Since the 1920s, the movie industry has had a crush on the tropical region. Beginning in the 1960s, the country fell in love with Miami through the charming, bottlenose-dolphin star "Flipper," who swam joyfully off the waters of the Florida coast in a family-friendly series.
However, it wasn't until "Miami Vice" aired that the lens began to show a less than idyllic view of Miami filled with glitz, glam, fast cars and the seedy underbelly, that piqued Hollywood's interest. With the blockbuster success of Miami-based films such as "Scarface," "True Lies" and the "Fast and Furious" action franchise, the city solidified its reputation as a go-to destination for Hollywood films.
Here are some of the most well-known film destinations you can visit to relive a piece of movie history.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
The next time you find yourself sipping cocktails poolside at the iconic Morris Lapidus-designed Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel you may be in the exact same spot where Al Pacino and Steven Bauer plotted how to hook up with women in "Scarface."
Another starring role for this architectural gem happened to be in Whitney Houston's first film "The Bodyguard"—the penthouse suite, the pool and what is now LIV nightclub all appeared in the flick.
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
When detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) in "Bad Boys II" wanted to make an attention-grabbing entrance, they did it at the stylish Mandarin Oriental hotel lobby overlooking Biscayne Bay. This Forbes Five-Star hotel's MO Bar + Lounge is also a great place to sample sake hybrids along with wine and coffee.
Miami-Dade Cultural Plaza
Surrounded by impressive architecture housing the Miami-Dade Public Library and HistoryMiami, the Cultural Plaza designed by Phillip Johnson in the style of a classic Mediterranean city plaza stands out in the Downtown Miami skyline.
At the former home of the Center for Fine Arts (later renamed to the Miami Art Museum and closed to become the Pérez Art Museum Miami) is where Cameron Diaz "Mary" takes Matt Dillon "Pat" to an architecture exhibit. In fact, most of the film is shot around Miami.
Scattered throughout the public libraries in Miami you'll find an impressive art collection of over 860 artists including works by Purvis Young, Edward Ruscha, Gleason Waite Romer, Kabuya Pamela Bowens, Carl Van Vechten, Lynn Golub Gelfman, Emilio Sanchez, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Agustín Fernandez, Gary L. Moore, Christian Marclay and Fernando Garcia.
Director Michael Mann of "Collateral," "ALI" and "Miami Vice" fame is known for his fondness of nighttime shooting. So when the movie adaption of the 1980s hit TV show "Miami Vice" came to town it was no surprise that most of the movie takes place at night and that it dedicated a sizeable amount of screen time to the Miami River, as it did throughout the run of the television series of the same name.
Catch a glimpse of The Ivy condominium towers and the Frame Art gallery and framing shop alongside Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. But if you want to relive some of the movie's iconic scenes we recommend booking a boat tour of Miami's working river.
When Jon Favreau's "Chef" character, Carl Jasper quits his job in Los Angeles he decides to pursue his culinary passion at the famous Versailles restaurant in Little Havana. Here is where you can taste the world famous Cuban coffee, Cuban sandwich and "pastelitos" (pastries usually filled with Guava paste, cheese or beef).
Lincoln Road Farmer's Market
Open year-round every Sunday, the Lincoln Road Farmers Market between Washington Avenue and Meridian Avenue is open from 9 am to 6:30 pm and features fresh fruits, veggies, Zak the Baker bread, local honey, jams, flowers and more. The green market is a lovely way to spend the day along Lincoln Road. But don't take it from us, "The Birdcage" stars Nathan Lane and the late Robin Williams pick this strip to stroll during the film.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
If Vizcaya Museum and Gardens looks familiar, is probably because the former 1920s European-inspired villa in Coconut Grove, is a well-known setting for countless blockbuster hits, most recently as Aldrich Killian's Miami mansion in "Iron Man 3." Also the home of drug smuggler Johnny Tapia in "Bad Boys II" and the party house from Jim Carrey's zany comedy "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective."
New Miami Stadium
Take in a game at the home of the Miami Dolphins and walk through the halls where action-packed films like "Any Given Sunday," and "Marley and Me" cast go on a family outing and where the fictitious football team of HBO's new series "Ballers" play. Football fans won't have to wait to catch a Dolphins game, preseason starts Aug. 11 and regular season kicks off Sept. 11.
Hard Rock Live
Through movie magic, see the Hard Rock Live transformed into a Hollywood, California, concert venue where Tom Cruise and his movie band, Arsenal, channel their inner rocker in the big-budget 1980s musical "Rock of Ages." Located in Florida's "Hollywood"—the city name—the Hard Rock Live attracts all kinds of music lovers, sports enthusiasts and comedy fans to its state-of-the-art arena. Some of the biggest names in entertainment have appeared here.
Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys
Helicopter stunts, explosions and a spy caper involving Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis provide the backdrop to the story that ends with an epic bridge escape and ultimately blowing up the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys, in the 1994 blockbuster "True Lies." Needless to say, it wasn't the real bridge. However, to movie audiences, the famous narrow road above the turquoise waters certainly looked like the real deal. Beware the next time you are driving to the Keys—you just might make your Hollywood cameo.