Internationally known for its world-class shopping, great beaches, and its load of family attractions, few visitors are aware that true Miami is in its neighborhoods.

Coral Gables, built almost entirely out of the coral limestone, features Spanish colonial-style homes, streets lined with a lush vegetation, and sophisticated shopping malls. One of its highlights is the Venetian Pool, an exotic swimming hole with romantic stone bridges and waterfalls.

Key Biscayne holds popular tourist attractions, recreational marinas and fantastic beaches. Miami Seaquarium ranks as one of Florida’s first marine attractions. Nearby marinas offer everything from boat rentals to diving excursions. There are more ways to play at Crandon Park, a huge beach park with amusement rides, tennis and bike paths. At the island’s southern tip, a state park protects a historic lighthouse and the beach that fronts it.

Coconut Grove, an old Miami neighborhood, bears a lively shopping and nightlife scene in a laid back atmosphere. It is a neighborhood to walk and its unpretentiously housing makes it a darling haven for artists and intellectuals. It is the home to Italian-style palace at Vizcaya Museum.

Little Havana. Along Calle Ocho, the Cuban neighborhood gives you the opportunity to enjoy the life of Cuba. By morning, café con leche is dispensed from bakeries and restaurants through sidewalk windows; daylong, salsa music comes from unseen sources, and everyone is speaking in Spanish. Stars inset along the sidewalk honor Latino celebrities and shops sell religious icons, guayabera shirts and cigars.

Downtown blends the historical and the modernity of a city in rapid process of renovation. It provides a festive atmosphere for shopping, dining or catching a tour or fishing boat. Along the downtown waterfront, American Airlines Arena hosts NBA’s Miami Heat and Bayside Marketplace. A grand, new performing arts hall also will soon open downtown.