Miami Moving Guide

Moving to Miami? Read Our Ultimate Moving Guide

If you’re planning a move to Miami, then you’ll be living in a vibrant metropolis with a subtropical climate. The “Magic City” of Miami appears in the 2019 “Best Places to Live” list by, which shares how one city can be both one of the world’s largest international business hubs and the ideal place for parties, beach relaxation, and so much more. Discover more about the benefits of living in this diversely populated city in South Florida, then contact the Miami residential moving services at Suddath® to get you there.

Tourism Is Just One Industry

Travel and tourism boom year-round in Miami, with visitors coming from around the world. The industry continues to grow as people are arriving in record-setting numbers.

Miami’s economy is rich and diversified, and is a bustling center for international trade. In fact, Miami-Dade County is considered the Gateway to the Americas, with the state of Florida serving as the number-one trading partner of all countries in the region, other than Mexico, with more than one million skilled multilingual people living in the county. Miami-Dade County also contains the largest number of custom brokers and freight forwarders in the United States, with more than 300 Fortune 500 multinational corporations with headquarters in Miami-Dade.

The Miami International Airport is the top U.S. airport for international freight, generating $30.9 billion annually. The Port of Miami, meanwhile, contributes billions to the local economy. Top industries include international banking, plus “apparel, textiles, books and magazines, pharmaceuticals, medical and diagnostic testing equipment, plastics, aluminum products, furniture, light manufactured goods, transportation equipment, cement, electronic components, [and] agricultural products such as tomatoes, beans, avocadoes, and citrus fruits.” In short, when relocating to Miami, you’ll be moving to a city teeming with economic activity and job creation, including but definitely not limited to tourism.

Navigating Miami

The Miami-Dade County Transit System can get you where you need to go with its Metrobus system, a 25-mile, dual-track Metrorail, and the free Metromover system that operates seven days a week in certain areas. If you plan to use public transportation regularly, it makes sense to buy a Transit Pass online or at select locations in your new city. You can ask for a discount if you are a Miami-Dade County employee, veteran, senior citizen, Medicare recipient, or student. If you have a disability, you may be able to get that discount as well, and here’s information about the Special Transportation System.

There is also another transportation option in the works: The upcoming Underline, which will be a ten-mile corridor ranging in width from 70 to 170 feet, will provide “pedestrian and bicycle paths, improvements to over 30 intersections, access to public transportation, lighting and wayfinding.” The Underline is a public-private partnership intended to transform 120 acres of the county into a “world-class, multimodal urban trail,” a walkable-bikeable thing of beauty that will connect neighborhoods in a unique way. Phase one is scheduled for spring 2019, and will unite transportation options, including making eight Metrorail stations more accessible, improving access to schools, hospitals, malls, and thousands of businesses, along with connecting people to Miami’s neighborhoods.

Besides being top dog for international freight, the Miami International Airport (MIA) is third in the country in transporting passengers internationally. So, when you live in Miami, you’re really connected to the entire world.

Other airports include the following:

Family-Friendly Miami

If your first thoughts of Miami are about celebrities and South Beach, you may be surprised to know that the city has plenty of family-friendly neighborhoods and activities. There are the beaches, of course, but that’s just the beginning.

There are events and programs just for kids, such as the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department’s supervised program called Fit2Play, which centers on fitness, nutrition, science, nature and cultural arts. It offers activities throughout the school year and during school vacation breaks at 31 different parks in the county.

Sports enjoyed in Miami’s parks include soccer and football, swimming, tennis, roller-hockey, baseball and softball, track and field, boxing, golf, and more.

Miami also has plenty of dog-friendly parks, including both leashed and unleashed, free-roam parks and more. Then there is Zoo Miami, Florida’s largest and oldest zoological garden, the only subtropical zoo located in the continental states in the United States. You can swim with the dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium, and see shows and exhibits with sea lions, manatees, sea turtles, rays, and penguins.

You can find information about public schools in this school listing directory, and information about colleges and universities here:

The Miami-Dade Public Library System has 48 locations within the metro area. These libraries are full of resources for students, including homework help and tutoring, with books, programs, and more for the entire family to enjoy. More fun learning activities can be found at the interactive Miami Children’s Museum with entertaining and educational exhibits, camps, classes, and much more. Children can pretend to be bankers, newscasters, hospital workers and more at the museum, record their own music, and go food shopping as a fun way to prepare for real life.

