Miami Beach proper is a 7-mile stretch of beaches, and rather than being "one beach" it has several distinct areas, including trendy South Beach, classic Miami Beach "Central" and quieter North Miami Beach.
Extending along the oceanfront on A1A, this main corridor is jam-packed with hotels, ranging from small boutique art deco hotels to large resorts complete with golf courses, marinas and spas, a myriad of shops, restaurants, clubs and sports outlets, all catering to the crowds looking for sun and fun.
Miami Beach "Central" or "Mid-Beach" is the stretch running from 21st to 46th Street along Collins Avenue.
This is classic Miami Beach, home of some of the city's iconic properties, the Fountainbleau and Eden Roc. Through the years, Miami Beach keeps coming back and reinventing itself, from the early days of being just a snowbird paradise to emerging art center and architectural trendsetter.
But one thing is a constant. The allure of white sand beaches and turquoise waters continues to beckon visitors from all over the world.
The beach itself has a more mellow vibe than the next-door cousin South Beach, with all the conveniences and ammenities for a great day out.
Miami Beach has lifeguards on duty, and you will also see here the chic lifeguard towers in their bright and varied shapes and forms, that have become a beloved symbol of the city.
Concessions with restrooms and showers are located nearby the many beach access points...
And throughout Mid-beach you will see facilities with plenty of chair and umbrella rentals as well as a great variety of watersports. Whether you are in the mood for parasailing, jetskiing or stand-up boarding.
The rental facilities you can spot all along the beach specially around the major hotels and resorts, they are normally marked with colorful flags and you will see equipment lined up nearby, i.e. jetskis, standup boards, etc.
And one of the faves features of Miami Beach, is its elevated boardwalk, which runs along the shore and connects via a series of promenades and paved paths to South Beach and on to South Pointe Park at the very southern tip of the island.
So go for a stroll, or if you need to burn some more calories, for a jog, and enjoy some amazing views of the sandy shore, the sparkling waters, and all the action along with it.
The Miami Beach Boardwalk which is at the moment a pedestrian-only path, is undergoing some major work to convert it to a wider paver walkway for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Getting there is easy, take I-95 North or South to I-195 and follow all the way to Miami Beach. I-195 drops you at around 41st Street.
If you are visiting for the day there is street parking and there are also many convenient city parking lots along Collins Avenue, the major North-South thoroughfare.
Here are some of the Miami Beach Parking lots that are convenient to the sand and surf:
Parking rates are reasonable and start at $1 per hour.
Here's a map with Central Miami Beach Parking Lots convenient to the beaches:
As with all other beaches in and around Miami, visiting during the week is best, that way you avoid the weekend crowds.
Where?: Collins Avenue from 21st Street to 46th Street, between South Beach and North Miami Beach
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Parking: Street parking or city lots. See above. Challenging on weekends, arrive early!
Restrooms and Showers: Yes
Other ammenities: beach chair and umbrella rental, watersport rentals and a great raised boardwalk
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