Miami City Guide: Neighborhoods & Things to Do
The name Miami comes from the Mayaimi people who lived in the area in the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s the only city in the United States that was founded by a woman. Her name was Julia Tuttle, and she was a Florida businesswoman. She encouraged developers to extend the Florida East Coast Railroad to Miami, which led the way for the development of this part of Florida. Since then, it’s become one of the premier cities to live, work and have fun in Florida. If you want to take advantage of everything Miami has to offer, check out our Miami city guide to find an apartment in the neighborhood of your dreams.
Miami city highlights
The beaches, the sunshine, the palm trees and the diversity – this is what draws so many people to Miami. You can also find many amusing, educational and inspiring attractions. Here are just a few to give you an idea of why moving to Miami is a great idea.
- Everglades National Park: Florida is famous for its Everglades. The quiet swamplands are best viewed via an airboat tour where you can get up close and personal with some of the wildlife. From a safe distance, of course. There are, after all, alligators in the waters.
- Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel: Enjoy the ocean breeze on your face and unobstructed views of the ocean and the Miami skyline on the Observation Wheel. Rising above the water is an exhilarating experience and the views will take your breath away.
- Art Deco District: South Beach is the center of Art Deco architecture. The buildings are fascinating, and you can take a guided tour on a Segway. Enjoy the city without breaking a sweat. You’ll witness colorful buildings with intricate details that have over 100 years of history.
- Hard Rock Stadium: This stadium is home to the Miami Dolphins football team, so if you’re an NFL fan you might want to get season tickets once you find your dream apartment in Miami. In addition to sporting events, the stadium hosts other sporting events like the Miami Open tennis tournament and concerts.
- Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary: There are several snorkeling opportunities in Florida. One you should try – the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. You’ll get to witness an underwater paradise, complete with coral reefs and tropical fish. This area is protected and is like entering a lost underwater kingdom.
Miami city guide to the best neighborhoods for renters
You’ve decided to make the move. Miami, here you come! Before you start apartment hunting, make sure to check the following guide to some of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. We’re sure there’s a neighborhood that will make you feel right at home.
Brickell is the center of wealth in Miami. There are glittering high-rise business buildings, as well as luxury condo towers. It’s a fashionable, luxurious neighborhood with chic art galleries and fine dining restaurants. You’ll get gorgeous views of the waterfront along Miami Circle Park, too. The luxury neighborhood comes with a luxury price tag, though. Rental prices are more than double that of the U.S. average.
If you want to live in the cultural hub of Miami, you’ll want to be in Downtown. The Adrienne Arsht Center hosts both the Florida Grand Opera company and the Miami City Ballet. Are you a fan of contemporary art? Then, you’ll likely be a regular visitor to the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Downtown is also home to FTX Arena, which is where the Miami Heat basketball team plays their home games. The Arena also hosts big-name musical acts. The neighborhood is home to over 15,000 residents who love the nightlife and appreciate the many posh restaurants, clubs and bars.
Midtown is a nice mix of trendy and luxury. The colorful neighborhood is well-known for its industrial-chic aesthetic and cutting-edge architecture. You’ll find art galleries, craft breweries, bakeries and sophisticated dining establishments. Midtown is also known for its world-class shopping experience. The neighborhood is contemporary, cool and trendy-yet-laid-back. Watching locally produced films is a fun pastime for locals and a great way to support some of your creative neighbors. There are brand-new high-rise towers where you might be able to find your new dream apartment.
Are you looking for a funky, colorful neighborhood? Then, Wynwood is the community for you. With beautiful murals and a multitude of buildings and an outdoor museum with large-scale works of art by local street artists, this is a high-energy neighborhood that thrives on creativity and imagination. The locals love the nightlife and there are plenty of trendy bars and restaurants to fit their needs. You’ll also find chic fashion boutiques, bistros and craft breweries in converted warehouses. It has a very urban atmosphere and the majority of over 9000 residents are young professionals who rent their apartments.
West Flagler is a part of Little Havana dotted with Cuban bakeries, cafes and restaurants. You’ll also find an abundance of Latin grocers who sell imported goods from Latin America. This neighborhood is known as an area where you can enjoy live music, concerts, casino games like poker and slot machines, live theater and dances. Most residents rent their properties in this neighborhood and rental prices are slightly higher than the U.S. average.
