The Best Miami Neighborhoods: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

Miami has many amazing neighborhoods to live in or move to. If you’re looking for an exclusive, luxury waterfront neighborhood in Miami, two that you may be considering are the South of Fifth (SoFi) area in South Beach, or well-known Fisher Island. The two neighborhoods share some similarities, and both are affluent communities known for their elegant beachside lifestyle, but there are many essential differences between the two that make for very different living experiences.  

Our comparison of these two Miami neighborhoods gives you an insider's look at several characteristics that can help you decide which of the two you’d feel most at home living in.

Lifestyle: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

Founded in the early 1900’s, the area of Miami Beach known as South Beach is one of Miami’s most picturesque neighborhoods, known for its distinct Art Deco architecture and sandy beaches. The area of South Beach located south of Fifth Street is the southernmost tip of the island of Miami Beach and is commonly referred to as South of Fifth or SoFi. It’s a small area characterized by a more upscale lifestyle and higher-priced properties than the rest of Miami Beach. SoFi also has a more serene vibe than the party-all-night lifestyle that the rest of South Beach is known for, and is highly walkable.

South of Fifth - Miami Beach

SoFi or South of Fifth - Miami Beach, FL

Although SoFi is an exclusive area, Fisher Island is far more exclusive than SoFi because it is it’s own island accessible only by boat or ferry. In fact, Fisher Island is the most affluent zip code in the entire United States, with median household incomes in the millions. Fisher Island is also a small community; the island is under one square mile in size, and only about 700 families live there, many of whom use their homes only part of the year as vacation or second homes.

Fisher Island

Fisher Island. Photo courtesy of Michael Au

Both areas prioritize luxurious living and are popular among international celebrities and VIPs, but Fisher Island is definitely more private than SoFi. 

Business: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

Because they are primarily residential areas, neither SoFi nor Fisher Island are areas where corporate businesses flourish. However, SoFi has a few boutique hotels, small private offices, fitness centers and spas, and exclusive retail establishments composed of high-end boutiques, as well as some of the finest restaurants in Miami and Miami Beach.

Fisher Island Club and Resort. Photo courtesy of Fisher Island Club

Fisher Island Club and Resort. Photo courtesy of Fisher Island Club

Fisher Island has a far less commercial life with only a small bank, post office, and grocery store on the island. The Fisher Island Club and Resort is the only real business in the area, with its 9-hole golf course, several restaurants, marina, tennis club and a spa. 

Walkability and Transportation: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

SoFi is a highly walkable neighborhood. Within this small area, almost everything one could need is within walking distance of most residences, and it is entirely feasible to live in the area without a car. And because SoFi is part of South Beach, it is served by the many diverse transportation options available in the area, such as the Free Trolley service.

Should you need to get to the airport, its location just off of the MacArthur Causeway means a direct uber or chauffeured drive from Downtown Miami, the Arts & Entertainment District and Miami International Airport. The Miami Beach Airport Flyer shuttle runs every half hour between 6 am and 11:40 pm. Current plans to extend Metro Rail service to South Beach in the near future will also benefit residents of SoFi.

Fisher Island Ferry

Fisher Island Ferry. Photo courtesy of Fisher Island Club.

On Fisher Island, the most popular method of transportation on the island is via golf cart. Walking or bicycling to the post office, market or Fisher Island Club is very common. The island is completely private and accessible only by ferry or boat. To get to and from Fisher Island, most residents drive their cars to Terminal Island and board the ferry, which departs every 10 minutes on weekdays during morning rush hour and every 15 minutes all other times 24 hours a day. Others access the island via private yachts.

Looking to live car-free? Don't miss our article on the other Miami neighborhoods where you can live without a car.

