South Beach in Miami

Miami, Florida’s South Beach is an international tourist destination with hundreds of nightclubs, oceanfront hotels, chic boutiques, and fabulous restaurants featuring celebrity chefs.

South Beach, or SoBe, is a neighborhood in Miami Beach, located between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. South Beach provides an extraordinary beach experience filled with luminous sunsets, glittery nightclubs, glamorous cruises and iconic Art Deco buildings.

Take a book, cooler and blanket and sprawl out on one of Miami’s premier turquoise-lined shores. Enjoy the sea mist on your face as you gaze into a gorgeous ocean sunset in the tropical paradise that is South Beach. You can also hobnob with the rich and famous at luxurious hotels and spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and kick back with a mojito at a beachside café.

Pro Tip: If you are driving, the Venetian Causeway and the MacArthur Causeway are scenic routes connecting to the mainland and offer stunning ocean vistas and incredible views of the area's stately waterfront homes.

Miami Beach is a nine-mile-long barrier island connected to mainland Miami by a series of causeways. Along the Atlantic Ocean, the beachfront area is divided into three neighborhoods, with South Beach (from South Pointe Park to 23rd Street) being the most notable. The sandy strand of South Beach is famous for its pastel Art Deco architecture.

  • South Pointe Park & Beach: Set at the southernmost tip of South Beach, South Pointe Park is the perfect green space with walking paths, playgrounds and a children’s splash park. The Pointe has an impressive pier with breathtaking 360-degree views of Fisher Island, Port Miami and the incredible Miami skyline. Grab your board and hit the jetty for an awesome ride if surfing’s your thing.

Pro Tip: If you plan to splurge, make a reservation at Smith & Wollensky’s Steakhouse to enjoy gorgeous waterfront views.

  • The Art Deco District & Ocean Drive: Exploring this historic Art Deco District will be worth your while. This is classic South Beach at its finest! Ocean Drive is the highlight of any South Beach trip, with its prominent Art Deco buildings, hotels, museums, and outdoor cafes. Take a guided architectural walking tour that starts at the Art Deco Welcome Center at Ocean Drive and 10th Street.

Photo Alert: Post your story strolling along this colorful Art Deco strip, synonymous with the celebrated neighborhood of South Beach.

  • Beaches North of Lincoln Road: Beyond waterfront activities, another popular tourist destination is Lincoln Road, a mile-long stretch of name-brand stores and unique boutiques, alongside outstanding restaurants, pubs, and street entertainers. The further north you go, you’ll find art galleries, shopping centers and more museums. Check out renowned hotels like the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton South Beach and the iconic Delano, an elegant beach hotel that showcases a swimming pool with underwater music and private cabanas. There’s also the captivating Espanola Way, with its Mediterranean Revival architecture reminiscent of French and Spanish villas, and Washington Avenue, where art history buffs can spend the afternoon at the Wolfsonian FIU museum.

Pro Tip: Boucher Brothers is a beach vendor that supplies visitors with kayaks, beach chairs, equipment rentals, and parasail boat tours. Boucher has kiosks located along South Beach.

South Beach Night Life

You can’t think of South Beach without imagining the Miami nightclub scene. South Beach has options, whether you want to party like a rockstar, hit a swanky cocktail lounge, or hang at a local dive bar.

Pro Tip: Get on the guestlist and be on time or you may be waiting a while. 10 pm to 11 pm is prime Miami time to entrer, as the French say.

LIV: LIV is one of South Beach’s most popular dance clubs. This multi-level hang-out with crystal chandeliers hosts A-list celebrities like Kanye West, JLo, and a Kardashian or two. This is the place to party like its 1999.

Do Not Sit on the Furniture: This boutique nightclub puts dancing first besides its great name. The nightclub specializes in house music and features guest DJs from around the world.

BASEMENT at the Miami Beach EDITION is a modern-day disco reminiscent of Studio 54. In addition to the dance floor, Basement Miami has a bowling alley and ice skating rink.

Bleu Bar: This iconic playground to the stars might have donned a few celebs back in the day. South Beach's glamourous rat-pack era mainstay, located in the 5-star Fountainbleau Hotel, is a great low-key place for fab cocktails, some say the best in Miami!

Where to Eat in South Beach

  • Habitat: For Mexican cuisine like no other, try this local sensation with fresh farm-to-table dishes. Habitat offers light options and classic Mexican food using natural organic ingredients.
  • Azabu Miami Beach: This Michelin starred Japanese restaurant is the tops. Inside the Marriott Stanton Hotel in the SOFI neighborhood, Azabu's distinctive venue features sushi crafted fresh-from-Japan fish.
  • Bar Collins: Located in the lobby of Loews Miami Beach Hotel, this swanky bustling bar and restaurant offers Miami-inspired cuisine with fresh, local ingredients. Collins also features a stone oven for pizzas, specialty cocktails, and craft beers.

Art & Culture of South Beach

  • Hello Gorgeous: Discover the essence of Barbara Streisand at Florida’s eclectic Jewish Museum of Florida that celebrates the life of the iconic songstress, actress, director and producer. The museum features photos, videos, costumes, album covers and other entertainment exhibits that exemplify Streisand’s fantastic career.
  • The Art Deco Museum: Inside the Art Deco Welcome Center, this museum offers an insight into Miami Beach culture, history and architectural heritage. Visitors can learn about the three major historical design styles: Mediterranean Revival, Art Deco, and Miami Modern (MiMo).

South Beach Recreation & Activities

  • Flamingo Park: This is the place for sports fanatics with 17 tennis courts, a baseball stadium, handball, racquetball, basketball courts, football and soccer fields, a running track, playgrounds, numerous walking trails and a dog park. Flamingo Park also has a state-of-the-art aquatic center with two pools and an eight-lap swimming pool and splash pad for the little ones.

Photo Alert: Take a picture of an Art Deco-inspired lifeguard stand. These brightly colored chairs are in stark contrast to the aquamarine sea.

  • Lummus Park and South Pointe Park both provide green space for outdoor recreation, and Lummus has an amazing outdoor gym.

Pro Tip: Rent a bike for a sunrise or sunset ride along the waterfront.

close up of Erin smiling on a sunny day

Written By Erin

Erin Poche` is a Utah-based writer and editor for Tripster and contributing writer for BeyondType1. She also writes and edits for an indie publisher of fanta ...

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