50 Fun Facts About Miamis Most Popular Neighborhoods
There's a lot more to South Florida than South Beach. The Greater Miami metro area is made up of oceanfront cities, urban hubs and villages with loads of charm.
We've showcased 10 of the city's most interesting, diverse and exciting neighborhoods. To give you a glimpse into what it would be like to live there, we've compiled a list of five fun facts about 10 of Miami's legacy and up-and-coming neighborhoods.
If you're looking for an urban neighborhood that's also a hot financial district, you've found it. This is a dense and fast-growing area and for good reason. Brickell gives you downtown proximity to the business hub, sports arena, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and more. Once the go-to destination for lavish mansions, you'll find office towers, hotels, apartments and condos here today.
The number of residents living between Brickell and Edgewater has soared nearly 40 percent over the last eight years, according to the Miami Herald. Close to 2,800 condominium units will feed the demand. This is especially true at the luxury and ultra-luxury price points.
Five fun facts about Brickell
- Brickell came to be in the mid-19th century and was known as Millionaire's Row
- This downtown core is one of the fastest-growing destinations in the country
- Finance, insurance and real estate jobs account for more than 17 percent of the gigs found in the Brickell-area zip code
- Trendy new bars and restaurants appeal to a cosmopolitan, international demographic
- Brickell is part of the Manhattanization of the urban core
2. Coconut Grove
Regarded as Miami's original neighborhood, Coconut Grove was founded in 1873 by a mix of pioneers, artists, intellectuals and adventurers. It once had a bohemian or hippie cachet that has since segued into upscale and trendy.
Smack in the heart of the city, it hugs the shoreline of Biscayne Bay. The Brickell and The Roads neighborhoods are just north of Coconut Grove. It's also east of Coral Gables. A tropical neighborhood, the streets are lined with lush greenery and oak and banyan trees.
Five fun facts about Coconut Grove
- Dinner Key Marina (Florida's largest wet slip marina) is next to Monty's Raw Bar and Miami's City Hall, formerly the Pan Am terminal building
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a Gilded Age estate on Biscayne Bay that was designed as a lavish Italian-style villa by businessman James Deering, of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune
- Coconut Grove hosts its wild and wacky annual King Mango Strut parade on the last Sunday of the year, which has been happening since 1982
- The Kampong is an 11-acre national tropical botanical garden
- The Coconut Grove Bahamian Goombay Festival will be 39 years old in 2020 and celebrates the legacy of the Bahamian-rooted community
3. Coral Way
Coral Way road defines the Coral Way neighborhood. Founded by George E. Merrick circa 1920, the architecture is reflective of the early 20th Century. There's a mix of Mission Revival style in the older parts of the community. You'll find bungalow homes from the 1920s as well as Art Deco style from the 1930s here.
Today, Coral Way is a heavily trafficked thoroughfares between Coral Gables and Miami. It passes through the City of Miami between SW 37th Avenue and Brickell Avenue.
Five fun facts about Coral Way
- The Coral Way area is known for its historic boulevard along SW 22nd Street (Coral Way)
- Sub-neighborhoods include Shenandoah, Silver Bluff, Vizcaya-Roads and Coral Gate
- A roadside beautification program began in 1929 with more than 1,100 Banyan trees planted along the boulevard's median
- The Coral Way Corridor began in 1922 with citrus lined streets
- The boulevard once had streetcar tracks down the center of the road to connect Coral Gables to Downtown by trolley
4. Design District
Editorial credit: Olga V Kulakova / Shutterstock.com
Located just north of Wynwood, the multifaceted Design District is a tony destination for high-style fashion, art, modern architecture and more. The 18-block neighborhood was once gritty with dilapidated warehouses. Today, it offers an escape from the ordinary and is a hotspot for dining, too. For visitors on getaways and globe-hopping hipsters, the Design District is a must-see.
Developer Craig Robins spearheaded the area's gentrification when he bought many of the run-down buildings in the 1980s and '90s. He originally created a go-to destination for interior and furniture designers to showcase their goods.
Just north of the Design District is the Buena Vista East Historic District. It's a charming neighborhood that dates back to the 1920s. Mediterranean Revival, Craftsman, Mission and Art Deco styles dominate the architecture here.
Five fun facts about the Design District
- The area was once a pineapple farm in a neighborhood referred to as Buena Vista
- The Palm Court's Fly's Eye Dome is a replica of a geodesic dome designed by inventor Buckminster Fuller that sits above an underground parking garage
- The Miami Design District is eyeing to rival Los Angeles' posh Rodeo Drive or Palm Beach's old-moneyed Worth Avenue
- To be a draw for fashionistas, the district went through a $1.4 billion transformation of its four-block-plus radius
- Art installations dot the district, including Netscape a 24-seat net of hammock-like swings hanging from a modular 6-point, star-shaped frame
The epicenter of Miami, Downtown offers a stunning skyline view. With gleaming new skyscrapers, bay views and historic architecture, this is a multifaceted neighborhood hub. It's gone through a number of reincarnations over the years. Today, with a population that's doubled in less than 10 years, it's a bustling tourist destination.
More than the 9-to-5 neighborhood it once was, downtown is the go-to destination for the Port of Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center and the American Airlines Arena, which is home to the NBA's Miami Heat. The 30-acre Museum Park also provides spectacular views of the bay. Prez Art Museum Miami's (PAMM) galleries showcase international art of the 20th and 21st centuries and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science has a state-of-the-art aquarium and planetarium.
