Miami is a glittering city with many different facets and much more than meets the eye. Not only are there are luxe beachfront resorts, but there’s also a burgeoning creative community and a fast-paced downtown district. Each neighborhood has its own culinary traditions, from snacking on griot and spicy pikliz in Little Haiti and skipping over to Little Havana for cafecito and a warm Cuban sandwich.
It’s a city that has changed a lot in the past 30 years, transforming from the slow retirement destination seen on The Golden Girls or the gritty setting portrayed on Miami Vice to a young and enterprising metropolis that just keeps growing. While Miami still has its flaws, nowhere else can you find world-class events like Art Basel in December or the Calle Ocho Music Festival, and Ultra Music Festival that both take place in March. With nearly year-round sunny weather, a diverse population, and a relatively low cost of living for a major U.S. city, Miami has become a major destination for remote workers from all over the country and the world.
When deciding where to stay, it’s important to choose a neighborhood that closely fits your lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a quiet family-friendly enclave, a high-energy downtown neighborhood, or a boho creative community, here’s a crash course in some of the major neighborhoods in Greater Miami.
Miami’s downtown has slowly been developing, and in the past, the area used to empty out after work. But now, downtown Miami has attracted more retailers, luring residents to stay in the newly built high-rise condos and dine at the nearby restaurants and bars. The area tends to cater to young professionals, and the entertainment options can be expensive.
The downtown area also has a huge selection of cafes and coworking spaces. MiamiShared, Pipeline Brickell Ave, and Industrious Brickell are just a few places where you can find an office environment outside your home. Alternatively, you’ll fit right in working at any number of the coffee shops scattered downtown like I Think She Is and Crema.
Because of the towering buildings and hotels, Downtown Miami has some of the most spectacular rooftop restaurants and bars. Sugar at East Miami is a posh 40th-floor bar and lounge. The wait can be long and the drinks are pricey, but you’re really paying for the views (which are totally worth it). Another great rooftop restaurant is Area 31 on the 16th floor of the Kimpton EPIC Hotel. The restaurant is perched above Biscayne Bay and has delicious seafood dishes. ADDiKt at the W Miami is another hotspot with a panoramic view of Miami and a menu that serves up bold Latin American dishes.
Downtown Miami is also the home of FTX Arena, (previously known as the American Airlines Arena) where you can catch a Miami Heat basketball game or a major concert. Nearby is the Adrienne Arsht Center, a venue for Broadway shows, ballets, and symphonies. If it’s raining out (which happens quite often in the summer months), The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science makes for a fun day indoors, and the 250,000 square-foot facility has a three-level aquarium and planetarium with rotating exhibits. For some green space, head to Simpson Park Hammock, a 7.8-acre nature preserve park great for biking and running. If you’re craving some retail therapy, the newly built Brickell City Center offers an indoor/outdoor shopping oasis with a Saks Fifth Avenue, All Saints, and a Chanel fragrance and beauty boutique. The shopping center is also the location of Luna Park, a high-end food hall that specializes in Italian cuisine. For an over-the-top and super cozy movie night, CMX Cinemas provides reclining seats, blankets, and a full cocktail and dinner menu.
One of Miami’s most cherished and colorful neighborhoods, Little Havana is full of history, art galleries, and lowkey family-owned restaurants. The main strip in Little Havana is Calle Ocho (a.k.a. Eighth Street), which is also the name of the huge annual all-day street music festival. Here, you’ll also find the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame with stars dedicated to big names like Celia Cruz, Julio Iglesias, and Gloria Estefan.
Since Little Havana is more of a residential area, you'll have to look outside the neighborhood to get some work done. Cafeteria-style cafes and diners abound in Little Havana, so heading south to Coral Gables to the Threefold Cafe will be your best bet for a suitable coffee shop for working. For an office environment, the Building coworking space in Brickell will get the job done.
Food is the heartbeat of this neighborhood, and a mainstay in Little Havana is cafecito, a shot glass-sized serving of coffee. You can grab a cafecito at any number of walk-up cafes or bakery windows like La Palma. One of the most iconic restaurants in Little Havana is Versailles Restaurant, which describes itself as “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant” and has served up delicious plates of seafood since 1971. There is also a collection of newer restaurants that will appeal to the trendsetting in-crowd, such as Cafe La Trova with its lively happy hour and live music. Los Altos is another great place to grab drinks and chill.
