Thanks to over 300 high-rises, Miami enjoys the third most dramatic skyline in the United States after New York City and Chicago. While most skyscrapers here are modern creations, like the Four Seasons Hotel & Tower, the city’s tallest, there are many souvenirs left over from Miami’s first building boom in the early 1900s. The Spanish Renaissance-styled Freedom Tower, built for the Miami News in 1925, is the most prominent.
The Mediterranean-inspired architecture of South Florida gave birth to the regional style known as Miami Modernist, welding the city’s image of fun and glamour with the minimalist International Style. City architects dressed up the stripped-down classicism of Art Deco in the 1920s with tropical influences. Miami Beach, once a coconut farm on the wrong side of Biscayne Bay, became known as Millionaire’s Row and today boasts the largest collection of Art Deco architecture on the planet. The Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne has become a Miami symbol as it approaches its 200th birthday.
The real estate market in Miami’s 25 neighborhoods is dominated by 176,226 single family residences. Condominium living is a staple of South Florida with Miami home to 139,474 condo units. Living space can also be had in the city's 26,258 townhouses, 25,764 multi-family buildings and 33,359 other residential properties.
Commercial life in Miami revolves around tourism with the city’s 8,138 commercial properties bolstered by an additional 11,598 zoned for mixed-use. The city's industrial base numbers 3,622 properties, while vacant lots, often tear-downs, number 7,668.
One in six Miamians is said to use the commuter rail, heavy rail trains, buses and elevated people movers operated by Miami-Dade transit. The Miami traffic infrastructure also includes six major causeways to carry people across Biscayne Bay to the mainland. Miami International Airport handles more international freight than any other United States air terminal and the third highest number of passengers.
With Miami one of the top international cities in the country, Miami-Dade County Public Schools provide students with optional bilingual education in French, Spanish, German, Haitian Creole and Mandarin Chinese. The city’s high schools, including magnet schools and charter schools, are especially celebrated. Coral Reef High School, known as “Miami's Mega Magnet School,” was ranked #134 among all high schools in the country in 2016. With a cornucopia of post-secondary options, more than 200,000 students are pursuing a college degree in Miami – one of the highest per capita rates in the country.
In the latest biannual report from The Leapfrog Group, a watchdog for safer health care delivery, 24 of the 45 hospitals in and around Miami received an “A” grade. Overall, Florida’s health report card was bettered by only three states. Some of the most celebrated health care centers in the area include the Baptist Hospital of Miami and Mount Sinai Medical Center.
From the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Report, Miami ranked as the 20th most violent city in the United States with 1.21 crimes per 1,000 people. Of that number, more than 96 percent were robberies and assaults.
Miami is ranked as America’s richest city based on purchasing power and there are plenty of opportunities to spread that cash around. Little Havana, the social and cultural stomping ground on the west side of town for Cuban exiles, is one place. South Beach, a renowned party and club destination on Miami Beach, is another. If you are going out, be prepared to dress up and dance. If you’re eating, indulge in the legendary Caribbean cuisine. And by all means, order a trademark Cuban sandwich!
Gambling is a way of life in South Florida and you can enjoy the pastime at Hialeah Park Race Track, Miami Jai Alai at Casino Miami, and the Flagler Dog Track at Magic City Casino.
Outdoor pursuits are second to none, whether it’s boating on the waters of Biscayne Bay, lounging on the waterfront at Palm Beach, exploring Everglades National Park or deep sea fishing in the Atlantic Ocean.