Unlike many cities that have only become an international destination after years of establishment, the “magic city” sprung up overnight and despite its young age, Miami serves as a major international port for a variety of industries. One of them being the maritime industry.
We can identify human interactions on the Miami River back hundreds of years. Until the early 1500s the Miami River was an important source of food water and life. The “Village of Miami” was charted on the bank of the river until “The City of Miami” was incorporated in 1896 with 444 citizens. In the same year, railroad tracks were extended into Miami, making the city more accessible, increasing trade and tourism.
Miami’s geographical location has made it a popular place for the rich and wealthy to visit from the very beginning. It is for this reason that many modern day celebrities continue to travel to Miami, many even calling the city home. The railroads brought a slew of tourists, which prompted real estate booms, which in turn resulted in the need for a tourism industry. The high volume of visitors demanded places to eat, things to do and places to stay. Since the ocean is such a big part of the city draw it’s no wonder that the the maritime industry grew with each person who visited.
In 2016, it’s hard not to associate Miami with boats – both recreational and commercial. PortMiami welcomes more cruise passengers on a yearly basis than any other port in the world. Did we mention Miami is an international mecca? Today, the port is known as the “Cruise Capital of the World,” and generates $28 billion dollars annually and employs more than 207,000 people.
The first bridge was developed in 1913, which extended across Biscayne Bay to connect Miami and the less-crowded (at the time) Miami Beach. Nearly 30 years later, the Miami Boat Show formed, took a six year break and resumed in 1947. In 1953 the Miami boat show added “International” to the title.
In modern times the annual Miami and Fort Lauderdale boat shows are two of the biggest boating-related events in the world. Fort Lauderdale, known as the “Yachting Capital of the World” is just 30 minutes north of Miami. In 2014, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was attended by nearly 100,000 people.
For a visual account of Miami’s boating history, visit Flashback Miami, a project by the Miami Herald. The images are compiled from coverage over various water events from the mid-1960s through modern day.
It’s easier than ever to be part of Miami’s boating history. Whether you are visiting from another part of the state, or the world, or are a resident looking to take advantage of the summer weather, Boatsetter can find you a boat charter or rental so you can start your own adventure off the shores of Miami.
The easiest way to get on the water is via Boatsetter. Using our online platform you can search for a boat, request a reservation and pay for your boat charter. You choose the type of boat, the date and time, and whether or not you require a captain. At Boatsetter you reserve the right to cancel your reservation up to 24 hours in advance, giving you the flexibility to account for changed plans or bad weather. We invite you to be a part of Miami’s maritime history – find your south Florida adventure!