By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com
Storage.com takes pride in helping people move into their new homes, whether that involves providing a storage unit in between or by helping people discover more about their new city.
With a population of 430,332, Miami is the second-largest city in the state of Florida and one of the 50 largest cities in the United States, competing with metropolises such as New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, and Chicago. However, what distinguishes Miami from other urban giants is its unique living experience consisting of a rich and diverse culture, city-specific attractions, and a climate that cannot be beat. Here are 17 things about Miami that are unique from other big cities.
1. FLORIDA’S LARGEST HEALTH DISTRICT.
In fact, there are three medical schools in this district: Florida International University’s Wertheim College of Medicine, University of Miami’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, and Miami Dade College’s Medical Center Campus. These are located in the city’s Civic Center. Despite being smaller than cities such as Los Angeles and New York, Miami features a higher concentration of new doctors and medical technology. Located downtown, the Civic Center, also known as Miami’s Health District, is second only to Houston in terms of its number of medical schools and research facilities. The largest medical facility in Miami is Jackson Memorial Hospital. Others include University of Miami Hospital, Holtz Children’s Hospital, and Mount Sinai Medical Center.
2. SPEAKING OF MIAMI’S HEALTH INDUSTRY…
Healthcare is one of Miami’s most popular industries with Baptist Health South Florida, Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (also known as Miami Children’s Hospital) employing between 1,200 – 3,500 people! The University of Miami is the second leading private employer with more than 1,200 employees. Other prominent local employers include Florida Power & Light Company, Carnival Cruise Lines, and American Airlines.
3. MIAMI VALUES A GOOD EDUCATION.
Miami is rich with educational venues. Local colleges and universities include the University of Miami, Florida International University, Miami Dade College, and Brown Mackie College. Private institutions include Barry University, Florida Memorial University, St. Thomas University, and Carlos Albizu University. How about aspiring doctors? You’ll be pleased to know Miami has a several schools for learning medicine. Approximately 27% of Miami’s residents aged twenty-five and over have attained a bachelor’s degree or higher.
4. CLIMATE IS WARM, BUT NOT TOO DRY.
Compared to the cold winters of cities such as Chicago and New York, Miami’s tropical climate is preferable to people who want sunshine and soothing warm temperatures year-round. Did you know there’s never been any recorded snowfall recorded here since 1977? When you come to Miami, you can leave your snow shovel behind. But even though it’s warm, Miami is not dry like in the southwest. Rainfall is not scarce, and the city’s coastal location means that finding a place to cool off is never an issue. Want some sun and a place to swim? There’s a beach or two for that.
5. RELAX AT THE BEACH!
In Miami, you have several beaches to choose from. This includes Virginia Key Beach, located on Virginia Key, a barrier island which is part of Miami and accessible via the Rickenbacker Causeway. The beach is complete with playgrounds, picnic areas, a carousel, and a historic dance floor. Feel like windsurfing? The access to open water and nearby location to downtown Miami makes Hobie Beach, located on the causeway, your ideal go-to afternoon venue. If you need to rent a sailboard or kayak, or if you want someone to teach you how to sail, Sailboards Miami can accommodate you. Looking to enjoy the beach while avoiding the hustle and bustle? The Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach features a historic lighthouse, and the beaches are bordered with lush green vegetation, which makes for enamoring scenery. Don’t forget to stop by the Lighthouse Cafe for a nice outdoor dinner with the sea as a backdrop.
FIND ROOM FOR YOUR BEACH ACCESSORIES
WITHOUT LOSING SQUARE FOOTAGE.
6. RICH CUBAN CULTURE.
Miami is where a large Cuban demographic calls home. In fact, the metropolis has been nicknamed the Capital of Latin America for its high concentration of Cuban residents and culture. A local neighborhood called Little Havana is rich with Hispanic culture, fantastic murals, fruit stands, and not to mention the Little Havana Cigar Factory. What’s more, on the last Friday on each month, Little Havana hosts Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays), which is a gathering for anyone interested in Cuban arts, music, dance, film, poetry, you name it.
7. HOME OF THE IRRESISTIBLE CUBAN COFFEE.
Cuban coffee is a staple across the county, but with such a high concentration of Cuban culture, Miami is especially prevalent with this irresistible beverage. Whether you want a Cuban cobano, colada, cortadito, or a cafe con leche, you’ll have no trouble whatsoever finding a coffee shop in Miami which suits your taste. Little known fact about the popular chain La Carreta, it was founded in Miami’s own Little Havana. Other good venues for Cuban coffee include Islas Canarias Restaurant & Cafe and Versailles.
8. DON’T FORGET ABOUT CUBAN CUISINE!
In addition to coffee, there are plenty of Cuban sandwiches and other delightful cuisines stemming from restaurants and cafes here in Miami. Besides serving fine Cuban coffee, Islas Canarias features homemade original recipes created by the restaurant’s owners. Rio Cristal is another excellent choice you can find in Miami with its signature mountain of fries and array of delicious Cuban sandwiches. Other good places for authentic Cuban food include La Rosa Restaurant and El Exquisito Restaurant.
9. PORT OF MIAMI.
Known affectionately as the Cruise Capital of the World, the Port of Miami is packed with vessels of all shapes and sizes. As one of the most popular container sites in the nation, the port is full of cargo ships and gantry cranes. The productivity in this port is so strong that industry leaders called the Port of Miami the best East Coast port in the country in November 2014. This area earned its nickname because it is the busiest cruise ship port on the face of the planet. A walloping 4.8 million passengers come through here every single day. Several popular cruise lines dock here, among them are Resorts World Bimini, Aida Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Norwegian Sky, and Royal Caribbean International.
