Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options—house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location—it can be quite overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Miami City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Miami’s most popular neighborhoods.
This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent (and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops— Miami movers and beyond).
The Greater Miami metro area and the beaches around it consist of 36 villages and towns. Each of these neighborhoods are distinctly different, not just because of the part of town they’re in, but because of the people who live there, all 2.5 million of them.
Though Miami’s most well-known neighborhood, South Beach, gives the illusion that the city was made for the rich and famous, there is plenty of affordable housing there, if you know where to look. But be wary, because people who choose to rent in Miami spend more than 30% of their income on housing, as the average rent there is $1,800 a month.
Here are some of Miami’s most popular neighborhoods.
Coconut Grove is not only Miami’s oldest neighborhood, but it’s one of the city’s most popular, especially for families. Founded in 1873, The Grove is located in the heart of the city, just south of the Brickell and The Roads neighborhoods and east of Coral Gables.
This seaside village has a bohemian vibe and distinctly different than a lot of other Miami neighborhoods, with tall oak trees, plenty of parks and even an occasional roaming peacock (told you it was bohemian). It’s also bike-friendly and very walkable. And don’t worry, it’s also one of the safest neighborhoods in Miami, with 24/7 police surveillance.
What’s Happening in Coconut Grove
One of the kid-friendliest neighborhoods in Miami, Coconut Grove has plenty of things to do for families. CocoWalk serves as the heart of the neighborhood, with a health club, a Starbucks, a movie theater and shops. There’s also Silly Monkeys Playhouse, a place where kids can take art and music classes, play and explore.
There’s also the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, which features 2,500 pieces of art and historic furnishings, along with 25 acres of scenic views and hedge mazes. And for book lovers, there’s the local bookstore, Bookstore in the Grove, which has books for young and old readers alike.
Schools in Coconut Grove
Coconut Grove has some of Miami’s best private schools including Carrollton and Ransom. There’s also the Coconut Grove Montessori School, Frances S. Tucker Elementary and George Washington Carver Middle School.
Homes in Coconut Grove
This urban neighborhood is located in the downtown area of Miami, directly south of the historic Central Business District. Brickell is Miami’s and South Florida’s major financial district, and one of the largest in the U.S. It was founded in the mid-19th century and grew to become Miami’s “Millionaire’s Row,” lined with lavish mansions. Now, many of those mansions have been replaced by office towers, hotels, and apartments.
Brickell is one of the city’s fastest-growing and most dense neighborhoods, with a total residential population of around 56,000 people. There are quite a few schools in the Brickell neighborhood, amidst all the new construction that abounds there, with new hotels, state-of-the-art shopping complexes and plenty of condos going up at great speed. What else makes Brickell family-friendly? All of the museums, play areas and entertainment options, which we’ll get to in the next section.
What’s Happening in Brickell
If you’re looking for some educational fun, there’s the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, among other attractions. For a night out on the town, Miami’s best rooftop bars, like Whisper Cocktail Lounge and Sugar are close by. And the Brickell City Centre is a luxury mall with retailers such as The Apple Store, Saks Fifth Avenue and other famous swanky brands.
Schools in Brickell
There are quite a few schools in the area such as Southside Elementary, Key Point Academy and KLA Schools of Brickell.
Homes in Brickell
Just west of Midtown, Wynwood is an eclectic district in the urban core of the city. Art galleries, retail shops, bars, eateries abound here. So do beautifully vibrant murals, which help define the neighborhood. Throughout the mid-to-late 1900s, Wynwood was a hub for Caribbean immigrants and home to Miami’s garment district.
The area, however, went into decline, and in the early 2000s, it was rehabilitated with innovative businesses and the creation of the Second Saturday Art Walk. This event helped make the area a globally-recognized area for art, fashion, innovation, and creative enterprise and is one of the most prominent creative communities in the world.
What’s Happening in Wynwood
The Wynwood Walls is a must-visit attraction. There are plenty of bars and restaurants and local, independent shops, like Coyo Taco, Pizza Tropical, The Shops at Midtown Miami and Wynwood Shop. Take in a movie at O Cinema, a one-room movie theater and art space, and catch live music at Gramps and Lagniappe.
Schools in Wynwood
There is an assortment of charter, public and private elementary and middle schools, and schools focused around the arts in Wynwood, such as Miami Arts Charter Wynwood, Metropolitan International School of Miami and Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School.
Homes in Wynwood
Morningside is a single-family-home, gated neighborhood located north of downtown Miami and within the general Upper East Side area. The area became Miami’s first historic district in 1984 with homes that date back to the 1920s.
The most populated residential district in the area, Morningside sits along Biscayne Bay and is quiet and homey. Close by is the Miami Modern Historic District, known as the MiMo, where there are restaurants and boutiques for residents to go out on the town without having to go to the tourist-heavy area of downtown.
What’s Happening in Morningside
Morningside has a number of parks including Baywood, Manatee Bend, Military Trail, Legion Park and Morningside Park.
Since Morningside is part of Miami’s Upper East Side, there’s no shortage of things to do. Restaurants in the area include Osteria Baiocco, Soyka and ‘O Munaciello, among plenty of others. As far as shopping goes, there’s no shortage of it. But if you’re looking for a really unique shopping experience, then visit the Upper Buena Vista shopping area.
Schools in Morningside
Morningside has some of the best-performing schools in Miami, with Morningside Elementary, Phyllis R. Elementary School, Morningside Montessori and The Cushman School, among them.
Homes in Morningside
What once was a pineapple farm in a neighborhood referred to as Buena Vista, the Miami Design District is now one of Miami’s trendiest neighborhoods. But it took a man named Craig Robins to buy many of the run-down buildings that occupied the space in the 1980s and ‘90s and convince top designers such as Alison Spear, Holly Hunt and Peter Page to relocate there.
The 18-block neighborhood is located just north of Wynwood and filled with renovated warehouses that have been converted into upscale galleries, such as Locust Projects.
What’s Happening in the Miami Design Destrict
The Design District is home to brand-name fashion retail shops and high-end restaurants like Ella, Mandolin Aegean Bistro and MC Kitchen, just a few of the 140 creative and design-centered businesses. There are also destinations such as Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Celine and Prada.
Schools in the Miami Design Destrict
Schools like the Design and Architecture Senior High, the Young Men’s Preparatory School and others can be found in the district.
Homes in the Miami Design Destrict
Houses are expensive, and there aren’t a lot of them for sale. But there area few places for rent in and around the area.
Neighborhoods are about location and lifestyle, to be sure. But more importantly, they are about the people who live in them. These downtown neighborhoods are culturally rich and offer a range of diverse lifestyles that have helped make Miami one of the most culturally diverse cities in the U.S.
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