Parks and Greenspace: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

The heart of the SoFi community is the beautiful South Pointe Park, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the waters of Biscayne Bay. The park offers direct beach access for swimming and snorkeling, as well as fishing, kayaking, waterboarding, and jet skiing. The park also features lushly landscaped paths, a large children’s playground with water features, a cafe and juice bars, and a Smith & Wollensky restaurant, where you can sit outside and watch the boats come in and out of Government Pass. The park is also a favorite of dog lovers, yoga practitioners, and those just seeking to spend some time outdoors.

South Pointe Park

Waterfront residences on Fisher Island surround a small, but competitive 9-hole golf course designed by P.B. Dye, and the Fisher Spa Club and Resort has 18 tennis courts, some with a Wimbledon grass surface and others with clay surfaces. There is a small natural area for bird-watching and one mile of private beach graced with imported, powdery white sand. There is also a full-service marina. There is also a fire rescue station and a medical center on the island.

Fisher Island Club Golf

Photo courtesy of Fisher Island Club and Resort

Arts and Culture: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

SoFi residents enjoy easy access to all of the cultural offerings in South Beach, including the yearly Art Basel fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center in South Beach, as well as street fairs and festivals such as the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Fashion Week Miami, and several music festivals.

Art Basel

Fisher Island has no public festivals but private parties may include live entertainment by well-known celebrities. Like SoFi, the island’s cultural life is tied to its proximity to South Beach and Downtown Miami, where residents can enjoy the same festivals and events as SoFi residents, with the difference that SoFi residents can return home quickly and easily after partying all night, while Fisher Island residents have a slightly longer time to get home relying on the ferry service or their private yacht as transportation.

Eating and Shopping: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

Although South of Fifth is a low-key neighborhood where you can bypass the hustle and bustle that characterizes South Beach, the area is home to some of the finest restaurants in all of Miami Beach, and arguably, in all of Greater Miami. The famous Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant has been a Miami Beach icon for decades, and the South Pointe Tavern serves up food and drink fit for celebrities.

Joe's Stone Crab

Concept restaurants such as Stubborn Seed allow you to taste the creativity of some of Miami’s top chefs. Azabu Miami, located inside the Stanton Hotel, serves exquisite and elegant Japanese cuisine, and vegans and vegetarians can enjoy a top-tier feast at the exotic Lilikoi Organic Living, where lean proteins and seasonal vegetables prove that healthy eating can be utterly delicious. The South of Fifth district also has a few distinct boutiques where you can enjoy laid-back shopping with access to high-end goods.

La Trattoria at the Fisher Island Club

Fisher Island doesn’t have many retail businesses aside from those in the Fisher Island Hotel and shops associated with the club, but its eight restaurants all have excellent reputations. Among the most popular of the eateries on the island are the Fisher Island Beach Club Restaurant, Beach Club Restaurant, Golf Grill, Fisher Island Club City View Restaurant, Fisher Island Club Porto Cervo Restaurant, and Fisher Island Club La Trattoria Restaurant.

Schools: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

SoFi residents are served by South Pointe Elementary School, Nautilus Middle School, and Miami Beach Sr. High, all of which are highly ranked public schools. Many residents prefer to send their children to local private schools such as St. Patrick’s and the Hebrew Academy, located in Miami Beach, or to private schools located on mainland Miami.

Hebrew Academy

Hebrew Academy. Photo courtesy of the Hebrew Academy.

Fisher Island is also served by Miami Beach public and private schools, but the Fisher Island Day School is a small private elementary school exclusively for island residents, and is considered the best private school in Miami, serving about 87 students in kindergarten though 8th grade (K-8 students). 

Architecture and Housing: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

South Beach living is defined by the prevalence of many renovated Art Deco buildings dating back to the 1930’s interspersed with new luxury condo buildings of varying architectural designs, from minimalistic and modern to Mediterranean. Some have also kept parts of the Art Deco look.

All of the luxury condo buildings South of Fifth include top-tier amenities such as pools, fitness centers, concierge service, onsite spas, and other amenities. Many residences in SoFi typically include ocean views and direct beach access, however there almost no single-family homes South of Fifth.

