life and leisure in florida

Useful Information for New Residents

People relocate to Miami for many reasons: sunny skies, diverse culture, and interesting employment opportunities, to name a few. No matter what the reasoning behind the moves, everyone runs into the same logistical challenges. 

We hope these links & resources help you bypass the red tape and get your new life off to a smooth start.

Facts and History

Miami, located on Biscayne Bay in southeastern Florida, is the state's second-largest city (+400,000) and the center of a large metropolitan area (with nearly 5,500,000 inhabitants) that includes Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Named after a Native American word meaning "big water," Miami was founded in 1870 and quickly became (and still remains) one of America's top vacation spots. An influx of 250,000+ Cuban refugees in 1960 define the city a an bilingual melting pot.

Beginner's Guide to Getting Around Miami - Street System Explained



GIPA- German International Parents Association

GIPA is a non-profit parent organization for the German language programs at schools in Miami.

Household Recycling


Single family homes:


The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30. Although the past few seasons have been relatively quiet, we should guard against complacency through preparation. By planning ahead, you help ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe and secure. You’ll also save yourself time, money and worry.

Official Miami Dade Hurricane guide



Miami Events, things to do, dining, reviews, discounts etc.

Miami Events Portal:

Miami Visitors Bureau:

Tripadvisor - Hotels & more, reviews:

Yelp - Business reviews:

Open Table - Restaurant reservations:

Urban Spoon - Restaurant reviews:

Miami Beach IN Card - discounts:

MiMo - learn more about Miami's modernist architecture

Beach Rules and Info

US Holidays

Learn more about holidays celebrated in America, such as New Year's Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving etc.

Pet Owners - learn about the local Law

If you own a dog or cat in Miami-Dade County, you must comply with Miami-Dade County codes.

Pet Laws:

Dog Licenses:

Dog parks:

Property Taxes

Public School Student Registration

Parents should enroll school-age children as soon as they arrive. For initial entry into Miami-Dade County Public Schools, all students have the option of registering: (1) at a school on the basis of the actual residence of the parent or legal guardian in the attendance area of the school as approved by the Board, or (2) at a New Student Reception Center. A college-prep school in Davie, Florida integrating the arts with problem-based learning

Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Telephone: 305-995-1334

Telephone: 305-995-1000

Telephone: 305-995-1102

Public Transportation

Toll Roads - Sun Pass

The SunPass is an innovative Prepaid Toll Program in South Florida that can be used to pay on most Florida toll roads.

Utility Services

Refuse/sewer/water services

Water service is provided by the Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department. Homeowners, and possibly renters, need to establish a County utilities account for these services.

In South Florida, your electric power will be provided by Florida Power & Light. They provide an online system for opening or reopening your electric service account.Or apply for service by calling 305-442-8770/(TTY 800-432-6554)

To report a hazardous condition call 800-4OUTAGE (468-8243)

Vehicle Registration

New Florida residents must register their vehicles within 30 days after becoming a resident in Florida. You may title your vehicle in Florida and register for state license plates at a Miami-Dade County Auto Tag Agency.

Getting Your First Drivers License in Florida

If you have never been issued a drivers license in any state or country, the state of Florida requires that you complete a First Time Driver education course.

There are several Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Offices located throughout Miami-Dade County.

Telephone: 305-229-6333

Useful Android and iPhone Apps

Here are some great mobile apps that make it easy to text and call for free, find parking, get flight info or search for places in the city to dine, shop or catch a show and much more

Viber - Free local and international calls and Text messages to other Viber users

What's App Messenger - Free SMS and MMS to other what's app users

Parking Pay by Phone - at designated Miami street Parking locations

Tripadvisor - Hotels, travel & Holiday reviews

Open Table - Restaurant reservations & reviews on the go

Yelp - Business reviews by real people

City of Coral Gables Gov.

City of Miami Beach Gov.

Miami Map & Walk

Wynwood Tour Guide Itunes:

Lincoln road App

Miami & Beaches Visitors Bureau - things to do



MIA Miami International Airport



Miami Dade Transit tracker

Miami Dade Audio traffic alerts


Parking Panda - Find or reserve parking spots:

Government websites

Miami-Dade County!



Bal Harbour

Bay Harbor isIands

Biscayne Park

Coral Gables

Coconut Grove

Cutler Bay


El Portal

Florida City

Golden Beach


Hialeah Gardens


Indian Creek

Key Biscayne



Miami Beach

Miami Gardens

Miami Lakes

Miami Shores

Miami Springs

North Bay Village

North Miami

North Miami Beach

Opa Locka

Palmetto Bay


South Miami

Sunny Isles Beach


Virgina Gardens

Map Miami Dade County

GABC Trustees