Miami has a reputation for welcoming non-traditional families, while numerous suburbs are well known as great places to raise families, including Coral Gables, Doral, and Key Biscayne.

Things to See and Do in Miami

Once you move to Miami, you can relax on some of the most amazing beaches in the country, including Miami’s most famous: South Beach. It’s been featured in magazines and splashed across the big screen, and it even has a kid-friendly section of the beach, South Pointe Park Beach with a playground, mini-wading pool, and more.

Take advantage of the weather to enjoy incredible hiking trails, including Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, with sandy beaches to explore. You can play golf and tennis while there, plus kayak and paddleboard. Or there is the massive Everglades National Park, which includes 1.5 million acres of wetlands. There are plenty of trails to hike, including the Coastal Prairie Trails, Flamingo, and Pine Island; note that these trails are not typically maintained, so expect a natural experience. At Amelia Earhart Park you can hike, mountain bike, wakeboard, and more. There is even a petting zoo in this 515-acre park.

There are plenty of biking trails, too, with numerous free trails to enjoy, such as Oleta River State Park. It has trails for everyone, from beginner to expert, and everything in between. There are four miles-plus trails for novices, along with three miles of paved trails, plus more than ten miles of trail more appropriate for intermediate or advanced bike riders. Think about recreational activities that you enjoy, and it’s likely that Miami is just the place for it.

The Miami-Dade area is overflowing with attractions, landmarks, and parks to enjoy, and here are just a few more of them:

  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: This self-described “stunningly beautiful” home and surrounding gardens are located in the heart of Miami.
  • Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science: Besides a planetarium, aquarium, and exhibitions, you can see real-life inventors in action.
  • Jungle Island: This eco-adventure theme park is worth a visit if only for a look at a pair of extremely rare twin orangutans!
  • Venetian Pool: This is the only U.S. swimming pool listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Biltmore Hotel: If the idea of sharing your new city with ghosts intrigues you, stop by to see if you can spot Thomas “Fatty” Walsh floating around.

Interested in art? Here are 15 Miami art galleries to consider, with something for almost everyone’s taste. The art scene here is lively, colorful and fun, and it includes internationally known art festivals. The city also offers an extraordinary array of shopping to enjoy, including indoor and outdoor malls and lifestyle centers, such as the Dolphin Mall and The Shops at Midtown.

Nuts About Sports?

Miami is home to several major teams in a variety of sports, including football, baseball and basketball. Catch sporting events throughout the year at places such as the Marlins Park, the American Airlines Arena and Hard Rock Stadium. Some events held every year in the city include the Miami Marathon & Half MarathonOrange Bowl, and the Miami Open.

Here are some of the city’s most notable sports teams:

Marvelous Miami Neighborhoods and Suburbs

Miami’s diversity is most evident in its unique neighborhoods and suburbs, some of which feel like their own cities within the city.

Here are a few notable spots in and around Miami-Dade:

