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North Miami

The roots of the northwestern area of Greater Miami and the Beaches go deep into local history. Now the area has flowered into an engaging blend of small town charm and bustling new communities.
A distinct Hispanic flavor characterizes Hialeah and Spanish is the main language heard on the streets and in the supermarkets, stores and cafeterias. It is also distinguished by picturesque Hialeah Park, a race track and historic landmark dating back to 1925, where hundreds of pink flamingoes have made their home. The park’s future for thoroughbred racing is undetermined but the 220-acre wildlife sanctuary is open all year and plays host to festivals and events. Westland Mall, with three department stores and 100 specialty stores, is Hialeah’s own shopping destination.

Opa - Locka
Find the unexpected – the largest collection of Moorish architecture in the Western hemisphere — in this city originally called Opatishawockalocka by the Tequesta Indians. In the 1920s developer Glen Curtiss shortened the name to Opa-Locka and built an Arabian Nights-style fantasy city of buildings with an array of domes and elaborate minarets in brightly painted colors (20 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places). City Hall and the Logan Building (formerly the Opa-Locka Hotel) have been renovated. Opa-Locka has its own airport.

Miami Lakes
This meticulously planned city is more hometown than metropolis. A traditional Main Street anchors curvy residential streets, tasteful corporate parks and lots of lakes and green spaces. You can enjoy fine dining and shopping in the quaint ambience created by old-fashioned lamps, colorful striped awnings and brick sidewalks. Live entertainment is featured weekly and art and music festivals take place throughout the year. Miami Lakes’ golf courses are among the best in Greater Miami and the Beaches. The highways northeast of Miami Lakes lead to two major sporting facilities: Pro Player Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins and the Florida Marlins; and Calder Race Course, where thoroughbreds race.

Airport Area
Miami International Airport is the hub of a fast-growing area with new hotels and offices marking the corporate and commercial focus around Blue Lagoon Drive to the west. Further afield, you will still find horses grazing in fields adjacent to new homes in suburban Doral. To the north, pueblo-style mansions in Miami Springs recall pioneer aviator Glenn Curtiss’ vision of a Southwestern-inspired town. If you want to watch the world’s fastest game, head over to the Miami Jai Alai Frontón just east of the airport. Or if you prefer a stimulating yet more sedate experience, visit the cutting-edge exhibits at the Art Museum at Florida International University, just off the Tamiami Trail (SW 8th Street) on NW 107th Avenue. Tamiami Park next door is the site of shows and events and the annual springtime Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition. Shopping and entertainment will become even more enticing when the new Dolphin Mall opens in addition to the area’s two major malls — the Mall of the Americas and Miami International Mall.


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Source: magazineUSA.com; GMCVB
Last modified: 20050315
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