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By: Shayne Benowitz

It’s hard to think of Miami without the iconic stretch of sand that is South Beach. From its legendary shoreline, to pulsing Art Deco hotels, aquamarine water and beautiful people soaking up the scene, South Beach is a highly sought-after destination. A barrier island connected to mainland Miami by a series of causeways, Miami Beach is truly a subtropical paradise. The legendary South Beach area technically runs from the southern tip of the island to 26th Street. This territory is divided into three distinct sections. Read on for your guide to enjoying all of it!

South Beach
South Beach

Plan Your Beach Day

South Beach is arguably Miami’s most famous beach. Lined with colorful Art Deco-inspired lifeguard stands, it cuts a striking picture against the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re not staying at a South Beach hotel with beach service, Boucher Brothers is your vendor for beach activities, including renting beach chairs and umbrellas, Jet Ski, kayak and standup paddleboard rentals, and banana boat excursions and parasail boat tours. Their kiosks are conveniently located in various spots along South Beach.

Smith & Wollensky
Smith & Wollensky

South Pointe Park & Beach

Situated at the southern tip of South Beach, South Pointe Park is a beautifully landscaped greenspace with panoramic views of South Beach’s shoreline, as well as Fisher Island and PortMiami across the channel and Downtown Miami across Biscayne Bay. The park itself features paved walking trails, a playground and splash park for the little ones and a snack bar. Be sure to take a stroll down the scenic South Pointe Pier to truly soak in those views. On the sand, you’ll experience a subdued beach atmosphere with local families enjoying an afternoon in the sun. If conditions are right, this is also the stretch of beach where you’ll spy surfers along the jetty.

The upscale Smith & Wollensky steakhouse also holds a position of pride within the park with waterfront seating and a popular al fresco bar. The area is also home to Monty’s Raw Bar for a casual tiki bar atmosphere, Nikki Beach for daytime parties on the sand, and classic dining establishments like Joe’s Stone Crab and Prime 112 steakhouse.

Lummus Park
Lummus Park

Ocean Drive & Lummus Park Beach

At Fifth Street, the beach meets iconic Ocean Drive where historic Art Deco hotels and Lummus Park run through 15th Street. This is the heart of the famous South Beach of the movies where you’ll spy fit rollerbladers zooming down beachside pathways, muscular men and women working out on beachfront equipment, and teams playing on the beach volleyball courts. If you’re looking for a beach scene where you can mingle with other vacation goers, this is the beach for you.

Ocean Drive is lined with cafes and bars blaring live music with an overall party atmosphere. Some classic spots include Mango’s for an all-night salsa-fueled party, the Clevelander for a high-energy outdoor pool bar that’s a good time night and day, and News Café for breakfast, lunch or dinner paired with the ocean breeze, once favored by Versace.

Time Out Market
Time Out Market

Beaches North of Lincoln Road

As you continue to travel north along the beach, the hotels get more lavish as they mix with a more residential side of South Beach. The pedestrian Lincoln Road Mall runs perpendicular to the beach and Collins Avenue just north of 16th Street. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, including the recently opened Time Out Market and Lincoln Eatery food halls, perfect for a casual post-beach lunch that will satisfy everyone’s cravings.

Some of the dazzling hotels along this stretch of beach include the iconic Delano, trendy SLS South Beach and eco-chic 1 Hotel. This is another popular nightlife corridor with many splashy lobby bars and glitzy clubs nestled inside of these hotels, like the Regent Cocktail Club at Gale South Beach, Wall at W South Beach and Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill at The Plymouth.

Read More:

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