Beaches have long been a magnet to the city, for a lot of travelers, the beach is what Miami is all about. It's always a great time to get out there and enjoy some of that gorgeous year-round sunshine, crystal clear waters and wide assortment of water sports and recreation options.
There are several beaches lining miles of coastline along the city and the small islands or "keys" that surround it.
Each one is different in its own way, there is "family-friendly" Crandon Park Beach, "ritzy and trendy" South Beach, and "clothing optional" Haulover Beach, for example.
Beaches are free for all to enjoy, although there might be a parking fee at some of them.
Facilities also vary but most include showers, restrooms and lifeguards. Many offer other amenities such as picnic tables, barbeque grills and children play areas.
Here are some of Miami's best beaches and what they have to offer.
Miami Beaches Map
Miami Beach - From South Pointe to North Shore...
At the heart of it all and the most well-known beach is of course Miami Beach, which is not "one beach" but rather a seven-mile strip of sun-drenched sandy seashore with several beaches and parks, a stretch lined with a mix of boutique art deco hotels, sprawling resorts, restaurants, shops, sports and recreation areas.
South Pointe Park
At the southernmost tip of Miami Beach is South Pointe Park. Gentle breezes, fabulous beach, and killer views of Fisher Island and the Miami skyline. It is a great spot to watch the massive cruise liners sail by as they leave or enter port.
Plenty of amenities: watersports and rentals, biking, rollerblading, volleyball, fishing, kid playground, beach chair and umbrella rentals, snack bar. This is also where we find the only Off-Leash Dog Park in Miami Beach.
Here's more on South Pointe Park, getting there and facilities.
Lummus Park at South Beach
When visitors mention "Miami Beach" what really pops into their minds is trendy South Beach: chic Art Deco, sizzling nightlife, glamorous fashion, beautiful people...
This is one of the most energetic and highly charged beaches, all the action takes place between 5th and 15th Streets, the section referred to as Lummus Park and running alongside Ocean Drive.
Also renowned for its iconic candy colored lifeguard towers, this is where you come for a day in the sun and more...
Here's more on Lummus Park at South Beach
Ocean Drive, South Beach's celebrated strip
Where to stay in South Beach: Art Deco, Waterfront, Boutique, Party Hotels...
South Beach Highlights: Art Deco District, Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road Mall...
South Beach's Iconic Lifeguard Towers
Miami Beach - Mid-Beach
The area north of South Beach, Miami Beach "central" or Mid-Beach, is the area running from 23rd to 46th Street, home of Miami's iconic properties, the Fountainbleau and Eden Roc, and a fantastic elevated boardwalk for jogging or walking while enjoying some awesome views.
Extending along the oceanfront on A1A, this main corridor is dotted with majestic beach front resorts, smaller properties catering to the boutique crowd, celebrated restaurants, swanky clubs, a world-class art scene, shops, spas, golf courses, marinas... and of course the miles of sparkling beaches lining the shore. The atmosphere here is subtler and refined but still with a very lively vibe and with plenty of entertainment around.
Here's more on Mid-Beach
Where to stay in Mid-Beach
North Beach and North Shore Open Space Park
Then there is North Beach, which spans from 46th to 78th Streets, a much quieter, less crowded and hectic area. As a general rule, the further up you go, the less crowded and touristy it gets.
And just next door but a world away, the very last stop in Miami Beach, North Shore Open Space Park aka North Beach Oceanside Park between 78th and 87th Streets, with no high-rises around it is literally a breath of fresh air. A very mellow beach, with plenty of greenery and walking trails and more of a family atmosphere where locals come to spend the weekend.
Here's more on North Shore Open Space Park
North Beach and Where to Stay
The North Beaches
Beyond Miami Beach, the stretches of white sand and turquoise waters continue all along the barrier islands that hug the Miami coastline leading up to Broward county and the Ft. Lauderdale beaches. Here are some of the favorites:
Surfside is a small and charming beachfront community sandwiched in between trendy Miami Beach and posh Bal Harbour and extending from 87th Street to 96th Street.
