Sunny Isles Beach
A truly international melting pot and a beach paradise, Sunny Isles Beach is also home to lifelong resident Justin. Son of a hotelier, Justin is a one-time cabana boy (bet he’s got some stories) and is now supervising the local lifeguards. If you don’t spot him patrolling the beach, chances are he’s spearfishing for his dinner, kayaking nearby Oleta River State Park, or exploring organic fusion cuisine at his favorite hangout – Basil Park.
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Right in the middle of Miami on Biscayne Bay’s Oleta River, a hidden natural playground awaits. Partially shaded by palm and seagrape trees, Oleta River State Park is a treasure trove for outdoor enthusiasts. It features saltwater fishing, swimming from a sandy beach, picnic tables and grills, wildlife-filled mangrove forests, camping, 17 varied miles of off- and on-road bike trails, as well as canoes, kayaks, picnic pavilions and air-conditioned cabins, all available to rent. A true urban park, it is a nature-filled contrast to the hustle and bustle of Miami.
Sunny Isles Beach Pier Park
If you make your way to the intersection of Sunny Isles Beach Boulevard and Collins Avenue, you’ll have exceptional access to the beach via Sunny Isles Beach Pier Park. Featuring the newly renovated 776-foot-long Newport Fishing Pier (the county’s only public fishing pier), the park offers beach access with lifeguard, showers, restrooms, and plenty of shade, food, and drink at the Beach Bar.
Named after an Italian plain west of Genoa, Basil Park focuses on healthy, nutrient-rich cuisine. The menu features rotisserie pasture-raised natural chicken, grass-fed meats a la plancha (pan- or griddle-fried), sustainable seafood, and organic, locally-grown produce. Offering natural juices, smoothies, an all-day menu, even desserts and wines – the menu is devoted to the superior nutrition of plant-based cuisine.
If boating and water are your thing, Haulover Beach Park’s newly renovated full-service Bill Bird Marina is your headquarters. Surrounded by a golf course, and perfectly positioned between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Haulover Marina is only minutes away from spectacular fishing. Home to South Florida’s largest charter/drift fishing fleet, it offers laundry facilities, wet slips, vending, ice, showers, restrooms, fuel dock, pump-out station, bait and tackle, launch ramps, a restaurant, and rentals of bikes, jet-skis, boats, and even kites.