Newcomers Guide to Miami

They say that geography determines destiny. This certainly proved true in the case of Miami. It is situated at the southeastern tip of Florida, along the length of the Atlantic coastline. This makes it the closest major US city to both Latin America and the Caribbean -- two regions that have vastly influenced its culture and economy. Canadians who wish to relocate here will find plenty of opportunities as well as a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere. Here's a little newcomers guide to Miami:

Economy

Miami is one of the richest US cities with an impressive list of multinational companies having their headquarters at the downtown area. The economy is buoyed by a strong financial sector, a thriving cruise industry, countless media outfits, and many other businesses. Bricknell Avenue alone hosts the largest concentration of international banks in the country. The port of Miami serves the most number of cruise passengers in the world with ships sailing to and from the Caribbean nonstop. It also serves numerous cargo ships that come from South America.

Schools

Miami boasts of having well-run educational institutions. It has some of the best public high schools in the US according to current rankings. Private schools are also in abundance, run by both religious and secular organizations. The city has several universities and colleges, the biggest of which are Miami Dade College, Florida International University, University of Miami, and Barry University.

Transportation

The city was named by Forbes magazine as America's cleanest in 2008. It is very walkable and there are miles of bike paths for cyclists. Meanwhile, public transportation is mainly composed of a commuter rail system, a heavy-rail rapid transit system, an elevated people mover, buses, and taxi cabs.

Leisure and Entertainment

There are lots of parks, museums, clubs, and theaters to visit within the city. The newly built Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is the city's pride and joy when it comes to staging the more classical events like operas and ballet. For those looking to sample more down-to-earth entertainment, consider visiting one of the clubs that play traditional and modern Cuban music. The adventurous can do outdoor activities which are made possible by the city's tropical weather. Biscayne Bay offers scuba diving and snorkeling along its coral reefs. Fans of American football can watch the Miami Dolphins while fans of basketball can watch the hometown games of league champions Miami Heat.

Utilities

Newcomers to Miami must call the utility companies to have their home connected to the main lines. Credit checks are standard and those without a credit history to speak of, like foreign workers, may have to pay an initial deposit. The city does regular garbage collection and provides recycling services to residents.

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