As they move to Miami, expats are often prepared for everything except the eccentricities of one of the USA’s most southern cities. It is often said that the closer you move to Miami, the more bizarre the people you meet become. Just south of the city, the Everglades and Florida Keys’ mangrove islands give off the impression that you have arrived in a Caribbean paradise rather than southern Florida.
As early as the 16th century, settlers were moving to Miami’s general area, when Spain claimed the surrounding land. The actual city is the only one of its size founded by a woman in the United States of America. The Mother of Miami, Julia Tuttle, came to the city in its early days, when the area was commonly known as “Biscayne Bay Country” and offered an exciting, uncharted wilderness. It wasn’t until the Florida East Coast Railroad extended its railway system to Miami in 1896 that many more people started moving to Miami, and the city began to prosper.
Throughout World War II, Miami was an important strategic position in naval battles, and in the 1960s the city experienced a population boom when Cuban refugees came to escape Fidel Castro’s regime. Today, Miami’s metropolitan population has reached more than six million, making it a major financial and cultural center.
Miami is located at the southeastern tip of Florida, and the City of Miami proper covers a modest 36 square miles (93 km2), making it one of the most densely populated cities in the US. Expats moving to Miami benefit from the mild climate, affected by the Gulf Stream just off the coast.
However, regardless of if you are moving to Miami’s city center or if you find a home on the outskirts of the city, you can enjoy the natural wonders of Everglades National Park to the southwest and Biscayne National Park to the south. Because these national parks are so close, a fair number of Miamians have experienced run-ins with local wildlife, such as alligators.
When you move to Miami, you should prepare yourself for a tropical climate, complete with hot, humid summers and relatively warm winters. During the summer months in particular, the weather in Miami is very similar to that on the Caribbean islands. Hurricanes are most likely to hit the city during the wet season from May to October. This is also the time when the city suffers from unusually high humidity and temperatures, which do not usually fall below 70°F (21°C). In winter, it is a fair bit cooler with average temperatures around 60°F (15°C).
While the city’s only recorded snowfall occurred during the winter of 1977, there is plenty of rainfall during the summer months in Miami. This is particularly the case in the afternoons and evenings, when thunderstorms bring some relief from the humidity. Miami also lies in the path of a hurricane from time to time, as the city is located between two bodies of water known for tropical activity. However, the last major hurricane to hit Miami’s metropolitan region was Wilma in 2005.
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.