Discover Miami’s Finest: Best Neighborhoods in Miami for Living & Leisure

Miami is home to vibrant nightlife, Latin-American culture, and famous golf courses. To enjoy these perks, you need to choose the best neighborhoods in Miami that bring you to the heart of the city’s delights. 

So, let’s explore the diversity, safety, and living costs of each area to ensure you can find the right place for your next home!

An Overview of the City’s Best Neighborhoods

Here is a complete overview of the top neighborhoods of Miami:

South Beach

Image courtesy of Hotels.com

South Beach, nestled within Miami Beach, is a charming town with a population of just under 4,000. Renowned for its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, exquisite architecture, upscale boutiques, and stellar culinary scene, South Beach offers a lifestyle that combines luxury with leisure. 

Location: East of Miami (between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean)

Average Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $3,642

Average House Value: $550,000

Walkability Rating: 8/10 

Ideal for: Perfect for individuals who love a beach-centric lifestyle and seek an energetic and diverse nightlife. 

Transportation Options: City Of Miami Trolley, Metromover, Miami Gardens Trolley, and Coral Gables Trolley.

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Pros of South Beach

  • Sun-soaked shores for relaxation and recreation
  • Renowned clubs, bars, and restaurants for an exciting social scene
  • Exclusive shopping experiences for fashion enthusiasts
  • High-quality restaurants of renowned chefs
  • South Pointe Park at a walking distance

Cons of South Beach

  • Home prices and rent are higher compared to other Miami neighborhoods
  • Spring Break brings a lively but crowded atmosphere
  • Steep overall expenses

Brickell

Image courtesy of Hotels.com

Brickell is a bustling and sought-after community known for its ultra-luxury condos, high-rise apartments, and upscale townhomes. Situated close to downtown, this dense urban neighborhood houses around 36,000 residents.

Being the city’s major financial district, it attracts professionals in the tech and banking industries. If you are a tech whizz, it’s time to locate your apartment in this and hire movers to settle in quickly.

Location: East of Interstate 95

Average Rental Price: $3,520

Average House Value: $627,230

Walkability: 8/10 

Ideal for: The vibrant social scene and networking opportunities make Brickell an ideal home for young professionals, particularly those in the finance industry.

Transportation Options: Metromover

Pros of Brickell

  • Vibrant social scene
  • Upscale dining and entertainment
  • Home to renowned banks and international companies, such as Sanomedics International Holdings.
  • Various shopping and dining attractions, including a cinema and mini-golf course, compensate for the lack of direct beach access.

Cons of Brickell

  • High cost of living
  • Lack of beach access
  • Dense urban environment 

Coconut Grove

Image courtesy of Variety

Nestled along the picturesque Biscayne Bay shoreline, Coconut Grove is a laid-back neighborhood in Miami, perfect for those seeking a casual and bohemian vibe. With its iconic boardwalk, top-rated shops, sidewalk cafes, Art Deco architecture, and lush landscapes, Coconut Grove is the place to be. 

The historic community of Coconut Grove is home to approximately 21,000 people and boasts top-notch public and private schools. 

Location: Miami Dade County

Average Rental Price: $2,283 (Northeast), $2,181 (Southwest) for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Average Home Value: $2.2 million

Walkability: 8/10

Ideal for: Families, art and nature lovers, and boating enthusiasts.

Transportation Options: Coconut Grove Trolley

Pros of Coconut Grove

  • Artistic atmosphere and relaxed ambiance
  • Perfect for strolling and exploring Art Deco residences
  • Excellent public and private schools.
  • Is an ideal spot for boat owners because of its large marina 
  • Rich in history with iconic architecture, including the famous Vizcaya Museum Gardens
  • Easily accessible via car, Miami Trolley, Metrorail, Freebee, and bus.

Cons of Coconut Grove

  • Higher rent
  • Quieter compared to the bustling South Beach and Ocean Drive 

Coral Gables

Image courtesy of Coral Gables

Coral Gables, with its population of just over 50,000, stands out as a charming Miami-Dade suburb celebrated for its lush greenery and Spanish architecture.

This mid-sized city boasts top-rated public schools, local cafes, fine dining, and numerous parks perfect for leisurely strolls and pet-friendly outings.  

 Location: Southwest of Downtown Miami

Average Rental Price: $2,690 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Average House Value: $1,862,500

Walkability Rating: 8/10

Ideal For: Families seeking safety and quality education and professionals or retirees looking for a tranquil yet vibrant community.

Transportation Options: The Coral Gables Trolley

Pros of Coral Gables

  • One of the safest neighborhoods in Miami
  • Walkable streets, particularly along Miracle Mile
  • Abundant greenery, 1920s Spanish architecture, and picturesque landscapes
  • Highly-rated public schools, for e.g. George W. Carver Elementary School 

Cons of Coral Gables

  • Southwest location results in a 40 to 50-minute commute downtown during peak hours

Key Biscayne

Image courtesy of David Siddons Group

Nestled just east of Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne stands as an island-luxe haven, once dominated by coconut plantations, but is now renowned for its parks and family-friendly outdoor spaces.