10. ZOO MIAMI AND OTHER ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS.
Animal lovers moving to Miami will be pleased to know this city has not one, but three major attractions centered around animals. The most famous is, of course, the city zoo. Zoo Miami allows families to not only see the animals but even interact with them! Under adult supervision, children can feed the giraffes, rhinos, and parrots. They can also ride on a camel’s back and play at the children’s zoo. Be sure to check out the Sami Family Amphitheater to catch the Wildlife Show. For creatures of the sea, families will want to head down to Seaquarium, where you can pet dolphins and even go for a ride with a dolphin by holding onto the fin on its back. You can also swim with manatees, seals, and tropical fish. Do you want to be an animal trainer? At Zoo Miami you can get some hands-on training to discover if this is the long-term career for you!
11. SHOP TILL YOU DROP.
As a major city for tourism, Miami is plentiful with enormous shopping complexes and malls, which of course are also at the disposal of the permanent residents. This includes the Aventura Mall, labeled by the Miami New Times as the “mother ship of malls.” Containing 300 retailers and serving an average of 28 million visitors a year, this gigantic shopping complex is not only Florida’s largest mall, but it is the second-largest mall in the entire country. The oldest mall in the city, the Dadeland Mall, serves 17 million with 185 retail stores and restaurants. Need some new summer clothes? Look no further, the Dadeland Mall has the single largest Macy’s in the country. Located close to Miami International Airport is the Dolphin Mall, which is full of retail outlets, restaurants, a movie theater, and even a roller coaster. The Dolphin Mall is currently expanding, with final construction phases expected to end in fall of 2015. When completed, the new additions will include a three-level parking deck, 1,300 parking spaces, a Cabo Flats Cantina & Tequila Bar, and more!
12. LIVIN’ UP THE NIGHTLIFE.
Whether you’re a single adult living it up in Miami or young parents desiring to hire a babysitter for a night out, Miami will not disappoint! There’s plenty here to accommodate an adventurous nightlife. The LIV Night Club features spectacular interior design, celebrity appearances, and a wide open dance floor. Don’t forget to stop by the Mansion, which is complete with fantastic DJ setups, heart-pumping sound systems, and tons of lights.
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LIVE DOWNTOWN WITHOUT SACRIFICING SPACE.
13. MUSEUMS APLENTY.
When it comes to institutes dedicated to commemorating the arts, Miami’s got more than a fair selection. The city, in fact, has an entire museum dedicated to preserving the history of Southern Florida. As its name suggests, HistoryMiami covers city and state history and includes materials such as artifacts of mid-20th century technology. The museum is currently planning its Center for Photography, which will document Miami’s history through exhibits of photographs. The Jewish Museum of Florida, which is partnered with Florida International University, commemorates Jewish influence on state history and development. For spectacular displays of past and contemporary art, check out Perez Art Museum Miami, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, and Lowe Art Museum. Looking for museums dedicated to science and technological developments? Be sure to swing by Miami Auto Museum, part of the Dezer Collection.
14. COMMUNITIES FOR ARTISTS AND ART-LOVERS.
Are you passionate about art or wish to show off something you’ve created? Never fear: there’s a whole bunch of art communities and gatherings in Miami for you to express yourself. This includes ArtCenter South Florida, which dedicates itself to “support artists and advance the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts and culture in South Florida” with free admissions to exhibits, classes and art camp, and regular events. Be sure to also check out Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, which also includes the Broadway in Miami series. Music lovers, don’t miss out on the Miami Chamber Music Society for spectacular live performances!
15. PICK A SPORT, ANY SPORT.
When it comes to professional sports, Miami has a little something for everyone. Of course, there’s the local representation for NFL: the Miami Dolphins, two-time Superbowl champions. Other teams: Miami Heat (NBA), Miami Marlins (MLB), and Florida Panthers (NHL). Miami also has its fair share of race car tracks with Homestead-Miami Speedway drawing in all types of fans.
16. FESTIVALS FOR EVERYONE!
When you come to Miami, you’ll have no trouble finding annual festivals to mingle with tourists and locals alike. This includes Carnaval Miami, featuring live performances, fresh food, a golf tournament, contests, and a Miss Carnaval Miami. Bookworms, don’t miss out on Miami Book Fair International, an outdoor gathering where more than 450 authors convene to discuss their craft, careers, and latest titles! Do you love movies? You’ll be happy to know that in Miami there are several local gatherings where film fans and collectors can get together to share and celebrate their cinematic interests! This includes the Miami International Film Festival and Miami Jewish Film Festival.
17. PRACTICE YOUR SWING, PLAY A FEW ROUNDS.
Because it never snows here in Miami, you can rest assured the golf courses will remain open year-round, just in case you ever feel like practicing your swing or squeezing in nine holes! The ever-green vegetation makes for great scenery. Local courses include Palmetto Golf Course, which features a winding system of canals. Crandon Golf Course is former home to the Senior PGA. Legends such as Don Messengale, Ray Floyd, and Chi Chi Rodriguez putted on these greens! The Miccosuke Golf & Country Club features a 27-hour course as well an Olympic-sized swimming pool and tennis courts.
Do you live in Miami? Know anything else unique about your city newcomers should know? If so, tell us in the comments.
If you’re moving to Miami and need storage space to help with the transition, view Storage.com’s directory for self storage in Miami.
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