Want to live somewhere with a warm climate, diverse culture and laid-back lifestyle?
You may want to consider moving to Miami. The vibrant Florida city is a popular vacation destination for tourists, but it’s also home to around 400,000 people. If you’re thinking of joining their ranks here are 13 things to know before moving to Miami.
1. You can expect visitors.
After moving to Miami you may find an uptick in the number of friends and relatives who want to visit you. Miami is a popular vacation destination and enjoys warm winter weather. That’s a combination that is sure to draw some interest from your loved ones. Not sure you want to buy a home with a guest room? You may find that it’s worth it to keep your frequent visitors off your living room couch.
2. You’ll love the food.
Miami’s food scene has a lot to offer. If you get away from the expensive tourist traps in Miami Beach you’ll find some amazing restaurants, cafes and food trucks. The Cuban food in Miami is justifiably famous and other Latin American countries are well represented, too. The affordable tropical fruit in Miami markets will be a welcome change for anyone moving to Miami from farther north. Your first mango season after moving
3. The beach isn’t everything.
If you automatically associate Miami with the beach you probably don’t live there. While it’s common for tourists to spend their days in Miami lying on the beach, residents don’t hit the sand as often as you might think. Like residents of New York, Miami residents often steer clear of touristy areas, and that includes crowded spots like South Beach. There’s plenty to do in Miami that doesn’t involve a swimsuit.
4. Art Deco architecture is at your fingertips.
If you’re interested in Art Deco architecture moving to Miami can be a great choice for you. Beautiful white and pastel buildings from the 1920s and 1930s abound. The Miami Design Preservation League offers Art Deco District Walking Tours, and there are self-guided options as well.
5. Calle Ocho is everything it’s cracked up to be.
Miami’s Calle Ocho is the historic center of Miami’s Cuban population. It’s home to famous spots for Cuban dishes and cafecitos, parks where retirees play dominoes – and a hugely popular annual festival that closes Miami’s Carnaval celebrations. Calle Ocho is also a hub for Cuban-American political activism. It’s definitely worth adding to your list of Miami haunts.
6. Things run a little later in Miami.
Traffic in Miami can be brutal, and the generally laid-back attitude means lateness is a fact of life. If you’re always early, you may find yourself waiting alone for the rest of your party to show up. Unexpected traffic can happen to anyone, and if the Brickell Avenue drawbridge goes up, well, delays are inevitable. Try not to take it personally if your friends or business associates are consistently running a little late.
7. The art scene is booming.
Miami’s design district (pictured above) is a major attraction, and Art Basel (an international art fair and general party) in Miami Beach has also raised the city’s profile as an arts destination. According to the fair’s website, Art Basel is where “leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa show significant work from the masters of Modern and contemporary art, as well the new generation of emerging stars.” What’s not to love? And with Florida’s low taxes, you might be able to afford to support the arts after moving to Miam
8. You might live at the gym.
Moving to Miami might make you a little more conscious of your image. That in turn might mean you decide to step up your fitness. Yes, Miami could turn you into a gym rat even if you’re not currently living in a fitness-friendly city. Of course, not everyone is cultivating the look that will get them in to the city’s most exclusive clubs, but being “swimsuit-ready” is a year-round concern for some Miami residents.
9. The weather can be a challenge.
Miami residents have a lot to put up with when it comes to the weather. Even if you like heat and humidity you’re probably not a fan of flooding, which in Miami is always a concern. While there’s talk about making the city more resilient to flooding and sea level rise, for now, residents live with significant flood risk. If you’re buying a home you might want to check where it sits in the floodplain, particularly if you want to avoid high homeowners insurance.
10. So can the bugs.
Have you ever seen a Palmetto bug? You probably will after moving to Miami. Bugs, snakes, spiders, gators – Miami has it all. If you’re squeamish about bugs your ideal roommate or partner is someone who can take care of them for you. In Miami, a totally bug-free house year-round is not realistic.
11. You’ll use your Spanish.
It’s a lot easier – and more fun – to get to know the city of Miami if you have some Spanish under your belt. That’s not to say that you can’t get by without it, but Miami is very much a bilingual city. Why miss out? Even if you haven’t used your Spanish in years, moving to Miami is a great excuse to dust off your skills.
12. Your job doesn’t define you.
While in cities like New York and Washington, D.C. strangers at parties tend to spend a lot of time talking about their respective jobs, in Miami conversations tend to be a little less career-focused. If you’re feeling like a walking resume in your current city, moving to Miami may be a welcome relief. That’s not to say that people don’t work hard – it’s just that they seem to know how to separate work and play.
13. You’ll need another layer for the AC.
Even when it’s hot and humid outside, indoor spaces in Miami tend to be air conditioned to within an inch of their life. If you’re going a museum, movie theater or restaurant you may want to bring an extra layer so you’re not shivering when you get inside. And any time the temperature dips below 75 you’ll see Miami residents sporting jackets.