music festival, guests can come to expect a well-rounded experience from the festival with concerts, talks and virtual-reality exhibitions open to festival goers.
Which place is better to live: San Diego or Miami?
Depends—do you want to live in an exciting, glamorous, international sophisticated city OR do you prefer a status quo, sleepy, “laid back” predominantly suburban/ insular collection of beach communities with more of a small town flavor?
I lived in SD for 13 years before moving to Miami by choice and with no regrets 2 years ago.
Miami is a global, alpha city that attracts top chefs/restaurants, high end shopping, and high net worth individuals from all over the world who want to live there—like London, NYC and LA…SD is much closer to a Tampa, attracts the types from smaller Northeastern cities (Boston) and midwestern towns, military backgrounds, drifters looking to live the California dream (code for paycheck to paycheck) …and Arizona, during the summer. It also appeals to those who are outdoorsy/ mountain hiking and desert types.
Miami has a hub airport for a major carrier with far more direct nonstop flights to more places.
Miami has demonstrably better restaurants….Brian Malarkey?…lol….try Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Jean-Georges, Daniel Boulud, and Stephen Starr—all actual chefs renowned for their cooking, not TV appearance, that have opened up GOOD restaurants in Miami. Many top notch European restaurants have chosen Miami for their first US venture: Salt Bae’s Nusr-et, La Petite Maison, Le Sirenuse, Santa Margherita Winery’s La Centrale, Novikov, Time Out food hall, etc….NYC outposts include Wolfgang’s, Lucali, Il Mulino, Lure Fishbar, Scarpetta, Upland, Michelin starred Caviar Russe, etc….only cuisines SD does better is Mexican (Miami blows SD out of the water with all other Latin) and Asian….Miami hosts the largest food and wine festival in the country in South Beach each year. Miami does a much better job with Italian (SD butchers this cuisine), steak and seafood. SD has better farmers markets and has attracted but one top chef— from Atlanta (not NYC, SF, Paris, etc).
You can sunbathe and go in the ocean without a wetsuit in Miami year round….try going for an ocean swim or sunbathing in swim trunks (not with a sweatshirt on) in the winter in SD when the ocean temps are in the low 60’s or high 50’s and air temps are in the low to mid 60’s during the day and can get down to the low 40’s at night (except the 3–4 days during a Santa Ana)…Miami also does not get May Gray/June Gloom, does not hit 100 with no breeze as SD can and does in mid August-end of September….hurricanes vs earthquakes, drought, and wildfires—take your pick….Miami’s weather is an asset: the heat is tolerable, including the summer (it’s not Vegas intolerable), and humidity overrated IF you live by the water and get a constant breeze, as I do (West Coasters treat it like it is the Forbidden Zone from Planet of the Apes, just like a light sprinkle in SD in January is “winter storm watch”) though we also don’t have bone dry winters where you start scratching your dried out skin for 4 months of the year and don’t age as well….rain in Miami?—rains more, which is why it is greener here (vs. desert brown) and 95% of the time rain is in the form of passing thunderstorms that lasts 30 minutes or less before it becomes sunny again—reason why they call FL The Sunshine State. Cleaner air quality in Miami as well.
Miami has Art Deco architecture and more modern buildings (residential, commercial, and mixed use). SD has no noteworthy or distinctive architecture (possible exception of Balboa Park) and building structures look “dated” in many areas.
Miami has no state income tax (I’ve added nearly 10% cash to my take home pay by moving here) and yet the roads / infrastructure are better maintained and police dispatchers actually answer the phone. DMV fees and utilities bills are also much lower (yes, SDG&E has some of the highest rates in the country). Many neighborhoods in SD have houses that were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s and do not have air conditioning—yes, you need AC in many places in SD.
Miami is a stylish and fashion conscious city with dress codes at nicer establishments that keeps the slobs and riff raff out. You can show up in all but a very few places in SD, including nice places, in flip flops, shorts, tank top, and ball cap and be served—many places with a dog. As a clean cut professional I welcome dress codes at nicer establishments and the effort people put forth in grooming and looking their best. The women in Miami are demonstrably better looking and dress with much more class and style.
