Travel Guide: Surfside Beach Miami

Girl playing on Surfside Beach

Little girl playing on Surfside Beach

Jacober Creative for Visit Surfside
Grand Beach Hotel

Grand Beach Hotel Surfside

surfside walking path

Surfside Walking Path

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By: Shayne Benowitz

Surfside is known as Miami’s Uptown Beach Town. Nestled between Miami Beach’s North Beach neighborhood and Bal Harbour, it has a decidedly small-town, retro appeal. Harding Avenue’s compact commercial district is lined with old-timey facades and an oceanfront community center. Although the community center, which features pools and fitness classes, is open for residents only, residents can bring a guest for a fee. It’s a family-friendly destination full of unexpected quirks and charms. It’s also home to one of the most lavish resorts in Miami, Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club. Whether you’ve come to try old-fashioned ice cream at a yogurt café or nosh on corned beef at an unconventional Jewish delicatessen (or both!), there’s plenty to discover on Surfside’s stretch of beach.

Surfside beach
Spend the day on the pristine sand of Surfside beach

The Beach Experience

A day on the sands of Surfside often feels like being on a private beach. From sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean to sunset behind the skyline, this pristine stretch of beach attracts families and anyone looking for a tranquil day under the sun. With the beach to the east and lush sand dunes to the west, you can use the paths for an oceanfront stroll, run or bike ride. It’s a great way to enjoy the peaceful sounds and views of nature coupled with a great fitness experience. You’ll find joggers on the elevated dune path and paddle-boarders and kite surfers zipping across the waves. Pack a picnic and beach blanket, or if you’re staying at one of Surfside’s oceanfront hotels, opt to simply recline on a cushy lounge chair for an idyllic day at the beach.

The Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club was once a playground for Hollywood stars

The Resorts

Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club

When Four Seasons Hotel opened at the historic Surf Club in 2017, it was a game changer for this charming seaside town. Once a playground for the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Winston Churchill in the 1930s, the Surf Club has been re-envisioned by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier with a glitteringly modern expansion. It’s all finished in a palette of creamy limestone and marble with mossy green upholstered chairs, brass accents and the original dark wood vaulted ceiling. Guest rooms are equally dreamy, with unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean through glass balconies that always beckon for a beach day.

The Grand Beach Hotel in Surfside offers beautiful oceanfront views

Grand Beach Hotel

Grand Beach Hotel Surfside is set inside a modern oceanfront glass structure with calming whitewashed interiors and oversized suites. The 12th-story Sky Bar is an ideal spot to take in the sunset with a cocktail in hand, and the ground floor restaurant takes its cues from international cuisine. Suites range from one- to three-bedroom floor plans, many of which come with two bathrooms and two TVs, making it an ideal destination for a family beach vacation. Best of all, the oceanfront swimming pools lead to a sublime area for lounging on the beach.

The Residence Inn offers a daily American breakfast buffet

Residence Inn

For extended stays, family vacations and affordable yet stylish Surfside escapes, the Residence Inn Surfside is a fantastic hotel. Designed in a palette of aquamarine, slate and crisp white, each suite is equipped with a kitchenette. While there’s no restaurant at this limited service concept, a complimentary hot American breakfast buffet is served daily and there’s a 24/7 market onsite, as well as a complimentary grocery shopping service to stock your kitchen. Resort-like amenities include a rooftop pool with cabanas. Although the hotel is located one block from the beach, the Residence Inn provides a dedicated beach club for lounge chairs and umbrellas on the sand.

The Community

Third Thursdays & First Fridays

The tight-knit community of Surfside knows how to throw a party, and all are welcome. From January to March, come out for the Third Thursday Block Party or join the fun at the First Friday Beach Picnics during the summer. They’re a great way to explore the town and mingle with locals and visitors alike.

The Surfside Community Center provides a full day of fun for families

Surfside Community Center

An added perk to a hotel stay in Surfside is that you gain complimentary access to the beloved oceanfront Surfside Community Center, which includes swimming pools, a waterslide, locker rooms, wellness classes and a walk-up café counter. It’s one of the town’s points of pride that they’re happy to share it with visitors.

The Surfside Turtle Walk takes you through the historic district

Turtle Walk

To draw awareness of sea turtle nesting season (May through October) in Surfside and the surrounding beaches, the eco-conscious town has installed 13 colorful turtle sculptures by local artists as a public art display. Take a self-guided walking tour through the historic district, or just keep your eyes peeled when you’re out and about.

The Food

Café Ragazzi

After a day at the beach, Surfside locals flock to Café Ragazzi on Harding Avenue for hearty bowls of pasta, a convivial atmosphere and the comforting Italian trattoria environment. You’ll find classic dishes like spaghetti Bolognese, fettucine alfredo and linguine with clams, as well as chicken parmigiana and veal piccata. It’s a real crowd pleaser from start to finish—especially if you opt for the creamy tiramisu for dessert.

Josh's Deli offers traditional and inventive dishes

Josh’s Deli

For a modern twist on the traditional Jewish delicatessen, grab a seat at the counter at Josh’s Deli. The hearty menu highlights in-house cured, roasted and smoked meats like the classic corned beef sandwich on rye with a pickle. You’ll find traditional dishes like matzo ball soup and latkes with apples and sour cream alongside more inventive options like the lobster “jewchacho” for breakfast, made with over-easy eggs, avocado and cheese in a mole sauce. The menu is playful and constantly changing.

Old-fashioned Serendipity Ice Cream Parlor offers flavors made from scratch


For a sweet post-beach treat, duck into Serendipity Creamery & Yogurt Café in the heart of Surfside on Harding Avenue for made-from-scratch, small-batch ice cream and sorbet with mouthwatering flavors like cookie dough, pistachio, pecan pie and salted caramel. It has a true small-town, old-fashioned ice cream parlor vibe with a friendly staff happy to share samples of their delicious ice cream.

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