Miami Local Life

5 Reasons Why Downtown Miami Is the Best Neighborhood in Miami

With more people looking to move closer to where they work and play, downtown areas have seen a resurgence across the country and Downtown Miami is no exception. In recent years, new condo buildings have risen with regularity as developers tap into the live/work/play trend. With plans for more development in the works, this trend doesn’t appear to be abating any time soon.

With the abundance of new high-rise structures, people have flocked to this area, and not just the young professionals you’d expect to live in an urban environment. Families have also decided to make Downtown their home, so much so that the city has plans to build new schools to accommodate the rise in school-age residents.

The neighborhood’s popularity was evident in a recent list of Miami’s best neighborhoods compiled by us. Based on affordability, school ratings, and other factors, Downtown Miami ranked No. 1. Here are some of the reasons it topped the list.

Arts and Entertainment Options Are Plentiful

Downtown Miami is one of the most culturally rich neighborhoods in South Florida, with options for everyone—whether your passion lies in art, theater, sports, or music.

For those who want to catch to catch a sporting event, AmericanAirlines Arena is the home court for the NBA’s Miami Heat, but it also hosts concerts from major recording acts. At Bayfront Park, not only can you enjoy outdoor activities, you can also catch a show at the amphitheater.

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is home to three internationally acclaimed companies—Florida Grand Opera, the Miami City Ballet, and the New World Symphony—along with a regular series of jazz, flamenco, and Broadway hits.

Perez Art Museum Miami’s (PAMM) galleries feature international art of the 20th and 21st centuries. PAMM is joined by the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, which opened in 2017 and includes an aquarium and planetarium.

It Offers Easy Access to Public Transportation

Miami is not known to be the most walkable of cities, but if there’s one neighborhood where it’s possible to survive without a car, it’s Downtown. With ample sidewalks, walking to work or the neighborhood’s amenities is certainly an option. But there are also public transportation options that simply do not exist in other neighborhoods.

If you’re looking to travel within Downtown and Brickell, Metromover is a free shuttle service that operates seven days a week. If you want to travel to nearby areas, then Metrorail might be an option as it will take you to places like Miami International Airport and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

If you want to travel to cities further north, the Tri-Rail will get you as far as West Palm Beach. Though it’s still under development, the Brightline train will eventually get you all the way to Orlando.

It Puts You Close to Great Beaches

While access to cultural activities is a draw for Miami residents, so too is having access to beaches. Fortunately, in Downtown, you don’t have to travel far to claim your spot on the sand.

Just a short drive over the MacArthur Causeway will bring you to the world-renowned South Beach where you’ll not only find a great beach, but great restaurants, shopping, and other attractions.

Downtown is also close to Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, both of which offer coastal environments rich with natural and recreational opportunities. Key Biscayne is located between two major parks—Crandon Park to the north and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park to the south—and it offers a nearby coastal barrier reef and the only federally recognized underwater archaeological trail in the United States.

Restaurants Abound

Many people’s definition of a perfect night out is an exceptional meal at a great local restaurant. Whether it’s a juicy steak you’re craving, succulent seafood, or comforting Italian food, Downtown has a restaurant that will appeal to your tastes.

Though it’s hard to pinpoint which restaurants are the best—there are many lists dedicated to the subject—a few restaurants appear on multiple lists, including Fooq’s, a Mediterranean restaurant; All Day, a specialty coffee shop and restaurant; NIU Kitchen, a wine bar with small plates; and Soya e Pomodoro, an Italian restaurant.

It’s More Affordable Than You’d Think

In most cities, the highest rated neighborhoods are also the costliest—and many potential residents are simply priced out of the market. To be sure, Downtown Miami has its fair share of condos with eye-popping price tags.

But for all the splashy headlines these luxury condo projects have made in recent times, the median sales price is still only $375,000. This compares to a median sales price of $739,500 in nearby Coconut Grove, which ranked No. 4 on our list of best Miami neighborhoods.

While multimillion properties with spectacular views and extravagant amenities are the norm Downtown, so too, are units priced under $300,000. These lower-priced options tend to be in older buildings and far smaller square footage and fewer amenities, but they are still within walking distance to businesses and other attractions.

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