Thinking about moving to Miami?
Of course you are. And who can blame you? Madonna, Will Smith and Matt Damon have all called the 305 home, no doubt lured by its sunny skies, sultry Latin vibe and miles of beaches.
But the city is much more than its sexy, glitzy veneer. The diverse Hispanic culture spread throughout town shines through in its cafecito breaks, salsa rhythms and passionate social exchanges. There’s a subtle island mentality at work here, with lax meeting times and a minimalist approach to layers of clothes. Knowing Spanish isn’t a requirement, but it definitely helps. Here’s a freebie: croqueta. (That’s a delicious fried Cuban pastry you’ll become well acquainted with.)
The county is organized in a near perfect grid, with streets running east to west and avenues running from north to south. It’s actually pretty simple to navigate. Your challenge? Channeling your inner peace when dealing with the infamous Miami drivers. The city has the dubious distinction of being voted America’s Worst Drivers by Travel + Leisure. Road warriors here like to lay on their horns, “forget” their turn signals, roll through stop signs and gesture wildly to the car next to them. Remember, young padawan: woosaaaaah.
The 836 and 826 are almost always in a grid-locked state, but avoiding main thoroughfares between the hours of 7am-9am and 3pm-7pm will go a long way towards lowering your stress levels.
Beat the commute: Miami has a poor track record when it comes to public transportation. Your best bet is to download alternate route apps like Waze to try and circumvent some of the traffic.
The city’s close proximity to the swampy Everglades makes things quite… soupy. The summer months can feel unbearably humid and heavy afternoon downpours are almost a daily occurrence. Hurricane season runs from June to November, and residents carefully watch the tropics for any impending storms.
Wintertime, in a word: glorious. More than a few tourists visiting the city between November and March have been pulled in by its low humidity, 70-degree temps, and not-a-cloud-in-the-sky sunny days.
Summer average (Jun-Aug): 88° high, 75° low
Winter average (Dec-Feb): 75° high, 61° low
Miami was one of the cities hit hardest during the real estate bubble burst of 2008. Since then, it has steadily climbed its way back up with rent prices reaching stratospheric prices this past year.
Miami-Dade County’s unemployment rate has flatlined after falling steadily since 2011. And while the strength of the Latin American markets influences the success of local businesses, the Miami economy remains steady thanks to a booming start-up culture and a reliable influx of tourist dollars.
Unemployment rate: 6% (as of April 2015)
Average weekly wages for all industries: $924 (as of third quarter 2015)