Skyline of downtown Miami as the sun sets

11 Things to Know About Living in Miami

Picturing yourself living in a city that has 249 days of sunshine, a variety of job opportunities, and Caribbean culture influences? Consider Miami! The fourth-largest urban area in the U.S., this Florida city is brimming with cool neighborhoods for young adults, Art Deco architecture, trendy fashion, lively clubs, and more. If you’re ready to plant roots in the Sunshine State, here are 11 things to know about living in Miami!

Only Major City Founded by a Woman

Aerial view of Miami beach in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @visuals.by.luis
Photo via @visuals.by.luis

Miami was founded in 1896 by Julia Tuttle, who wanted to create a new city along the Miami River due to that area’s warm climate after citrus crops in all other parts of Florida were ruined by the Great Freeze. While the area was initially inhabited by the Tequesta Native American Tribe, it was Julia Tuttle—with the help of railroad tycoon Henry Flagler—who offered up the idea and her 600 acres of land to start development on. Over the course of 110 years, Miami went from 300 citizens to almost 5 million, gaining the nickname “Magic City” because of the area’s rapid growth.

A Place that Embraces Many Cultures

Mural of three colorful women in Little Havana in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @meandthreechairs
Photo via @meandthreechairs

From food and clothes to art and music, Miami life is influenced by cultures from all over the world. Residents of this Florida city are made up of people from the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Africa. The most prominent in the area, though, are those who hail from Cuba. You can see this strong influence of Cuban culture along Calle Ocho, which is located in the heart of Little Havana. Here, you’ll find locals smoking hand-rolled Cuban cigars from El Titan de Bronze or enjoying a Cuban sandwich and cafe cubano (Cuban espresso) from Miami hot spot Versailles.

Jobs Are Diverse & Plentiful

Aerial view of cruiseships in the Port Miami in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @portmiami
Photo via @portmiami

When relocating to Miami, you won’t have to worry about finding a job that fits your career path! Finance, commerce, international business, healthcare, and media are just a few of the industries that make up the biggest employers in the area. Some of the companies headquartered here include UnivisionTelemundoU.S. Century BankPerry Ellis InternationalNorwegian Cruise Lines, and the University of Miami Health System. Tourism and trade are also major players in the area’s economy, as Port Miami is one of the largest cargo ports in the U.S. and the world’s busiest port for cruise ships, earning Miami the name of Cruise Capital of the World.

Highly-Rated Education System

Student Center Complex near water at UMiami in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @univmiami
Photo via @univmiami

Education is an important component of Miami life, especially with 213 public schools and 570 private schools in the area! Miami-Dade County Public Schools is both the biggest school district in Florida and fourth biggest in the U.S. Design and Architecture Senior High and International Studies Charter School are two schools within the district that have landed spots in the top 30 for best high schools in the U.S. due to their high test scores, strong graduation rate, and success on AP Exams. Ransom Everglades School and Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart are two top-notch private schools known for programs geared toward college prep and STEM, Portuguese language, and video production. The Miami area also has several highly-rated universities—University of MiamiFlorida International University, and Barry University—for those interested in furthering their education or attending a Division I school for sports.

Attend the Biggest Art Event in North America

Woman in black looking at mushroom picture at Art Basel in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @seymasubasi
Photo via @seymasubasi

Located in Miami Beach, Art Basel is the largest art fair of contemporary works in North America and one of Miami’s largest attractions. Every year, over 260 of the world’s leading galleries in 33 countries display the works of 4,000 well-known and up-and-coming modern artists. More than 77,000 collectors, critics, enthusiasts, and other artists travel to Miami for this four-day event to see a variety of films, sculptures, digital art, photography, and paintings. Guests who attend also get the chance to listen to panels about the inspiration and struggles many artists face, as well as concerns that are taking place in the global contemporary art scene.

Emerging Hub For Fashion

Picture of white Dior store in the Miami Design District in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @miamidesigndistrict
Photo via @miamidesigndistrict

Living in Miami means living in a developing fashion capital! Over the years, the  Miami area has seen a large influx of designers, luxury brands, photographers, and models, making it a top spot for the fashion-forward to establish modern trends and get noticed. One of the first and most famous designers to be drawn here was Gianni Versace in 1992, and you can still visit his apartment-turned-fashion mansion today. Since then, many world-renowned designers like Dior, Christian Louboutin, and Giorgio Armani have set up shop here, creating and growing the Miami Design District. The city also hosts several fashion events, including Miami Swim Week and Miami Fashion Week. And if it’s always been your dream to rock the runway, Wilhelmina ModelsElite Model Management, and William Morris Agency are just a few big-name agencies that have modeling hubs in Miami.

