The South Florida region generally consists of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties and urban areas along the I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike corridor south from West Palm Beach to Miami. The linear metropolitan area is bound by the Atlantic Coast to the east and the Everglades, including Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve, to the west.
Suburban expansion has used most undeveloped land in South Florida. However, pressure to expand west has continued to grow as the population pushes outward. Retirees, immigrants, beach worshipers, and business people have all migrated to South Florida as a place of opportunity. Since new development anywhere west of the turnpike is more likely to require wetland displacement, most growth has focused on in-fill development or the reuse of existing properties. Interstate 75 and U.S. 41 are two of the few routes that approach South Florida from the west.
South Florida has some of the most spectacular beaches in the United States, and Miami Beach is one the most well-known beaches in the world. The wide beach there is known for its colorful buildings, walkable storefronts, and culturally diverse restaurants. It is not uncommon to see people dressed lavishly in Miami Beach, and the 1996 movie The Birdcage shows off some of the outstanding architecture of the city’s Art Deco District.
Downtown Miami is its own cultural mecca, with a multitude of shops and restaurants along Calle Ocho southwest of Downtown. Several condominium high rises line Biscayne Bay in the vicinity of the financial district. American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, also resides along Biscayne Boulevard at the intersection of U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) and SR 886 (Port Boulevard). The venue is located next to the walkable Bayside Marketplace mall and Museum Park, all accessible by car via U.S. Biscayne Boulevard and Interstate 395 as well as the Metrorail, which extends north roughly along SR 933 (NW 12th Avenue).
The cheapest way to fly into Miami may not be through Miami International Airport (MIA), although that airport serves as the primary gateway from the United States to Latin America and the islands of the Caribbean Sea. For those arriving from other U.S. destinations, it is worthwhile to compare fares with Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL). The lower fares are largely due to the fact that most low-cost carriers fly into Fort Lauderdale instead of MIA. In addition to air travel, Miami is internationally known as a major seaport. Many cruise ships depart the Port of Miami daily, leaving for destinations such as the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, the Panama Canal, and South America. Cruise ships also dock at Port Everglades, located northeast of FLL Airport and east of I-595.
Several toll roads in the Miami-Dade metropolitan area are managed by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority. These include the Airport Expressway (SR 112), the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and Gratigny Parkway (SR 924) among others. The agency formed in 1994 to improve traffic flow on these expressways, each of which is a significant aspect of the regional freeway network.
Nick Stearn provided the site with a general overview of the street numbering system for the Miami-Dade Metropolitan area. South of Flagler Street, the road dividing north and south addresses, and Miami Avenue, the road dividing east and west addresses, every half-mile is a through road. The east-west roads are divided into groups of eight, with 1/16 mile between streets. This is why SW Eighth Street (U.S. 41) is a major through road. Avenues (north-south) are 1/4 mile apart and have a similar pattern, going by fives and starting with (N/S) West Second Avenue. The sequence continues through Seventh Avenue (U.S. 441), 12th Avenue, 17th Avenue, etc, with each also a half mile apart. Except in extreme western areas, streets always follow this pattern. Krome Avenue (SW/NW 177th Avenue, SR 997) generally represents the western most extent of the built up area by the Everglades, with the exception of areas around Homestead.
The only real exceptions to the street numbering system in Miami-Dade County are Coral Gables and Hialeah, which use their own numbering systems. The main streets and avenues follow the same patterns, but have different numbers than the county. NW 42nd Avenue (LeJeune Road) becomes E 8th Avenue in Hialeah and loses its number in Coral Gables, but forms the 400 block. For purposes of consistency, the county-wide designations are posted at major intersections.
Homestead also has its own numbering system. A peculiarity of this is that the avenues in the southwest quadrant almost always lose a number in regular intervals immediately to the east of the main arterials. The pattern is usually 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9. The relative uniformity of this system leads to three-digit numbers in the southern and western portions of the county. The street numbering format in Broward County is completely different, with each city utilizing its own system.