Miami is one of the most visited cities in the United States—and for good reason. Referred to by some as “America’s Riviera,” Miami and its famous beaches attract millions of sunbathing travelers every year. Here are a few things you might not know about Miami, including where the name originates and just how much sun its beaches get each year.
- Miami gets its name from the Mayaimis tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the region before Spanish settlers arrived. The tribe was named for Lake Okeechobee, which they called Mayaimis or “big water.”
- Suntan lotion was fittingly invented in Miami Beach in 1944 by pharmacist Benjamin Green.
- Miami is home to the only Everglades eco-system in the world. The Everglades covers more than 733.6 square miles and is inhabited by thousands of species of plants and animals.
- Miami was founded in 1896 by Julia Tuttle, a wealthy citrus grower, and has the distinction of being the only major U.S. city to be founded by a woman. Tuttle convinced oil baron Henry Flagler to extend his railroad to southern Florida after showing him perfect orange blossoms while northern Florida was experiencing freezing, crop-killing weather.
- Miami was ranked the cleanest city in America by Forbes magazine in 2008.
- Before becoming a city, Miami was a popular destination for pirates looking to stash their loot. Well-known pirates including Blackbeard, Lafitte, Gasparilla, Kidd, Bowlegs and Bonnett used the area to hide stolen gold and other treasure.
- Miami is a sunbather’s paradise; the area gets more than 250 days of sunshine every year.
- Miami Beach wasn’t always the white sand paradise it is now. It’s actually a man-made island that was once a coconut grove plantation.
- The greater Miami area is the only region in the U.S. that has two National Parks: Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
- Miami Beach has been dubbed the “Wreck Diving Capital of the Americas.” Scuba divers and snorkelers come from miles around to explore the wreckage of sunken ships.
If you’re not too far away, Miami is a great road trip destination. You can drive along Florida’s East Coast and stop at beaches along the way. If you do decide to take a Miami road trip, make sure your insurance is up-to-date. Since Florida is a “no fault state,” you’ll be responsible for any damage to your vehicle, even if you’re not at fault in the accident. Request and compare auto insurance quotes from a few providers to make sure you get the coverage you need.
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