Umbrellas on the beach in Miami, Florida

City Guide / Miami

The Pros and Cons of Living in Miami

By Bri Hand | Aug 25, 2021

Miami, Florida, is an undeniably desirable place to live. People from all over the U.S. and the rest of the world are moving to the vibrant metro area to live, work, vacation, and retire—and it’s easy to see its appeal!

The Magic City is the second-largest metropolis on the East Coast and the seventh-largest in the country. It’s the only major U.S. city founded by a woman, and with over 300 high-rise towers, it boasts the third-tallest American skyline. There’s a lot to love about this cultural, economic, and financial hub in South Florida, but if you’re thinking about living there, it’s still worth researching the advantages and potential setbacks.

To help you figure out whether this Florida city is the right place to call home, we compiled the main pros and cons of living in Miami below. Let’s get started!

Pro: There are plenty of fun things to do

First and foremost, there’s so much to do in Miami—and the fun goes well beyond sandy beaches and a lively club scene. From theme parks, museums, art shows, boutique shopping, and festivals to cultural districts, outdoor marketplaces, national parks, and professional sports, there’s something for everyone in the Magic City. Plus, there are tons of ways to stay active! 

If you’re moving to this FL city, we recommend:

Pro: A vibrant nightlife

Yes, there’s more to this city than its nightlife, but we couldn’t list the pros and cons without touching on the unbeatable bar scene. Clubs and venues can legally serve liquor 24 hours a day, and most stay open until 5 a.m. If you’re less of a night owl, you’ll also love the many happy hours throughout town.

Some of this city’s best clubs in Miami include Club Space (the city’s first 24-hour venue), Basement, Floyd, and LIV Miami.

Pro: No state income tax

Another enticing thing about living in Miami is that Floridians don’t pay any personal income taxes. The state collects a 6% sales tax, intangible tax from investments, and corporate income tax.

In addition to paying no sales tax, you don’t have to pay taxes on inheritances or estate earnings. While residents are still required to pay federal income taxes, moving here could save you some money.

Con: Traffic

This city is known for its heavy traffic and congested freeways. Depending on which neighborhood you live in and where you work, this can be a nuisance. With that said, the city has made recent improvements to its public transportation systems, so you don’t necessarily need to own a car or drive one regularly to get from place to place.

There are plenty of ways residents can get around this Florida city, including: 

  • Metrorail​: This 25-mile rail system travels from Miami International Airport through Downtown Miami to South Miami. It costs $2.25 per ride and can be pre-paid with an EASY card or ticket, which you can purchase online or at the Metrorail station. 
  • MetroMover: This rail system travels through Downtown Miami and Brickell. It is free and connects to the Metrorail and Metrobus. 
  • Metrobus: This bus system provides service throughout Miami-Dade county and offers more than 95 routes. It costs $2.25 per ride, and children under 42 inches tall travel for free. 
  • Tri-Rail: This rail system connects Miami, Broward, and Palmer Beach. It costs between $2.25 to $6.90 per trip, depending on the distance. 
  • Rideshare: There are hundreds of Lyfts and Ubers operating around the city. 
  • Rentals​: You can rent eScooters, bikes, or eBikes for relatively little cost. 

Pro: Some of the best beaches in the world

There’s no denying the beauty of the area’s coastline. The city has some of the best beaches in the world, most of which are open to the public. South Beach, Surfside, North Beach Oceanside Park, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami Beach, and Sunny Isles Beach are all must-sees after moving here.

Pro: Year-round sunshine

When you live in a major city with such stunning beaches, year-round sunshine makes it that much more enjoyable. Daily highs range from the mid-60s to the low-90s, but temps are usually somewhere between 75 and 85 degrees. If you currently live in a cold, snowy climate, moving to Miami might be the breath of fresh air you crave.

Con: Humidity and tropical storms

Though most days are filled with sunny skies and comfortably warm heat, the humidity can be intense at times—especially during the summer. Most people can expect to sweat at least a little while spending time outdoors, even in the shade. But nearly everywhere you go will be equipped with air conditioning, and it does cool down at night.

Another thing to keep in mind is that since this city is located near the Gulf of Mexico, the climate is tropical. This means you might see a lot of heavy rain at times and potentially some flooding. Also, thunderstorms and hurricanes are relatively common in South Florida, at times making a path through the area, which can cause power outages and other disruptions.

Pro: Lots of outdoor recreation

One major perk of living in Miami is the abundance of outdoor recreation. With more than 800 parks (including several national parks), ample green space, and quick access to all the fantastic beaches we mentioned above, there are endless ways to get some exercise and explore the great outdoors.

If you like to be on the water, you can sail, surf, swim, scuba-dive, kayak, or go deep-sea fishing. For newcomers who prefer land activities, there’s golf, tennis, hiking, biking, picnicking, and sightseeing.

Con: Relatively high cost of living

Another potential con is that the cost of living in Miami is relatively high. Monthly expenses are about 10% higher than the national average.

Eating out and buying groceries here generally costs more than in other cities. Also, monthly utility bills can rise above $300 during the summer when the AC is cranked up. Apartments rent for just over $1,700 a month on average, but there are several affordable neighborhoods throughout the metro area.

Pro: A+ food scene

Thanks to its rich culture and ethnic diversity, Miami has an incredible food scene. The majority of Miami residents were born internationally, and many come from South American and Latin American countries like Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Columbia.

As a result, there’s a broad range of amazing oceanfront restaurants, food carts, diners, and walk-up windows run by chefs from around the globe. Restaurants and bites that residents love include:

  • Coyo Taco: Known for its tacos, tortillas, and tequila selection, Coyo Taco has the most popular tacos in Wynwood. 
  • Sushi Garage: The Sushi Garage space was originally an auto garage but is now home to a wide variety of amazing sushi. 
  • Andiamo! Brick Oven Pizza​: Other than being known for great pizza, Andiamo! Brick Oven Pizza​ is one of the original brick oven pizza joints in this Florida city. 
  • La Sandwicherie: This French-themed restaurant offers massive sandwiches—for under $10! 
  • Shorty’s BBQ: The most authentic barbeque spot in town, Shorty’s BBQ is known for its rib platters and smoked pork sandwiches. 

Pro: Low unemployment and promising job market

As a major international port, the area boasts strong manufacturing and trade industries. Additionally, its financial district is home to many large banks and investment firms. The metro area has also seen a development boom in recent years, providing contract work and construction-related job opportunities.

This city hosts many large organizations such as American Airlines, Royal Caribbean, and the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Not only that, but as many residents and companies move out of Silicon Valley, Mayor Francis Suarez has been working to encourage more tech firms and startups to put down roots in South Florida.

Living in Miami: Try it out for yourself

For a lot of folks, the pros of residing in the Magic City outweigh the cons by a long shot—as you can see from the city’s burgeoning population. If you want to see what Miami has to offer but aren’t ready to commit to signing a fixed-term lease or buying a house, Landing has the perfect solution.

We have stylish, fully furnished apartments in all of the best neighborhoods in Miami. You can rent our units for as long as you want—whether it’s 30 days, three months, six months, or more—without a restrictive lease in an in-demand Miami neighborhood. With concierge services and premium furnishings, you’ll feel right at home while getting to know the city.

Browse our Miami rentals today or get in touch with us to learn more about how it works.

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About the author

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.