If you’re thinking about moving to Miami, you’re probably dreaming of days spent on the beach and enjoying the thriving food scene. When you start thinking about the specifics of which neighborhood to call home, though, you might start to feel a bit overwhelmed by your options.
One tempting possibility for new residents is the neighborhood of Westchester, Miami. With great food, good schools, and a lot to see and do, this Miami suburb is also a safe and comfortable community.
Westchester is home to a little under 30,000 residents and thrives on its prominent Hispanic culture. In fact, this suburb has the highest percentage of Cuban residents in the entire U.S. Here you’ll find a number of parks, Florida International University, and lots of delicious local fare.
Are you wondering what to see and do while you’re visiting Westchester, Miami? Let’s take a deep dive to ensure you see the best of this vibrant community.
Must-See Places to Visit in Westchester, Miami
Is it time to start building your itinerary for your visit to Westchester? Here are some of the top spots you won’t want to miss when you’re in town.
Looking for a family-friendly night out while you’re visiting Westchester? Consider going old school and heading over to Bird Bowl, a classic bowling alley with an arcade, bar, cafe, and billiards room.
Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum
The Frost Art Museum is located on the campus of Florida International University. With more than 6,000 objects in their permanent collection and rotating exhibitions, this is a place where you can see beautiful and thought-provoking art from the U.S., Latin America, and around the world.
Westchester Tropical Park
If you’re a nature lover or a fitness junkie that’s considering moving to Westchester, you’ll definitely want to visit Tropical Park. With four separate lakes where you can go boating and fishing as well as miles of paved biking and hiking paths, you can enjoy the great outdoors without leaving the neighborhood.
Home to a dog park, running track, equestrian center, boxing ring, tennis courts, soccer fields, and so much more, this might become your favorite spot in Westchester. If you visit on Saturday, you’ll even get to check out the local farmer’s market held here.
Stoker AstroScience Center
One perk of living in Westchester is the Stoker AstroScience Center located at FIU. Every clear Saturday night, this venue is open to the public from sunset to 11 pm to help you and your family explore the universe beyond our humble planet.
Florida International University (FIU)
If you’re thinking about moving to Westchester or buying a home here, take some time to visit the campus of Florida International University. Whether you want to watch a football game, check out a play, or head over to the AstroScience Center for a Star Party, there’s always something going on at FIU.
This beautiful park is located right behind Banyan Elementary School. Open from sunrise to sunset, this is a nice place to take a relaxing stroll.
The Best Places to Eat in Westchester, Miami
You’ll find an expansive array of Latin cuisine in Westchester due to the over 80% Hispanic population here. On top of that, you’ll also find incredible spots for pizza, Chinese food, delicious desserts, and much more.
You won’t want to leave Westchester without checking out this mom-and-pop pizza joint. Open since 1955, Frankie’s offers fresh, handmade pizzas on dough that’s made from scratch.
It’s worth noting, though, that this place is pretty tiny. You might consider eating out back for a picnic-style meal or taking it to go.
This Cuban restaurant nearly had to close its doors after 46 years due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, news of Rio Cristal’s imminent close had fans of their famous steaks piled high with french fries flocking from as far away as Georgia. The show of support led the late owner’s daughter to decide to keep providing affordable, delicious Cuban fare to the people of Miami.
The dim sum at Tropical Chinese will leave you nodding your head in agreement when people tell you that this joint is the best Chinese food in south Florida. Don’t miss it while you’re in town.
If you’re visiting Westchester on the weekend, you’ll want to make time in your schedule to check out the live entertainment at Pueblito Viejo. While you’re there, you’ll get to enjoy authentic Colombian food, a full-service bar, and one of the most creatively decorated dining rooms you’ve ever seen.
Mojo Donuts & Fried Chicken
Known for their friendly staff, delicious coffee, and inventive menu, Mojo Donuts & Fried Chicken is a dangerously good boutique snack shop. One glance at their menu and you’ll realize this isn’t your old neighborhood donut shop!
Midnight Cookies and Cream
Looking for some dessert before you call it a night? Consider stopping by Midnight Cookies and Cream, where you can find specialty gourmet cookies and inventive ice cream creations.
Places to Grab a Drink (Or Two)
Are you a bit of a craft beer aficionado? Or are you more interested in the nightlife scene? Either way, Westchester has you covered.
Grails Sports Bar
Whether you’re stopping by for happy hour or a late-night cocktail, Grails has a vibe that will leave you thinking about having just one more. A word of warning, though: if you’re coming for an event, you’ll want to make a reservation ahead of time.
Unseen Creatures Brewing and Blending
If sports bars aren’t your thing, Unseen Creatures might be more up your alley. Using locally foraged yeast and bacteria, fruit, and other locally sourced ingredients, the beers here taste like Miami.
Where to Stay While You’re in Town
No matter your budget, you can find pleasant and comfortable accommodations in Westchester. Here are three different options that offer a variety of amenities.
Hilton Miami Dadeland
This 3-star hotel is conveniently located right off highway 94. While you’re here, be sure to spend some time relaxing by the pool when you’re taking a break from exploring Westchester.
Days Inn By Wyndham Miami International Airport
If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable option without sacrificing quality, consider staying at the Days Inn by Wyndham Miami International Airport. Located nine miles from downtown Miami, this hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the airport.
Courtyard by Marriott Miami at Dolphin Mall
Backed by a lake and located on the grounds of the upscale Dolphin Mall, you can enjoy the outdoor pool, exercise room, and breakfast restaurant at this modern hotel.
Nearby Neighborhoods You’ll Want to Check Out
While you’re in town, there are a number of neighboring communities that are worth checking out. Each neighborhood has its own unique vibe and culture, meaning that there’s a good chance you’ll find a place you’re excited to call home.
This family-friendly is located on the west side of Miami. This neighborhood can be divided into smaller communities, including:
- The Crossings
- Country Walk
- The Hammocks
- Three Lakes
With a number of highly-rated public schools, the second-largest campus of Miami-Dade College, and a full-service hospital, this can be a great spot for families to settle. Whether you’re looking for a suburban home with a nice backyard or a high- or mid-rise condo, you can find it in Kendall.
This Miami suburb has more than 60,000 residents. Considered by many to be a good place for families, you’ll find decent schools, lots of places to eat, and a diverse cultural atmosphere here.
With nearly 27,000 residents, University Park is home to all of the colleges and schools of Florida International University. With good public schools and lots of coffee shops and restaurants, you can find many young professionals and retirees calling University Park home.
West Miami is actually technically a small city. Located between Coral Way and Tamiami Trail, there are more than 6,000 residents in this three-quarters of a square mile neighborhood. With the fourth-highest percentage of Cuban residents in the country, West Miami is a great place to enjoy a delicious mojito or some peccadillo.
Is It Time For You to Move to Westchester, Miami?
Whether you’re moving to Westchester, Miami, or another nearby neighborhood, there’s a lot to enjoy about living in Miami. From the incredible weather and gorgeous beaches to the thriving nightlife and the diverse culture, you’re going to love it here.
Are you looking for some more in-depth articles about visiting cities around the U.S.? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!