With a mile-long pristine beach, a pedestrian-friendly "downtown" area with plenty of neighborhood shops and cafes, lovely community and family-friendly vibe, the town of Surfside makes for a very delightful stay for those seeking a quieter location while still within easy access to the hustle and bustle of South Beach. This is one of our favorite beaches for a "Staycation"
Here's more on Surfside and best places to stay
Bal Harbour Beach
Upscale Bal Harbour is a top address in Miami and mostly known for the ritzy Bal Harbour Shops, with names like Chanel, Versace, Jimmy Choo, Tiffany and so on, this is Miami's premier mecca for luxury shopping. Luxurious shopping aside, Bal Harbour counts with a beautiful mile-long white sand beach with a very exclusive feel to it, lined with luxury resorts and condos. Bal Harbour attracts its share of celebrities.
Although a public beach, there are no public facilities or lifeguards.
Here's more on Bal Harbour Beach
Haulover Beach is a mile-and-half stretch of pristine white sand beaches, cool ocean breezes and sparkling crystal clear waters, and yes, with the unique distinction of being Miami's only clothing optional beach.
Haulover has lifeguards on duty and plenty of amenities: concessions with restrooms and showers, picnic tables, benches, beach chair and umbrella rentals, marinas, electric bike rentals, a kite shop and Food Trucks on Tuesdays!
In addition, this is one of very few beaches where dogs are allowed on the beach off leash, on designated areas and times.
Sunny Isles Beach
A two-and-a-half mile stretch of white sandy beaches, Sunny Isles is a magnet for the sun-seeker souls looking for a more quiet retreat than South Beach. The area has gone through a major transformation where quaint waterfront motels have given way to luxury high-rises.
In fact, the entire city of Sunny Isles has seen a transformation with the new arrivals offering world class facilities, golf courses, spa and fitness studios, fine dining and marinas. That has also led the way to new international restaurants, bars and boutiques which have opened their doors on Collins Avenue, the main stretch.
One of Sunny Isles' landmark is the Newport Fishing Pier, at the south end of the beach.
The atmosphere here is more low-key which also attracts plenty of families.
Here's more on Sunny Isles Beach
Where to stay in Sunny Isles Beach
Oleta River State Park
The beach at Oleta is not really the main attraction. The show-stealers are the many other activities for the outdoor enthusiast that are available at the park.
There are miles of off-road bike trails, lots of mangrove creeks to explore
by kayak or canoe and even cabins for camping.
Here's more on Oleta River State Park
Beach at Oleta
Key Biscayne Beaches
Hobie Beach is located off the Rickenbacker Causeway which is the bridge that brings you to Key Biscayne.
Hobie Beach also known as Windsurfer Beach and Doggie Beach, it is a favorite of, well, windsurfers and dog lovers of course.
Not your typical wide white sand beach, the attraction is in the watersports offering: water bikes, kayaks, SUP paddleboards, windsurfers, hobie cats, catamarans, and killer views of the Miami skyline.
Crandon Park Beach
The beaches, all three miles of them, are wide, shallow, with gentle waves, which makes them a little paradise for kids.
The beaches are very low key and don't feel as crowded as say, South Beach, but still offer a lot of outdoor fun for the active families.
Besides the sun and surf, there's kayaking, paddle boarding, kite surfing, biking and even a nature reserve. So bring along a picnic and enjoy!
Here's more on Crandon Park Beach
Bill Baggs State Park
Bill Baggs State Park at the end of Key Biscayne is a wonderful place to retreat from the city.
Bill Baggs has been voted one of the Top Ten Beaches in America. With the Cape Florida Lighthouse towering over it, this is a very enjoyable and shallow beach with a gentle surf due to the offshore reefs that protect it.
It slops very gradually and with almost no waves, it makes entry and exit very easy, nice for the little ones as well as grandma and grandpa.
Bill Baggs is a great place to come and enjoy for a whole day, there is plenty to keep you busy, between the great beaches, the fishing jetty, the marina, the restaurants and the many nature trails to traverse either by foot or on a bicycle.
Here's more on Bill Baggs State Park
The Beach at Bill Baggs
About the Cape Florida Lighthouse
A Day At The Beach... Top Picks For...
Jetski Rental, ParasailingSouth Beach
Wind Surfing, Catamaran rentalHobie Beach
Canoe/Kayak Rental, Paddle BoardOleta River State Park
Dog Friendly BeachHobie Beach
South Pointe (Park only)
Nude and Clothing OptionalHaulover Beach
Gay FriendlyLummus Park Beach at 12th Street
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