Miami Beach Guide
Miami Beach is a 56km-long stretch of white sand stretching north from South Pointe Park Beach to John U. Lloyd Beach Park, just south of Fort Lauderdale. Although lined with hotels and condos for much of its length, the beach is easily accessed.
From South Pointe Park, a wooden beachside boardwalk merges into a wide, palm-fringed paved promenade at Lummus Park (5th Street); this continues north along South Miami Beach to 21st Street before again narrowing into a wooden boardwalk leading to Indian Beach Park at 46th Street – just perfect for jogging, biking and rollerblading.
The beach is divided into several sections, each with its own character, for families, sunbathing glitterati and gay beachgoers (around the 12th Street stretch). Less-crowded areas to the north include Surfside Beach (between 88th and 96th streets), fashionable Bal Harbour (96th Street) and the wide Sunny Isles Beach (from 157th to 193rd streets). To the south lie the islands of Virginia Key and Key Biscayne.
South Pointe Park Beach
This less-crowded white-sand beach is ideal for watching the huge cruise ships depart and enter the Port of Miami. Facilities include deck chairs and umbrellas for hire, toilets, showers, changing facilities, picnic tables and lifeguards. A wooden boardwalk leads to South Beach. South Point Park Beach flanks the inlet to the south of Miami Beach, with access from Washington Avenue and Inlet Boulevard.
South Miami Beach
Commonly known as SoBe, South Beach is located at the southern tip of Miami Beach, flanking Ocean Drive from 5th Street to 23rd Street.
The 3km-long, 50m-wide, white-sand beach is edged by a palm-fringed promenade and Lummus Park (between 5th and 15th streets) and is lined with restored Art Deco buildings, shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, nightclubs and boutique hotels. Read more about South Miami Beach . . .
Lummus Park Beach
Also known as Glitter Beach, this is the best beach to soak up a tan and do a spot of people watching. The wide white-sand beach is separated from Ocean Drive by palm-fringed Lummus Park. It is common here to see sun-worshippers and supermodels sunbathing topless to avoid tan lines while pop stars shoot music videos.
Facilities include toilets, showers, changing facilities and lifeguards. Beachside concession stands offer food and drink, while a choice of restaurants and bars are just a short stroll away on Ocean Drive. The extreme ends of the beach are popular with locals and families. Lummus Park Beach runs from 5th to 15th streets along South Beach.
Unwind on the clean white sand of this wide beach flanking Collins Avenue from 46th Street to 78th Street. Sunbathe on the beach or relax in the palm-shaded grassy area fringing the beach, with an old-fashioned bandstand at the northern end.
Facilities include toilets, showers, changing facilities and lifeguards. Beachside concession stands offer food and drink, with a choice of restaurants and bars just a short stroll away on Collins Avenue.
85th Street Beach
Escape the crowds on this white-sand beach – one of the few stretches without condos or hotels overlooking sunbathers. Facilities include toilets, showers and lifeguards.
Relax on this less-crowded white-sand beach, with food concessions at the beachside Community Centre. Facilities include deck chairs and umbrellas for hire, showers, toilets, picnic tables, volleyball and lifeguards. Surfside Beach is located on Collins Avenue between 88th Street and 96th Street.
Bal Harbour Beach
Unwind on the white sands of this 1.6km-long beach flanked by a palm-fringed jogging path. Sunbathe on the clean sand, swim in the turquoise waters or bring a line and fish from the jetty at the northern end of the beach. There are no lifeguards or showers here and you’ll need to take your own food and drink. Bal Harbour Beach is located on Collins Avenue, from 96th Street to Haulover Inlet.
Avoid tan lines at this clothing-optional beach, which also receives Miami's biggest swells, making it popular with surfers. Facilities include changing rooms, showers, toilets, barbecue grills, lifeguards, tennis, volleyball courts and a nine-hole golf course. Haulover Beach is located just north of Bal Harbour, around 13km north of Miami Beach.
Sunny Isles Beach
Unwind on the less-crowded white sands of this 3km-long beach, with food concessions and a landmark fishing pier at the southern end. Facilities include deck chairs and umbrellas for hire, showers, toilets, picnic tables, volleyball and lifeguards. Sunny Isles Beach is located on Collins Avenue between 157th Street and 193rd Street.
Crandon Park Beach (Key Biscayne)
Pick your own spot to sunbathe on the soft white sand of this 4.5km-long beach that sits between a grassy palm-fringed park and the shallow turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. To the south, the beach merges with the sands surrounding Bill Baggs Cape State Park.
Expect lots of music from competing stereos on this very popular family beach. Facilities include toilets, showers, changing facilities, lifeguards, barbecue grills, picnic tables, 200ha of parkland, soccer, volleyball and softball fields, a tennis centre and a public 18-hole championship golf course. Water sports include kayaking and snorkelling. Crandon Park Beach is 14km south of Miami Beach.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach (Key Biscayne)
Escape the crowds at this 2km-long white-sand beach that fringes the state park. Unwind on the beach, go swimming, snorkelling and kayaking.
Visit the historic lighthouse that was built in 1825 then stroll nature trails through native bushland and forest. Facilities include bicycles, beach chairs and umbrellas for hire, as well as toilets, changing rooms, showers, picnic tables and food concession kiosks. The beach is located at the southern tip of Key Biscayne.
Hobie Beach (Key Biscayne)
Although not technically a beach, this inlet is Miami’s best spot for windsurfing, with (generally) predictable winds. Facilities include windsurfers for hire, toilets and showers, as well as food concession stands. There are also hiking and biking trails.
Hobie Beach is located on the north side of the Rickenbacker Causeway leading to Key Biscayne, around 5km from South Beach.