Recreation is taken very seriously in Little Havana. Any day of the week Maximo Gomez Park, also known as Domino Park, is the gathering place for the neighborhood's regular domino and chess players. Next to Maximo Gomez Park, the Tower Theater is an art deco-style building constructed in 1926 that is still used today as an event space for performances and lectures. In Little Havana, you can also catch a Miami Marlins game at the Loan Depot Park, the newish stadium that features a retractable roof. For most games, you can still walk up and buy tickets directly from the box office.
It may be best known for its colorful murals, but Wynwood has a lot to offer beyond the Wynwood Walls outdoor street art gallery. The neighborhood has steadily transitioned from a warehouse district to a destination filled with trendy restaurants and bars. It’s ideal for young singles and couples. While the neighborhood has an artsy boho feel, the prices are anything but bohemian—expect to pay top dollar for the food and activities. Although if you look hard enough, there are a few places where you can get reasonably-priced food like Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop, a no-frills Cuban diner with generous servings of croquetas and tostones.
Coworking spaces in Wynwood like The Lab cater to creative professionals and WeWork's Wynwood Garage location has convenient one-day passes. If you need a jolt of inspiration (and caffeine) Wynwood’s Vice Bean City and Panther Coffee can help you jump-start your productivity. There are plenty of delicious casual eateries Wynwood, which has earned itself a reputation for being the foodie destination of Miami. For breakfast, Zak the Baker has handmade baked goods and The Salty Donut serves up small-batch, craft donuts daily. If you start craving Mexican food, you can stop in at Coyo Taco located near the entrance of the Wynwood Walls, or The Taco Stand, a Californian outpost with homemade corn tortillas.
If you have multiple cravings to satisfy, two food halls can do the job: 1-800-Lucky, a 10,000 square-foot Asian food market that serves everything from poke to fresh sushi, and The Wynwood Marketplace, an outdoor marketplace and patio with local food vendors, live music, and shopping. Wynwood may be all about cool, but there’s no shame in embracing your inner tourist once in a while. The Miami Selfie Museum and The Museum of Graffiti are fun ways to spend an afternoon. If you’d rather stay behind the camera, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is a sprawling art gallery with seasonal exhibits. Date nights in Wynwood are easy with hidden gems like candle-making at Candle Land Miami, stand-up comedy and cover bands at Gramps, and Dante’s Hifi, a vinyl listening bar.
While the nightlife in Wynwood may be a little more subdued than nearby South Beach, there are still plenty of places to unwind, like the trendy brewery Veza Sur and the more laid-back J. Wakefield Brewing. Miami is well-known for its colorful cocktails, so make sure to grab one at one of the more upscale bars like the Miami Mojito Company or the stylish rooftop, Three No.3 Social. For music and dancing, Racket or Centro Wynwood are both great places to head after hours.
Coral Gables may be close to the dive-bar-surrounded campus of the University of Miami, but it’s still a quiet suburb. Best suited for families, it’s a fitting neighborhood for a more low-key Miami experience. The best coworking space is FORUM in downtown Coral Gables, which offers standard office spaces and conference rooms. But if you want an environment with a more personal touch, head to Tinta Y Cafe or Cafe Grumpy.
As one of the oldest cities in the greater Miami area, there are lots of attractions for family members of all ages. There are two outdoor shopping centers: The Shops at Merrick Park and Miracle Mile. The Shops at Merrick Park include upscale stores like Carolina Herrara and Jimmy Choo, plus luxury staples like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Miracle Mile is a picturesque downtown area with boutique shops, outdoor cafes, spas, and salons. Coral Gables has great art galleries like the Coral Gables Museum and the Lowe Art Museum, located at the University of Miami, and on the weekends, the city has lots of outdoor activities for residents. For a quiet afternoon in the park, head to Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, an 83-acre garden that houses an impressive collection of rare tropical plants. The garden was founded in 1938 and hosts educational programs and community events. On a hot day, a visit to the grottos and waterfalls of the Venetian Pool is a must. This historical attraction is an outdoor public pool that dates back to the 1920s when it was first carved out of a coral rock quarry.
Coral Gables has an established restaurant scene, and some of the most beloved Miami restaurants are located here. Caffe Abbracci is a formal Italian restaurant that has served athletes, politicians, and celebrities for over three decades. For happy hour, head to The Bar, which has a newly renovated interior but offers the same friendly service and good food that it has delivered since 1946. No day trip to Coral Gables is complete without a stop-in at Books & Books, a Miami-founded bookstore with a casual patio restaurant. Famous authors are always stopping by for readings and events and the owner even founded the Miami Book Fair, the largest literary fair in the U.S.