If you’re anything like us, you probably fancy yourself a total pro when it comes to Miami. From the best restaurants and bars to all the tourist-free hangouts, you’ve got this place on lock. But wait: Here are 16 facts about our favorite Florida city, ranging from weird to wonderful, that will totally surprise you.
16 Things Even Miamians Don’t Know About Miami
1. Miami is the only major U.S. city founded by a woman. Businesswoman Julia Tuttle, who started with a humble 640 acres of land, convinced railroad developers to extend track south from Palm Beach and paved the way for Miami’s official incorporation in 1896.
2. The Magic City made its way onto the big screen in three (yes, three) James Bond movies: Goldfinger, Thunderball and Casino Royale. Does that make us famous by association?
3. With more than 800 parks scattered around Miami, the city is the only U.S. metro area surrounded by two national parks: Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
4. Move over, Wall Street. Miami is home to the largest concentration of international banks in the U.S.
5. There is a thing called “Miami English” and—spoiler alert—you probably speak it. Yep, we basically have our own language.
6. More than a hundred years ago (before the luxury hotels, high-priced clubs and fancy restaurants), Miami Beach wasn’t more than one big sandbar. Weird, right?
7. Speaking of Miami Beach, this place is home to the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture.
8. No matter where you are in Florida (including Miami), you’re never more than 60 miles from the ocean.
9. Compared to the rest of the world, Miami has one of the highest concentrations of citizens born outside of the country. It also has the largest Cuban population outside of the island nation.
10. The name “Miami” comes from one of the native tribes that lived in the region in the 1600s and 1700s: the Mayaimi.
11. One of the first forms of modern sunscreen—what later became Coppertone—was invented and then developed by Miami pharmacist Benjamin Green while he served as an airman in WWII.
12. It actually snowed in Miami once—in 1977, to be exact. Sadly, the odds of it ever happening again are less than 1 percent.
13. In 1954, Miami saw the opening of the world’s first Burger King. Three years later, the Whopper made its way onto the menu for just 37 cents.
14. Three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne is an underwater city. About 40 feet below the surface, the Atlantis-esque site is actually a sea-floor cemetery that also acts as an artificial reef. If this sounds like your kind of thing, it’s free to visit and open to all divers.
15. The wealthiest zip code in Florida is in Miami-Dade County: a little place called Fisher Island, just off the tip of South Beach. It counts Oprah Winfrey among its former residents and is accessible only by ferry…or yacht.
16. Miami has its very own Stonehenge. Downtown, a perfect circle is made up of two dozenmysterious holes, which were discovered with artifacts estimated to be around 2,000 years old. Even cooler: The Miami Circle is the only known evidence in the country of a prehistoric structure built into bedrock.