Miami, Florida: Bienvenido a Miami! Florida’s sparkling city on the ocean welcomes new residents and tourists alike to enjoy the vibrant South Florida culture. Everyone knows that Miami is home to glamorous South Beach, jet setting celebrities and a strong Latin American influence. What you may not know is that Miami also boasts over 800 parks, the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture and the world’s only Everglades eco-system. Whether your passion is diving, boating, art, sports or just Jay-Z quality partying, Miami fits the bill.
Miami is the only major city in the United States founded by a woman, Julia Tuttle. Often called the “mother of Miami,” Tuttle bought hundreds of acres in what is now downtown Miami, moved to the area on a barge, and eventually convinced railroad man, Henry Flagler, to extend his new railway to the Miami River. Tuttle saw the potential of Miami long before others, and her vision resulted in one of the top tourist destinations in the country.
Home to the Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins and the Miami Heat, the city is a sports lover’s dream. In addition, Miami Beach is known as the “Wreck Diving Capital of the Americas” because of the sheer volume of wrecks. Interested in a fun-filled cruise to the Bahamas or the Caribbean? Miami is the largest cruise ship port in the world.
Miami is a true melting pot representing the American dream. The last census reported that 52% of the total population was foreign-born, a percentage greater than that of any other country in the United States. Over half of Miami’s residents are fluent Spanish speakers, giving the city an exotic, international feel. A visit to Miami truly allows you to experience many different cultures without leaving the state of Florida.
Miami’s economy continues to improve in 2014 as the housing market rapidly recovers. Tourism, real estate and international trade continue to drive the economy in Miami-Dade County. The effort to create a technology hub in the county has heated up, and the number of tech startups and second-stage companies has grown dramatically, as have incubators and other growth organizations. Look for Miami to grab a long overdue piece of the tech pie!
The legal jobs community is smart and sophisticated with high-end boutiques, burgeoning full-service regional firms and powerhouse AmLaw 100 and 200 firms. Many firms have a specific group dedicated to Latin American business and emerging markets. The white-hot Brazilian business activity is consistently being handled by Portuguese speaking attorneys in Miami. AmLaw firms have staffed up their Miami outposts, and lateral attorneys who are tired of the northeast temperatures migrate south for quality work, excellent salaries and the chance to ditch their winter coats.
Miami is a great fit for big businesses that enjoy hiring from a diverse workforce. Burger King, Ryder, Royal Caribbean, Lennar and Brightstar are just a few of the large companies headquartered in Miami that employ thousands. Three South Florida-based corporations even found a place on Forbes “Best Places to Work” survey: Baptist Health South Florida, Ultimate Software and JM Family Enterprises.
So pack your bags and plan to see all that Miami has to offer! Below are suggestions to make your experience unforgettable.
Where to Stay
No trip to Miami is complete without a visit to South Beach. To experience true SoBe luxury, plan to stay at the Delano Hotel on Collins Avenue. With gorgeous flowing white curtains, polished hard wood floors and the oversize chess set sitting in the pool, the Delano offers all that is best about SoBe chic. www.morganshotelgroup.com If the Delano is not in your budget, try the Beacon Hotel. The funky, glamorous Art Deco feel will remind you of the Jazz Age and this hotel guarantees a great SoBe experience. www.beaconsouthbeach.com
Coral Gables is beautiful with lush trees and an old school Florida feel. A stay at the Westin Colonnade will give you the best of historical Miami with all the updated amenities. Located in the heart of Miracle Mile, the hotel is close to a lot of family attractions and sites that celebrate Miami’s history. www.westincoralgables.com
For those who enjoy the bustle of city life, check out the Viceroy on Brickell Avenue in downtown. Adjacent to historical Miami River Circle Park, the hotel is within walking distance of the Brickell financial district and minutes from American Airlines Arena and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Be sure to indulge in the hotel’s spa offerings to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing. www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.
Where to Eat
Prime 112 is not to be missed. This “see and be seen” SoBe perennial favorite features fresh and modern décor, breaking the traditional dark and leather steakhouse cliché. Not a red meat lover? Try the deviled eggs with white truffle & caviar or the tuna sliders with wasabi slaw. The drinks are expertly mixed at the bar and paired with complimentary bacon strips, if you are so inclined! If you want to keep things funky and fun, try Pizza Bar. This rock and roll pizza spot in the heart of SoBe is the perfect place to grab a huge piece of pizza (30 inch pizzas offered!) and sit outside on a sidewalk table to enjoy terrific people watching. Tables are limited, and only counter service is offered, but the pizza is worth the wait.