The Edgewater neighborhood is situated on the shore of Biscayne Bay. Along the waterfront are luxury high-rise apartment and condo complexes. To say the views are incredible is an understatement. Along the water are paved trails and picnic areas, perfect for a weekend afternoon with family and friends or your daily morning run. If you’re a fan of designer fashion, you’ll love the shopping centers and boutiques in this area of Miami. Restaurants in the area range from laid-back cafes and sandwich spots to sophisticated, fine-dining restaurants featuring local, fresh-caught seafood.
Coral Way is a more traditional neighborhood with homes built in the early part of the 20th century. The neighborhood is a little over 20 minutes away from Downtown Miami, and it feels that way! Instead of the hustle of city life, the vibe in the Coral Way neighborhood is quiet, peaceful and laid-back. But being so close to the heart of Miami means that it doesn’t take long to get to the city and enjoy all its amenities. That’s not to say Coral Way doesn’t have anything to offer in the way of shops, restaurants or cafes. There are several wonderful eateries and shops in the area. Residents of the neighborhood also enjoy an abundance of green space in the neighborhood.
Looking for an island paradise without having to be too far away from the amenities of the big city? Check out Brickell Key, a man-made island just off the mainland. It’s adjacent to the Brickell neighborhood and is less than 15 minutes away from Downtown Miami. Brickell Key is a gated community that’s just a few minutes from major Miami destinations like the airport and South Beach. The high-rise apartment and condo complexes provide amazing views of the bay, as well as the Miami skyline. The community has some shops and restaurants, so you won’t feel too detached from necessary amenities.
Nearly 36,000 people live in Little Havana, a neighborhood known for its exciting nightlife and busy restaurants. You’ll find Latin American cafés, clubs, restaurants, art galleries and cigar shops. Head over to Calle Ocho to play a game of dominoes with neighbors in the Maximo Gomez Park, AKA Domino Park. The Tower Theater shows a mix of revival and independent films – perfect for a relaxing night out for the busy professionals who live in the area.
If you’re looking for a diverse neighborhood with a sleek, contemporary design, look no further than the Design District. The upscale neighborhood is made up of modern architectural designs as well as sophisticated art galleries and shops. You’ll find luxury and designer fashion and accessory boutiques, celebrity chef-owned (and some operated) restaurants and outdoor public art displays. If you’re an art aficionado, you’ll want to spend some of your downtime at the Institute of Contemporary Art, which showcases some of the latest, cutting-edge artwork in the county.
The Upper East Side is one of the top 10 neighborhoods to live in Miami. The mainly residential area features mid-century modern architecture. The condos and other buildings in the area often have extravagant designs that one might describe as playful, unique and fun. The nearly 13,000 residents are made up mostly of young families and young professionals. Most residents rent with rental prices being higher than the national average but lower than many other Miami neighborhoods.
Ready for some glamour? Check out South Beach. The city that a diet was named after is well-known for its breathtaking beaches, celebrity chef-owned and operated restaurants and exhilarating nightlife. You’ll find indie shops, outdoor cafes and Art Deco-style buildings. The population of this neighborhood is made up mostly of retirees who own their homes but there are still plenty of beautiful apartments for rent in South Beach.
Dadeland is an urban neighborhood located in the prestigious community of Kendall. The walkability score is high in this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, which has a tropical yet upscale vibe. Within minutes, you can be at the beach or in Downtown Miami via public transit. The Dadeland Mall offers a high-end shopping experience with several international boutiques. If you’re a fan of green space, you can enjoy more than just the beach. The neighborhood has playscapes, walking and biking trails and sports courts.
Over 17,000 Floridians call Little Haiti home, made up mostly of families. The colorful neighborhood is a nod to the Caribbean lifestyle. Little Haiti has a host of indie art galleries, many of which showcase Afro-Caribbean artwork, dance acts and theater performances. The hip bars and clubs make this a fun after-hours neighborhood. Most residents rent (nearly 90%) and the cost of rent is below the national average.
Over 50,000 people live in Coral Gables, which includes many young professionals and families. The schools in the area are not just above average – they’re excellent. Only a minority of residents rent in the area, which is considered one of the most livable Miami suburbs.