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Which Neighborhood is for You?


Each neighborhood has a vibe… a rhythm of it’s own… different, unique, and special.  Miami has something for everyone!


Aventura is located approximately three and a half miles from North Miami Beach. The name comes from the Spanish word for “adventure.” It’s a mostly residential suburb and is home to many tall condominium and high rises. Until the late seventies, this area (formerly known as Biscayne Gardens) was almost all swampland.

Development began in the late seventies and early eighties as a residential high-rise area. The Oxford Development Company built many of the first condos that now make up Aventura-the same company built Aventura Mall, the largest mall in Florida. The 2.3 million square footmall opened in 1983 and is responsible for a lot of the rapid growth in the area. The mall contains a large AMC theater, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Equinox gym among ohters. On November 7, 1995, Aventura was incorporated as an independent city.

Aventura has a city run public bus service, known as the Aventura Express shuttle, and it is free to Aventura residents. No interstates run through the city, but I-95 is only minutes away, and the city lies between two main airports, Miami International Airport(30 minutes away) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International(15 minutes away). There is an online magazine dedicated to the South Florida social scene-AventuraUSA.

There is one public school located within Aventura-The Aventura City of Excellence School-a K-8 Charter School built in 2003. It was ranked in the top 10 of all schools in Florida in 2006 and gives children who live in the Aventura area preference in their lottery. There are only 100 children allowed per grade, to avoid overcrowding.


Brickell, abutting Downtown Miami, is Miami’s up and coming neighborhood with new construction springing up seemingly overnight. Businesses, banks, offices, shops, restaurants and condos, waterfront walkways, the quaint Miami River and spectacular views of the Bay (from literally everywhere) have catapulted the area into a bubbling metropolis. Nouveau chic, and truly the place to be and be seen, Brickell is the center of the strikingly beautiful and ever-changing Miami skyline. Mary Brickell Village is the new face of Brickell and is the ultimate “in” spot. Featuring restaurants, shopping and sizzling nightlife, local hot spots like Rosa Mexicana and Blue Martini create a buzz. Brickell Key, an island just off off the mainland and accessible by bridge, offers upscale condos and hotels… and breathtaking views.

In the 1870’s, pioneers William and Mary Brickell maintained a trading outpost in the area that has now become Brickell. Mary envisioned luxurious waterfront estates and Brickell became than and then literally exploded into a burgeoning city center. Coined “Millionaire’s Row,” the area became highly sought after and prestigious. The Brickell skyline changes and morphs. Office towers and luxury condominiums replace grandiose mansions, keeping Brickell a main center of trade and commerce.

Brickell, at the forefront of international business, with a constantly changing skyline of Luxury highrise residences has created quite the lifestyle. Residents enjoy being in the center of it all, near the office. Within minutes of both South Beach and the Miami International Airport.

Over 4,000 new buildings were erected between 2001 and 2005, making the Brickell skyline one of the most famous in the world. Brickell residents enjoy breathtaking views of Miami, Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach, Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne. Miami is at your fingertips…the Miami Heat plays at the American Airlines arena only a couple of minutes away from Brickell and the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins play at Dolphin Stadium just about 20 minutes north.

Continuously growing Brickell maintains the same charm and upholds Mary Brickell’s pioneering vision of what the area should, and has become.

Brickell is the nouveau chic place to be. Located next to Downtown Miami, it is an area with much to offer, including banks, businesses, shops, restaurants and condos. There are spectacular views of the Bay and Miami River. It has quickly grown into a bubbling metropolitan area. Brickell is what makes up the beautiful Miami skyline. Mary Brickell Village is new to the face of Brickell and has quickly become the place to be. It features restaurants,shopping and nightlife, with places like Rosa Mexicano and Blue Martini. Brickell Key is an island off Brickell, with upscale condos and hotels.