The Art Is in the Architecture

Yellow and pink art deco buildings in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @pontosmultiplus
Photo via @pontosmultiplus

One of the most unique aspects of the city and a Miami must-see is the architectural beauty that is the Art Deco Historic District. Lining the streets of Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue, you’ll find hotels, restaurants, and bars adorned in porthole windows and exotic flora outside doors. The most prominent and identifiable element of this design is the pastel oranges, pinks, purples, and blues that cover the exterior of the buildings, providing anyone who goes for a frozen drink at Wet Willie’s or brunch at Waldorf Towers with a retro-fabulous feel.

Experience Outdoor Miami Fun

Sunset over a trail and water in the Everglades in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @evergladesnps
Photo via @evergladesnps

Not sure what to do in Miami? Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather! Be a part of a swamp tour through the Everglades to see alligators and manatees. Or go diving or snorkeling for shipwrecks along the Maritime Heritage Trail at Biscayne National Park, which is one of the best things to do in Miami for those seeking the ultimate adventure. Festival-goers will love attending Ultra Music Festival to see live EDM across five different stages with performances by major DJs like The Chainsmokers and Marshmello. Looking for some fun things to do in Miami with kids? Let your little ones traverse through the jungle and feed a majestic sloth at Jungle Island. Or visit beaches like Virginia Key ParkCrandon Park, and Lummus Park to build sandcastles and swim in the ocean.

A Team for Every Sports Fan

Two basketball players jumping for the ball at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami FL. Photo by Instagram user @miamiheat
Photo via @miamiheat

With four professional sports team calling the 305 home, going to a game is a must-do in Miami. Tailgate with a few beers and hot dogs outside of the Hard Rock Stadium before watching the Miami Dolphins (NFL) take home a win. Witness the three-time champion Miami Heat (NBA) shoot nothing but net at American Airlines Arena. Buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack while you root for the Miami Marlins (MLB) to steal home base at Marlins Park. Or cheer on the Florida Panthers as they fight to make it to the Stanley Cup at the BB&T Center.

Discover Out-of-this-World Flavors

Plate of crab and stone crab claws at Jones Stone Crab in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @joesstonecrab
Photo via @joesstonecrab

In a place as diverse as Magic City, it should come as no surprise that Miami food is just as varied! Feast on shrimp tacos, spicy queso, and corn pudding while sipping on a margarita out of a sugar skull at Tacology. Venture to CVI.CHE 105, a Peruvian restaurant known for unique and creative selections of ceviche that allow you to choose your own sauce. Order the Tropical, Alaskan, or Terminator sandwich and wash it down with a Rainbow smoothie at La Sandwicherie. Dine at Joe’s Stone Crab, one of the best places to eat in Miami for seafood like stone crab claws, lobster rolls, and fried oysters. Searching for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Have a slice of the famous Crack Pie and S’mores Brownie from Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop & Cafe. Or grab dessert for breakfast with a Strawberry Shortcake doughnut at The Salty Donut.

Vibrant Nightlife that Never Sleeps

People dancing in a nightclub with confetti at LIV in Miami, FL. Photo by Instagram user @livmiami
Photo via @livmiami

Whether you’re looking to share a few a glasses of wine with your girls or have a weekend filled with dancing and bottle service, you’ll find that even Miami at night is full of excitement! Play classic board games like Jenga and Guess Who, enjoy 2-for-1 happy hour specials, and bop your head to ’90s music at Blackbird Ordinary. Take in views of the Miami skyline and sip a Dry Martini around a bonfire at rooftop bar Rooftop E11even. Try unique blends of wine that include avocado, passion fruit, lychee, or coconut at Schnebly Winery. Head to LIV to tear up the dance floor and watch DJs put on live performances. Or party it up at Twist, an LGBTQ-friendly nightclub that has three different themed bars, drag shows, and holiday events.

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11 Things to Know Before Moving to Miami, FL