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Miami is made up of several fascinating and very unique neighborhoods. Many of them are shaped by various cultures that have fused together, while others have held onto the distinct culture of the people that first populated these areas. One example is Little Havana, located in the heart of Miami. Vibrant and rich due to its Cuban heritage, Little Havana is not always on every visitor’s list of places to see, but it should be.
The neighborhood’s name "Little Havana" emerged in the 1960s as the concentration of Cubans in the area grew sharply after the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Little Havana is famous as the cultural and political capital of Cuban Americans, and the neighborhood is a center of the Cuban exile community. Hispanic culture permeates everything in Little Havana - colorful murals, monuments to heroes past and present, elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, and cigar rollers deep at work amidst Little Havana's ever-present aroma of Cuban coffee. These scenes of daily life in Little Havana play out amidst a backdrop of pulsating traditional Cuban and Afro-Cuban music, storefronts, unique art galleries and quaint typical restaurants.
Little Havana landmarks include Calle Ocho, the main drag of Little Havana, where fruit stands, art galleries, Cuban restaurants and cigar shops line the avenue. There is also Walkway of the Stars, which honors Latin American celebrities including Gloria Estefan and Celia Cruz. At Domino Park there are daily heated daily domino games among practiced locals. Take a break and grab a show at Tower Theater, a restored Art Deco theater and cultural venue. On the last Friday of each month, Little Havana hosts Viernes Culturales, or Cultural Fridays, a monthly gallery night showcasing the cultural arts scene of the neighborhood.
Located less than 10 minutes from the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, Little Havana is a convenient stop for guests making their way around Miami. We encourage you to check it out and to go while hungry, as there are several delicious restaurants serving amazing Cuban cuisine as well as other places specializing in Caribbean and Central American cuisine. After eating, you can walk around Calle Ocho to take in all of the quaint boutiques and art galleries or enjoy a Latin film at the renovated cinema house, Tower Theatre. Never short on options, Little Havana is definitely a MUST on any traveler’s list of places to see in Miami.