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By: Jenny Agress

If you’re planning a trip to Miami Beach, it goes without saying that you’re going to spend some time on its world-renowned white-sand beaches. But with these stretches of sand spanning more than eight miles of our Atlantic coastline, it’s good to have some local insight on where to go.

Locals think of Miami Beach as four distinct areas: South Pointe Beach, South Beach, Mid Beach and North Beach. Check out our guide to find the right spot for you – and everything you need to know once you get there.

South Pointe Park
Enjoy walking paths, playgrounds, dining & more at South Pointe

South Pointe Beach

Location: From the southern tip of Miami Beach to 5th Street

Vibe: South Pointe Beach is a relaxed, family-friendly beach that’s a popular place for locals to swim. You can’t miss the “Obstinate Lighthouse” sculpture by artist Tobias Rehberger – it’s 55 feet tall.

Unique to South Pointe Beach:

  • South Pointe Beach is part of South Pointe Park, a 17-acre waterfront park that occupies the southernmost tip of Miami Beach.
  • There is a water playground and a jungle gym for kids, a bark park for dogs and a 20-foot-wide promenade that is popular among walkers, runners and cyclists.
  • The 450-foot South Pointe Pier, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, is a favorite for anglers. It has bait and wash stations and recycling bins for fishing lines.
  • Join visitors and locals on the pier enjoying panoramic views of South Beach, Fisher Island, PortMiami, Downtown Miami and cruise ships sailing out to the Atlantic Ocean.

Food/Drink: Within South Pointe Park, you’ll find South Pointe Café, a casual storefront with coffee, juices, ice cream and other snacks, as well as Smith & Wollensky, a fine-dining steakhouse known for its incredible sunset views, delicious steaks and fresh seafood. Joe’s Take Away (the casual arm of the famous Joe’s Stone Crab) is nearby.

Parking: There are two public parking lots, P1 and P3, right on Washington Avenue that intersect with 2nd Street and Commerce Street, respectively. Parking rates in these lots are $2/hour. Plenty of street parking is available nearby for $4/hour. Parking rates are enforced from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.

South Pointe Lifeguard Tower
Don't miss South Beach's colorful lifeguard towers

South Beach

Location: Between 5th and 23rd streets

Vibe: South Beach is where all the action happens, so guests can expect lots of visitors and a festive atmosphere.

Unique to South Beach:

  • 12th Street Beach, a popular gay beach, is located at 12th Street on the beach.
  • Look for Boucher Brothers, which has an array of waverunners, parasailing rides, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, boogie boards, kayaks and banana boat rides available for rent.
  • Dotting the sand from South Pointe Beach to 86th Street, there are 36 colorful lifeguard towers, designed by architect William Lane, that embody Miami Beach’s Art Deco architecture, Caribbean culture and tropical surroundings. Many are concentrated here in South Beach.
  • The iconic Ocean Drive, which runs from 1st to 15th streets, is bordered by Lummus Park and the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Art Deco hotels, restaurants and condos on the other.
  • The Art Deco Historic District, which has the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the United States, became the first urban historic district added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Food/Drink: South Beach is full of cafes, bars and restaurants. Some fan favorites that are just steps from the sand are Sweet Beach and Las Olas Cafe.

Parking: There are 27 public parking lots and nine public parking garages in the South Beach area. Parking rates in these lots are $2/hour. Plenty of street parking is available nearby for $4/hour. Parking rates from Ocean Drive to Pennsylvania Avenue and from 5th to 15th streets, including Washington Avenue, are enforced 24 hours/7 days a week. Outside of those boundaries, parking rates are enforced from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Pool at Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Discover Mid Beach's relaxing beaches & luxury hotels

Mid Beach

Location: Between 23rd and 63rd streets

Vibe: Mid Beach has a sophisticated feel, likely because it’s attached to many of Miami Beach’s luxury hotels. Here, beachgoers will find popular but chill beaches. It’s all about family and friend groups enjoying a nice day on the sand.

Unique to Mid Beach:

Food/Drink: Mid Beach has cafes, bars and restaurants within walking distance of the beach, most of which are in the area’s hotels and resorts. Check out 27 Restaurant & Bar, La Côte and Cecconi's Miami Beach.

Parking: There are 12 public parking lots, one public parking garage and plenty of street parking in the Mid Beach area. The area’s many hotels and resorts also offer valet parking, though that’s typically much more expensive.

Parking rates in East Middle Beach (from 23rd to 44th streets and from Collins Avenue to Indian Creek) are $3/hour for street parking and $2/hour for public parking lots. These parking rates are enforced from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Parking rates in West Middle Beach (from 23rd to 63rd streets, excluding areas that are part of East Middle Beach) are $1/hour for both public parking lots and street parking. The exception to this is lot P71, located at the intersection of Collins Avenue and 46th Street, which has a flat rate of $20 for 24 hours. These parking rates are enforced from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

North Shore Oceanside Park
Explore North Beach Oceanside Park's trails, dog-friendly beach & playgrounds

North Beach

Location: From 63rd Street to 87th Terrace

Vibe: The beaches here are fun and relaxing, with a local, small-town feel. North Beach is primarily residential, so these beaches have fewer tourists, soft sand and sidewalk cafes where you can grab a casual bite to eat after your day in the sun.

Parking: There are six public parking lots, P58 to P63, which are available for $1/hour. Street parking is also available for $1/hour. Parking rates are enforced from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Food/Drink: North Beach has a range of cafes, bars and restaurants within walking distance of the beach. Check out Taquiza for amazing tacos.

Unique to North Beach:

  • North Beach has the largest concentration of Miami Modern (MiMo) buildings, which earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
  • The Miami Beach Bandshell is an open-air amphitheater that regularly hosts international and local musicians and festivals, including the annual GroundUP Music Festival.
  • North Beach Oceanside Park is home to Bark Beach, a dog-friendly beach with a dog run, a playground and picnic and BBQ areas.
  • North Beach is home to Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, which boasts a 70,000-square-foot spa.


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