Profile: Miami, Florida

Discover this melting pot city with this short profile.
By: Amy Driscoll and Larry Lebowitz
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Population: 2.4 million (biggest cities: Miami, Hialeah, Miami Gardens, Miami Beach)

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10b

Major airport: Miami International Airport

Companies With a Major Presence: Miami-Dade Public Schools, Miami-Dade County, Publix Supermarkets, Baptist Health South Florida, Jackson Health System, University of Miami, American Airlines, Precision Response Corp., Miami-Dade College, AT&T (formerly Bell South)

Miami was once a hot spot for tourism or retirement, but today it’s a fast-paced city with diverse cultures and an international feel. From European and Latin American tourists on South Beach to the bustling downtown and the old money feel of Coral Gables, the city offers something for everyone.

Tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades, Miami gained fame as a winter destination for the wealthy more than a century ago. The city weathered several boom-and-bust cycles and a few hurricanes. It has now emerged as a vibrant multicultural melting pot of tropical food, art and commercial life.

A new cultural arts center anchors the downtown area. The international art scene comes alive every December with the arrival of the weeklong Art Basel festival. Traffic can be tough, especially in mid-winter at the peak of the tourist season. That's because everyone wants to be in balmy, sunny South Florida when the rest of the country is shivering. And then there’s the scenery; sparkling blue waters, palm trees and beaches continue to draw new residents.

Miami is a global center for international trade often referred to as the “Gateway to Latin America.” A growing number of jobs are surfacing from this small-business oriented segment of the local economy. For years, companies have used the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport to ship goods to the United States and Latin American markets. In recent years, China has become one of the area's leading trade partners.

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