The city of Miami is located on the Florida mainland. Offshore, to the east in the Atlantic, there are a number of barrier islands. The southernmost island in the immediate vicinity is Key Biscayne. Next to the north is Virginia Key, then Fisher Island, and then comes Miami Beach. The body of water between these islands and the mainland is Biscayne Bay. At first, resort developers looked to the Atlantic Ocean beaches of Miami Beach, beginning their development with the elegant Art Deco hotels on the southern tip, now better known as South Beach. As development proceeded northward, its complexion changed, becoming more "skyscraper-like" and grandiose, with amenities catering to a wider range of interests, from sailing to golf.The 1960s saw another sea change in Miami, generating another boom cycle, brought about by the unlikely combination of the advent of universally available air conditioning and Fidel Castro's rise to power. As Cuban refugees fled in droves to the United States, they settled in that part of our country most similar to their former homeland in climate - namely, south Florida. Miami, whose tropical temperatures were now tamed by inland climate control, thus tolerable to an influx of workers, became the gateway to the Caribbean for any number of businesses, which soon rivaled tourism as a key industry. The influx of the Caribbean population has also profoundly altered Miami's personality. It is now largely bilingual, and French and Creole are also taking hold with the growing waves of immigration from Haiti. It's hard to walk a block in Miami without connecting with Cuban food, Cuban music, Cuban culture. It is a dynamic and vibrant city steeped in multiculturalism. These new Miamians and their businesses have also directly contributed to the revitalization of the mainland portion of Miami, leading to a number of tourist resources along the west coast of Biscayne Bay, such as the Bayside Marketplace. Across the bay is the revitalized Art Deco district, including South Beach (SoBe), which has become a mecca in its own right, attracting celebrities and those who follow them, whether it's for a camera or an autograph book. SoBe is also home to Miami's disco, fashion, music, and trendy food scene, and rivals Venice, California, as the place to go to people-watch. Not all is development (or overdevelopment, some would say). Although the waterfront corridor has been urbanized almost from the tip of Florida to the middle of the coast, there is still plenty for lovers of nature and the great outdoors. The Everglades have located a midday drive to the southwest. Off the Atlantic coast, a short distance to the south is the only living coral reef in the continental United States. The birds poetically incite tropical birds and waterfowl found nowhere else in the United States. And where else in the US might you have to break to keep alligators from crossing the road? If Miami is your port of embarkation, disembarkation, or mid-cruise stopover, you're unlikely to encounter a city anywhere in your travels that caters to so many tastes: foodie, shopaholic, eco-tourist, golfer, water sportsman, or lover of traditional tourist attractions.