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Local Love: Miami, FL, Vs. New Orleans, LA

Miami Real Estate vs New Orleans Real Estate
Considering a move to New Orleans or Miami? See what locals have to say about what makes their city extraordinary.

Miami, FL, and New Orleans, LA, are known to many as renowned nightlife destinations, but there’s more than meets the eye in these two Southern cultural hotbeds. With plenty of activities and amenities for families, singles, and retirees alike, these two eclectic cities are ideal places to live. If you love to visit art galleries, check out Miami real estate in the thriving art community of Wynwood. If you prefer your neighborhood to have some historic charm, consider buying a home in NOLA’s famous French Quarter. Whether you are in New Orleans or Miami, you’ll find real estate near your favorite amenities at an inexpensive cost.

Both metropolitan areas are enjoying improvement in their job sectors and real estate markets, making it a great time to buy in these cities. The Crescent City is seeing an influx of tech companies, a new $1 billion medical center in downtown, and an increased interest in tourism. As a result, the New Orleans real estate market is showing a healthy average listing price of $321,620 and a 6% rise in average listing price week over week. In the Sunshine State, Miami’s economy is booming as industries like construction, leisure, and hospitality continue to grow. With a decreasing unemployment rate and a low median home sales price of $242,000, Miami offers great opportunities for those considering a move here.

Miami and New Orleans are home to a diverse group of demographics, tastes, and cultures, so naturally there is a lot to learn about these great towns. Check out what these Miami and New Orleans locals had to say about what makes their cities great!

Why should people in NOLA move to Miami?

“NOLA and Miami are very similar in that they have delicious food, awesome (and extremely unique) people, incomparable natural resources, and offer a little something so the transition would be seamless.” — Margarita Wells of Thank You Miami

“Miami represents the future of America. With 51% of its population foreign-born, Miami is the most international city in the United States. Miami’s history of welcoming and embracing all cultures coupled with its geographic location, all-year sunny weather, and global art are attracting international and domestic homebuyers.” — Chris Umpierre of Miami Association of Realtors

Why should people in Miami move to NOLA?

“If you like an area like Buena Vista, you’ll like New Orleans. If you like the Wynwood scene, you’ll probably like New Orleans, although this town isn’t as self-consciously artsy as Wynwood. If you like Blackbird Ordinary, you’ll like New Orleans. If you like Churchill’s in Little Haiti, you’ll like New Orleans. Come to think of it, if you like Little Haiti, you’ll like New Orleans.” — Adam Karlin of FrenchQuarter.Com

“New Orleans offers famous food, sweet music, and an overall legendary good time. Any visitor to New Orleans is captivated by the heart and soul of the locals, music, and excitement, which is steps away from any neighborhood. Both New Orleans and Miami locals live differently than the rest of the U.S. The lively cultures are infused with Spanish influences, restaurants showcase the vibrant food scenes, and of course, there is warm weather year-round.” — Rachel Funel of The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

What, in your opinion, is the most up-and-coming neighborhood in your city?

“Wynwood continues to be up-and-coming despite being one of the hottest — if not the hottest — neighborhoods in Miami. However, Brickell is really coming into its own with the new Brickell City Centre mega-structure set to open later this year. Once that mixed space opens up, it’ll help take the city’s social scene to the next level.” — Dianne and Geoffrey of Miami Food Pug

“The New Orleans downtown areas in the Central Business District and the latest addition, the South Market District, are thriving with new restaurants, cocktail bars, shopping, and luxury apartments. This neighborhood still encompasses brick warehouses from New Orleans’ industrial heyday, but the vendors that now inhabit them showcase the city’s thriving arts and culinary scenes.” — Rachel Funel of The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

“I definitely think the most up-and-coming Miami neighborhoods are the Design District, Midtown, and, of course, Wynwood. Every chance I get, I will go to one of these neighborhoods and just explore everything they have to offer. From great street art to amazing food finds, they have it all. I do have to say my favorite is Wynwood.” — Katy Patao of Foodie Tribe

“I love the area of New Orleans where I live, Navarre (south Lakeview), but some parts of Mid-City, especially west of Banks and south of Jeff Davis, are still really up-and-coming.” — Wendy Dolan of GetOnlineNOLA

Which local restaurant has the best food in your city?

