12 Miami Nicknames That Will Surprise You

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Aerial shot of a bay with ships near a port and skyscrapers on the horizon
Miami has an array of unique and interesting nicknames to learn about

Miami is a city located in the sunny US state of Florida. With its tropical climate, bustling South Beach, and idyllic stretches of coastline, Miami is famed for relaxation and total indulgence. But that's not all the city is known for. It's also a melting pot of cultures that have helped to shape Miami's cool identity. Additionally, Miami boasts an impressive selection of nicknames.

From the Gateway to the Americas, which refers to the city's role as a vital trade hub, to the 305, a practical name taken from Miami's area code, there are hundreds of monikers that locals and visitors alike tend to use to describe this city. Read on to discover some of the most popular Miami nicknames and the fascinating stories behind them.

12 Nicknames for Miami

Miami Nicknames Video

Check out our highlights video of Miami nicknames.

A stone entrance near a body of water and a lighthouse on a sunny day
Miami is known as Biscayne Bay Country because of the nearby Biscayne National Park

Biscayne Bay Country

A lesser-known nickname, but one that is very important, is Biscayne Bay Country. Biscayne Bay is one of the city's most notable features; it's a subtropical lagoon that stretches from Miami Beach to the upper Florida Keys.

The famous neighborhoods of Coconut Grove and Coral Gables also lie along this stretch of coastline. Biscayne National Park, one of the top landmarks in Florida, is also nearby.

But this isn't Miami's only nod to Biscayne. The largest central street in the city is called Biscayne Bay Street, and Key Biscayne is a beautiful area attached to Miami by State Road 913.

The Capital of Latin America

The Capital of Latin America is one of the most popular Miami slogans. After all, Miami is known for having a large population of Latin Americans.

Additionally, Latin influences are everywhere in the city, from the Little Havana district near the Downtown Miami area to the immense amount of South American cuisine that can be found throughout Miami. Interestingly, the city has been called this since at least 1993.

A river with a boat near a bridge and tall skyscrapers
Most of the Miami nicknames, like Magic City, celebrate the city's successes

Magic City

Many people believe that the nickname Magic City stems from Miami's fast growth. And while this is partly true, the use of this name actually has its roots in an earlier event.

Henry Flagler was in charge of Florida's East Coast and needed to encourage those from the north to visit. So, he commissioned E.V. Blackman to write about the city in a positive light for the magazine East Coast Homeseeker. This was when Blackman coined the phrase Magic City, which worked like a charm!

MIA

Another nickname that totally makes sense is MIA. Miami's name came from the Miami River and the Native American word Mayaimi. Later, the name was abbreviated to MIA. However, it's also the code for Miami International Airport. While you'll hear people all over Miami throwing this phrase around, it's mainly used in relation to the airport.

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An aerial shot of cruise ships docked by a port
Miami is the world's busiest area for cruise passenger traffic

The Cruise Capital of the World

Miami is a haven for cruise lovers, boasting some of the largest cruise lines in the world. And, as it welcomes the most cruise passengers in the world, it's no surprise that this city is often dubbed the Cruise Capital of the World.

Miami's landmarks, gorgeous beaches, and close proximity to the Caribbean and much of Latin America have allowed it to become the perfect cruise destination.

The 305

The 305 is another popular moniker. This name is very commonly used as it refers to Miami's area code. A cool fact about Florida is that 305 used to be the area code for the entire state. It wasn't until the 1950s that different parts of the state began to receive new area codes, though Miami kept 305.

The Gateway to Latin America

One of the most common Miami names is the Gateway to Latin America. This is mostly due to its population and cultural link to the region.

In fact, approximately 70% of Miami's population is of Latin American descent. Similarly, the city is a major international trade and finance hub, with many Latin American businesses choosing to set their US headquarters in Miami.

Highways with skyscrapers in the background on a sunny day
Miami welcomes many travelers every year, even as a jump point to other states

The Gateway to the Americas

Like some of Miami's other monikers, the Gateway to the Americas refers to the city's connections to the Americas, especially South America. For example, Miami is home to an abundance of Latin American businesses, particularly those in the telecommunications sector.

Additionally, Miami has the highest number of international flights per day in the entirety of the USA, many of which head to the Americas.

The Sixth Borough

Another name for Miami is the Sixth Borough. In fact, there are plenty of cities across the USA that also have this name. Even China has laid claim to it in recent years.

Generally, this moniker refers to places that sit outside the five boroughs of New York City but are related to the city through special affiliation or by demographics. Miami has many residents originally from New York, and Florida as a whole is currently seeing an influx of people moving from New York.

A colorful wooden lifeguard post by an empty beach
Miami isn't just a great beach destination, it's also the seat of Miami-Dade County

The Seat of Miami-Dade County

This next nickname is very practical and explains one of the top facts about Miami. This destination is the seat (the capital) of Miami-Dade County and has been since before it became a city in 1896. Being the seat of the county is no small job, this is where all the administration and business for the region is undertaken.

Vice City

While most of the other nicknames for Miami are positive reflections of the city, the term Vice City has seedier connotations. This nickname stemmed from the 1980s when Miami was known for being a hub of drugs, mobs, crime, and illicit happenings.

This name was popularized by the video game series Grand Theft Auto and the particular game named Vice City was set in Miami. Additionally, movies like Scarface and the infamous TV show Miami Vice, which aired in the 80s, also perpetuated this nickname.

One of the familiar Miami nicknames is "The Sunshine City" due to its warm weather
Miami is called the Sunshine City as it experiences an almost year-round warm climate

The Sunshine City

It's easy to see why Miami has earned its nickname, the Sunshine City! Miami's glorious weather year-round is why it's such a popular vacation destination for both Americans and tourists around the globe.

Miami sees around 3,154 hours of sunshine per year, making it the 10th sunniest city in the country. Interestingly enough, Florida is also known as the Sunshine State, and this nickname appears on the iconic license plates.

In Summary

How many of these nicknames for Miami did you know? This South Florida city is known for its vibrance and huge personality, so it's no surprise that Miami boasts a varied collection of slogans.

From the gritty Vice City to the much more positive Gateway to the Americas and even the very handy 305, make sure to use these monikers next time you visit Magic City, and you'll sound like a local in no time.

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Written by Lauren Kendrick

lozkend WRITER Lauren is a travel-obsessed writer from the UK. She is usually dreaming about all the different cuisines she has yet to try…


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