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Insider’s Guide to Popular Miami Neighborhoods

by Roslie

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From hole-in-the-wall taquerias to swanky nightclubs, Miami is one of those places that can be everything to everyone. With such a unique and diverse cultural landscape, it’s almost impossible to decide on the best Miami neighborhoods.

Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, going on a solo visit, or wondering where to live, there’s a place in Miami for you. Here, we cover 15 of the best Miami neighborhoods. We break down where to stay, what to see and do, where to eat, and what vibe you can expect from each area.

Ready to start exploring? Here’s your guide to visiting the best neighborhoods in Miami.


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Cool Miami Neighborhoods to Stay and Visit

1. South Beach and Miami Beach: The famous party district

As if its pristine, beach access wasn’t enough, South Beach is renowned for its nightlife, luxury shopping, and globally recognized eateries. Consider this party neighborhood your go-to for a fun Spring Break, the best nightlife hangouts, or a weekend beach getaway with friends.

Miami Beach Art Deco District South Beach, Florida

Situated on the barrier island known as Miami Beach, which is connected to the mainland through a series of causeways, this neighborhood is a must if you want to experience the A-list lifestyle, even if you’re visiting Miami just for a day.

Head to the famous Ocean Drive and Lummus Park Beach during the day for some sun and sand, then hit up all the hottest clubs.

Hotel Lennox Miami Beach and its art deco vibes are the perfect home-away-from-home during your South Beach stay.

Things to do in South Beach:

  • Miami Speedboat Sightseeing Tour – Enjoy views of Miami’s scenic coastline on this speedboat cruise
  • Art deco walking or biking tour – See Versace’s over-the-top mansion and other South Beach’s Art Deco highlights
  • A Taste of South Beach Food Tour – If you’re a passionate foodie who wants to explore South Florida’s vibrant multicultural cuisine, this mini culinary experience is perfect for you.
  • South Beach Nightclub crawl – If you’re itching for a great party, then this all-inclusive party package with access to some of the best clubs is it.

2. Little Havana: Vibrant Cuban culture and food

A popular community for the Latin cultural experience in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana party-ready Calle Ocho. Cuban cuisine, art, and music fill every corner of this affordable tourist destination.

Calle Ocho, Little Havana, Miami Florida Mural

Start the day with a Miami-worthy food experience by stopping at a ventanita (coffee window), pick up a Café Cubano and a pastelito. Then join a cultural food walking tour through Calle Ocho to truly immerse yourself in this eclectic neighborhood.

Live Performance Little Havana Miami Florida Calle Ocho

If Latin music is more your scene, check out some of the smaller venues in Little Havana, which is renowned for its Latin and Spanish-inspired nightclubs.

You’ll also want to visit Cubaocho, popular with travelers and locals alike for their famous live music and performances.

And just a short distance from Little Havana’s center is Selina Miami River, an impossibly stylish boutique hotel decked out in tropical greenery.

Highlights: Tower Theatre, CubaOcho Museum & Performing Art Center, Maximo Gomez Park (Domino Park), Calle Ocho Walk of Fame (Paseo de las Estrellas)

3. Coral Gables: Historic, artsy, and sophisticated

Arguably one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Miami, this Instagram-worthy community is dotted with canopied streets, historic architecture, lush parks, posh boutiques, restaurants, and cafes.

Date Ideas in Miami Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables Pool

Being in Coral Gables feels like being a Parisian socialite in the 1920s. Live out your Great Gatsby fantasy at the Biltmore Hotel, soak in the crystalline waters of the Venetian Pool, and stop by Chocolate Fashion on Andalusia Ave for some divine pastries.

Youthful and community-minded, it’s home to the Fairchild Botanical Garden, international retailers, and a free trolley system, which makes getting around easy.

Highlights: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Matheson Hammock Park, Venetian Pool

4. Coconut Grove: Kid-friendly Miami neighborhood perfect for families

Hop on the trolley and explore one of the greenest and oldest neighborhoods in Miami. Tree-lined streets give rise to the shopping and restaurant areas. Originally a bit Bohemian, the area still maintains the quaint aura of culture and charm.

Coconut Grove Neighborhood, Miami Florida

Aside from being an excellent place to live and raise children, this bayfront neighborhood also has many family-friendly attractions to explore.