Fisher Island Architecture

Fisher Island homes include a small number of single-family mansions and villas, but most residents live in exclusive, multi-family condo towers with oversized units featuring several large terraces and balconies, and all of the latest amenities, including pools, fitness centers, spas, concierge services, and on-site restaurants.

Cost of Living: South of Fifth vs Fisher Island

The average listing price for South Beach residences is about $1,242,930, or $724 per square foot; however, listings in South of Fifth tend to run on the higher than that, with some of the highest priced properties reaching around $93,500,000, or $22,959 per square foot. The top five most luxurious condo buildings South of Fifth tend to average about $2,900 per square foot.

Although Fisher Island is more exclusive than SoFi, Fisher Island residences list for an average of about $5,489,338, or $1,292 per square foot, while the more luxurious properties list for around $48,000,000 or about $5,484 per square foot.

Which is the Better Choice? South of Fifth or Fisher Island?

While both SoFi and Fisher Island provide an upscale lifestyle with exclusive privileges and perks, the two neighborhoods attract vastly different residents, mainly based on how much privacy and exclusivity you may desire. 

If you dream of or need very private, resort living with golf and yachting as the center of your world, you may fall in love with Fisher Island. But if you prefer more accessibility and a laid-back lifestyle with easy access to urban offerings, we definitely recommend South of Fifth.

If you’re curious about other neighborhoods in Miami and how they compare with one another, read our various neighborhood comparisons below: 

Whether you want to live on an exclusive island with sandy beach access, in the throes of where the action is, or somewhere in between, we will be your best guides to help you find the Miami home that is meant for you.

Let us get to know your preferences, desires, and budget and direct you to the most suitable neighborhoods and listings while sharing with you our knowledge and expertise of Miami and the South Florida area.

Connect with us on Instagram and Youtube.

Contact Us
Sep Niakan
Broker / Team Lead
(305) 697-7667
Request Info
By sending you agree to CondoBlackBook's Terms of Use

