With its gorgeous coastline and 24/7 party lifestyle, Miami is a hotspot for tourists from around the world. Those looking to make their stay more permanent, meanwhile, will find a wealth of desirable neighborhoods to choose from, from the sleepily relaxed to the brilliantly lively. Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking to take your first step on the property ladder, a family looking to settle down in a safe, friendly community, or a would-be Rockefeller looking to rub shoulders with the rich and the famous, you’ll not be short of options in our round-up of the 20 very best places to live in Miami.
20. Miami Shores
Located less than 20 minutes from the center of Miami is the sleepy little suburb of Miami Shores. Safe, clean, and friendly, it makes a great option for families. Younger residents, meanwhile, will appreciate the easy access it offers to Miami’s endless shopping, eating, and clubbing opportunities, with everything you could ever need being no more than a short drive away.
19. Bay Harbor Islands
With a relaxed, small-town vibe, a friendly, diverse community, a low crime rate, and an abundance of amenities and outdoor activities on offer, the quiet little suburb of Bay Harbor Islands makes for an eminently attractive addition to our lineup
18. Las Olas Isles
You may have to part with $863,000 for a home in the exclusive little neighborhood of Las Olas Isles, but if you can afford the price tag, you’re unlikely to have too many complaints about the fabulous range of amenities, outdoor attractions, job opportunities, and schools in the area (not to mention the $118,750 median income).
17. Boca Raton
If you’re looking to either raise or start a family, you’ll find few better places in Miami to do it than Boca Raton. Home to a healthy population of 93,964, it boasts some stats that make for very compelling reading. According to Area Vibes, the average high school graduation rate is 94%, 13% higher than the US average. The 70% school test scores, meanwhile, are a whopping 42% higher than the national average. Other than great schools, the community boasts a low violent crime rate, a robust median income of $76,218, some amazing beaches, and more restaurants, shops and recreational activities than you could fit in in a lifetime.
16. Rivera Isles/Idlewyld
With a population of just 1,702, Rivera Isles/Idlewyld is about as exclusive as Miami gets- which no doubt explains the average property price of $863,000. Other than a hefty mortgage, residents can expect an outstanding choice of schools, a hefty $118,750 household income, a superb array of indoor and outdoor activities, and one of the lowest crime rates around.
15. Key Biscayne
First up, let’s address the elephant in the room – or rather, the $1,137,100 average property price. Key Biscayne is expensive, and if you’re a first-time buyer on a budget, you may want to look away now. That said, for those who’re more concerned with lifestyle than budget, there are few places in Miami quite so desirable. Crime is low enough to be overlooked, while the average median income of $128,563 ranks as one of the highest in the state. The abundance of restaurants, boutiques, and bars on offer is a joy, while the superb range of outdoor activities makes it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. To cap it off, the schools servicing the area are some of the best in Miami. Worth the million-dollar price tag, then? Without question.
What does Omni have, other than 6,874 residents? For starters, a crime rate that doesn’t register on either the violent or property side of the scale; the kind of job opportunities that result in the considerable median income of $68,730; a top selection of first-rate schools; a friendly, welcoming community; and a positive plethora of cute cafes, upscale shops, and topnotch wining and dining options.
13. Birch Park
You may need a serious chat with your bank manager before settling on Birch Park as your next permanent home, but get the greenlight on that $649,400 mortgage, and you can expect some good times ahead. The job opportunities in the surrounding area are good enough to keep the neighborhood’s 1193 residents in median incomes of $111,215 (which, just to put in perspective, is over twice the national average), while the crime rate is too low to even warrant a mention. If that wasn’t enough, the neighborhood is within an easy drive of a superb array of dining, shopping, and recreational opportunities, as well as the huge selection of canoeing, bicycling, fishing, swimming, and wildlife spotting opportunities on offer at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
If you want to understand what makes Weston such an attractive destination, some comments from local residents should enlighten you. “Weston is a very family-friendly, safe place to live. It is the perfect place for children to attend great public/private schools and make friends. It is close to many nice places with many things to do (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, etc.). There are hospitals and emergency rooms close to everything, and police respond and take action automatically, always giving that feeling of being secure. The streets and neighborhoods are clean and beautifully maintained. Overall, although it is not very affordable, Weston can be a great place for families to live if possible!’ enthuses one reviewer on Niche, while another notes “I love Weston. We recently moved from Miami lakes for a new life. It is amazing and the area is always clean. There is constantly something to do in the area never giving Weston a dull moment. the town center is beautiful and has many diverse food choices. There are shopping centers in every corner satisfying everyone’s needs. I am grateful to be able to live in Weston because the houses are beautiful and nicely spaced. They feel and look comfortable. Everything is a good distance from each other like Pembroke Pines, and Miramar, giving students the opportunity to go to a school where they enjoy and be able to know they have home nearby. The people are generous and mind their own business. Weston is a beautiful area and has beautiful homes and opportunities to go out await.”
