When you think of moving to Florida, you most likely envision two things: Disney, and endless white sand beaches. Miami Beach may not have the former, but it is the pinnacle of the latter. In fact, most neighborhoods on the island are within walking distance of some of the most magnificent beaches in Florida. But we know that proximity to the beach is only one factor in your decision-making, so we’ve compiled a list to help you decide where you should live in Miami Beach. Without further ado…
South of Fifth, or SoFi
First of all, most neighborhoods on the island have some sort of abbreviated name, so start by familiarizing yourself there. SoFi is, as the name implies, south of Fifth Avenue on the southern-most tip of the island and encompasses a seven-block area. It is undoubtedly the most luxurious neighborhood in Miami Beach, with a suite of newly constructed condos and walking access to South Beach. Not surprisingly, it has also been rated an extremely safe part of Miami Beach and is a destination for the crowd that wants beach time and nightlife. Condos range between $500k and $1 million, and rent will cost around $3,000 a month — but with the luxury most places offer, if you’re moving to Miami you get what you’re paying for!
South Beach (SoBe)
This neighborhood is the poster-perfect image of Miami Beach. With trendy shops, boutiques, and bars and restaurants that stay open really late, if not 24 hours, this is the place to see and be seen. It was the hub of the Miami Art Deco movement, so expect to see an artistic flair in the buildings and neighborhood design. Don’t expect to see many houses, though — most people live in condos, which range in price between $200,000 to $700,000 with rental prices around $2,000. The architecture isn’t as new, but if it’s artsy you’re looking for you’ll enjoy the flair. The only hitch to living in SoBe is the lack of parking, even for private residences. Oh, and if you’re looking for a quiet neighborhood, steer clear of this area. Revelers abound on South Beach – especially around Art Basel, the yearly art, yoga, and music party that happens every December!
In 2014 the New York Post named Mid-Beach as the up-and-coming neighborhood in the area. It’s not as luxe as SoFi and not quite as party-focused as SoBe, so it has attracted a wider diversity of people. Extending from 24th to 63rd Street, it is the most family-friendly part of Miami Beach, quieter and with easier access to parking, the extensive wooden boardwalk, and a variety of shopping destinations. The food scene here is also up-and-coming, with five-star chefs opening small, trendy spots in some of the nicer hotels. Or, try The 27 Restaurant and Bar in the hip Freehand Hostel for a more eclectic vibe. Condos in Mid-Beach get pricier the closer you get to the water, topping out around $1 million for a detached unit or, on the lower end, around $200k. If you’re looking to rent, most options will cost between $1,200 to $3,000 per month — and the good news is no matter where in Mid-Beach you live, you’ll be within walking distance of those white sands.
If you prefer to steer clear of the nightclubs and the party scene in favor of small beach bungalows and undeveloped beaches, have a look at Surfside. This part of the island has maintained more of a community feel, with only a few thousand people on this narrow strip of land. Everywhere in Surfside is close to the beach, so the locals treasure this area — and home prices are more affordable, with a bungalow-style home ranging between $300k and $500k and rent as low as $1,200 per month. Expect the homes to be small, though — so consider storage services as you make your transition to avoid that feeling of too much stuff in a small space Surfboard, swimsuit, a few towels – what more do you really need in this neighborhood?
Hopefully, you have a better idea of what kind of neighborhood you seek in Miami Beach. Don’t forget to be a good neighbor while moving and introduce yourself to your new neighbors — as well as be conscious of a few other things.