As a military family who received orders to transfer to the Miami area, there is a lot I wish I knew before moving to Miami.
For those who are either thinking of moving to the area or are not familiar with Miami, Miami is so much more than the lyrics in Will Smith’s best hit Miami. For many years prior to moving to Miami, I thought Miami consisted of just Miami Beach. I was most certainly wrong! But I think I’m not alone in this…
Here are my top 5 things I wish I knew before moving to Miami…
1. Miami is NOT just Miami Beach
Here’s a story for you… One time I came to visit my family who told me they lived in “Miami.” My grandmother at the time lived closer to Aventura. When I wanted to go visit my friend who also lived in the Miami area, it felt like the longest trip ever just to meet up. No one really specified where they lived.
I asked my friend, “I thought you said you lived in Miami?!” My friend responded, “I do but I live in Palmetto Bay.” Welp mamas, it was news to me. Here I thought that Miami was just one city and that everything was close by to each other. In reality, I couldn’t be further from the truth!
It was at that moment I realized that the City of Miami is actually very small. But when people are talking about Miami it is in regards to Miami-Dade. Miami-Dade is a county and it is made up of 34 municipalities! Now I understand why it took almost an hour to meet up with my friend!
Most of my Miami friends have shared with me that they do not like to drive into Miami Beach because it is hard to find parking and heavily populated with tourists. I always find this perspective so fascinating when this is the vision of Miami that many share.
2. The Weather
If you are from the North or a place where you experience below zero temperatures, like me, then you will have a great appreciation for Miami weather. As a person who grew up in New Jersey, and has experienced many blizzards and Nor’easters, I happily welcomed the weather here in Miami, Florida.
Sure, the humidity can get high at times, but average temperatures during the hot months range between the mid-80s-90s degrees Fahrenheit. And during the cooler months, it can range from the low 60s-70s.
Be prepared for hurricane season
Hurricane season is very real no matter where you live in the state of Florida. Preparation is key as soon as hurricane season kicks off starting on June 1st. Locals prepare and stock up on supplies early. Local weather stations keep a watchful eye on the path of a hurricane to keep the public informed.
Like many locals, city officials will warn you to prepare ahead of time, because if you wait for a hurricane watch to be announced the chances of finding what you are looking for begins to narrow.
3. Diversity, Culture… and do I really need to learn to speak Spanish?
Miami is a melting pot! You will find so much diversity down here, which I found very refreshing. There is a huge Caribbean and Latin American presence in Miami. You will see it in the artwork, the food, the music and so much more.
Even though it is not a requirement to speak Spanish, you will get a lot further if you learn a few words and key phrases. The locals love it if you speak Español. Even if you do not know how to speak the Spanish language, attempting to learn will help you to get connected with the culture.
4. Miami Healthy Living!
One of my favorite things about living in Miami is seeing everyone active, including families! Miami is one of the best places for health and fitness. Everyone seems to be doing some form of exercise. Of course, it is no secret “swimsuit” season is almost all year round and perhaps for some, this is a motivating factor.
For me, I had no idea that I could be more active at the age of 37 compared to my 20s. And I have gained a deeper appreciation of what my body can do. Miami has opened my eyes to appreciating different outdoor activities, fitness communities, and water sports. Even dining experiences are starting to become more health-conscious here too. There are options for any nutrition program you are following to help you fuel your body. And I love the variety of different health food stores too!
5. The Magic City is Family-Friendly!
Listen up moms, if you are like me and have concerns because the TV and movies might make you think that Miami is an eternal spring break, think again!
You can never be bored here because there is always something to do. From water sports, visiting local museums, the local zoo, the farms, events hosted by the local library, etc. you can always find something to do even on the weekends.
Due to Covid-19, many of the activities have decreased due to social distancing. But the city and local businesses continue to create innovative ways for families to participate in engaging virtual events that serve their communities.
Bonus: Above all, there is a community waiting for you!
When moving to Miami, I wish I knew about the Miami Mom Collective a lot sooner! MMC has incredible resources to help you navigate the metropolis that is Miami, as well as the different phases of mom life. The members of this community live all across Miami-Dade and would be more than happy to offer support and guidance whererever possible.
It is a blessing to know that as the new mom in town, you can still feel empowered knowing that this community exists and has your back.
Want to learn more about different areas of Miami and what they have to offer? Check out our popular Love Where You Live Series!