  • Little Havana: Little Havana has a special kind of magic, in part because of the Calle Ocho strip settled by Cuban immigrants who wanted their own piece of the American Dream. Little Havana is overflowing with culture, including incredible restaurants, and some of Miami’s best cocktail bars.
  • Miami Beach: Enjoy the closeness of the sea in a neighborhood with the coolest Art Deco vibe. Restaurants with unique and delicious menus abound and the streets are lined with beautiful Spanish colonial architecture. If you choose to live in Miami Beach, you would live in one of the country’s most in-demand destinations.
  • South Beach: Yes, this is a great place for you to settle if you love to party, but that’s not all this hopping neighborhood has to offer. This is also where you can lounge on soft white sand, and explore plenty of green parks in this pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhood. Plus, it’s gorgeous.
  • Miami Design District: Called one of Miami’s trendiest ZIP codes, you’ll be surrounded by the latest in urban chic, whether that means top fashion designers, art galleries, furniture design or dining out in high sophistication and class. This neighborhood offers a combination of family-friendly living with plenty of choices for adults.
  • Coral Gables: If living in a land of whimsy surrounded by nature’s lushest trees and flowers is appealing, then “The City Beautiful” is the right Miami neighborhood for you. Coral Gables is home to Miami’s Miracle Mile, with some of the country’s most dazzling shops, restaurants, and bars. featuring incredible old Spanish architecture.
  • Weston: This is a suburb of Miami, but not just any one! Weston was named as the 2019 #1 Best Suburb to Raise a Family in the Miami area. Public schools in Weston are highly rated (a real plus!), and there are plenty of coffee shops and parks. You’ll love the natural beauty of this keeper of a suburb, and you’re never far from bodies of water.
  • Pinecrest: This is ranked the second-best family-friendly suburb of Miami, and this may be the community of your dreams if you like to interact with young professionals. Public schools are highly rated in Pinecrest, and the town offers up a suburban feel with quick and easy access to all of the big city benefits Miami has to offer.
  • Palmetto Bay: This multicultural Miami suburb is also highly ranked for family living (#3), with outstanding schools, and parks to please just about everyone; in fact, it’s known as the “Village of Parks,” with golfing, shopping, and more at your fingertips. The village remains an affordable alternative when compared to other Miami communities, without losing the luxury.

Miami Restaurants and Nightlife

The city of Miami is home to several award-winning restaurants where locals and tourists alike can dine on a variety of global and local cuisines, including Italian, Southern, Peruvian, Cuban, and Jamaican dishes.

Some of the city’s most notable restaurants include:

  • Blue Collar: This intimate eatery focuses on keeping it “real casual” while making “you feel like you are one of our close friends,” serving a daily rotation of dishes
  • Komodo: A three-story indoor/outdoor eatery and lounge, this restaurant offers up “contemporary Southeast Asian cuisine with a South Florida vibe” and a handcrafted menu of cocktails.
  • Nusr-Et Steakhouse: Ready for a top-quality steak in a boutique environment? This restaurant focuses on providing extra flair to its diners’ meat-eating experience.
  • Pinch Kitchen: Enjoy “A pinch of this, a pinch of that” as you indulge in small dishes of New American Freestyle Cuisine, ideal for sharing and pairing with friends and family.
  • Mandolin Aegean Bistro: As you enter the blue gates of this unique bistro, “you’re instantly transported to the Greek islands or Turkish coast with a dose of warm, genuine, Mediterranean hospitality.”

Wondering what other diners have to say about these Miami restaurants, along with other options? Here are some lists from popular review websites of the restaurants for the area:

You can get more insider scoops about your new home and its fabulous restaurants from the Miami New Times.

Miami offers a ton for you to explore. Some nightlife and entertainment spots Miami is known for include The CornerWasska Lounge, and Bayside Marketplace.

Important Miami Links

Esri. Find stats on Miami based on your ZIP code.

DMV/Licenses. Get your Florida driver’s license or state identification card at the local Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FLHSMV) service center. Locate the nearest FLHSMV service center in Miami-Dade by using the locations map.

Voting Locations. Find out the polling site your assigned to so you can vote on Election Day by using the Miami-Dade County Elections sample ballots and voting locations site.

Hurricane and Emergency Shelters. Use Miami-Dade County’s Emergency & Evacuation Assistance site to find the most current list of hurricane and emergency shelters.

Evacuation Maps for Natural Disasters. Use Miami-Dade County’s Evacuation Orders map to find the latest evacuation routes and orders based on your address in Miami.

Utilities Companies. Florida Power & Light or FPL provides power services for Miami. Water and sewage is handled by the city.

Trash/Recycling Services. Most residents of Miami receive trash pickup services twice a week (pickup times available here). Recycling is also provided by the city and you can find the schedule here.

Cable and Internet Providers

Let the Experts Move You to Miami

If you’re planning on moving to Miami, here’s information about the comprehensive moving services provided by Suddath, including:

We invite you to request a free, no-obligation moving quote online, over the phone, or via your mobile device with a smartphone video estimate. You can also read reviews from our Miami customers.

Moving to Miami, FL: FAQ

Is Miami a good place to retire?