Don’t leave Miami without sampling authentic Cuban food. Try Exquisito in Little Havana for delicious fare. This family-owned eatery started out as a small cafeteria and expanded over the years, but they are still putting out excellent quality food that is lovingly prepared. Try the cuban frita with shoe string fries and pair it with some delicious sangria for a fun, casual meal. Don’t miss the popular Brickell Avenue staple, Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita. This bustling downtown restaurant and bar lives up to its fun, enticing name by offering terrific happy hours, lively brunches and tasty dinner options. Try the Chilean sea bass and the faux risotto and pair it with one of the daily house drink specials which are sure to please. Finally, Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in the Design District is a must. Consistently rated as one of the top dining destinations in the country, Michael’s specializes in sumptuous food and excellent presentation.
Where to Drink
There are so many options in Miami, it will be difficult NOT to find one to suit. There is truly something for everyone. For those seeking glitz and glamour, try the Mandarin Oriental’s MO Bar and Lounge. Enjoy panoramic skylines and stunning water views as you sip a carefully made martini. Take one night to kick up your heels at one of SoBe’s hottest clubs by hitting LIV at the gorgeous, revamped Fountainebleu. The hotel has a long and storied history dating back to the days when it hosted the Rat Pack. LIV is a white hot dance club that often features rappers and musicians for planned or impromptu performances. Plan to reserve a table (minimum bottle spend required) to guarantee entrance. After all that clubbing, try a more laid back night of sports, beers and burgers by checking out Burger and Beer Joint at Mary Brickell Village in downtown. With 99 different bottled beers and unique, tasty burgers to choose from, this is a great place to kick back and watch a Miami Heat game. Be sure to order a bucket of their fried pickles to go with your beer of choice.
What to Do
Plan a visit to the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center, located right in the heart of Miami. Featuring Broadway shows, operas, plays and ballet productions, a visit to this beacon of the arts will delight. Art lovers should plan a December visit for Art Basel Miami. This event is a favorite among art collectors and enthusiasts. Attracting over 70,000 visitors each year from North America and Latin America, this festival is a must-see. Over 250 of the world’s leading galleries participate, so don’t miss it! Depending on the season, visit one of the professional or collegiate sports teams for an exciting game. The Miami Marlins have a new, state of the art ball park with air conditioning, adjacent parking and a night club. The defending NBA champions, the Miami Heat, play at the American Airlines arena in the vibrant BayWalk area on the water. Football lovers can cheer on the Miami Dolphins or the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life stadium.
Take a trip back in time and tour the beautiful Viscaya estate in Coral Gables. After Viscaya, have lunch on Key Biscayne at Monty’s, a Miami institution right on the water. Families will love the Miami Children’s Museum and a chance to view the cruise ship ports located behind the museum. Nearby is Jungle Island, a popular kid’s destination that will be fun for the whole family. Spend a day walking down Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive seeing the Art Deco hotels and their stunning lobbies, stopping to have a mojito and people watch. The Filmore is a terrific place to catch live music, so check their calendar to see which bands or artists are playing during your visit. This is a terrific music venue with a retro feel.
Where to Live
Each area of Miami offers something unique and there are a number of popular options. South Miami has seen massive growth. Coral Gables is filled with manicured lawns and homes listed on the historical registry. For those who want to leave the bustle of Miami behind, Key Biscayne offers a more laid-back feel. South Beach is a great option for those who want to be near the action and the lively beach scene. Choose from a plethora of contemporary condos and apartments on Brickell Avenue to be in the heart of the city and within walking distance to most law firms and many businesses. Surfside and Sunny Isles are all viable North Miami options as well. Bal Harbouris a ritzy, high-end area of Miami that attracts wealthy residents and visitors year round. Midtown/Wynwood is rapidly becoming one of Miami’s hippest, still-burgeoning areas. While it’s still very gritty, this area has become popular with creative types and is likely to continuing to grow and develop.
Please contact Nondas Davis at email@example.com if you have any questions about the Miami legal market within your career path.