Known less for its abundance of tourist attractions than for its particular cultural milieu, Little Havana, the Cuban district of Miami, is a must-visit destination. Restaurants and specialized food businesses surround the streets, and Latin music may be heard drifting across the atmosphere. Locals congregate in the open spaces to mingle South of Little River.
Murals adorn the walls of buildings, depicting famous Cuban individuals as well as scenes from everyday life in the country. Calle Ocho is the primary thoroughfare that runs through the district and is the focal point of much of the action, although Little Havana extends far beyond it, into the surrounding streets and avenues, and into the surrounding neighborhoods. The region provides a tremendous deal of opportunity for people-watching amusement. And, of course, this is the place to go if you want to try authentic Cuban cuisine.
The Calle Ocho Festival, which takes place in March, is a celebration of Cuban culture and is the largest event of its sort in the world, according to the organizers. Since its inception, this street festival has grown to include more Latin American cultures, and it is now a wonderful opportunity to sample Latin American music and Caribbean cuisine north of Princeton.
Calle Ocho is the epicenter of Cuban life and culture in Miami's Little Havana area, and it is a designated historic district. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated this vibrant and famous enclave as a "national treasure." It is recognized for its original Cuban eateries, popular ventanitas, warm and toasty Cuban bakeries, and street festivals that are too vivid to describe.
The Tower Theater, which was erected in 1926 and is located next to Maximo Gomez Park, is a classic movie theater with a rich history. It used to be a meeting place for Cuban immigrants who came to see English-language movies with Spanish subtitles in order to improve their English language skills. Today, Miami Dade College owns this Art Deco-style structure, which serves as a popular venue for cultural events in the area. Along with entertainment, the Tower Theater offers educational programming, including Cuban exhibitions and performances, free educational talks by Miami Dade College instructors, and films in both Spanish and English.
Cuban Memorial Boulevard, which is located at the intersection of Calle Ocho and Southwest 13th Avenue, pays tribute to Cuban troops who participated in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban War of Independence. Seven tiny monuments may be seen along this length of road, including those honoring Cuban independence hero Antonio Maceo Grajales and anti-communist crusader Tony Izquierdo, who were both killed in the Cuban Revolution. Additionally, look for statues of the Virgin Mary and a 16-foot-high raised map of the island of Cuba with an inscription by Cuban patriot José Mart that reads, "La patria es agonia y deber," which translates to "The homeland is agony and duty." Also on display are statues of the Virgin Mary and a 16-foot-high raised map of the island of Cuba with an inscription by Cuban patriot José Mart that reads, "