Deciding The Best Place To Live In Miami: A Local’S Guide

With its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture and ideal climate, it’s no wonder so many people flock to live in Miami each year. But with many distinct neighborhoods across the city and surrounding areas, finding the best place to live can be a challenge.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Downtown Miami, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and Miami Beach are considered among the most desirable areas for their amenities, attractions and quality of life.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the advantages and considerations for Miami’s top neighborhoods. You’ll get an insider’s perspective on factors like affordability, amenities, transportation, nightlife, families and more when deciding the very best place for you to live in Miami.

By the end, you’ll have a clear sense of which Miami neighborhoods suit your lifestyle, priorities and budget as a future resident.

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood that offers residents a unique urban living experience. With its stunning skyline, diverse culture, and endless entertainment options, it’s no wonder that many people consider it one of the best places to live in Miami.

Convenience & Walkability

One of the key advantages of living in Downtown Miami is its convenience and walkability. With numerous shops, restaurants, and amenities within walking distance, residents can easily access everything they need right at their doorstep.

Whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning or going for a leisurely stroll in the park, Downtown Miami offers a seamless and enjoyable experience.

According to a study conducted by Walk Score, Downtown Miami has a high walkability score, making it easy for residents to run errands and commute without relying on a car. This is especially appealing to those who prefer an active lifestyle and want to reduce their carbon footprint.

Amenities & Attractions

Downtown Miami is home to a plethora of amenities and attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. From world-class restaurants and trendy bars to art galleries and museums, there is never a shortage of things to do and explore in this vibrant neighborhood.

The iconic Bayside Marketplace is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. With its waterfront location, live music, and diverse shopping options, it’s a great place to relax and soak in the Miami atmosphere.

Additionally, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of shows and events, ranging from Broadway musicals to classical concerts.

Affordability & Housing

While Downtown Miami offers an unparalleled urban living experience, it’s important to consider the affordability of housing in this neighborhood. As a highly sought-after area, the cost of living and housing prices in Downtown Miami tend to be higher compared to other parts of the city.

However, it’s worth noting that there is a wide range of housing options available in Downtown Miami, from luxury high-rise condos to more affordable apartments. The key is to carefully research and consider your budget and housing needs before making a decision.

According to data from Zillow, the median home value in Downtown Miami is higher than the Miami average. However, with proper research and planning, it is still possible to find affordable housing options that fit your budget.


Brickell, located in the heart of downtown Miami, is a vibrant and sought-after neighborhood known for its luxurious lifestyle and modern urban living. With its stunning skyline, waterfront views, and a plethora of amenities, it’s no wonder why Brickell is often considered one of the best places to live in Miami.

Luxury High-Rises

Brickell is renowned for its impressive collection of luxury high-rise buildings that offer some of the most luxurious and upscale residences in Miami. These residential towers boast state-of-the-art amenities, including rooftop pools, fitness centers, concierge services, and breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay and the city skyline.

Whether you prefer a sleek studio apartment or a spacious penthouse, Brickell has a wide range of options to suit every taste and budget.

Dining & Entertainment

When it comes to dining and entertainment, Brickell has a thriving culinary scene that caters to all tastes. From upscale restaurants offering world-class cuisine to trendy cafes and eateries, there is no shortage of options for food enthusiasts.

Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining, casual bites, or exotic flavors, Brickell has it all. After enjoying a delicious meal, residents can indulge in the vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, lounges, and clubs offering live music, DJs, and entertainment.

Public Transportation Access

One of the key advantages of living in Brickell is its excellent public transportation access. The neighborhood is well-served by the Metrorail and Metromover systems, making it easy to navigate the city without a car.

With convenient access to the public transportation network, residents can easily commute to work or explore other parts of Miami. Additionally, Brickell’s central location allows for quick access to major highways, making it a convenient base for those who prefer to drive.

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove, located in the southern part of Miami, is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that offers a unique blend of charm and community. With its tree-lined streets, historic homes, and eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, Coconut Grove has a distinct character that sets it apart from other neighborhoods in Miami.

Charm & Community

One of the main reasons why people choose to live in Coconut Grove is its undeniable charm and strong sense of community. The neighborhood has managed to maintain its old-world charm while embracing modern developments.

The streets are lined with lush greenery, and the architecture is a mix of historic and contemporary styles. Coconut Grove also hosts various community events throughout the year, such as art festivals and farmers markets, fostering a sense of togetherness among its residents.

Parks & Green Space

Coconut Grove is known for its abundance of parks and green spaces, making it an ideal place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. One of the most popular parks in the area is the Barnacle Historic State Park, where visitors can explore the historic home of Ralph Middleton Munroe and enjoy picnics by the water.

Another notable park is the Kampong, a tropical garden that is home to a diverse collection of exotic plants and trees.