Coconut Grove

The Grove , quaint and charming , with local shops and restaurants, has a decisively bohemian flair. Situated next to Biscayne Bay, under a canopy of lush trees (banyons… famous in photographs and artwork the world over) the Grove offers great outdoor space. CocoWalk boasts shops and dining,  live music and entertainment. As the site of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the Mango Strut Parade, the Grove is a well-rounded community with endless activities all year round.

Coconut Grove, originally Miami’s bohemian art hub, and continuing to lure the free-spirited and artistically inclined, has a rich history and artsy-vibe.

Capturing on canvas the essence of the Grove,  sidewalks  in the Grove were dotted with easels … artisans displaying their wares. Potters set up shop in artist’s coops:  Grove House … and in what’s now the charming sidewalk cafe and local hang-out, Greenstreet Cafe.

Once known for it’s thriving art galleries,  The Grove hosts the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival (each February), as well as the King Mango Strut (a parody on the Orange Bowl),  and the Goombay Festival (reminiscent of Bahamian and Caribbean origins)…. and is the backdrop for many a  movie, TV or photo shoot.  Coconut Grove has long been the inspiration for local artists and photographers.

Although many galleries have closed  (rental space having become scarce and increasingly more expensive), the rich artistic history as well as the artists themselves have remained (and the lifestyle and culture they created are still very much a part of what is today’s Grove). Local artists such as Federico Carosio III capture the essence of the Grove … their artwork recognizable the world over.

Grove origins center around the Lighthouse, with early settlers arriving by boat… into what was previously home to Native Americans.

Around the turn of the century pioneers, lured to the rich farmlands of South Dade,  arrived through what was then the “Little Hunting Ground”…  and today known as Coconut Grove.

Coconut Grove is 10 minutes from Downtown Miami. Situated directly on the bay, it is home to Coral Reef Yacht ClubDinner Key Marina, the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and several waterfront parks. Peacock Park is haven for some of Florida’s wildlife…  and  the manatee.

The Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium are culturally significant, as are the Grove’s historically designated treasures; KampongThe Barnacle, and Vizcaya.  Once home  to David Fairchild, Kampong is a spectacular seven-acre Botanical Garden, it’s name originating from the Malay word meaning “cluster.

Created by yacht designer (and wreckage salvager of boats running aground in Biscayne Bay), Commodore Ralph Middleton Monroe, The Barnacle is the oldest home in Miami.

Historic site, turned museum, the Barnacle was so named, supposedly, for the shape of her roof.

(Somehow, I’m rather inclined to believe the name originates more from the marine life attached to the boat hulls.

Now a museum hosting cultural and social events, Vizcaya was built as  James Deering’s personal residence.

Listed among the Register of Historic Sites since 1970, the  Renaissance style Italian Villa with her ten acres of formal gardens, took 1,000 artisans and craftsmen two years to build.

Architect F. Burrell Hoffman began construction in 1914, four years after Deering acquired the land, using construction materials from castles and palaces in Italy and Spain. The raw materials were shipped to Miami from Europe by boat,  to be re-assembled and used in the construction of Villa Vizcaya.

Scouring Europe for furnishings and art,  tapestries and murals, Vizcaya was a veritable museum from day one. Every  luxury available at the time was incorporated … including elevators.  Today you can visit the museum, it’s cafe, and gift shop.

Vizcaya, for years, provided  the backdrop for Miami’s annual Renaissance Festival, which spilled out through the grounds each spring, drawing visitors from far and wide.  As of January 2010, the Renaissance Festival will have a new home… on historic Virgina Key.

The mere name, Coconut Grove (as well as the image Miami conjures up) is known the world over. Tree canopy and verdant landscape, whether captured on canvas or photographed, are easily recognizable.

The Grove is renown for her banyans, casual outdoor dining, sidewalk cafes, nightlife and culture.

To this day, the Grove has a Caribbean flair. Situated next to Biscayne Bay, the lush tree canopy and great outdoor space lure locals and tourists alike.

