Accessible Travel

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By: Melanie Gomez

Miami accomodates all abilities and disabilities

Miami is known for many things, and by many affectionate nicknames including: The Magic City, the Wreck-reational Diving Capital of the World, the Cruise Capital of the World, and the largest collection of Art Deco architecture on the planet. Perhaps not as well-known, but just as vital, is Miami’s reputation for having an inclusive and accessible atmosphere. Perhaps because over 13 million people visit Miami every year from all over the world, it has always been a place where everyone is welcome and accommodated.

From the moment they arrive at Miami International Airport, visitors with disabilities are greeted with a welcoming and accommodating environment.

Getting out and about is just as simple, with Miami-Dade county recently expanding the availability of wheelchair accessible taxicab services. Find a full list of the companies and their inventory here. In addition to accessible taxis or Super Shuttle, visitors can rent their own vehicle at Wheelchair Getaways, Miami Airport Wheelchair Van Rentals, or Mobility Works.

Another option for visitors from the US, is Transportation America. Those who currently utilize their own local public paratransit services can contact Transportation America in advance and easily access the same service here in South Florida, known as STS (Special Transportation Service) reserving rides online or by phone 24 hours a day.

365 days of weather that lends itself to a ride or stroll, means most all of the neighborhoods you'll find highlighted as visitor destinations will be fully sidewalked with ramp exits and entrances. Almost every shopping or site-seeing district will be fully accessible. Being a city filled with brand new high-tech, cutting edge facilities means performing arts venues, museums, shopping malls and major attractions are almost all equipped with easy wheelchair access, companion bathrooms and sensory-friendly offerings.

Accessibility isn't limited to indoor or street-side exploration. Everyone knows the beach is the main attraction and those who are physically challenged have full access to experience it all. Check out Miami-Dade’s Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusion site to reserve sand and wave faring wheelchairs and strollers.

Miami and the Beaches are leading the way in accessible water sports. From providing children with special needs, their first-ever experience on the water, to training paralympic athletes, there are limitless possibilities for getting in and on the water here. Contact Shake-A-Leg or Team Paradise, whether you're a first-timer or an expert, for some fun ways to get wet.

As far as dining is concerned, the same diverse and ever-evolving culinary scene that makes Miami and its beaches one of the nation’s most delicious destinations also keeps the restaurant scene ahead of the trend in all aspects, with most restaurants providing accommodation for not only mobility and sensory-impaired visitors, but also an ample selection of establishments that cater to every type of dietary restriction.

Miami’s hotels and resorts fall under that same umbrella. Naturally the new, hip boutique properties are all exceptionally accommodating. But also the area’s oldest and grandest resorts have undertaken major renovation projects to be on the leading edge of all ADA requirements and accommodations.

Of course, as with all disability travel, pre-planning is the best bet. Calling ahead to reserve everything from accessible hotel rooms to preferred restaurant seating or beach dune wheelchairs is highly recommended. A quick visit to the Miami and Beaches list of things to do will provide one-stop access for phone numbers and websites to guarantee smooth sailing.

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