see more
  • Share
By: Shayne Benowitz

Life’s a beach year-round in Miami

From world-famous South Beach to hidden gem nature preserves in Key Biscayne and family-friendly swaths of sand in Surfside, it’s no secret that a major draw of a Miami vacation is its popular beaches.

Check out this guide to the best beaches in Miami to pick the perfect spot for you!

South Beach jetty
Experience South Beach's breathtaking beach.

South Beach

It’s hard to imagine Miami without visions of South Beach swirling in your head. This legendary stretch of beach runs from the southern tip of the island to 23rd Street. Turquoise-blue waves lap against white sand beaches, Art Deco hotels flank the coastline and the beach itself is a patchwork of lounge chairs and umbrellas.

The raucous heart of the beach runs from 5th to 15th streets along Ocean Drive, but you’ll find a more subdued residential atmosphere to the north and south of that bustle. Down at 1st Street, you'll spy surfers if conditions are right.

Surfside beach girl
Surfside, known as Miami's Uptown Beach Town, is perfect for a tranquil day in the sun.


Surfside is known as Miami’s Uptown Beach Town. Nestled between North Beach and Bal Harbour, it has a decidedly retro small-town appeal where a day on the sand can sometimes feel like you’re 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 in 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 fitness experience as well. 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 simply recline on a cushy lounge chair at your oceanfront resort for an idyllic day in Surfside.

North Beach Oceanside Park

With chilled-out beaches, historic Art Deco architecture and inviting green spaces, North Beach makes for a mellow, family-friendly beach destination. A beautiful oceanfront park with ample shade trees, North Beach Oceanside Park is an ideal spot to access the beach for a relaxing afternoon.

You’ll find shaded walking trails, a bike path, dog park and a playground for the little ones. There are also picnic pavilions with barbecue grills if you feel like packing a feast to share with friends and family. Best of all, the white sands and aquamarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean are right there for your enjoyment.

Haulover's Sandbar
Haulover's sandbar is popular with boaters and topless sunbathers.

Haulover Beach

Just north of Bal Harbour, Haulover Park Beach is home to the only nudist beach in Miami. While topless sunbathing is common throughout Miami Beach, this is where to go if you want to bare it all.

This tranquil white-sand strand attracts other visitors, too. It’s a prime spot for surfers when conditions are right, thanks to the current at Haulover Inlet, and the adjacent oceanfront park is a popular place for families to fly kites and have a picnic. (There are tables and outdoor grills.) There's also a marina full of fishing and diving charters facing the Intracoastal Waterway.

Aerial Sunny Isles Beach
Spend a relaxing day in Sunny Isles Beach.

Sunny Isles Beach

This clean and uncrowded two-mile stretch of sand at the northernmost reaches of Miami Beach is lined with towering residential condominiums. Sunny Isles Beach is ideal for families looking for a day at the beach without the hubbub.

Park at the lot at 174th Street and make your way to the beach through Samson Oceanfront Park – with a lifeguard tower and volleyball nets nearby, it’s a gorgeous stretch of beach. At 165th Street, Newport Fishing Pier juts more than 600 feet into the ocean, making it a nice place for a scenic stroll or a bite to eat.

Lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach
Visit the historic lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, at the tip of Key Biscayne, is a treasure. With rugged sand dunes leading to an uncrowded beach and unlimited ocean views, it's a piece of unspoiled and natural old Florida.

The water is typically tranquil here, thanks to a barrier reef located six miles offshore. You can visit the historic lighthouse built in the 1820s and follow nature trails that wind through the park. For refreshments, Boater’s Grill and the Lighthouse Café offer authentic Cuban fare in rustic settings. There are also shaded picnic pavilions if you bring your own food.

tiki at dawn key biscayne
Take in the stunning ocean and bay views at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.

Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

Historic Virginia Key Beach Park offers visitors a scenic beach with swaying palms and mangroves in beautiful Biscayne Bay - and a fascinating history that dates back to 1896 when it unoffically became a beach for African Americans in segregated Miami. Its status became official in 1945 as "Miami's Colored Only Beach," but today, this park on the National Register of Historic Places invites all to enjoy its sandy shores, coastal hammock trails and antique carousel. 

Crandon Park Beach

Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne is the place to be … active! Vendors offer lessons and rentals for kiteboarding, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking, plus there are trails across a mangrove boardwalk to a fossilized coral reef and naturalist-led tours provided by the Nature Center.

The beach itself is a two-mile-long sandy, tranquil stretch along the barrier island with a famous sandbar that constantly changes due to the wind and tides. Back on the beach, there are picnic tables, cabanas and volleyball nets, and within the park a marina, golf course and tennis center.

Matheson Hammock Park Beach
Matheson Hammock Park's man-made atoll beach is perfect for families.

Matheson Hammock Park Beach

The 630-acre Matheson Hammock Park, just south of Coral Gables, opened in 1930 as a gift to the county from conservationist William J. Matheson “to preserve the wild and natural beauty” of Miami. Wondering what a hammock is? In Miami, it refers to a unique ecosystem featuring a dense stand of broad-leafed trees set only a few inches above sea level and surrounded by tropical wetlands.

At the park, you can hike along trails through the hammock, rent kayaks and canoes at the shore and swim in the tranquil, protected waters of a man-made atoll pool surrounded by a sandy beach.

Things To Do Nearby

Choose a category

{{ctrl.swiper.activeIndex + 1}} / {{ctrl.totalItems}}