This tranquil neighborhood boasts a remarkably low crime rate, ensuring a safe environment for residents. As you explore this island paradise, you’ll find various amenities and attractions. For example, you can enjoy the sunset and city views at Rusty Pelican or join Heritage Bike Trips for a tour of Key Biscayne’s history.

Location: Miami-Dade County

Average Monthly Rent (1-Bedroom Apartment): $3,050

Average House Value: $3,126,982

Walkability Rating: 7/10  

Ideal for: Families and nature enthusiasts

Transportation Options: Freebee and Line 26 Bus

Pros of Key Biscayne

  • A very low crime rate
  • Terrific parks with biking paths
  • Accessible via FL-913 and a 15-minute drive connecting Key Biscayne to downtown Miami

Cons of Key Biscayne

  • High cost of living
  • Limited accessibility to daily conveniences

Downtown Miami

Image courtesy of Homes.com

If you thrive on constant activity and city vibes, make Downtown Miami your home. Bursting with shops, restaurants, nightclubs, coffee spots, and parks, this South Florida neighborhood is alive day and night.

Around 16,000 people call Downtown Miami home as it is close to top-notch dining and chic bars.

Average Monthly Rent: $2,908 for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Average House Value: $615,000

Walkability Rating: 8/10 

Ideal for: City lovers who thrive on urban buzz, young professionals seeking a vibrant work-life balance, and families looking to send their children to the best schools.

Transportation Options: Metrorail

Pros of Downtown Miami

  • Always bustling with events, for e.g. Miami Seafood Festival
  • Access to museums, theaters, and coastal marketplaces
  • Abundant parks and sports complexes like Miami Dade Arena (aka Kaseya Center).
  • Well-connected with rail and bus options
  • Close to the Miami Heat’s arena

Cons of Downtown Miami

  • Living costs are relatively higher here than in other neighborhoods in the area 
  • Tourist influx

Little Havana

Image courtesy of Get Your Guide

Nestled just west of Downtown Miami, Little Havana is a bustling neighborhood that captivates its 80,000 residents with a vibrant Latin-American culture, live music, and mouthwatering Cuban cuisine.

Known for its friendly and artsy vibe, this community offers a dense urban feel and a rich history. The cost of living is relatively lower than in other parts of Florida, and public schools rank above-average.

Location: West of Downtown Miami

Average Rental Price: $2,573

Average House Value: $568,000

Walkability: 8/10 

Ideal for: Perfect for those who appreciate vibrant Latin-American culture, live music, and rich history. It is also suitable for individuals seeking an affordable yet lively urban living experience.

Transportation Options: Line 207 Bus

Pros of Little Havana

Cons of Little Havana

  • Little Havana is a magnet for tourists, which can lead to crowded streets
  • While public transit is fairly connected, rail options are limited

Bal Harbour

Image courtesy of Miami Beach and Miami Real Estate

Nestled in the serene northern reaches of Biscayne Bay, Bal Harbour is a tranquil haven that provides the allure of Miami Beach–minus the bustling crowds. The neighborhood’s weather is hot, but wet in summer and windy in winter.

Despite its outward appearance as a quaint beach town, Bal Harbour epitomizes luxury and earns its title as one of Miami’s priciest locales.

Location: North of Miami Beach

Average Rental Price: $7,750

Average House Value: $350,000

Walkability Rating: 7/10

Ideal for: Ideal for those who appreciate upscale living, high-end shopping, and easy access to pristine beaches.

Transportation Options: Freebee and Miami Dade Transit

Pros of Bal Harbour

  • Luxurious shopping centers
  • Quiet Miami beaches with fewer crowds
  • Palatial estates in Mediterranean or Spanish Revival styles
  • Lavish beachside condos

Cons of Bal Harbour

  • One of the most expensive neighborhoods in Miami
  • A scarcity of affordable housing options

Wynwood

Image courtesy of TimeOut

Wynwood is a bustling neighborhood that has become a haven for artists and creative minds. With its vibrant atmosphere, the community of Wynwood boasts art galleries, museums, entertainment venues, shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a lively and dynamic place to live.

Home to over 9,000 people, including young professionals and families, Wynwood is a thriving, family-friendly district that comes alive during big events like Art Basel and Miami Music Week, making it worth breaking your lease.

Location: North of Downtown Miami and Overtown

Average Rent for a 1-Bedroom Apartment in Wynwood: $2,950

Average House Value: $713,000

Walkability Rating: 87/100

Ideal for: Perfect for individuals who thrive in artistic and vibrant environments. Wynwood typically caters to the energetic and dynamic lifestyle of young individuals.

Transportation Options: The City of Miami Trolley

Pros of Wynwood

  • Heart of Miami’s art scene, featuring galleries and the Wynwood Walls open-air museum
  • Phenomenal bars, restaurants, and artisanal coffee shops

Cons of Wynwood

  • High rent prices
  • Limited parking space

North Beach

Image courtesy of Miami Real Estate

Nestled between the glitz of South Beach and the sophistication of Bal Harbour, North Beach stands out as a hidden gem in Miami Beach. This tranquil community, encompassing areas like the Isles of Normandy, Biscayne Point, and La Gorce, offers a relaxed living environment.