The lush Kampong Botanical Garden, one of only five National Tropical Botanical Gardens is an absolute must-see. Note you’ll need to schedule an appointment to explore this tropical paradise.

You can’t go to Coconut Grove without having a spontaneous backyard seafood feast at Shore to Door. And if you looking for a place to stay, The Mayfair Coconut Grove is an excellent choice for affordability and quality service.

Highlights: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, CocoWalk, The Barnacle Historic State Park

5. Downtown Miami: Popular tourist destination near PortMiami

This favored tourist spot in Miami is peppered with both modern attractions and historical landmarks, making it the perfect place for a pre-cruise visit with your family to experience the true Miami vibe.

Downtown Miami Skyline View from Brickell Miami

For an upscale experience that won’t break the bank, head for the Kimpton EPIC Hotel.

From here, you can take a short walk to the bustling Bayside Marketplace, or for something posher, scope out the events at the Adrienne Arsht Center and the surrounding museums.

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a go-to, no matter how old you are. Sparky’s Roadside BBQ is also a must-try. Don’t let the shabby interiors fool you; the food is seriously good.

Bayfront Park Downtown Miami Waterfront Walkway

Take refuge at the nearby Bayfront Park when the city gets a little overwhelming; this huge Miami park also hosts fun outdoor events and musical performances.

Highlights: Freedom Tower, Bayfront Park, Bayside Marketplace, Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia Theatre

6. Brickell: A home for young professionals

Fast becoming Miami’s hippest neighborhood, affluent millennials are coming to Brickell in droves, pulled in by the luxury shopping, trendy nightlife, world-class restaurants, and high-class developments.

Brickell City Centre Downtown Miami Florida

To start your stay in Brickell right:

  1. Book a room at the much raved about SLS Brickell.
  2. Spend the evening at one of the rooftop bars, or experience the neighborhood’s extremely diverse culinary scene: Dimitrios for Mediterranean, La Mar for South American, or LPM for French, to name a few.
  3. Explore Brickell City Centre for all your upscale entertainment and shopping needs.

Highlights: Brickell City Centre, The Shops at Mary Brickell Village

7. Wynwood: Miami’s Art District

Packed end to end with art galleries, hip breweries, trendy restaurants, eclectic shops, nightclubs, and Instagrammable murals, Wynwood is a haven for hipsters and art enthusiasts alike.

Wynwood Brewing Company Miami, Florida

This youthful pocket is populated by converted warehouses and colorful murals and has a hip, yet welcoming vibe.

Despite the crowds, you don’t want to miss the famous Wynwood Walls and ever-evolving murals throughout the Wynwood Arts District. If you’re big on the arts culture, this neighborhood is an absolute must.

Things to Do In Miami-Wynwood Arts District Murals

Book a room at the colorful Domio Wynwood to soak up this art hub’s creative vibe. Then join a Wynwood food and art tour to experience the neighborhood’s most worthwhile hidden gems.

Highlights: Wynwood Walls and Murals, Museum of Graffiti

8. Miami Design District: A trendy hub of design and fashion

If upscale boutiques and galleries are more your speed, you’ll love the shopping, fine dining, and chic bars and museums this famous neighborhood has to offer.

Miami Design District Neighborhood Luxury Retail Stores

The Miami Design District’s streets are lined with a wealth of luxury fashion houses to shop, from Versace to Marni. But if fine art is more your style, modern galleries like Markowicz Fine Art and Opera Gallery have what you need.

Be sure to try the grilled octopus and the manti dumplings over at Mandolin Aegean Bistro.

Highlights: Institute of Contemporary Art, The Moore Building, The Haitian Heritage Museum

9. Midtown: Eclectic Miami neighborhood for hipsters and yuppies alike

Encompassing Wynwood and bordered by the Design District, this trendy, up-and-coming area has a vibrant, artsy atmosphere complemented by luxury high-rises and excellent nightlife.

You can spot both locally-made crafts and premium contemporary art in this artistically diverse neighborhood; hit up Wynwood Shop for the former and Coral Contemporary Gallery for the latter.

Then, check out the assortment of food trucks at the ultra-hip Wynwood Marketplace. Don’t forget to book a room at Hyde Midtown for the perfect mix of quality and accessibility.

10. Little Haiti: Authentic Haitian cuisine and culture

This upcoming neighborhood is an underrated hub of Afro-Caribbean culture. The creative community and cultural attractions make this a must-visit for adventurous travelers seeking hidden gems.