CocoWalk brims with shops, dining, clubs, movies and live music. Site of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the King Mango Strut Parade, the Grove is a vibrant community with activities, art festivals, cultural events, music year round, and  offers a bohemian lifestyle like no other.

Coral Gables

Known the world over as “The City Beautiful”, Coral Gables exudes history and a genuine warmth. Since the pioneering vision of George Merrick, the Gables has been a premiere place to live and work, proudly showcasing her famous landmark icons: the Biltmore Hotel and the Venetian Pool. With quaint Bookstores, Outdoor Cafes, Art Galleries, Fine Shopping and Dining…  nicely balancing commercial with residential… European in feel and ultra pedestrian become, the Gables is home to Friday “Gallery Night”, Art in the Park, and numerable cultural venues. Considered to be one of the best zip codes in the United States, Coral Gables is resplendent with it’s Mediterranean architecture and European flair.

Key Biscayne

This Island Paradise is located just off the coast of Metropolitan Miami. A quick drive over the Key Biscayne Bridge (used by cyclists and cars alike) and you’ll feel as though you’re on vacation in paradise.  Every year, the Crandon Tennis Center is transformed into the home of the Sony Ericsson Tennis tournament(known also, in the past as the Lipton, and the Nasdaq).  Crandon Park is a stretch of white sandy beaches, pristine and lovely, and for public use.  From one end of the Key to the other, there are bike paths and trails,literally from the bridge carrying you onto the Key (from the mainland), to the National park and lighthouse at the opposite end. En route, are the Sea Acquarium and the University of Miami’s Rosenthiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Research Center.

Miami Beach

Miami beach is famous for its pristine beaches and endless nightlife. Divided into distinct sections (Millionaire’s Row located waterfront at the island’s midpoint, South Beach or SOBE as it’s known locally, and South of Fifth Street which is often referred to as SOFI) Noted the world over for it’s Art Deco Historic District, Ocean Drive and Collins Ave, Miami Beach welcomes tourists and locals alike. Lincoln Road is famous for its shopping and as-far-as-the-eye-can-see open-air dining… THE place for people-watching.  Bikini clad, or decked-out and off-on-the-town, (like it or not)you’re part of the scene. Known the world over for it’s decadent nightlife, social scene, bouncers and velvet cords… whether rubbing elbows with celebrities or lounging in the sun….  Miami has it’s own unique allure.

Palmetto Bay

The Village of Palmetto Bay is located just south of Pinecrest. Transformed from  not-so-long-ago  mostly mango and avocado groves, Palmetto Bay is a desirable and affordable residential neighborhood, full of parks, and pets, and people… and with A-rated public schools and top notch private schools.  Bike paths along  Old Cutler Road,  natural hammocks,  and walking paths , open spaces, and natural vegetation  draw it’s residents outdoors. Dubbed as the “Village of Parks”, Palmetto Bay extends from SW 136th Street  south to SW 184th Street, and from South Dixie Highway (known also as US1) as far as Biscayne Bay… with easy access to the bay itself.


A local community with world class recognition, the Village of Pinecrest is a popular residential neighborhood in Miami. With  A-rated public schools  and fine private schools, public parks, library and community center, fire department, sidewalks, and big backyards, those relocating to South Florida are hard-pressed not to seriously consider living here. Extending from SW 88th Street south to SW 136th Street, and from US1 (or South Dixie Highway as it’s also known) all the way east to the waterfront, Pinecrest is home to Matheson Hammock Park, with it’s myriad of biking trails, boating,  beautiful marina, sandy coves, and views of Biscayne Bay.

South Miami

South Miami, nestled between the Gables and Pinecrest, exudes small town charm, with outdoor dining and boutique shops.  Sunset Place has transformed what was the old Bakery Center, into a bustling local hang-out.  Movies, Sport’s Bars, charming local restaurants,  floral shops, boutiques,  bakeries and coffee houses abound… and the town continues to grow and flourish.

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