Miami's year-round warm weather and vast diversity attract visitors from all over the world to its beautiful beaches, modern architecture, and vibrant nightlife. Two million people call Miami home, but another 10 million come to visit every year. The Spanish were first to arrive, and it is understandable that their influence should be felt first and foremost. Miami was colonized by the Spanish in the 1500's, then used as collateral in negotiations with the English that ended the Seven Years War. Spain gained Havana back in exchange for Florida. In 1783, England traded Florida back to Spain for the Bahamas, and Spain ruled Florida as a colony until 1821, when Florida became a state. Miami now is world famous for its beaches, 35 miles worth, from South Beach to Sunny Isles.
Whether you want to sunbathe, swim, or just people watch, there are enough different beaches to suit your fancy. But there is so much more to the city. A wide range of museums and parks can be found here. They add a refined sense of culture to the glitz and glamour of Miami's world-renowned nightlife. Of course, if shopping is your main objective, Miami has more than enough shops and boutiques to suit your needs. That's without even mentioning the many upscale shopping malls and sidewalk stores that dot the map. What sets Miami apart from most other tourist destinations is the blend of people who call it home. Nowhere else in the world will you see so many people from so many different cultures. Large communities of Cubans and Haitians mix with retired "snowbirds" from New York and Canada.