Tampa, Tampa. The Big Guava is always trying to put one over on the Magic City, but there’s just no competition. When it comes to planning a trip to Florida, there’s no question as to which city is a priority. Here’s why Miami should be your next destination.
Miami’s just a short drive from the Everglades. The national park encompassing 1.5 million acres of swamplands is home to incredible wildlife, including the endangered Florida panther and other species like the American alligator, bottlenose dolphin, and black bear. In short, untouched nature is found in the city’s backyard.
Tampa’s beaches have access to the bay, while Miami’s beaches are the Atlantic Ocean. That’s a lot of seawater.
Miami’s moniker as the “Cruise Capital of the World” is not unfounded. The Port of Miami hosted 5.3 million visitors in 2017—a record no other cruise port in the world has ever reached. You can book a cruise from Miami to pretty much anywhere. The world’s your oyster, and no other city gives you that wanderlust feeling.
Despite Tampa’s claims to making the best Cuban sandwich, Miami’s delicious Latin food options are endless. From Peruvian ceviche and the Colombian arepa to Nicaraguan sopa de cola and more, the 3-0-5 is also known as the “Capital of Latin America,” and for good reason. The city has ethnic food from pretty much every Latin country in existence. (After all, Miami’s population is 70% Hispanic.) You might even learn a little Spanish!
The contention that Tampa’s nightlife has anything over Miami’s is groundless. The 3-0-5 is known around the world for its partying ways, and no tourist or local with a clue would ever question that rep. With a whopping list of high-end nightclubs, lounges, and an ever-changing bar scene, there’s no city in Florida more deserving of the crown. Also, the raging Ultra Music Festival comes annually to Miami, not Tampa.
Oh, and Miami’s cultured too. The world-renowned international art fair of Art Basel stages shows every December in Miami Beach.
Sure, they beat us at football—sorry, Miami Dolphins, you’re no match for the Bucks—but we have an even better basketball team, with three NBA Championships under their belt. The Miami Heat is not only the best basketball team, but Miami also shows team spirit like no other city. They don’t call us “Heat Nation” for nothing.
Let’s be real—no one thinks of Tampa when they mention Florida. Most people are even shocked to learn that Tallahassee is the capital of the Sunshine State and not Miami. Because Miami’s famous, even its hotel pools are recognizable. Our glittering beaches and million-dollar mansions have been the setting for many reality TV shows and films (hello, Scarface), and our streets were the setting for the ’80s cocaine wars—we earned “Vice City,” thank you very much. Miami even relishes in free shout-outs with cameos on Drake and Rick Ross music videos. There are songs dedicated to Miami (thank you, Will Smith). And if all that is still not enough to convince you, well, the truth is nothing says cool to your friends back home like a selfie of you sipping piña coladas on the sands of South Beach with the hashtag #IminMiamiB*.