Due to its close proximity to Cuba and the Caribbean, Miami is a melting pot of cultures and is full of flavor.
The Latin and Caribbean cultures have influenced everything, including restaurants, nightlife, and the city’s civic celebrations and activities. That signature blend of cultures has also produced uniquely designed homes, stellar dining, and miles of pristine beaches to make Magic City a darling of movie shoots, television backdrops, and scores of celebrities.
Miami’s year-round warm climate is another enticement. Residents can indulge in water skiing and sunbathing on Miami Beach or explore the city’s 800 parks, including Everglades National Park, one of America’s best-known nature preserves. Miami’s mix of urban sophistication and fun-in-the-sun provides a welcoming mix that has attracted potential movers for decades. Here’s what you need to know about Florida’s sunshine capital.
Miami has to offer
Coconut Grove is a bohemian, tranquil village on Biscayne Bay with funky boutiques,
oak and hardwood tree-lined streets, and parks like The Kampong, a Indonesian-inspired botanical garden that once belonged to a famed botanist. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, sits on a 50-acre estate and features an Italian Renaissance villa and formal gardens. The area is popular with newly arrived families thanks to activities like the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, an annual event that draws attendees young and old every year.
Edgewater boasts historic homes from the early 20th century and high-rise towers featuring panoramic views of Biscayne Bay. The neighborhood is home to Margaret Pace Park, considered one of Miami’s most lively public spaces. Life here is quieter and traffic is lighter than in other parts of town. Like many Miami neighborhoods, Edgewater has no shortage of fantastic eateries. Mamma Leone Bakery, an Italian bakery, serves pizzas and Neapolitan coffees alongside pastries; Sabor a Perú serves Andean delicacies, and The Daily Creative Food Company serves up gourmet American breakfasts.
Little Havana recreates Cuban life with authentic restaurants, bars, nightlife, and cigar shops. The atmosphere is festive, with an outdoor cultural party, Viernes Culturales, taking place in the area every month.
You can’t talk about Miami without mentioning Miami Beach and South Beach (locals sometimes call it “SoBe”), an iconic shopping, dining, and retail stretch bursting with glamorous art deco hotels and opulent mansions. The area is also famous for its nightclubs, bars, and entertainment. At Mango’s Tropical Cafe, locals can take in a daily “Havana-style” party with salsa dancing, conga shows, and plenty of daiquiris and mojitos.
Those with an artistic side may favor Wynwood, where, just over a decade ago, this formerly industrial neighborhood became a haven for artists. The Wynwood Walls, a massive outdoor gallery displaying street art, are the core of the arts scene here and attract visitors from around the globe. (Beautifully ornate graffiti is Wynwood’s signature aesthetic, so much so that the neighborhood is home to the Museum of Graffiti).Collapse
Food & CultureExpand
With Miami’s cornucopia of restaurants, nightlife, and cultural attractions,
it’s nearly impossible for residents to have a bad meal or a boring evening out. Among the highlights is Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, a luxury seafood restaurant that has been serving local delicacies for a century. The seasonal eatery only serves its signature stone crab from October to May. But even if you can’t make it for stone crab season, the key lime pie is worth a trip. At the more casual end, the Nicaraguan food at Fritanga Pinolandia, west of downtown Miami, is some of the best in the city, while La Camaronera has dished out Cuban seafood 24 hours a day for 40 years. Locals and tourists also flock to the iconic Versailles Restaurant between Coral Gables and Little Havana for ropa vieja and a cafecito.
The trendy but lowkey News Cafe, owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan, is an ideal spot for people watching in South Beach. There are plenty of celebrity chef-owned restaurants throughout SoBe including José Andrés’ the Bazaar, but be sure to check out local institutions like the decades-old sandwich spot La Sandwicherie and the temple-to-tacos Taquiza.
Wynwood is home to many micro-breweries, as well as cafes and dining hotspots, like Alter, where you can taste seasonally-inspired dishes, or R House, a restaurant that is part-eatery, part-gallery.
For museum buffs, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Bass Museum of Art, the Haitian Heritage Museum, and the Miami Children’s Museum all deliver. Art deco walking tours are available in South Beach and, if you want to see Magic City from the sky, you can book a seaplane or helicopter tour. You can also stroll around the cultural enclaves of Little Havana and Little Haiti where Miami’s wonderfully diverse background is on full display.Collapse
The top public elementary schools in Miami in 2019 were Coconut Grove Elementary School and Coral Park Elementary School, while the top middle school was Zelda Glazer Middle School, located on the far west side of the city. Four Miami high schools ranked in the top 100 American high schools for 2019, including the School for Advanced Studies on the north side of downtown that came in at No. 4 nationally. Several local universities are strong. Across Miami, University of Miami, Florida International University, and Nova Southeastern University ranked first, second, and third, respectively.Collapse
Thanks to its growing reputation as a medical research hotspot, Miami-area hospitals are increasingly on par with some of the best in the world. Baptist Hospital on the city’s southeast side is nationally ranked in orthopedics, and Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach is renowned for its work in cardiology.Collapse
Miami is 143 square kilometers which means the primary mode of getting around is driving.
Those eligible for a driver’s license in the United States must get one from the state of Florida through the state’s Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety department. There are several public transit options in Miami, including a robust bus network, a light rail system, and a recently refurbished commuter rail network called Brightline that enables commuters to travel to Miami, all the way to West Palm Beach, and to the north.
The Miami area is serviced by two major airports: Miami International and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International. Both airports serve as major hubs for travelers from Central and South America, as well as those coming from Europe in search of sunshine. A bit farther north is Palm Beach International Airport, a smaller airport that serves a mix of domestic and short-haul international flights.Collapse
Weather & ClimateExpand
Florida’s year-round warm weather has made it a popular location for those looking to move to America,
and Miami is no different. Temperatures in winter are typically around 15 degrees Celsius, and many days get much warmer. Summers can be sweltering, but Miami’s heat is a major appeal for many movers.
Rainstorms can famously come as quickly as they go, and locals know that summer showers around 3 p.m. are almost guaranteed. Hurricane season, which runs from June to November, can impact Miami, and the city has a robust emergency management system to deal with the yearly threat.
The sunny climate is also great for outdoor enthusiasts. Everglades National Park, a 1.5 million-acre World Heritage wetlands site, is an hour from Miami. And there’s no shortage of beautiful beaches in Miami, including Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne and Haulover Park, just north of Miami Beach proper.Collapse
Jobs & IndustriesExpand
A variety of fields are represented in Miami, but it’s best known for fashion, tourism, hospitality, and a growing medical industry. Fashionistas are in their element here during both Miami Fashion Week and SwimShow, both pivotal events on the international fashion industry’s calendar. Miami’s plethora of restaurants, hotels, entertainment complexes, and a bustling cruise port collectively employ thousands. Meanwhile, the area around the Miami Civic Center has become known as the health district thanks to its emergence as a major hub of medicine and research.Collapse
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