“I was born and bred in South Louisiana, so when I want Cajun food, I usually cook it myself or visit my dad, but when I want to eat (Cajun food) out, I go for Brennan’s or K-Pauls.” — Wendy Dolan of GetOnlineNOLA

“Finka Table and Tap in West Miami is probably the most ‘quintessential Miami’: You have the great Cuban food that Miami is known for, but elevated for a more sophisticated palate. More specifically, they have some great twists on traditional Cuban cuisine but throw in some unique Asian flair into the mix to make the concept their own.” — Dianne and Geoffrey of Miami Food Pug

“Miami has so many quintessential places like Versailles or El Palacio de Los Jugos, but if we are picking just one, it would have to be Joe’s Stone Crab. Joe’s has been here since 1913, before Miami Beach was even a city. Joe was an entrepreneur. He opened the now-iconic spot to earn enough money to move his family down from New York. (And there’s no better way to do that than with a tasty fish sandwich.) Flash-forward 100 years later, and the place sets the standard for the entire service industry. While bridging generations, meal after meal. Local tip: Hit up Joe’s takeout for breakfast on the beach or the tastiest fried chicken in Miami.” — Chris Adamo of The New Tropic

“I think Herbsaint and August in New Orleans do a wonderful job of creating Creole classics in a white-tablecloth setting; Sobou provides a similar atmosphere, but the kitchen is willing to play around with the classics, twist them into a more playful, contemporary form.” — Adam Karlin of FrenchQuarter.Com

Why is your city a great place to rent/own right now?

“Miami is going through a rejuvenation right now. Downtown is being developed into an urban city center. The Wynwood Arts District is constantly growing and evolving and so is Brickell. Miami is this organic being that doesn’t stop evolving, and it’s an amazing sight. There’s no shortage of things to do, so if you like to stay busy, it’s a place that can make sure that happens.” — Dianne and Geoffrey of Miami Food Pug

“We bought our New Orleans home in the Navarre neighborhood and have been amazed at how fast the property value has risen. It’s only getting better with investment into [the] city’s infrastructure like new bike paths and streetcar lines, and lots more young professionals moving in.” — Wendy Dolan of GetOnlineNOLA

“Miami is an affordable world-class city with arts and culture, a thriving downtown, a diverse economy, and a budding mass transit system. Our 84 miles of Atlantic coastline — perfect for boating, swimming, and hitting the beach — and our top-tier shopping centers are two other reasons if you need them. Also keep in mind, you can get more for your money with Miami real estate than other world-class cities like New York, Hong Kong, and London.” — Chris Umpierre of Miami Association of Realtors

“New Orleans is experiencing a renaissance. The entire city is thriving, and now is one of the best times to become part of the New Orleans family. There is an increased attention to neighborhood living, and each area of town is expanding and creating its own unique personality. Small commercial businesses in historic buildings are popping up in neighborhoods with new coffee shops, boutique retail shops, and award-winning restaurants.” — Rachel Funel of The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

Where can you find the best nightlife in your city?

“Most Miami locals will hate me for saying this, but: South Beach. When you think of Miami nightlife, you’re thinking of South Beach’s nightlife scene. That said, it’s not all about the nightclubs — you’re more likely to find me at a more low-key spot like COYO Taco, Sunny’s at The Hall, the Broken Shaker, or Ted’s Hideaway.” — Margarita Wells of Thank You Miami

“Depends [on] what you’re looking for in New Orleans. For neighborhood bars with a more collegiate vibe, head along Magazine or Freret Street. The hipster-y bar scene is concentrated in the Marigny and Bywater. Obviously, the Quarter is full of bars that primarily aim themselves at tourists, but there are also some fantastic spots that locals frequently drink at (say, Molly’s in the Market or nearby Cane & Table). Art galleries can be found along Royal Street, Magazine Street, and St. Claude Avenue.” — Adam Karlin of FrenchQuarter.Com

“While a decade ago most of the action was on South Beach, now you can find great nightlife all over the city. On most nights, locals flock to mainland neighborhoods like Wynwood, Downtown, and MiMo. Places like The Corner Bar, Boxelder, The Broken Shaker, and The Anderson are some of our favorites — they’ve got that unique local vibe and foster that Miami sense of community.” — Chris Adamo of The New Tropic

“Around the world, New Orleans is known as the city that never sleeps, and our nightlife is the primary reason for this saying. The gem in the Marigny known as Frenchman Street attracts both locals and tourists alike for the numerous live music venues. Anyone can walk down this street and experience traditional jazz to brass, funk to reggae.” — Rachel Funel of The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

What is the best arts scene/cultural activity in your city?

“While in New Orleans, visitors can learn about Mardi Gras traditions, including how floats are made, or the unique history of Mardi Gras Indians. Guests can also board an 1860s-era paddle-wheel steamboat and cruise the Mississippi River while enjoying traditional jazz music. Food lovers can take a New Orleans–themed cooking class or tour the Southern Food & Beverage Museum to learn the history behind ‘The Trinity’ as well as Creole and Cajun dishes.” — Rachel Funel of The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

“The most striking art in Miami is peppered throughout the streets of our Wynwood Arts District. If you’re in town the second Saturday of the month, visit between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the famous Wynwood Art Walk, during which you can get your fill of the neighborhood’s popular street art, galleries, food, and nightlife.” — Margarita Wells of Thank You Miami

“There’s no one best cultural activity in New Orleans, but I’m a big fan of all the free festivals. French Quarter Fest, Bayou Boogaloo, Wednesdays in the Square. You can always catch good local music and eat delicious food. There are also plenty of great museums. My favorites are NOMA, The CAC, and The Children’s Museum.” — Wendy Dolan of GetOnlineNOLA

“Downtown Miami has the highest concentration of cultural institutions in the Southeast. Downtown has the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and a new waterfront art museum. A new science museum will open in downtown next year. The Art Basel Miami Beach show draws the world’s top collectors, and the Wynwood neighborhood has gained national and global attention for its trendy local art.” — Chris Umpierre of Miami Association of Realtors

Where can you find the best live music in your city?

