Miami - the glittering jewel in Florida's beach-fringed crown. The city which wakes up when the rest of the world goes to bed. Gateway to the Caribbean and the Americas, Miami pulsates with multicultural appeal.
Sizzling nightlife and sports action from Miami Dolphins football and Miami Heat basketball to Florida Marlins baseball.
By night, it rocks with youthful vibrancy, full of restaurants, bars, galleries and theatres.
With nearly non-stop festivals from April through to September, Miami promises to be one of the coolest places in the world to visit this summer.
But what about the children? Well, don't worry. Entertaining the kids during a summer holiday will not be a problem.
Miami offers many unique experiences for families with children.
Sunny weather, beautiful beaches and a range of indoor and outdoor activities are all geared toward youngsters and accompanying adults.
Miami delivers entertainment that young and old alike can enjoy together. Miami's animal attractions offer families an educational and fun day of exploration. From killer whales and dolphins to monkeys and alligators, wildlife adventures are the perfect way to spend a day with children.
The Miami Metro Zoo has 740 acres of adventure. Trek through Asia to see river otters, Komodo dragons and tigers, to Africa to watch the giraffes, zebras and lions and to Australia for koalas, kangaroos and wallabies.
It has a subtropical climate and houses 900 wild animals in a cageless setting recreating their natural habitats.
Continuing on the animal and wildlife theme, pay a visit to Monkey Jungle, where the humans are caged and monkeys run wild! The park is home to nearly 400 primates, most running free on this 30-acre reserve and offers great fun to all ages.
Parrot Jungle Island is a place where exotic birds fly free. More than 500 species of trees and plants and 3,000 animals including birds, reptiles and primates make Parrot Jungle Island their home.
Looking out over Biscayne Bay, the Miami Seaquarium boasts a variety of attractions. The 26 aquariums contain a variety of tropical fish and other forms of marine life from all over the world.
Watch the Killer Whale and Dolphin Show and see their jumps, flips and spins. Or swim with the dolphins for a memorable experience.
Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department offers an exciting line-up of eco-adventure tours that introduce you to south Florida's sub-tropical beauty, pristine parks, wilderness areas and historic sites.
Experience one of the popular kayak, canoe, snorkel, bike, and nature tours.
However, the fun doesn't stop with the action at the parks. Miami has museums and much more all dedicated to allowing kids to be kids.
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and operating historic railroad equipment. Kids will enjoy boarding the trains and getting the full experience of riding in a locomotive.
Let children get in touch with their creative sides with a visit to the Miami Children's Museum, where they can play, learn, imagine and create.
Children can dress in costume and drive a fire truck in the Safety Zone or climb through a two-storey sandcastle in the Castle of Dreams.
For a less stressful couple of hours, create your own pottery at Color Me Mine at Aventura Mall, where you can master the art of having fun.
A paint-your-own-pottery studio, Color Me Mine is a friendly place where you can create your own artwork or the pottery piece of your choice.
Aventura is south Florida's top ranked shopping centre for visitors.
If the kids are bored with shopping, then take them to one of the Miami Duck Tours. Your amphibious vehicle will tour famous Miami landmarks, then roll into the water for a Biscayne Bay cruise.
You will get a close up view of the luxury mansions, many owned by the rich and famous on Miami's Star, Hibiscus and Palm Islands.
Your tour is narrated by a true performer who will ensure you have a historical and entertaining experience!
All these activities are obviously going to make you and your family more than a little hungry.
If you are still in the mall, at Johnny Rockets, guests enjoy a simple menu, great food and fun. Guests enjoy an all-American diner look and feel, servers who know the secret behind getting ketchup out of the bottle, jukeboxes and authentic decor.
For lunch or early dinner, make sure you visit Bubba Gumps at Bayside Marketplace.
Inspired by the Tom Hanks' film hit Forrest Gump, it offers lots of affordable, oddly-named shrimp specials and is a fun place to bring the kids on a sunny afternoon - and there’s plenty of them in Miami.
The nightlife doesn't really get going until after 11pm so you may want to consider a disco nap so you'll be fully charged for a night on dancefloor.
While South Beach dances to a more electronic beat, other parts dance to a Latin beat – from salsa to tango and cha cha.
However, if you’re looking for a less frenetic good time, Miami's bar scene offers something for everyone.
But whatever you do, don't forget the beaches. They are superb and at least spare a few days to just laze around enjoying the Florida sunshine.
Mike Rees stayed at
The Palms Hotel South Beach 3025 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140 Tel: 305.534.0515, Fax: 305.534.0515
Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort 18101 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 Tel: 305.692.5600, Fax: 305.692.5601
www.trumpsonesta.comFor more information abour Miami, log on to www.miamiandbeaches.com