Miami Neighborhood Comparison: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami

Two Miami neighborhoods that have evolved the most in the past five years are Edgewater and Downtown Miami, where new developments have changed the face of what were once depressed areas and transformed them into vibrant new urban neighborhoods that now offer top-rate options, like parks, cafes and dining, and arts and entertainment.

Both neighborhoods are centrally located and are within very close proximity to one another, sharing many of the same benefits.  So, what makes one Miami neighborhood better than the other? Well, we’re giving you our Insider’s view on these two neighborhoods, so you can know them better and see which one may be best for you.  


Lifestyle: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami 

Edgewater is technically a waterfront community, making it very desirable. It’s a family-friendly residential neighborhood that sits smack on Biscayne Bay and is anchored by the waterfront Margaret Pace Park, an amazing natural greenspace that spans 8 acres. Its out-of-the-way waterfront location on the eastern side of Biscayne Boulevard means that Edgewater receives little tourism and is best known as a residential enclave where growing families and urban professionals can enjoy a serene lifestyle with easy access to everything that makes Miami exceptional, including the offerings that Downtown Miami is known for as well as South Beach.

Edgewater, Miami FL
Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater, Miami FL


Considered an “undesirable” area 15 years ago, Edgewater has evolved into one of Miami’s most coveted residential neighborhoods thanks to its waterfront location, irresistible bay views, multitudes of luxury condo options, and proximity to everything, including quick and easy access to the Downtown Arts District, Wynwood, the Design District, Brickell, and South Beach.

Bicentennial Park, Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL, USA
Bicentennial Park, Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL, USA. Photo by Brian Lundquist on Unsplash


In comparison, for those who prefer a more urban feel and more action, Downtown Miami may be the interesting option, as it puts you right in the thick of things, including a slew of trendy restaurants and eateries. Like Edgewater, Downtown Miami is walkable to cultural venues such as the Adrienne Arsht Center, Perez Art Museum, and the Frost Museum of Science, as well as some historic theaters and all of Brickell’s options. You’ll also be surrounded by many of Miami’s unique shops and boutiques, as well as lively nightlife options and easy access to all areas of greater Miami thanks to the great transportation options in this neighborhood.


Business: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami 

Edgewater is essentially a residential district, while Downtown is home to many corporate headquarters, as well as Miami’s Government Center, courthouses, libraries and a Miami Dade Community College Campus. Downtown is also closer to Brickell, so living in Downtown Miami could feasibly shorten your commute to work each day if you are working in Brickell.

Business man walking in downtown
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash


If your priority is living in the same area where you work, Downtown might be a better bet; but if you love the idea of leaving the buzzing financial district behind and escaping to a quieter waterfront enclave only 10 minutes away, Edgewater may well provide that perfect balance. 


Walkability and Transportation: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami 

This is a bit of a toss up. While Edgewater is tucked away on the eastern side of Biscayne Boulevard, it’s still close enough to walk or bicycle to many of Miami’s most desirable locations, such as the Perez Art and Frost Science Museums, Bayfront Park and the American Airlines Arena, the Wynwood Arts District, the Design District, and even Downtown itself. Edgewater has a major bus stop, a Metromover stop, and many free Miami trolley stops, as well.

Miami Central - Brightline Station
MiamiCentral - Brightline stop


But if you prefer a totally car-free lifestyle, Downtown can’t be beat, thanks to its great transportation options including the new MiamiCentral stop, where the Brightline trains, the Metrorail, and the Metromover converge, taking you to several top destinations including the airport. Miami's Tri-Rail commuter service will round out these options so that you can easily access many of Miami's top neighborhoods, the Tri-County area, and eventually all the way to Orlando, directly from Downtown Miami without the need for a car. In fact, the greatest advantage of living in Downtown Miami is its walkability and urban neighborhood flavor. A car is entirely optional.

Looking to live car-free?

Don’t miss our article on other Miami neighborhoods where you can live without a car.


Parks and Greenspace: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami 

When it comes to parks and greenspace, Edgewater scores much higher, as the entire neighborhood is built around the lush, beautiful and active Margaret Pace Park. A great place for families with children as well as the fitness-focused and dog-lovers, the park provides two dog parks, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, a great walking path, and direct access to the Bay itself for those who love kayaking or paddle boarding. There's also a private marina next to the park. 

Margaret Pace Park
Margaret Pace Park - Edgewater


Downtown Miami in comparison is bigger, and has two parks to call home - Bayfront Park, which has Bayside Shopping, an amphitheater, and the Miami Skyviews Ferris Wheel, and Museum Park (aka Maurice Ferre Park), which is next to Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and the Frost Science Museum. Both are big and spacious and provide for a lot of community events, including yoga, fitness expos, music festivals and staging areas for marathons and such.

The difference here is Edgewater’s Margaret Pace Park is really a community park that’s at the doorstep of all of Edgewater. And living right on the water generates a different and more tranquil vibe, while the views of Margaret Pace Park and Bay from Edgewater condo buildings are also incomparable. Downtown Miami’s parks are frequented by more tourists and visitors to the area than Edgewater’s parks, and also require more of a walk to get to unless you are living on Biscayne Boulevard. 


Arts and Culture: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami 

Downtown Miami is also known as the Downtown Arts District, and is host to many cultural venues such as the Adrienne Arsht Center, Ziff Opera House, Perez Art Museum (PAMM) and Frost Science Museum, American Airlines Arena, Bayfront Park, and many alternative art spaces and galleries. In this sense, Downtown Miami edges out Edgewater for art and cultural offerings.