Miami is an interesting conglomeration, a place where young people love to party during spring break, with the same city also being a retirement haven. The climate is warm year-round, which can sound pretty good if you’re tired of shoveling snow and dealing with harsh winter weather. You can enjoy beautiful beaches, golf, and swim and, because you’d live by Port Miami, you’re right by the largest terminal in the world for cruises. The Magic City is also rich in culture, from art to history to music, and from science to theater and more. Income is not taxed in Florida, including retirement and Social Security benefits, and there is no estate or inheritance tax.

Here’s the other side of the coin to consider. For some people, the warm weather is too warm, too humid, especially in the summer. The cost of living is likely to be higher than where you currently live and, although there are reasonably good hospitals, nursing homes aren’t ranked among the highest in the nation.

What are some of the pros and cons of moving to Miami, Florida?

Here are some of the most frequently mentioned pros and cons of a move to Miami.

• Weather! It’s sunny and warm, year-round, ideal for enjoying the outdoors—no more spending your winters shivering, scraping off ice, or shoveling snow.

• Florida doesn’t tax your income.

• You’re near the ocean and beaches, golf courses, the world’s largest port for cruise ships, and so much more.

• Some areas have affordable housing.

• There are family-friendly areas, and places where you can just enjoy the nightlife.

• People from diverse cultures and lifestyles have settled in Miami.

• You’re always close to incredible restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and more.

• Some of the school systems are highly rated.

• For some people, the weather is just too hot, and you may find the humidity draining.

• Traffic can get quite congested, so you may need to leave early for work and other events.

• Hurricanes are a reality, and every resident of a Florida coastal city must be prepared.

• The same weather that draws people to Miami also attracts insects and other pests.

• The cost of living may be higher than what you’re used to experiencing.

How much does it cost to live in Miami?

This can be a hard question to answer, because housing costs and prices of other necessities can fluctuate pretty significantly in Miami and the surrounding areas, depending upon the neighborhood you choose. And, even if you look at the average rent payment as a benchmark, it’s likely skewed because some of Miami’s most exclusive neighborhoods are among the highest priced in the U.S.

It’s safe to say that you’ll need air conditioning most months out of the year. Having said that, during parts of the year, you may not need to run your air conditioning, and you seldom need to heat your home—so those high summer bills may not seem so high when you average out utility bills annually.

Is Miami a good place to move for families?

Miami has good rates of employment, which is a real plus, with some neighborhoods and suburbs having highly rated schools. There is plenty for families to see and do in Miami and, by choosing a family-friendly neighborhood, you’ll likely be very pleased with your new home. You will have easy access to beautiful beaches, with plenty of parks—and, being surrounded by in-demand tourist sites, year-round, you can visit them in the less crowded (maybe cheaper!) off-season.

How is the job market in Miami?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, local employment rates in Miami are outpacing the nation. In fact, the city has shown over-the-year employment gains every single month, save one, since August 2010. The number of companies in Miami increased from 84,100 in 2006 to 96,891 in 2016.

The top ten private employers are:
• Baptist Health South Florida: 11,353
• University of Miami: 12,818
• American Airlines: 11,031
• Florida Power & Light Company: 3,011
• Carnival Cruise Lines: 3,500
• Mount Sinai Medical Center: 3,321
• Miami Children’s Hospital: 3,500
• Royal Caribbean International/Celebrity Cruises: 2,989
• Bank of America Merrill Lynch: 2,000
• Wells Fargo: 2,050

The top public employers are:
• Miami-Dade County Public Schools: 33,477
• Miami-Dade County: 25,502
• Federal Government: 19,200
• Florida State Government: 17,100
• Jackson Health System: 9,797
• Florida International University: 3,534
• Miami Dade College: 2,390
• City of Miami: 3,997
• Homestead AFB: 3,250
• Miami VA Healthcare System: 2,500

What cities are near Miami?

There are several other cities in Miami-Dade County, with each of them being easy day-trip choices and excellent places to settle for a reasonable commute to the Magic City.

They include:
• Aventura
• Coral Gables
• Doral
• Florida City
• Hialeah
• Hialeah Gardens
• Homestead
• Miami Beach
• Miami Gardens
• North Bay Village
• North Miami
• North Miami Beach
• Opa-Locka
• South Miami
• Sunny Isles Beach
• Sweetwater
• West Miami