From Brickell to Surfside, Which Miami Neighborhood is Right for You?

From Brickell to Surfside, Which Miami Neighborhood is Right for You?

  • Jacqueline Marks
  • 10/11/22

Few luxury real estate destinations can rival the beautiful city of Miami, Florida, and the fabulous surrounding area. If you’re ready to invest in Miami real estate, you have many options to choose from, so you will want to start by figuring out which neighborhood is right for you. Each one offers its own unique vibe, but you will find luxury real estate, fantastic dining, and pristine beaches throughout. Whether you are looking for beachfront access, nightlife, or great views of the city, find out which Miami neighborhood is right for you.

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is located roughly in the center of the Miami coast. The area in and around downtown comprises the main commercial and financial hub of Miami, where many of the city’s highest-income residents work. Downtown also offers a host of retail and dining destinations as well as residences. You can find a little of everything that Miami has to offer downtown. Its central location makes downtown a great starting point for checking out various destinations in Miami, including the neighboring barrier islands that make up Miami Beach and other nearby municipalities. Miami International Airport is less than seven miles away.

Downtown real estate offers some great views of the well-maintained modern urban landscape as well as the Miami coast. The long, wide Miami River separates downtown Miami from neighboring Brickell to the south, providing additional inland waterfront space that runs through the city.


On the other side of the Miami River is the neighborhood known as Brickell. Brickell, which shares its northern border with downtown, is another of Miami’s financial and business districts, and it is easily one of Miami’s best neighborhoods. With sleek modern skyscrapers and office towers overlooking the city’s waterfront, commercial and residential Brickell real estate is a staple of the Miami skyline. While the neighborhood is famous as a financial district, it also features great nightlife destinations as well as residences. With its virtually perfect location between downtown and Coconut Grove on the coast, Brickell includes many properties on or adjacent to the waterfront.


Though Edgewater sprouted as a luxury shopping destination, it has always been considered a residential community. The neighborhood, located just north of downtown Miami, contrasts early 20th-century homes with much newer residential developments, including some of the most affordable beachside condos in Miami. Residents love the ocean views, quiet streets, and central location of Edgewater. Most necessities are nearby — you'll soon be able to walk to Whole Foods for groceries or spend a morning at the beach. Instead of bars and clubs, you’re likely to find fantastic restaurants (especially seafood and Italian cuisine) and high-end shopping along Biscayne Boulevard. And because Edgewater continues to grow, the value of property here is likely to appreciate.

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove, colloquially known as “The Grove,” is a large neighborhood at the southern end of the Miami coast. It is the city’s oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood. Coconut Grove is one of the more popular neighborhoods in Miami, although it is still not too densely populated. Naturally, there are some beautiful works of historic Miami architecture here, as well as lovely waterfront properties. Coconut Grove has some exceptionally beautiful scenery, with exquisite areas of dense tropical vegetation. The neighborhood provides the perfect backdrop for the several outdoor festivals hosted annually in Coconut Grove, including the Great Taste of the Grove Food & Wine Festival and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival.

Upper East Side

Miami’s Upper East Side comprises several small districts that make up the northernmost segments of the city’s coast. While there are some residential areas in the Upper East Side, it is better known for hosting the careers of numerous artists, architects, designers, and other creative professionals. In addition to a host of art galleries, showrooms, and design firms, the Upper East Side features some uniquely South Floridian works of architecture in what is known as the MiMo style. “MiMo” is a trendy acronym for “Miami modernist,” a style that features sleek, often vintage-looking structures that sometimes incorporate aesthetically pleasing patterns. MiMo, in addition to the Art Deco and Mediterranean styles, can be seen in various districts of Miami.


Surfside is a beautiful Miami neighborhood between the neighboring village of Bal Harbor and the city of Miami Beach. Surfside is actually its own town with a separate municipal government. As the name implies, Surfside has a lot of beautiful waterfronts, making this area as desirable for outdoor activities as it is for shopping and dining. Like the neighboring areas of Bal Harbor and Miami Beach, the entire east coast of Surfside is one long stretch of sandy Atlantic beachfront. This contrasts the west coast of these areas and the east coast of Miami, where residential and commercial development goes right up to the edge of the water.

Bal Harbor

Bal Harbor is a small village just north of Surfside, over a half-hour drive from Miami. Bal Harbor is known as a nice respite from the big city. With lots of green space and a shining waterfront lined with yachts, Bal Harbor preserves the vibrance of Miami in a more laid-back environment. This small area has both high-rise buildings filled with apartments and condos as well as sprawling single-family homes with backyards, pools, and palm trees. While Bal Harbor gives you easy access to Miami and Miami Beach, the village has plenty of comfortable residential space and a relaxing beachfront.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is a small municipality located on the barrier island across from the Miami coast. It is not part of Miami proper, but it is a geographically and culturally proximate extension of the Miami area. Several bridges connect mainland Miami to Miami Beach, making the island easily accessible from downtown Miami. Miami beach is home to extravagant resorts, fabulous homes, and beautiful neighborhoods. Long inhabited by wealthy business moguls and loved by vacationers, Miami Beach has built up an impressive real estate landscape graced by a variety of styles. There is, of course, a great deal of beach space and waterfront property in Miami Beach, as its entire border is surrounded by water. Some of the best properties here offer private docking.

Though it is a small island city, Miami Beach offers many of the great benefits of Miami. If you love boating or yachting, Miami Beach is perfect for you. Miami Beach also has plenty of upscale dining and retail shopping, as well as clubs and other nightlife destinations.

Get the inside scoop on Miami neighborhoods from a local realtor

There are many other great neighborhoods in Miami, each with its distinct culture and landscape. For those who are interested in exploring more of this incredibly active, vibrant, and entertaining city, your best bet is to get in touch with a local realtor. Jacqueline Marks is a Miami realtor with expertise in a variety of neighborhoods, from downtown Miami and Surfside to Brickell real estate. For more insight into the Miami landscape, check out Jacqueline’s neighborhood guides. Contact Jacqueline when you are ready to get started in your Miami neighborhood of choice.

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Jacqueline believes that the most important aspect of any relationship is trust and, as such, works tirelessly to ensure that her clients feel that she is trustworthy and always places their needs first.

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