But Edgewater makes up for this in proximity to other important art and cultural goodies. Within walking distance is Wynwood’s famous street art and Wynwood Walls, monthly art walk, as well as the world-class boutiques in Miami’s historic Design District, which also often feature art. Edgewater's proximity to Wynwood’s annual art fairs also make Edgewater the ideal location to be in during Miami Art Week, and it's easy access to such renowned exhibition spaces in the Design District like the Moore Building, The de la Cruz Collection, and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) make it more competitive with Downtown Miami when it comes to cultural access.

Adrian Arsht Center - Miami FL
Adrienne Arsht Center - Miami FL

 

View available condo and rental options in Edgewater.
View available condo and rental options in Downtown Miami.


Eating and Shopping: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami 

Because Downtown Miami is a busier and bigger neighborhood than Edgewater, and also services a business lunch crowd, it naturally has more eateries, and it's the Foodie's dream. Miami's urban core is filled with amazing food options, starting with the many varieties of eateries located at Central Fare, the food hall located at MiamiCentral, which includes a variety of international offerings ranging from American comfort food to the wildly exotic. Other great eateries in Downtown include CVI.CHE 105, known for its Japanese-Peruvian fare, as well as such celebrated spots as Fratelli Milano, the Boss Cow Oyster Bar, and Esotico Miami, where Hawaiian food & drinks are served with tropical flair. Fine dining options also are plentiful in Downtown Miami, starting off with the renowned Zuma, as well as Il Gabbiano for superb Italian, and for authentic Spanish cuisine, NIU Kitchen. 

KYU in Miami
KYU restaurant, Miami FL


Edgewater definitely has good food -- Mignonette has won the world over for serving some of the best seafood and oysters around in a 1930s architectural gem; Amara at Paraiso is a fining dining experience and waterfront favorite; and Paolo Fontanot’s authentic Italian bakery and cafe is also a can’t miss, being the only U.S. location outside of Italy. But living here means you'll also be heading out to Wynwood and the Design District for more world-class food options, such as Wynwood’s ever-popular Kush, where Miami’s best burgers are served, the whimsical Prohibition Restaurant and Speakeasy, with its throwback-to-the-30’s atmosphere, and the highly acclaimed Kyu, where you can enjoy Japanese fusion in a classic and serene atmosphere. Tons more spots are in our Local’s Guide to Restaurants in Edgewater.

Brickell City Centre
Brickell City Centre


If shopping is your hobby, you probably won't be wowed by either neighborhood. Downtown Miami probably has slight advantage given that Brickell City Centre is just over the Miami River, and in the immediate neighborhood, you’ve got trendier boutiques, a jewelry mart, camera and electronics stores, discount superstores like Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Ross, and affordable clothing and shoe stores. For groceries, Whole Foods your main store.

Comparatively, Edgewater provides easy access to the many unique shops and boutiques in Wynwood and the Design District, where you can purchase anything from wearable art and collectables to designer kitchen and bath fixtures, and Publix is your nearest grocery store, although more are planned. 


Cost of Living: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami 

Both Edgewater and Downtown Miami boast beautiful new high-rise condo options, with prices per square foot in Edgewater averaging around $405 and residential units listing for an average price of $538,715. In Downtown Miami, the median listing per square foot is about $360, and the average listing price for a condo is $619,725.  You can also find great apartments for rent in both Edgewater and Downtown Miami.


Architecture & Housing Styles: Edgewater vs Downtown Miami 

Downtown Miami is one of the oldest areas of the city, so here you'll find many pre-war buildings typical of a big city's downtown. Mixed in with some of most beautiful architecture and historic landmarks, you'll find new modern high-rises, as well as lofts, both new and converted.

Edgewater is a more newly developed area, but keeps a lot of its charm from the 40s with scatterings of Florida bungalows, and a few historic buildings. Many of the condo options in both areas include fabulous state-of-the art amenities such as valet, swimming pools, spas, and fully-equipped fitness centers. Both rental and condo properties often provide these amenities, as well as common areas where residents can socialize, and in many buildings, cultural events are hosted so you can enjoy live concerts on the premises without the need to leave your home. 

Legacy Hotel & Residences
Legacy Hotel & Residences


Downtown Miami’s
Paramount Miami Worldcenter is one complex of buildings that is raising the bar on amenities, however. This development offers residents a sporting complex, including running tracks, a soccer field, boxing studio, multiple pool and yoga decks, as well as music recording studios, meditation centers, spas and beauty salons, and along with the Legacy Hotel and Residences, a state-of-the-art wellness center and clinic. 


Which Neighborhood is Better? Edgewater or Downtown Miami?

The answer to this question really depends on your preferences and what kind of lifestyle you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a quiet waterfront living experience with less traffic, lots of greenspace, and little to no tourism, where you can enjoy the outdoors and the comfort of seeing your neighbors’ familiar faces each day, Edgewater would make you very happy.

If, however, you still have a wild streak and want more of an urban feel, enjoy eclectic food options, mingling with tourists from around the world, and be free of the responsibility of owning and maintaining a car, or are looking for a part-time or second home, Downtown Miami might be your ideal location. 

If you’re interested in more of our neighborhood comparisons, check out these below: 

And if you want to talk to some Miami experts about which Miami neighborhood is right for you, give us a call or email, and let us take the time to help you find the ideal location and home for you. 

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