Practical Information in Miami

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LOCATION - Miami is located on the Southern tip of the state of Florida within the United States. Miami is a coastal city, and considered the gateway to Latin American and the Caribbean. The Intracoastal Waterway separates the Miami mainland from Miami Beach, located on the Atlantic Ocean. Miami is also considered the cruise ship capital of the world, in 2008 over 4 million passenger traveled through the port of Miami. There are two National Parks bordering the city of Miami, The Everglades and Biscayne.

WEATHER - Miami sits 12 feet above sea level, has a subtropical climate, and the temperature holds steady around 76 degrees Fahrenheit or 23 degrees Celsius. Average rainfall is approximately 58 inches, and locals can count on year round sunshine. The coldest months are December through February (Winter season) and the hottest months are June though August (Summer season).

POPULATION - Within the city limits, Miami boost approximately 413,201 residents according to the 2008 census, but in within Miami-Dade County the population grows to 5.4 million residents.

TIME ZONE - Eastern Standard Time (EST) or GMT -5 and in summer, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) or GMT -4.

TELEPHONE - The two main area codes for Miami are 305 and 786. Country code is 1

ELECTRICITY - As with the rest of the United States, Miami operates on 110 volts.  

LIQUOR LAWS - Legal drinking age is 21, same as in the rest of the country.  Beer, wine, and spirits are sold from 7am to 3am daily.

SMOKING - All restaurants and must be smokefree, unless they deny access to minors (under the age of 18). 75% of hotel rooms in Miami are nonsmoking.

CURRENCY - The US Dollar ($ ) is the form of currency in America. You should have no problem finding a bank, or ATM (cashpoint) in the city of Miami. Major credit cards and travelers checks are widely accepted. It is always helpful to have a small amount of cash on hand. Most banks are open for operation from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday, and some open on Saturday from 10am to 12pm. 

SHOPPING - Most retail shops are open from 10am to 6pm Monday through Sunday. Bigger department stores, shopping malls, and other retail outlets have extended hours from 10am to 9pm Monday through Saturday, and 10am to 6pm on Sunday. Some shops do close on Sunday.  

FUN FACT - Benjamin Green, a Miami Beach pharmacist, invented suntan lotion in 1944 by cooking cocoa butter on a stove.

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