11. Dolphin Isles
It may only have 2,998 residents to its name, but when it comes to desirability, Dolphin Isles is punching well above its weight. Even if we overlook the median income (a superbly high $80,508 according to the latest reports), there’s still a lot to love about this exclusive little community, starting with its gorgeous scenery, ending with its non-existent crime rate, and taking in its easy driving distance to an array of shopping, dining and entertainment options, museums, Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport along the way.
10. Palmetto Bay
Want to know what makes Palmetto Bay such an attractive destination? Then check out the insanely high median income of $107,612, the top-scoring public schools, its proximity to everything from world-class restaurants and nightspots to the attractions of Monkey jungle, ZooMiami, and several championship golf courses (to say nothing of the beautiful coastline), its 35-minute driving distance to downtown Miami, the abundance of kid and pet-friendly parks, the excellent hiking, and biking trails….the list goes on.
9. Coral Gables
As Miami suburbs go, Coral Gables is up there with the best. With most single-family homes coming in at around $750,400, it’s by no means the cheapest destination in Florida, but with a low crime rate, a superbly high median income ($96,887 by the last count), dozens of first-rate public schools to pick from, some great shopping and dining opportunities on the aptly named “Miracle Mile”, lush, tree-lined streets, and spectacular scenery, it’s got a good claim to be one of the most desirable.
8. Sunrise Intracoastal
As you’d expect of a guard-gated residential community, crime in Sunrise Intracoastal basically doesn’t exist. Given the exceptional quality of life on offer, neither do unhappy residents. With its insanely attractive location next to both the beach and The Galleria (one of Fort Lauderdale’s hottest shopping and dining destinations, for those that haven’t had the privilege), it’s got everything on hand to ensure the best of both indoor and outdoor living. While undoubtedly attractive, be prepared to dig deep if you want to join the 1,086 residents already living here- with an average home value of $478,700, you’re going to need to.
7. Grandview Heights
First-rate public schools, a sound household income of $65,569, an educated, welcoming population of 1,184, affordable(ish) housing, stunning local surrounds, and a crime rate that barely registers… that’s Grandview Heights for you.
Next up is Edgewater, a Miami neighborhood with 11,718 residents, an active, engaged community, an excellent array of cafes, shops, and dining establishments, some first-rate schools (School for Advanced Studies – South, School for Advanced Studies – North, Archimedean Upper Conservatory (AUC), Mast Academy, and Coral Reef Senior High School all come particularly recommended for their above-average test scores and graduation rates), the kind of job opportunities that support the very attractive median income of $64,608, and an easy walking distance into the heart of the downtown.
If you want to live in the desirable little enclave of Pinecrest, you’d better start saving. With most homes coming in at around the $887,700 mark, this is no place for penny-pinchers. What it is instead is a hugely exclusive community with safe streets, an average median income of $152,643, a clutch of first-rate schools, excellent public services and amenities, and friendly, welcoming neighbors.
4. Coconut Grove
The supply of shops, restaurants, and bars in Coconut Grove is more than enough to serve the needs of its 20,762 strong population, while the quantity of job opportunities on offer is doing a great job of keeping households in $87,007 incomes. Clean, safe, and incredibly family-friendly, it’s not hard to understand why so many home-buyers are willing to entertain the $626,505 property price tag.
3. Laudergate Isles
With a population of just 1,070, Laudergate Isles is certainly not the biggest of Miami’s neighborhoods, but there’s little arguing its one of the best. Crime is too low to even warrant a mention, while the schools servicing the area are some of the best around. There’s no shortage of shops, bars, and restaurants in the nearby vicinity, while the superb range of job opportunities is amply represented in a $103,563 median household income.
2. Bal Harbour
With an average home value of $305,700, life in the exclusive, ocean-front enclave of Bal Harbour certainly doesn’t come cheap – it does, however, come with a list of benefits a mile long. Its lucky residents can expect a very significant household income of $103,563, a plethora of job opportunities, grocery stores, restaurants, and high-end boutiques, little to no crime to speak of, and access to some of the best schools in the state.
For the best that Miami has to offer, head to Brickell. As well as being one of the few places in Miami you can get around on foot, it’s got a vibrancy and energy you can’t help but fall a little in love with. Packed with bars, restaurants, shops, cafes, and local businesses, it’s a hugely attractive destination for millennials (which isn’t to say families and children don’t receive an equally warm welcome). Known as the financial district of Miami, the plentiful job opportunities on offer is one of Brickell’s key attractions and no doubt explanation for the very healthy average household income of $76,347. High property prices, as you’d expect, comes with the territory, with most homes retailing in the region of $394,909. Fortunately, the exceptionally high standard of life on offer more than makes up for the cost.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn