Ultimate Guide to Miami for Snowbirds, Relocating Professionals, Businesses

Dennis Clemente
January 23, 2023


Grandpa jokes notwithstanding, Miami is a young vibrant city. It’s only 126 years old, having been incorporated as a city on July 28, 1896 with a total number of residents at 300. Today, it’s bursting to overflowing – and densely populated at 460,000 (2.5 million total for Miami-Dade county) spanning 56 miles. It has a mix of fun-loving young people, retirees and startup investors. 

The Census Bureau estimates show that a net total of about 320,000 Americans moved to Florida between 2021 and 2022, the largest number among the 49 states, and mostly to Miami.

Premium Digital Control moved earlier seven years ago to nearby Hollywood from New Jersey, taking its smart technology installation business to nearby Hollywood, serving hundreds of clients in the process. Our smart technology clients range in ages from 40 to 64 and upwards – more of the latter, in fact. It’s easier for much older people to decide to plant themselves permanently in Florida – and invest in their homes.

The pandemic had a lot to do with this recent development, as it spurred relocation to the Sunshine State. The relocations also made it the Fourth Tech City in the US, following Northern California, New York City and Texas. Startups and established companies have now called Miami and in general, South Florida home.

Miami is the focus here, though. It is shedding its image as a retirement place to a tech city of startups and established hedge fund companies from all over. For those looking to move here, it is not actually that big; it’s Miami-Dade county – with a population of 2.5 million – that’s bigger but they get lumped together with Miami the city for some reason. 

It’s not that common to just have a Miami guide for different age groups, so we’re doing it here. We’re going to highlight attractions, businesses, arts and crafts, entertainment and their inclination for automating their properties and businesses using smart technology.

Florida in general holds the distinction of having the Most Smart Home Properties Sold, according to American Home Shield. Many of those enamored by smart technology live mostly in Miami, some in Boca Raton and of course the most ritzy of them all, West Palm Beach.

What part is Miami and the rest of South Florida?

Often, when people think and talk about Miami, they are thinking of everywhere from Homestead to Aventura, and Doral to Miami Beach, but the truth is, each of those places are cities in and of themselves.


Language to speak: Spanish or English?

The second thing you’re probably wondering is if you can survive in a predominantly Spanish-speaking city. You should be fine if you’re not working in a primarily Spanish-speaking company.  People will speak back in English if you stumble on your como estas and other derivations of it as Miami is populated by many Spanish speakers from different Latin countries and European countries.

Just don’t live in Hialeah if you can’t speak a word of Spanish. Consider yourself extremely lucky when you have somebody in your company speaking English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole like our warehouse manager. Haitian-Creole is spoken in various cities in Miami-Dade. 

Driving your own car vs public transportation

The third thing you’re mostly curious about is the traffic gridlock. It’s a car-driving city, as mass transit is not efficient, so you can expect some traffic. Companies that moved down here may want to propose a carpool service for their employees. 

If testing Miami via public transportation, you’ll need an abundance of patience. A Metrobus ride wait can be 45 minutes. You’re better off with a car. But if you insist on using mass transit, the new Brightline commuter rail from Miami to Palm Beach (and eventually all the way to Orlando) is clean and orderly. You can check out other mass transit systems but know that they can be terribly inefficient, slow, even for short distances. 

You also have to check them if they’re running, if not take Lyft or Uber or go into the scooters/bike share program. The former should be a 15-minute ride from each other in Brickell, Wynwood, Edgewater, Midtown and South Beach. 

The Metrorail system is a 25-mile dual track that provides service to Miami International Airport (MIA) and runs from Kendall through South Miami, Coral Gables, and downtown Miami; to the Civic Center area; and to Brownsville, Liberty City, Hialeah, and Medley in northwest Miami-Dade, with connections to Broward and Palm Beach counties at the Historic Overtown Lyric Theatre station. Then transfer to Brightline, MIA (Orange Line) and the Tri-Rail (Green Line) stations. Be aware that you cannot buy tickets onboard the Tri-Rail; you have to buy them in the kiosks located in the stations.

Now even if you have a car, you’ll need to accept that there’s going to be traffic in such a small city. The traffic can be a challenge that we kid around how our installation service gives you the speedy Premium lane you need to run a smart technology system. Premium Digital Control provides enhanced Wi-Fi protocols for you to use on your smart system setup.

For those moving from New York City, it’s not like the subway. So your automobile is going to be your second home (along with i-95 south in the morning). Just watch out for people who don’t use turn signals here – and they’re in the majority. This Driving in Miami guide should come in handy.

Where to live

If you’re young and looking for the most happening place in Miami, you’ll like Downtown, Brickell, Wynwood, Edgewater, Midtown and some parts of South Beach, not on Ocean Drive. 

If you’re here and you can afford to buy a home, then check out Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, the Upper East Side, South Miami and Pinecrest, even Miami Beach, although the latter is hard to get out of once you’re there as traffic going to-and-fro can be quite hectic. 

And if money is not an issue, well, there’s Fisher Island.

You’ll want to have a smart technology system such as a media room or home theater system, as it can be really hot out there and you’ll need a balance of both indoor and outdoor living.

School for kids

If the school location is the most important consideration for moving to a particular place, Ransom Everglades in Coconut Grove is ranked #1 private school for grades to 12 in the state of Florida, according to Niche. If you prefer public education, Cypress Bay High School in the town of Weston is considered one of the best public high schools in the state. 

When it comes to higher education, a few standouts include Florida International University (Miami Dade), the largest in the area with 58,000 students and University of Miami (Miami Dade). You may also check out Miami Dade College (Miami Dade); St. Thomas University (Miami Dade) and Barry University (Miami Dade). If you want to learn Spanish, Miami Dade College holds 2 night classes a week and offers an advanced 10-month course. You’ll have to call them or visit its site to confirm the schedule.

What are the top co-working spaces?  

  • Miami Dade County
  • Broward & Palm Beach County

Premium offers smart technology solutions for many schools, from smart lighting and AV systems to automated window treatments and surveillance cameras, among others. 

Learning for career growth, business

Miami is home to private banking and wealth management, real estate and real estate development, healthcare, cruising, tourism, boating, aviation, and logistics. 

Lately, the company has embraced the startup ethos, buoyed as they are by the presence of investment groups and a tech and a thriving startup ecosystem:

Big companies, big moves to South Florida

Many companies from New York and the western hemisphere have moved their headquarters to Miami. Below are just some of them:

Multi-billionaire Ken Griffin moved the headquarters of his Citadel and Citadel Securities from Chicago to Miami. Both financial firms currently operate at the Southeast Financial Center in Downtown Miami, but it plans to move to six floors at 830 Brickell, now under construction  and eventually co-develop a new HQ for his Citadel firms on Brickell Avenue.

AerCap will relocate its headquarters from Los Angeles to Miami in 2023. Its new HQ for the Americas will be on the 50th floor in the 830 Brickell building in the Brickell Financial District. 

Belong, a proptech company, relocated from San Mateo, California to Miami. The company is leasing space in Brickell City Tower and intends to move its executive team to Miami soon.

El Al Israel Airlines moved its headquarters out of New York and into a 32,164-square-foot office building at 5297 W. Copans Rd in Margate.

Crystal Cruises intends to move its headquarters from Downers Grove, Illinois to a 15,206-square-foot office at Optima Tower in Hallandale Beach in early 2023.

Fundkite, a fintech firm that provides funding for small businesses, relocated its HQ from New York to a 5,300-square-foot office in the 100 Biscayne building in downtown Miami. 

KruseCom is in the process of shifting its HQ from Eatontown, New Jersey to a 30,000-square-foot office at the Airport Logistics Park in West Palm Beach.

NuVerse Advisors LLC, a hedge fund with about $592 million in assets, moved its headquarters from New York City to Optima Onyx Tower, at 1010 S. Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach.

Siebert Financial Corp is relocating its HQ from New York into a two-story commercial building at 653 Collins Avenue in South Beach. 

West Marine, a national retailer of boating supplies, has moved its HQ from Santa Cruz, California to 1E Broward building in Fort Lauderdale.

Windstar Cruises moved its HQ from Seattle to a 9,000-square-foot office in the Doral Concourse building in June.

Other moves from 2022

ACI Worldwide Corp

Benefytt Technologies


Boston Private


Colony Capital

Elliott Management Corp

Florida Funders

Founders Fund

Future Tech Enterprise



Palm Drive Capital

Point72 Asset Management

Pipe Technologies



Thoma Bravo

Virtu Financial

Wealthspire Advisors


The sights

All work and no play is not a Miami thing. You don’t go to Miami and ignore its 16 wonderful beaches, including Miami Beach and South Beach. Miami Beach imbibes a party atmosphere and is better for families than the hugely popular South Beach. Just so you know that after a few visits, residents don’t go there. They go somewhere else where it’s less crowded like Crandon Park or Bal Harbour Beach.

Check out The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Built in 1916, this waterfront estate home with 32 decorated rooms and 10 acres of formal gardens is a national historic landmark. There are too many attractions but if you need to have fun with your kids in tow, take them to Zoo Miami, Florida’s large zoo with 3,000 animals to admire.

The diverse cuisine plus the views

Miami has a diverse range of cuisine, mostly Latin and Caribbean. Breaking it down, you’ll discover Argentine, Brazilian, Central American, Cuban, French, Mexican and Peruvian. Other types of cuisine will be the usual standard American fare. Forget Asian cuisine here. If food plus view is important for you, consider these rooftops.


