Miami on the shores of the Atlantic in south east Florida is a city of excesses. Architecture is constantly evolving with the beach front hotels undergoing more facelifts than some of the inhabitants, but this is no bad thing if only because it keeps travellers on their toes, always striving to find the trendiest places in this cosmopolitan city that changes its mind about trends on a regular basis.

Don’t be fooled by this glitzy exterior though, Miami is a city of real substance, filled with a love of art, culture and gastronomy the population is a fickle crowd that adore something fresh and new to pique their fancy, always vibrant, never predictable Miami is the life and soul of the party and is all the better for it.

Miami has no shortage of hotels and whatever your budget there are plenty for you to choose from, these range from downtown hostels to plush five star establishments with all the luxury you could ever imagine.

If you do have the budget for an extravagant stay then the St Regis Bal Harbour Hotel is the place to indulge yourself, every room or suite has an amazing Atlantic view that is much coveted by lesser hotels and all boast a large terrace with loungers; this hotel is where you will find the worlds wealthiest enjoying the very best that Miami has to offer. The décor is not understated and with the extreme glamour that it portrays nor should it be – for a truly opulent experience the virtues of this hotel can not be overstated.

The cuisine in Miami is as you might imagine diverse with many influences coming from the Caribbean and Latin America, the Cuban influences are particularly apparent across the city. Always a nation of meat eaters there are some great steak restaurants and the close proximity to the ocean also gives an amazing array of fish and seafood – in short Miami is a food lovers paradise with something for everyone.

Bread and Butter on Salzedo Street is a new restaurant that brings Cuban food bang up to date, the wooden interior sets the tone for this contemporary establishment before you even see the menu, this is fine dining with a real twist, perfect spicing and exotic flavours enhance even the most familiar of ingredients. The Butcher Shop in the Wynwood Arts District is the place to buy the best freshly butchered meats in town with the added advantage of a sociable beer garden where the chef will happily cook your purchase for you to enjoy in the sun.

Every traveller that visits Miami has to take the time to see the great Art Deco architecture of the city, once forgotten but now restored and protected this architecture is the enduring image of the history of the city. The Miami Design Preservation League take their responsibilities towards the architecture very seriously but they also love to share their knowledge – running guided tours through the best of the cities Art Deco buildings is just one way of furthering their cause and they are well worth partaking in whether you are a design lover or not.

We all know that Florida has crocodiles and for the best opportunity to see one head to Biscayne National Park, this is an hour out of the city but is well worth the trip, the park and lagoon offer plenty of other activities but everyone secretly goes in the hope of seeing a crocodile and few are disappointed.

Miami has a climate that is typically tropical monsoon, there are typically two seasons: a warm and dry winter followed by a hot humid summer, the rainfall is mainly concentrated around the peak summer months and is at its heaviest between May and October – this coupled with the high temperatures can make the city quite humid for much of these months.

Hurricane season is short but can be quite intense, concentrated around August and September these are really the only two months to avoid; for the rest of the year Miami although potentially humid is a great place to enjoy the sun with very little variation in sunlight hours between the seasons.