Five fun facts about Downtown
- Henry Flagler's Royal Palm Hotel opened in 1897 along the bank of the Miami River
- Miami's first development boom happened in the 1910s and 1920s, with its namesake Flagler Street
- The National Historic Landmark, Freedom Tower, was an entry point in late 1950 for Cuban refugees arriving in Miami
- Bayside Marketplace is a two-story, open-air shopping center located in the hub of Downtown
- Free Metromover rail cars stop at all the main points Downtown, making getting around a breeze
With its sweeping views of Biscayne Bay, this neighborhood has gone through a growth spurt and rapid urbanization. Not only is it close to Downtown, but it also has proximity to the sought-after Design District.
South of Midtown, Edgewater is within the boundaries of NE 17th Terrace to the south, I-195 (Julia Tuttle Causeway) to the north, NE 2nd Avenue to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east.
It's full of early 20th-century dwellings. Primarily an older residential area, this 'hood is now dotted with hi-rise and mid-rise towers and lots of new construction. You'll find plenty of luxe here with high-end residences and resort-style amenities.
Five fun facts about Edgewater
- Edgewater was always known as a residential neighborhood offering charming early-20th-century homes
- Modernist buildings sat along Biscayne Boulevard in Edgewater for decades post-World War II
- Since 2000, Edgewater has become a swankier place to call home
- Edgewater is described as the calmer, chill side of Downtown
- The neighborhood is on the edge of Biscayne Bay, directly across from Miami Beach
7. Little Haiti
Photo courtesy of VisitFlorida.com
A known neighborhood for Haitian exiles, it is a 3-square-mile stretch of 30,000 exiles and artists. French-Creole dominates throughout, from street life to businesses. This is the cultural heart of the Haitian diaspora.
Little Haiti is surrounded by gentrifying neighborhoods, like Wynwood, the Design District and the upscale Upper East Side. It's centrally located, which is one reason why it's become a magnet for real estate investors, business owners and speculators looking for opportunities. For investors, some say it would be a low cost of entry and a potentially big upside, according to the Miami Herald.
With its Caribbean style and quirkiness, this is the place to go for ethnic restaurants, fruit stands and color-splashed wall murals. There's a flourishing art scene here with a lot of indie galleries. The Little Haiti Cultural Complex showcases Afro-Caribbean art, dance and theater. The covered Caribbean Marketplace sells produce and locally made handicrafts.
Steeped in the complex and rich cultural histories of Caribbean immigrants who brought life to its area, Little Haiti has evolved into a colorful beacon in Miami's arts communities.
Five fun facts about Little Haiti
- The area now known as Little Haiti was called Lemon City (founded by Bahamian immigrants) for well over a century
- Referred to as Little Port-au-Prince, it was considered too long a name by some and shortened to Little Haiti
- Haitian immigrants sought refuge here in the 1970s and '80s
- A bronze statue of the father of the Haitian Revolution, General Toussaint L'Ouverture, stands on North Miami Avenue and 62nd Street
- Little Haiti was designated as an official neighborhood in 2006, with boundaries overlapping the historic Lemon City
8. Little Havana
Famous for its Calle Ocho strip (SW 8th Street), this vibrant neighborhood carries its Cuban heritage with pride. Little Havana is has a strong cultural and political identity that resonates throughout the community.
The colorful Miami neighborhood came to life in the 1960s. This was at the time that Cuban refugees fled the rule of Castro in Cuba. Calle Ocho is the main thoroughfare of the neighborhood, which was established due to the Cuban diaspora.
Five fun facts about Little Havana
- Politics paired with dominoes are the norm at Maximo Gomez Park, known as Domino Park by locals
- Cigar makers, art galleries and ethnic restaurants abound here, with cafes featuring walk-up windows that sell Cuban coffee and croquetas on every corner
- Since 1971, Versailles restaurant is a favorite of locals and visitors
- A hotspot where Billie Holiday and Count Basie performed, today the Ball & Chain club has jazz to salsa
- A marquee event of Carnaval Miami, Calle Ocho is the largest Hispanic festival in the nation and spans around 20 blocks of Little Havana
9. The Roads
Located just west of Brickell, The Roads can best be defined as a triangular area south of SW 11th Street, between SW 12th Avenue and SW 15th Road. It has a reputation for being a prestigious neighborhood.
You'll find historic older homes dotting tree-lined streets here. It's oft what is known as the Miami street grid. That's why all of the streets here are called roads (not streets or avenues).
Five fun facts about The Roads
- Originally called Brickell Hammock, The Roads was platted by Mary Brickell in January 1922 as a centrally located and affordable place to call home
- The Roads neighborhood has access to the Miami Metrorail at the Vizcaya station to the south and Brickell station to the north
- The Roads enclave was conceptualized to be a walkable community with wide streets, roundabouts and wide sidewalks
- The Roads has a population of just under 12,500
- Streets run at a 45-degree angle from the streets on the grid in Miami
Talk about being in an urban core! In Wynwood, graffiti murals dot the walls of this redefined neighborhood that's west of Midtown. Street art sparked a renaissance here, where dilapidated warehouses once dominated every corner.
But developer Tony Goldman had a vision for Wynwood. He saw it as one huge open-air canvas. Nowadays, it's an uber eclectic hotspot with shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries and other businesses. The Second Saturday Art Walk in early 2000 lifted up the area for art, fashion and other creative enterprises. It continues on to this day.
Living in Wynwood is a mixed bag of existing warehouses and other buildings that have been renovated into condos and apartments, plus brand new builds. The Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) apartment inventory is forecast to more than double by 2020.
Five fun facts about Wynwood
- The Wynwood Walls began in 2009 by visionaries who saw how art could ignite a neighborhood
- During the mid-to-late 1900s, Wynwood was known as the Miami garment district
- Since the arrival of Art Basel in 2002, the Wynwood arts community has played a role by influencing and redefining the community
- Every second Saturday a crowd fills the street for culture, food and music during Art Walk starting at 6 p.m.
- The highest concentration of street art in the country can be seen in Wynwood
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