Little Haiti Cultural Art Center Miami Florida

Head to Little Haiti Cultural Center and soak up the Caribbean nation’s art and history. Their Libreri Mapou Bookstore houses a rich library of Haitian literature. Sweat Records, a few minutes’ walk away, is another must-visit – especially for music lovers.

Piman Bouk is our go-to for authentic Haitian food – be warned, they don’t go easy on the spices!

Highlights: Little Haiti Cultural Center, Sweat Records

11. Upper Eastside: Eclectic neighborhood known for its striking art deco architecture

While mostly a residential neighborhood, the Upper Eastside also features a historical district, home to many heritage hotels, along with shops and restaurants. It’s popular for its striking art deco architecture, as well as a burgeoning restaurant scene.

Ironside Kitchen Pizza & Coffee, Little Haiti, Upper Eastside, Miami, Florida

Hit up Morningside Park for water sports and the Saturday farmers market or the MiMo Garden Center – or both! Cap off the night with a drink and live music at Miami Ironside for its art scene and trendy restaurants.

This hip residential Miami neighborhood has a youthful atmosphere perfect for soaking in the culture and restaurant scene.

12. Bal Harbour: Access to luxury stores, pristine hotels, and high-end eateries

Bal Harbour is a small village located on the northern tip of Miami Beach. This beachside enclave is a high-end tourist destination, boasting upscale resorts and hotels such as The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, as well as designer boutique shops. All with a beach view to soak in along the way.

Highlights: Bal Harbour Shops

13. Sunny Isles Beach: A chill and relaxed place to live

This highly walkable stretch of beaches and parks is a quiet haven north of Miami Beach. It’s an urban suburb that’s both a good place to live and a fantastic spot for laid-back family vacations.

Sunny Isles Miami Florida Neighborhood

If fishing is what you want, this is the place to find it. You don’t even need to charter a boat, although they are certainly available. Just drop a line in the ocean from the Newport Fishing Pier.

You’ll want to stay at the Residence Inn to be close to all the great hangouts while feeling like a Sunny Isles native. The main street is Collins Avenue, and that’s where you will find the best restaurants and shopping.

Highlights: Newport Pier, Oleta State Park

14. Homestead: Perfect day trip from Miami with affordable and free attractions

Homestead has a wholesome, small-town vibe with agricultural roots and nature-focused attractions including Shark Valley in the Florida Everglades – perfect for a day trip with the kids.

Homestead Florida Knaus Berry Farm

Spend the morning at Knaus Berry Farm for their fresh-baked pastries (the cinnamon buns are a must) and freshly picked strawberry treats. Or, if you can’t stand long lines, try a tropical fruit smoothie at Robert is Here. Also, stop by Coral Castle, an amazing sculptural rock garden with excellent tour guides.

Highlights: Biscayne National Park, Everglades National Park, Everglades Alligator Farm, Coral Castle, Fruit & Spice Park

15. Key Biscayne: A peaceful beaches and quiet community

It doesn’t get any more laid-back than this Miami suburb. Key Biscayne is filled with acres of greenery and picturesque beaches is as much an idyllic place to live as it is a wonderful vacation spot.

Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, Miami Florida.jpg

This pocket of suburbia across the Rickenbacker Causeway takes full advantage of its warm coastal location. Crandon Park is an excellent beach and park hybrid that’s perfect for some high-quality R&R. Pack a picnic or try any of the restaurants located along Crandon Blvd. – I recommend Randazzo’s.

The luxe Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is the ideal place to keep you as close as possible to Key Biscayne’s beaches and nature trails.

Highlights: Cape Florida Lighthouse, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach

Miami’s Fabulous Neighborhoods

That’s our round-up of the best Miami neighborhoods: For the hardcore party animals, South Beach, Miami Beach, and Little Havana are waiting for you. Arts and culture lovers should head to Wynwood, Coral Gables, and Little Haiti.

Those looking for luxury will feel right at home in Brickell, the Miami Design District, and Key Biscayne. Meanwhile, families can have the most fun at Coconut Grove, Downtown Miami, and Homestead.

And those looking for a place to settle down can choose between Brickell, Sunny Isles Beach, and Key Biscayne. Florida’s Magic City has a neighborhood to fit every kind of traveler. So which one is yours?

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