“Miami has a few great music venues that have recently upped their game. The Prism Music Group has done a fabulous job of booking local and up-and-coming acts all over town at places like The Wynwood Yard and the Miami Flea. Lagniappe is a new, New Orleans–style backyard venue (think Bacchanal but replace the river with a train track) that books the best local jazz, singer/songwriter, and jam bands nightly in their cozy interior. If late night is your thing, Bardot, Sweat Records, and Churchill’s always have eclectic acts to keep you in tune with what you need to know about.” — Chris Adamo of The New Tropic

“Right now, you can get the best live music in Miami at Bardot, Lagniappe, or Ball & Chain.” — Nick Pena of The Food-e

“Frenchmen Street, St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans. Uptown bars like Les Bon Temps Roulé and the Maple Leaf. Some hidden little bars in the Treme and Sixth Ward.” — Adam Karlin of FrenchQuarter.Com

“Frenchman Street in the Marigny, downriver from the French Quarter, is home to many small but famous music venues in town and offers great nightly music performances for visitors and locals alike. As the locals say, the music hits keep coming every day and night of the week on Frenchman Street!” — Rachel Funel of The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

What is the best activity to do in and around your city on a three-day weekend?

“Lots to do in Miami. I would take one day and do a full-on beach day. Lay out by the beach, soak in the sun, enjoy some cocktails on the sand, and end your night at a romantic dinner by the ocean. The next two days I would take and explore all of Miami and all of its amazing food. You can stop by Wynwood, Little Havana, Downtown, Brickell, and the Design District.” — Nick Pena of The Food-e

“If you want to stay in the New Orleans [city] limits, you could spend a whole day or more at City Park — go for a boat ride on the Big Lake, rent bikes and cycle around the festival grounds, grab beignets at Morning Call, visit NOMA and the Sculpture Garden. If you want to venture out, go on a swamp tour (but look for a smaller, less touristy one that also works towards animal preservation) and visit the plantations like Oak Alley and Laura. You could also head north of the lake and visit the Abita Brewery for great local beer and food.” — Wendy Dolan of GetOnlineNOLA

“Go outdoors. Miami offers an unparalleled outdoor lifestyle. Greater Miami has 15 miles of world-famous beaches, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, yachting, and fishing. South Florida is also the world’s capital for cruising with all of the major cruise lines based here. Go on a weekend cruise. You can also check out Miami’s extensive parks system. Miami-Dade County Parks is the third-largest county park system in the U.S. with 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.” — Chris Umpierre of Miami Association of Realtors

“New Orleans is one of the few cities that offer over 140 festivals year-round. Locals celebrate everything from food to music, and even an after-work party to get going until the weekend. Many of the festivals offered are free or fundraisers sponsored by local and national charities. The best part: There are more festivals than calendar weekends, so the chances of visiting during a festival are high. Each festival has its own unique spirit, and everyone knows that New Orleans knows how to throw a fantastic party!” — Rachel Funel of The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

What is the best way to avoid the tourist crowds in your city?

“New Orleans offers things to do for visitors all week long. Guests can enjoy everything the city has to offer during the middle of the week. Live music plays from our venues 365 days of the year, and several restaurants have phenomenal happy hour deals Monday through Friday. New Orleans landmarks such as Jackson Square or the French Market are much less crowded midweek and provide you with the chance to browse and experience what New Orleans has to offer and create that unforgettable trip.” — Rachel Funel of The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

“Don’t attempt to head over to Miami Beach during ULTRA or spring break season! You will regret it the second you hit the bumper-to-bumper traffic.” — Katy Patao of Foodie Tribe

“Head off of Ocean Drive and venture onto the mainland of Miami. Prices are more affordable, less foot traffic, and there are lots of things to see and do with numerous cultural institutions in Miami. Try to avoid any chain restaurants and look for the locally owned spots. Although, if you are looking to take a tour of the city, we recently had a blast on the new duck tour to get a view of the city from the water, which is the only way to experience Miami.” — Chris Adamo of The New Tropic

“I’d head to New Orleans neighborhoods that are completely off the tourist trail. Go to the lakefront. Go to City Park. Walk the Lafitte Greenway to Second Line Brewing. Walk through Audubon Park.” — Adam Karlin of FrenchQuarterNOLA

Did we miss something? Are you a Miami or New Orleans writer with insider tips? Shoot an email to so we can work together!