wall has incredible murals and art painted on them.
Wynwood was a garment district that started holding monthly events in the early 90s to attract buyers.
Eventually, galleries, studios, and restaurants opened there as well. Also located in the area is Wynwood Walls, a renowned street art museum that opened in 2009.
21. You won’t find a basement in Miami
This information about Miami might surprise you but you will not find any basement Miami — in most of Florida actually.
The groundwater is very close to the surface in south and central Florida. This high water table situation results in damp soil, meaning that basements cannot be dug in any household in Miami.
Another (un)fortunate situation that adds to this is Miami’s proximity to the sea, making it prone to floods.
22. Miami Has the largest non-snow area ski club in the country
Although Miami does not have snowy weather or even conditions ideal for skiing, the Miami Ski Club which was founded in 1968 as a social club to promote the activity is the biggest in the country.
They organize ski trips all across the country, and the world, apart from having local events and outings. It is the largest ski club in an area that doesn’t even have snow.
23. Miami hosts many popular world-renowned music festivals throughout the year
Miami has a large electronic music fanbase. Hence, it plays host to many EDM music festivals throughout the year.
This includes the Ultra Music Festival and the Miami Music Week, both held annually in March.
There’s also the Rolling Loud festival for hip-hop and rap enthusiasts which is held in July. These are known worldwide and even attended by celebrities.
24. Miami is Nicknamed The Wreckreational Diving Capital of the World
Since Miami’s climate favors scuba diving and snorkeling, both are popular activities held here all year round.
Additionally, off Miami’s coast is a world-class barrier reef and 50 underwater wreck sites as added attractions.
This is also why Miami is also known as the “Wreckreational Diving Capital of the World.”
While Biscayne National Park is a great site for snorkeling, people scuba dive on Miami Beach and South Beach.
25. Miami used to be a mangrove swamp
Florida was a low-lying wetland meaning that for the longest time, Miami had swampy land which was too wet for development.
In fact, Miami Beach was only accessible by ferry until 1913, when Collins Bridge was inaugurated. The Everglades had an entire ecosystem and flowed through most of South Florida.
To date, it continues to be a marshy, swampy area, but its volume has diminished.
26. It’s the warmest city in the US during winter
Miami is the warmest city in the US during winter, hence, it’s no wonder that it’s a year-round travel destination.
As mentioned in #12, more than 15 million tourists visit Miami annually. Domestic tourists from colder climates like the northern USA flock to Miami’s warm beaches from mid-October onwards.
27. The headquarters of Burger King are in Miami
Did you know that the American multinational hamburger chain Burger King has its headquarters in Miami, Florida?
As we mentioned earlier, some of the things about Miami even surprise locals and this is one of them.
Burger King was founded in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida, but after facing financial troubles, it was bought by David Edgerton and James McLamore in 1959, eventually moving the fast-food company’s headquarters to Blue Lagoon Drive in Miami-Dade County.
28. Miami was a base for U.S. defense against German submarines thanks to its perfect location
This is one of the most interesting Miami history facts you need to know. Given Florida’s location, warm climate, and the fact that even till the 1940s, it was one of the least populated states, Miami made for a perfect base for the U.S. military.
Many military bases could be set up due to largely inhabited lands. German U-Boats and submarines attacked and sank U.S. ships off the coast of Florida. That’s when the U.S. military base in Miami came in handy to retaliate.
Related Post: Best Things to do in Downtown Miami
29. Miami is home to 5 major league sports teams
Greater Miami is home to 5 professional major league sports teams — Miami Heat in National Basketball Association, Miami Dolphins in the National Football League, Miami Marlins in Major League Baseball, Florida Panthers in National Hockey League, and Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (Inter Miami) in Major League Soccer.
In addition, the city is also the home ground for the Miami Open in Tennis and the Miami Grand Prix (F1 Racing).
30. Miami is home to one of the largest boat shows in the world
Miami hosts the Miami International Boat Show which is one of the largest boat and yacht shows worldwide.
This annual multi-day event sees more than a million visitors and hosts more than a thousand stalls with marine products and boating equipment.
There are also educational seminars, entertainment zones, and eateries. It is a one-stop shop for all things marine.
31. The most spoken language in Miami is Spanish
Even though the official language of Miami is English, its significant Hispanic population means that Spanish is the most common language spoken.
It is the most dominant one in eateries, places of business, and offices due to the large population of immigrants from Latin America who now call Miami home.
32. Many art and cultural festivals like Calle Ocho Festival are also held in Miami
Apart from the many music festivals and events held in Miami, the city also hosts the Calle Ocho Festival, also known as Carnaval Miami.
This one-day historic street and cultural festival for the Cuban-American community in Little Havana is held yearly in March.
March is also the month when Miami has the Miami International Film Festival.
33. Miami has a large population of Brazilians
With Miami and Brazil being relatively close by and their climates being similar, it is no surprise that when Brazilians decide to move, they think of making Miami their home.
Miami has a sizeable population of close to 45,000 Brazilians. Most of them live in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Downtown Miami.
Final Thoughts on the Fun Facts About Miami, Florida
Whether you are visiting this beautiful tourist destination for the first time or have been there before, we hope these fun facts about Miami interest you.
If you enjoyed reading the article, share it with your friends traveling to Miami as an informative read.
You can also let us know the Miami facts that surprised you the most in the comments below.
But before you go, consider sharing these interesting facts about Miami, Florida if you found the article helpful!