Location: Northernmost Miami

Average Rental Price: $2,376

Average House Value: $452,271

Walkability Rating: 8/10 

Ideal For: With its family-friendly atmosphere and uncrowded beaches, North Beach is ideal for families. Affordable and diverse culinary options also make North Beach perfect for food lovers.

Transportation Options: Miami-Dade Transit, Greyhound Bus Lines, and Tri-Rail Commuter Rail Authority

Pros of North Beach

Cons of North Beach

  • Lacks the bustling nightlife found in other parts of Miami Beach
  •  Overshadowed by South Beach

Design District

Image courtesy of Haute Living

Miami Design District, located just four miles north of downtown with a population of 3,573, has emerged as one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city.

Currently, it’s undergoing rapid transformation, evolving from an industrial district to Miami’s premier shopping destination.

While it may not rival South Beach in nightclubs or Little Havana in cultural heritage, the Design District boasts unique furniture showrooms, designer boutiques, top-notch museums, and exquisite dining options.

Location: Miami-Dade County

Average Rental Price: $3,099

Average House Value: $765,000

Walkability Rating: 93/100

Ideal For: Suited for individuals seeking a vibrant and trendy lifestyle. It is also perfect for those who love exploring designer boutiques and unique furniture showrooms.

Transportation Options: Line 9 Bus

Pros of Design District

  • Easy access to designer boutiques and unique furniture showrooms
  • Finest dining establishments

Cons of Design District

  • Fewer nightclubs compared to South Beach
  • Lack of historic charm

Pinecrest

Image courtesy of David Siddons Group

Nestled southwest of downtown Miami, Pinecrest is a peaceful suburb in Dade County with around 20,000 residents. The average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is approximately $1,900.

This village boasts top-rated schools, low crime rates, and an eco-friendly mentality, embodied by its green building standards and urban planning. Pinecrest is a welcoming haven for families, couples, professionals, and retirees alike.

Location: Miami metropolitan area of South Florida

Average Monthly Rent for 1-Bedroom Apartment: $2,000

Average House Value: $2,950,000

Walkability: 7/10

Ideal For: Pinecrest’s top-rated schools and family-friendly activities make it a secure haven for raising children. Thanks to amenities like  Coral Pine Park, locals–be it couples or retirees– praise and slower pace of life in Pinecrest. 

Transportation Options: The Pinecrest People Mover

Pros of Pinecrest

  • Top-rated schools in the neighborhood
  • Low crime rates
  • Environmentally conscious atmosphere
  • Daily essentials within easy reach, including groceries, shopping, restaurants, and bars

Cons of Pinecrest

  • Commuting challenges
  • Limited transit options

Fort Lauderdale

Image courtesy of Fort Lauderdale

While not technically a suburb of Miami, Fort Lauderdale makes up the South Florida metropolitan area and is most famously known for its breathtaking waterways and pristine beaches. This coastal haven is a dream for water lovers. 

Fort Lauderdale boasts some of the country’s best beaches, including Fort Lauderdale Beach, Deerfield Beach, and Hollywood Beach, offering crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand. 

Whether you seek relaxation, swimming, or adventurous water activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, this place has it all.

Location: North of Miami

Average Rental Price for a 1-Bedroom Apartment: $2,900

Average House Value: $519,315

Walkability Rating: 8.5/10

Ideal For: Families, senior citizens, and beach lovers

Transportation Options: Tri-Rail

Pros of Fort Lauderdale

  • Stunning beaches with clear waters and soft sand
  • Diverse nightlife options, from trendy bars to world-class restaurants
  • Museums and performing arts centers, such as Broward Center for the Performing Arts and NSU Art Museum
  • Pleasant climate with an average temperature of 87°F 
  • Low crime rate

Cons of Fort Lauderdale

  • Crowded tourist destinations during peak seasons
  • Potential traffic issues in the city
  • High housing costs, especially for beachfront properties

Summary

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where Is the Rich Part of Miami?

For the ultra-wealthy, Miami Beach – Indian Creek Island is the place to be. This 0.4 square mile island features Forbes 100 CEOs, supermodels, and Hollywood A-listers living in one of America’s richest and most elite neighborhoods.

What Is the Safest City Near Miami?

Fisher Island is considered the safest city near Miami, with a crime rate 97% lower than the Florida average.

What Is the Best Neighborhood in Miami for Young Professionals?

For young professionals, Brickell is an ideal spot thanks to its lively financial district.

What Is Considered the Most Beautiful Area in Miami?

Coral Gables is one of the most beautiful towns in Miami due to its Mediterranean Revival architecture, tree-lined streets, and upscale ambiance.

What Is the Most Walkable Neighborhood in Miami?

Downtown Miami is the most walkable neighborhood due to its pedestrian-friendly streets, sidewalk cafes, shops, parks, and a generally relaxed atmosphere.

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