Your Miami Condo Awaits

Recent Posts

Greater Downtown Miami Luxury Condo Market Report Q2 2021 - Brickell Leads Miami Growth
Real Estate News Greater Downtown Miami Luxury Condo Market Report Q2 2021 - Brickell Leads Miami Growth
View the most up-to-date market reports. Take me there now! The explosive sales trend for Miami condo sales seen during the first quarter of 2021 has only grown in the second quarter of the year. Our Q2 2021 luxury condo market report for Greater Downtown Miami highlights unprecedented triple-digit growth over the previous quarter, and two sub-markets in this grouping reported incredible four-digit growth, while all three neighborhoods - Downtown Miami, Edgewater, and Brickell - all posted record-high sales. In Q2, Brickell leads Miami's growth story, reporting the highest percentage increase in year-over-year sales of all neighborhoods under review in our Q2 2021 Overall Miami Condo Sales report. And, even though all 3 sub-markets report the highest levels of inventory in all of Miami and Miami Beach, they are at a record-low in the 5 years of our reporting. The overall Miami market has already transitioned into a seller's market, and only this Greater Downtown Miami grouping is...
Miami Overall Luxury Condo Report - Q2 2021
Market Reports Miami Overall Luxury Condo Report - Q2 2021
View the most up-to-date market reports. Take me there now! The second quarter of 2021 marks the third consecutive quarter of booming sales for Miami's luxury condo market. Powered by businesses and people continuing to move to South Florida (first sparked by Icahn Enterprises in 2020), luxury condo sales in Miami have shown unprecedented growth. There have been more sales in the first half of 2021 than in all of 2020 or 2019 (1229 sales versus 715 and 718 sales, respectively). Backed by exceptional momentum - to the tune of a record-breaking 754 sales in this last quarter - the luxury condo market has officially made it out of its long-standing buyer-friendly position. Miami's luxury condo market has now corrected to a seller's market, with inventory at 9 months, its lowest-ever in over 6 years of our reporting.With so much demand, and sellers regaining control, prices are also steadily increasing.  Looking at specific neighborhoods, Fisher Island holds as the most expensive...
MIA is Open! These Direct Flights to Miami You Can Book Now
Lifestyle MIA is Open! These Direct Flights to Miami You Can Book Now
Non-stop Flights to Miami: Direct Flights for Leisure, Entertainment, Business, Or Investment Opportunities Whether you live in Miami or are visiting, you can count on passing through Miami International Airport (MIA) at some point. Located near Downtown Miami, MIA is America’s third-busiest airport for international passengers. Miami International Airport also acts as a crucial link between the US, Latin America, South American and Europe. It particularly serves as an important gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, with more flights to the region than any other airport in the United States. Offering some of the best connectivity in the world, the Miami International Airport operates at least 75 non-stop flights to international cities and 61 direct flights to domestic destinations with more planned (statistics as of February 2021). There are over 100 airline carriers that fly in and out of MIA every day, making it the perfect hub for passengers and cargo alike. You can catch...
Five Park Condos: Pre-sales for South Beach’s Newest and Tallest Tower
Real Estate News Five Park Condos: Pre-sales for South Beach’s Newest and Tallest Tower
Envisioned to stand as an iconic beacon at the entrance to South Beach, sales are now underway for the Five Park condo residences. Previously known as Canopy Park or the Park on Fifth, the 519-foot tower is an ambitious project by developers David Martin (Terra Group) and Russell Galbut (GFO Investments) set to give Miami Beach its tallest tower yet.  The 48-story cylindrical tower designed by Arquitectonica will house 98 luxury residences anchored by a dog-friendly 3-acre public park complete with native shade trees, art displays, a Monstrum playground, and more. Tasteful retail and an artistic bridge over 5th Street - connecting the community to a baywalk, the marina, and South Pointe Park in South of Fifth - are other highlights at this iconic development. The entire development will be optimized for sustainability with resourceful water management and heat load management. Five Park - The Tallest Building in Miami Beach Towering 519 feet above the gateway to Miami Beach,...
District 225: Related Group’s Latest Miami Condo Project Will Allow Airbnb, Short-Term Rentals
Real Estate News District 225: Related Group’s Latest Miami Condo Project Will Allow Airbnb, Short-Term Rentals
In a nod to current market demand for luxury condo projects that double up as smart investments, the Related Group launched sales last month for District 225 – a turnkey, Airbnb-ready condo project. The 37-story condo tower will feature 347 condo residences built to live and host freely, allowing short-term rentals. The announcement comes shortly after the success of other pre-construction condo projects in Miami such as Legacy Hotel & Residences and E11even Hotel and Residences that are completely sold out before breaking ground. While these projects do allow short-term rentals via their hotel component or building’s rental management services, Related’s District 225 stands out for coming with a built-in partnership with Airbnb. What it means is that owners will be able to rent seamlessly on the world’s most popular home-sharing websites, gaining maximum exposure and control over their investment and over how often they would like to rent out. Airbnb’s Influence on Downtown...
Miami’s New and Pre-Construction Condo Update: June 2021
Preconstruction Miami’s New and Pre-Construction Condo Update: June 2021
Miami is in another strong real estate cycle and with the surge in demand we’ve seen in the first half of the year, condo developers are getting more and more projects off the ground or completed, with new announcements, sales launches, and adding second or third phases to their ongoing developments. To note, Downtown Miami’s E11even Hotel and Residences are already 100% sold out, even before shovels could hit the ground, and a second tower could be in development. Four new condo development projects were announced: Melo Group’s Aria Reserve, Related Group’s District 225, Aria Development’s 501 First Residences, and Russell Galbut plus David Martin’s Five Park – and all launched sales this June. And, foundation work is in full swing at Miami Beach’s Five Park and Brickell’s Baccarat Residences. Downtown Miami’s Natiivo has had its first cranes installed. And many other developments are taking place around town. Read on for details on these and more project updates in our Miami...