In addition to these parks, Coconut Grove is also located close to the iconic Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, which showcases an extensive collection of tropical plants from around the world. The presence of these green spaces allows residents of Coconut Grove to enjoy the beauty of nature right at their doorstep.


For families considering Coconut Grove as their new home, the neighborhood offers a range of educational opportunities. Coconut Grove is home to several top-rated schools, both public and private, providing families with options for their children’s education.

One notable institution is Coconut Grove Montessori School, which follows the Montessori method of education and focuses on the holistic development of each child. Another prominent school in the area is Ransom Everglades School, a prestigious private school known for its rigorous academic programs and diverse extracurricular offerings.

With its charming atmosphere, abundance of green spaces, and excellent educational institutions, Coconut Grove stands out as a top choice for those looking to settle down in Miami. Whether you are seeking a tight-knit community, a connection with nature, or top-notch education, Coconut Grove has something to offer for everyone.

Coral Gables

When it comes to finding the best place to live in Miami, Coral Gables is often at the top of the list. This picturesque neighborhood offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities, making it a highly desirable place to call home.

Beautiful Historic Architecture

One of the standout features of Coral Gables is its beautiful historic architecture. The neighborhood is filled with stunning Mediterranean-style homes, complete with red-tiled roofs and intricate detailing.

Walking through the tree-lined streets of Coral Gables feels like stepping back in time, with each home telling its own story. Whether you appreciate the craftsmanship of a bygone era or simply enjoy the beauty of well-preserved historic buildings, Coral Gables won’t disappoint.

High-End Shopping & Dining

Coral Gables is also known for its high-end shopping and dining options. The neighborhood is home to the upscale shopping destination, Miracle Mile, where you can find a wide range of boutiques, designer stores, and specialty shops.

After a day of shopping, you can indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many top-rated restaurants in the area. From fine dining establishments to trendy cafes, there’s something to satisfy every palate in Coral Gables.

Neighborhood Feel

Despite its close proximity to the bustling city of Miami, Coral Gables has managed to maintain a strong sense of community and neighborhood feel. Residents often describe the area as friendly and welcoming, with a strong emphasis on family and community involvement.

The neighborhood is also known for its excellent schools, making it an ideal choice for families looking to settle down. In addition, Coral Gables boasts a number of parks and green spaces, providing residents with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and stay active.

If you’re considering a move to Miami, Coral Gables should definitely be on your radar. With its beautiful historic architecture, high-end shopping and dining options, and strong sense of community, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to call this neighborhood home.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is undoubtedly one of the most iconic destinations in Miami. With its stunning beaches and vibrant atmosphere, it attracts locals and tourists alike. The beachfront is lined with luxurious hotels, trendy restaurants, and bustling shops, making it a hub of activity.

Iconic Beaches & Waterfront

When it comes to beaches, Miami Beach offers something for everyone. From the famous South Beach with its colorful lifeguard stands and crystal-clear waters, to the quieter and more family-friendly North Beach, there is a beach to suit every preference.

The soft sand, warm weather, and breathtaking views make it an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, or simply strolling along the shore.

The Miami Beach waterfront is also home to a variety of water sports and activities. Whether you’re interested in jet skiing, paddleboarding, or sailing, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can even take a scenic boat tour to explore the coastline and catch a glimpse of the city’s skyline.

Arts & Culture

Miami Beach is not just about the beaches; it also has a thriving arts and culture scene. The Art Deco Historic District is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts, with its colorful buildings and unique designs.

The district is home to the famous Ocean Drive, where you can find a plethora of restaurants, bars, and art galleries.

In addition to its iconic architecture, Miami Beach is also known for its art festivals and events. The annual Art Basel Miami Beach attracts artists and art collectors from around the world, showcasing works of contemporary art and design.

The city is also home to several renowned museums, including the Bass Museum of Art and the Wolfsonian-FIU, where you can explore a wide range of art collections.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Miami Beach truly comes alive at night, offering a vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene. The city is famous for its world-class nightclubs, attracting top DJs and celebrities from around the globe. Whether you’re into electronic music, hip-hop, or Latin beats, there is a club for every taste.

In addition to its nightlife, Miami Beach also offers a variety of entertainment options. From live music performances at the Fillmore Miami Beach to comedy shows at the Improv Miami, there is always something happening in this bustling city.

You can also catch a Broadway show or a concert at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in nearby downtown Miami.


When it comes to deciding the best place to live in Miami, the many distinct neighborhoods each have unique advantages based on your priorities.

Downtown offers convenience and accessibility, Brickell provides luxury city living, Coconut Grove gives charm and community, Coral Gables delivers refinement, while Miami Beach lets you enjoy the iconic beaches and waterfront.

Considering factors like amenities, attractions, affordability, transportation, culture and lifestyle, Miami has a perfect neighborhood to suit different preferences and make anyone feel right at home.

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