You may have noticed that it's hot and humid in Miami during the summertime. In other parts of the country, people are talking about fall, but here in Miami, fall doesn't even begin to arrive until late October.
That means we have a lot more hot weather coming. We encourage you to embrace.
Just like many Miamians, you will learn to love summer for many reasons. For instance, many Miami residents love summer due to fewer tourists and less traffic. This means less time on the roads searching for a parking spot and more time in your favorite & less crowded restaurant.
We assume you already know that it's important to stay hydrated (tropical drinks don't count) and apply sunscreen frequently, especially if you are near the water. But those of us in the sub-tropics have discovered some tricks that enable us to beat the heat and keep cooler in summer, even enjoying our time outdoors.
These are our tips for new Miami residents on staying cool in the heat:
Seize the Moment
There are times of day when the weather is actually pleasant. It's warm with a light breeze. These moments are unpredictable but often occurs in the early morning & mid-evening. It will always happen right after a summer thunderstorm.
Stay Near the Water
No matter how hot it is, it's always cooler near the water. Summer is a good time to go to the beach, walk alongside the water, and visit nearby cafes to enjoy the breeze. We recommend going to Biscayne Bay for some good spots.
Miami-Dade County has county parks, swimming pools, and miles of public beaches. We find swimming in the ocean particularly magical around sundown. The star of Miami's swimming pools is the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, carved out of coral rock and fed by underground springs. The pool includes waterfalls, grottos, and two looking towers. Open since 1924, it's the only swimming pool in the United States on the National Register of Historic Places. Swimmers must be at least 3 years old, and the Venetian Pool is open from March through October.
Try Ice Skating
When the Florida heat becomes too much, hit the ice rinks. Yes, we have ice skating rinks in Miami. And no, you will never have to worry about falling through the ice into the lake. The Kendall Ice Arena and the Scott Rakow Youth Center in Miami Beach offer public skating sessions and lessons.
We're not suggesting you stroll down Lincoln Road in a string bikini (though people do), but shorts, sleeveless tops and sandals are Miami's summer uniform. Cotton and linen fabrics breathe and are more comfortable than polyester and other synthetic fabrics. However, we recommend bringing a sweater or jacket for times you enter a building that's too cold.
Fade into the Shade
Living in South Florida will give you a new appreciation for trees with shade. Walking down the shady side of the street is much more comfortable than staying in the sun. Seek out shady places to hang out, including parks and neighborhoods with tree-lined streets.
Ride on a Boat
One way to beat the heat is to find a boat. It's not only cooler near the water, it's much cooler on the water where the boat creates its own breeze. If you don't have a boat or friends with boats, you can join a tourist excursion from Bayside Marketplace or ride the water taxi between Miami and Miami Beach for fares starting at $15. Better yet, rent a kayak, canoe or a paddleboard and power your own ride.
What to do when it's hot outside? Stay inside. Summer is a great time to visit a museum, see a movie, or attend an arts event inside. Most importantly, it's a great time to enjoy culture & air conditioning. Most South Florida museums have free days. Some even have special family activities where you can bring the kids along. We also recommend attending indoor concerts at venues like the acoustic favorite Luna Star Café or the mega American Airlines Arena. If you like movies, matinees are usually cheaper than evening shows.
Look for Ceiling Fans
Any outdoor establishment with ceiling fans is cooler than a place without them. Keeping the air moving makes a big difference. In fact, if you don't already have ceiling fans throughout your house, we recommend that you install them, because you can keep cooler with less air conditioning. Adding ceiling fans to patios and screened porches also keeps them more pleasant even during summer's hottest days.
Go to a Dive-In Movie
Miami's Grapeland Water Park has a monthly "dive-in movie" from May through September, projected on an outdoor screen to patrons gathered in the big pool. Reduced admission begins at 5:30 p.m. so the kids can play in the water for a few hours before the film starts.