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Miami radiates an eclectic brand of southern hemisphere hipness and is known as a magnet for club kids. But abundant sunshine and a growing active community have attracted a new crop of hyperfit young professionals who aren’t here to party but to play.
Styling by Stefan Wiklund.
Not long ago, the Wynwood Art District, where many of these photos were shot, was little more than a collection of run-down warehouses. But in 2009, developer Tony Goldman recruited 30 artists from around the world to paint graffiti-inspired murals on every wall. Cafes like Zak the Baker and Panther Coffee soon followed, along with studios and bike shops. “Miami is constantly changing, and always in very artistic ways,” says Rojas, 33, who works as a graphic designer and paddleboards, plays soccer, and free-dives in his spare time.
In the past few years, Miami’s active community has gone from the fringes to the forefront. Each neighborhood now has its own running club, mountain-bike parks have been constructed, and 4,000 riders participate in critical mass every month in an effort to rally political support for cyclists' rights. “I came for the lifestyle,” says Levens, 26, who arrived from Ohio in 2014 and works for a youth soccer-apparel company. “I ride my bike every day, I’ve learned to wakeboard, and I’ve gotten pretty good at beach volleyball. you don’t get that in southwest Ohio.”
Chorney, 40, moved to Miami in 2005 to sell luxury condominiums at South Beach’s W hotel, but he’s taught fitness-boot-camp classes on the side for 14 years. He’s also a regular at the city’s outdoor playgrounds—mountain-biking at Oleta Park, paddleboarding at Sunset Harbor, and inventing dynamic workouts on the hills of South Pointe. These days he’s hardly alone.“Since I’ve lived here, it’s become a real destination for fitness-minded people,” he says.
The weather, the weather, the weather—that’s every local’s first answer to why they love Miami. It’s the reason Florida-born Richardson, 26, has never lived outside the state. “I race Ironman competitively, which means I’m training at least four hours a day,” says Richardson, who also works as a deckhand on a yacht. “That’s a lot easier when it’s warm all year long.”
In a place that feels like a vacation spot, it can help to balance your traditional job with a fun one. Henderson, 35, divides his work hours between being a pharmacy tech, a personal trainer, and a kayak fisherman, his real passion. he’s so good that he’s now sponsored by a handful of outfitters. “It’s one of the great things about living here,” says the native Floridian, who has “305,” Miami’s area code, tattooed on his calf. “I can fish every day. Even on Christmas.”
Miami’s cuban roots run deep, as evidenced by the pastel houses and profusion of restaurants serving cheap and delicious ropavieja (shredded beef). The city also emanates an overwhelming sense of hopefulness, which is why Pietrantonio, 31, came here from Boston three years ago. “Miami is the kind of place where you can do anything—artistically, athletically, culturally,” says Pietrantonio, who owns a home-care company for senior citizens. “I ride a scooter and wear colored shirts. If I did that in Boston, people would look at me like I’m crazy.”