News, Tips & Hotels : Travel & Leisure

A Brief History of Miami Beach

´╗┐Miami Beach is well known for being one of the most glamorous destinations in the USA, with the area's beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and rich and diverse culture attracting holiday-makers from every corner of the globe. But it wasn't always this way. Just 150 years ago, Miami beach was an uninhabitable island, purchased for just $0.25 per acre by a Henry Lum and since then, the area has undergone one of the most astounding changes in American history. In 1870, Henry and his son Charles Lum happened to be sailing just off the coast of South East Florida. They noticed a beautiful sand bar, just offshore, and decided to put in an offer for the land. They purchased most of the island for a pittance, but failed to establish a strategy for developing the land into something of real worth. Later, the island was sold on to Elnathan Field and Ezra Osborne, both residents of New Jersey, who in turn then sold the land to the Father and Son-in-law team of John Collin and Thomas Pancoast. During 1913, Collins took out a loan in order to build the first ever bridge between Miami Beach and the mainland, which at that time was the largest wooden bridge anywhere in the world. This is when Miami Beach started to change forever. During the 1920s, America underwent unprecedented growth, and Miami started to expand, reaching a population of around 120,000. Even when the Great Depression of the 1930s struck, hotels were still being constructed, especially around lower Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive. Nowadays, this area is known officially as the Art Deco District, due to the architecture that reflects the styles of that time. But to the rest of the world, it is referred to as South Beach or SoBe. During World War II, the influx of servicemen brought another 100,000 people to the Greater Miami area, when army training centres were established. After the war, a lot of veterans decided to make the idyllic settings of South Florida their permanent home. By the end of the 1950s, South Florida had doubled its pre-war population. Miami has continually expanded during the last century. In fact, from 1910 to 1960, the population of the City of Miami doubled every ten years, which had a knock on effect on the rest of Miami. In 1959, at the tail end of the Cuban revolution, 500,000 Cubans moved to the city, changing the cultural landscape of not just Miami, but Florida in general. From 1960 to 2000, Hispanics accounted for 90 percent of the total population growth in Miami-Dade County. The latino influence is felt to this day, influencing most aspects of Miamife - architecture, food and even the accent of the region all have an prominent hispanic element. But the biggest transformation occurred in the late 80s and early 90s, when a multi-billion dollar infusion of investment capital produced the beautiful Miami downtown skyline that is so recognisable today. Miami Beach emerged, complete with a modern transportation infrastructure, and a wealth of cultural, arts, sports and entertainment. Miami Beach has thrived, and has become somewhat of a millionaires' playground, with many rich and famous people flocking to the area. The nightlife andfestyle in the area is world renowned, with extraordinary restaurants, theatres, stadiums, nightclubs and Miami Beach hotels. Miami continues to be a fantastic destination for tourists, businesspeople and permanent residents of all nationalities. Article submitted by Harald Bindeus, Director of Sales & Marketing at Grand Beach Hotel Miami. Newly built and opened in 2009, this Miami Beach Hotel is located right on the Atlantic Ocean close to South Beach, Miami. To find out more visit .

Best Travel Tips

´╗┐Traveling should be amusing, no matter whether you are traveling for business or delight, you need to make the most out of your trip and to have as few complications as possible. To avoid being a target of sin, do not wear prominent clothing or jewelry and do not carry extreme amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended stuff in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers. If you are planning to wear full length clothes during your walking tours, then make sure that they do not haul on the floor since streets can be dirty and wet. You should not wear clothes that are very slack because they can get caught in protruding stones and surrounding shrubbery. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport. Leave copies of your schedule, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency. Traveling off-peak, whether it means flying or visiting a destination during a less popular time of year, means saving money and hassle. Top Travel Preparation 1. Study your destination. Obtain copies of maps of your destination to position routes, attractions, and necessary services. Yourbrary, travel agent, and the Internet are some fine places to get information. 2. Talk to fellow travelers. If you know people who have been to the place you plan to visit, inquire them about what theyked about their trip and what they would do differently next time. 3. Make ast and check it twice. Make ast of prerequisites that you need to pack. Also, make ast of things you want to see and do on your trip. 4. Are you covered? If you are traveling outside of the U.S., your health and accident insurance may not cover you. Also, look into travel insurance for cancellations or other travel mishaps. Top Travel Packing 1. Take benefit of those hidden spaces. For example, place small items inside your shoes or the pockets of shirts or jackets you pack. 2. Pack extra bags in your bag. Packing a duffle bag in your luggage gives you additional space to bring things home with you. It's also an excellent idea to bring plastic sandwich or grocery bags for laundry or other items. 3. Label those bags. Mark your luggage with a distinctive luggage tag with your contact information to help you find your bag if you lose it. A distinctive tag makes it easier to spot your bag at baggage claim. 4. Don't pack what you can get at your destination. Our hotels have a hair dryer in every room, along with many toiletry items, so you don't require to pack them. Top Tips for International 1. Get your passport. Did you know that you need a current, valid passport if you are traveling wherever outside of the U.S., including Canada and Mexico? If you don't have a current, valid passport, visit the U.S. State Department's Web site to apply for or renew your passport. 2. Do you need a visa? Additionally to a passport, you may also require a visa to visit several countries. Check with either the U.S. State Department's Web site or your host country or countries' tourism or foreign affairs Web sites. 3. Become skilled at thengo. Learning just a few basic phrases in the local language makes getting around easier. 4. Make change count. You may be able to get a better exchange rate by changing currency at home. Also, change money only at banks and authorized exchanges. Lovisa Vendela writes articles for Indian Tourist Place. She also writes articles for Top World Places.