Miami has 4 pro sports teams, SD only 1.
Miami has world renowned shopping, led by Bal Harbour Shops—-consistently top, or near the top, grossing mall in the country, and Aventura Mall. How’s Horton Plaza doing?….Fashion Valley does not have many of the exclusive retail shops that the 2 Miami malls named above, or Design District, have (Kiton, Canali, Berluti, Brioni, etc etc).
San Diego’s homeless crisis is out of control—4th highest in the nation, with a hepatitis breakout in 2016–2017. Nothing remotely close in Miami (not even in the top 10).
San Diego takes years to get anything built and done…6 years from now for the new Seaport Village??….Convention Center expansion in your lifetime??….Miami built a $1B Brickell City Centre Mall in 2.5 years, voters approved a David Beckham Soccer Stadium, expanded the port and cruise terminal, built the tallest residential property south of Manhattan, and it doesn’t take 5 years for us to build a Whole Foods or Ritz Carlton. Miami also has a higher speed rail, not antiquated Amtrak, that connects with Ft Lauderdale and Palm Beach now with expansion underway to Orlando. Virgin’s Richard Branson has taken a stake in this high speed rail. Miami’s Metrorail connects directly to the airport whereas the SD Trolley does not.
Miami will be hosting the Super Bowl for a record 11th time (ELEVENTH) in 2020, has the world renowned Art Basel, hosts the US Tennis Open, golf tournaments, aforementioned SoBe Wine and Food Festival, Orange Bowl, Ultra Music Festival and huge Boat shows. Formula 1 Racing is scheduled to return by 2020….San Diego has Comic-con and the Farmers Insurance Open….and the Red Dress Run for those guys inclined to walk around in dresses and pumps…lol
Miami has world renowned nightlife (LIV, Story, Baoli, etc) and nightclubs that do not close at 2AM. E11even stays open 24 hours. Ever been to downtown Del Mar or La Jolla after 9PM—it’s like a ghost town. PB is drunk college kids, many in their 7th year of college. The Gaslamp is the place to be to meet tourists, conventioneers, and locals working on their GED and/or just back from a visit to King Stahlman bail bonds along with a bunch of homeless.
Miami attracts more higher spending tourists—witness 3 Ritz Carlton’s (SD still working on its first), Mandarin Oriental, St Regis (rooms start at $1,000+ during high season), Acqualina, Faena, Setai, 2 Four Seasons, etc….only the Rancho Valencia might be on par with these; US Grant and Grand Del Mar are on par with Biltmore. Entrance fees to the popular nightclubs start at $100+ with bottle service extra—Fluxx costs what to just enter, $25, 50?? I previously mentioned Miami’s high end restaurants and shopping (vs SD’s Las America’s outlet shops)
Both cities have horse racing, Miami has jai alai, SD is a craft beer mecca, Miami is a cigar mecca. Both cities have cruise ship ports, though Miami is much, much larger and the cruise capital of the world.
Both are international, Miami to a much greater extent. The Latinos in Miami tend to be higher educated and more successful than the average one in SD—talking average, not everyone (restaurant owners vs restaurant workers). Miami has a large Russian, Canadian, European and Northeast US population. SD has a much larger Asian population.
San Diego has UCSD and a biotech/medical devices industry—-though it represents maybe 2% of the population. Higher SD housing costs and overall Cost of Living make up for whatever higher median wage advantage it has over Miami (not to mention taxes, urilities, etc). I’ve already pointed out, ad nauseum, the Quality of Living advantages for Miami over San Diego.
San Diego is better if you prefer suburbia, enjoy hiking, are raising a family and are content with mediocrity. If you prefer an exciting, sexy urban environment with proximity to a great lifestyle and ocean you can actually go in year round, Miami hands down….if you are from a metro big city, Miami. In general if you are from Ohio, Missouri, Arizona, New England or upstate NY (but not NYC), you will probably prefer SD.