Although favored by climate and geography, Miami remained a remote tropical village of frame houses until Henry Flagler installed his East Coast Railway there in 1896 and turned his hand to community development. In fact, the city of Miami was created out of a mangrove swamp! Sprawling across 2,054 square miles of land, Miami is a huge and cosmopolitan city. Attracted by year-round warmth and sunshine, thousands of visitors pour into the area with the hope of capturing a little sun and relaxation.
Greater Miami's list of attractions is long and varied. Some of the more popular attractions are Viscaya Museum and Gardens, Little Havana, Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium, and the Miami Metro Zoo. Biscayne Boulevard is a prime spot for shopping. It features the Bayside Marketplace- a shopping experience in the Tropical style. Shopping is also available at the Cocowalk shopping and entertainment complex. A trip into Everglades National Park is also a notable sightseeing experience. At Flamingo there are sightseeing boat trips and naturalists who conduct nature walks along the shore.