Landing it as one of the top 10 US metro areas in population, the Miami metro area is home to over 5 million people - many of whom are nestled in one of the many options in great apartments in Miami. Not only is Miami a major U. S. city, it's often called the Capital of Latin America, and has more international banks than any other city in this country. Miami is a major player nationally and internationally in the worlds of finance, tourism, biotechnology, medicine and many more industries. And as a thriving global city, Miami offers incredible access to culture and arts, from incredible live performances, first rate museums, a thriving art scene and as one of the world's most exciting centers of fashion. Plus, this city is at the heart of the 'sunshine state,' with beautiful beaches, a booming nightlife and in 2008 Forbes magazine named Miami America's cleanest city based on air quality, access to open spaces, water quality, cleanliness of the streets and the recycling program.
Florida was ceded to the United States in 1821 by Spain. The area that is now Miami was known as Biscayne Bay Country into the late 19th century, when Julia Tuttle, a local citrus grower from Cleveland convinced Henry Flagler to extend the Florida East Coast Railway to the area. During the Great Freeze of 1894-1895, the citrus groves around present day Miami were the only ones to survive, and the city became incorporated in 1896 with a population of 300. Today, Julia Tuttle is known as the mother of Miami.
Miami's climate is tropical with short winters that are warm and dry and summers that are hot and humid. The city does not have four traditional seasons that people hailing from the northern U. S. are accustomed to, but the seasons are based around rainfall, extremely high temperatures and less high temperatures, humidity, thunderstorms and vulnerability to hurricanes. Miami has been known to experience extreme cold spells every so often, the most recent being a 12-day period in 2010 that brought temperatures in the 30s. For this reason it's a good idea to have a place with heating installed, but you will be making use of the air conditioner much more often. The average annual high is 84.2° F and the low is 69.9° F, with a total average of a very comfortable 77° F. Miami receives an average of 61.93 inches of rainfall annually, and while 128 days do have some precipitation, many of these are short showers. If you live here, you can look forward to an average 2,903 hours of annual sunshine!
Getting Around Miami
Miami does have ample public transportation which has been built up a great deal over the last decade. For commuters from the suburbs, there is the Metrorail that covers 22 miles and also goes to the airport. The fare costs $2.25 per ride and there are weekly and monthly passes available. In addition to the Metrorail, there is the Metromover which loops around Downtown Miami and Brickell. This service is free to use. There is also a robust bus system that even provides service to Key Biscayne and the Florida Keys. There is also a free trolley system which provides a fun way to explore some of Miami's most popular spots.
Commuting in Miami
Miami's main highways are the Florida Turnpike, the Dolphin Expressway (FL-836), the Airport Expressway (State Road 112), which are all toll roads, and the Palmetto Expressway (FL-826), which is toll-free. In order to pay tolls you'll have to use the SunPass, an electronic system that allows you to pre-pay for the tolls with a transponder. In addition to the Miami-Dade International Airport (MIA), people often make use of the Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL), which is two hours north of the city. West Palm Beach, with the West Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) is closer to two hours outside of the city.
To find out what's happening in town, The Miami Herald is the main newspaper in town, and TimeOut Miami has great listings of events. For some tunes around town, listen to a plethora of great stations including Magic 102.7, Power 96 and Z92.
Combining near-perfect temperatures, beautiful ocean views and enough fun in the sun to last a lifetime, apartments in Miami are toted as the cream of the crop of the Florida scene. The largest city in terms of population in the Sunshine State and named a global city due to its stature in the industries of finance, entertainment and commerce, Miami apartments place residents firmly in the center of all that Florida has to offer.
A favorite spot for visitors and locals alike is South Beach, but in addition to a beautiful beach, prime people watching and excellent bars and restaurants, the strip that runs along the beach boasts one of the world's most stunning examples of art deco architecture. Walking along Collins Avenue looking at the pastel colored buildings is a wonderful way to spend a day. The Freedom Tower, built in 1925 and designed by Schultze and Weaver is a contemporary art museum today as well as housing part of the arts department of Miami Dade College. It was named a U. S. National Historic Landmark in 2008.
Things to do in Miami
In Miami there is absolutely no shortage of fun things to do. The Pérez Art Museum Miami is a world class contemporary art museum, and there is an incredible assortment of galleries as well as street art. If sports is more your speed, take in a football game with Miami Dolphins or a basketball game from the Miami Heat. Plus Miami loves their Florida college teams too!
Miami hosts a whole boatload of fabulous events throughout the year. Highlights include the IFÉ-ILÉ Afro-Cuban Dance Festival, Best of the Best Music Fest, the Beneath the Waves Music Festival, Davie Seafood Festival and of course, Florida Supercon.
Miami Vacation spots
The beauty of Miami is it couldn't be easier to have an incredible getaway without heading to the airport. A short drive away is one of the country's most incredible National Parks, the Florida Everglades. Book a boat ride and marvel at the amazing animals and plants in this unique ecosystem. While Americans are just beginning to be able to legally travel to Cuba again, there's no visa needed to take a trip to Little Havana. As Miami is home to the largest population of Cuban-Americans, this is the neighborhood to come to in order to get to experience Cuban food, culture and music firsthand. There's even a direct bus to the Florida Keys, one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the United States, hosting a rich literary history as well as being the perfect place to kick back, relax and enjoy a bit of quiet.
Where to move in Miami
The area has a number of great neighborhoods that offer variety of Miami apartments to choose from. Coral Gables, a neighborhood with a glamorous history, has maintained its reputation for being a luxurious place to live. Home to numerous estates, while many residents are well-heeled there are also ample opportunities to find apartment rentals that are quite reasonable. Then there is also Coconut Grove. In the past this area was a hippie enclave, and while the neighborhood is now a delightful mix of young families, retirees and singles, the area hasn't lost any of its funky charm. Or, why not live at the heart of what has made Miami most famous by finding an apartment in the South Beach area. Living here means a short walk to one of the world's iconic beaches, not to mention the most happening nightlife. For those looking for that downtown vibe, Downtown Miami is a central location that boasts modern glass high rises and has the advantage of being central to both the major roadways and all forms of public transportation. Plus, if you live here and work in the financial district, your commute couldn't be easier. This area isn't fully developed as a residential neighborhood, but because of the condo collapse a few years ago, it remains a great place to find incredible deals.