Staying fit, indoors and outdoors

They say you can only be out in the sun in South Florida before 8 am. So if you’re exercising beyond that hour, we also recommend you try indoor fitness classes at ClassPass. Some of these classes you can explore include Body & Soul Miami , Green Monkey Yoga, Grit Miami, JetSet Pilates, Legacy Fit, and Orangetheory Fitness.

If you prefer nature’s way with some shade and some hiking (and shade from the punishing heat), check out the Everglades National Park an hour away from Downtown. Also visit Simpson Park in Brickell, Crandon Park in Key Biscayne and these other good hiking trails.  

There are many outdoor activities to enjoy, if you are quite active and don’t mind the heat. These include birding, biking, kiteboarding, snorkeling, jetski kayaking, paddleboarding, parasailing, sailing and tennis, Florida being the favorite place for professional tennis players to practice their game. 

If you like to keep it simple and you like to run, here are  ideal routes for you to sweat it out:

  • Downtalk Miami/Baywalk/Maurice A. Ferre Park
  • EverGlades – Long Pine Key Campground
  • Rickenbacker Causeway
  • Oleta River State Park Trails
  • Lummus Park Sidewalk
  • Miami Beach Beachwalk
  • Sands of South Beach 
  • South Pointe Park
  • Venetian Causeway

Check out the rest of the routes.

Art and cultural attractions

Art Basel Miami

Art Basel Miami is Miami as the Cannes film festival is to Cannes in France. It’s the most anticipated event in Miami where people from all over the world fly in just like film enthusiasts go to Cannes, France. This contemporary art fair started in Basel, Switzerland (pronounced Bah-zol) but has become a mainstay in Miami and takes place the week after Thanksgiving. 

Beyond Art Basel, check out these museums:



Events to keep in mind

Miami has so many events to watch out for, but if want the most attended ones, check out

these well-attended annual events:

Miami and Florida in books and movies

Two portraits of a city in books, The Year of Dangerous Days by Nicholas Griffin and 

Miami by Joan Didion delve into the gritty history of Miami. When it comes to fiction, check out Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe and Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen. For side-splitting humor about 

Florida in general, grab a copy of the Best. State. Ever. by Dave Barry

There are many movies set in Florida, from the recent ones like The Florida Project and the Oscar winner Moonlight but if you want to go back in time, there’s 1948’s Key Largo with Humphrey Bogart; 1960’s Where the Boys Are; 80’s Scarface, and the 90’s doozy and delirious There’s Something About Mary, to name a few. 

Getting media mileage

When it comes to knowing what’s happening in Miami, the top paid news publication is Miami Herald, as it covers Miami-Dade, Monroe and Broward counties. If you like free in-depth local journalism, there's Miami New Times

For tech companies looking for a more tax-friendly state, South Florida Business Journal is a good go-to source for the latest in funded startups or investors. For great profile pieces, South Florida Business & Wealth has the most credentialed editor in chief in Dr. Drew Limsky.

Luxe Interiors features a Gold List of the best architects, interior designers and builders in  South Florida annually. You may want to check it out to inspire you to build a smart space. We work with industry professionals closely. We also featured some of them in our blog.

Miami culture

If Miami’s “vacation or laid-back culture” is not easy to adjust to, we think the recent relocations to Miami of many professionals may eventually help it strike a healthy balance. But for newcomers wrestling with the unique culture, it’s good to know these cultural quirks so one can adjust properly without stepping on anyone.

  • Latecomers. People are often late to events or appointments. And they don’t consider it rude, just part of the culture. This happens mostly outside of work, though. Some people are late, because of the traffic gridlock, given that there’s no efficient mass transit system for such a densely populated city
  • Learn (a bit of) Spanish. People may sound all Spanish to you, but you know you're like a local if you can tell who are Argentinians, Cubans, Colombians, Puerto Ricans, Spaniards and Venezuelans when you hear them speak. That will take some time.
  • Be informed. Before doing business with someone, we suggest doing some due diligence, a term one should be familiar with if coming from New York and California. It’s all too common to have something repaired but the finished job is not to your liking.
  • If you don’t know yet, Miami was derived from Mayaimi, the historical name of Lake Okeechobee and the Native Americans who once lived around it. The History Miami Museum should get you walking past people’s footsteps. It’s good to look back and see how things came to be. 

Miami prices

If you haven’t moved to Miami yet, Redfin reported that in December 2022, home prices were up 9.6% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $515K. If you’re curious to know the most expensive residences here, click here. Premium Digital Control has installed smart technology systems in a property in Key Biscayne and Ritz Carlton.

Have questions about what you will need if interested in a smart technology system for your personal property or business? Premium Digital Control can install these systems for single spaces to your entire property. It offers smart lighting, smart AV systems, motorized window treatments, and many more. Please email us at

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