A Complete Guide to South Florida’s Best Beaches

A Complete Guide to South Florida’s Best Beaches

  • Jacqueline Marks
  • 08/27/22

Miami has some world-renowned beaches that people travel miles, across state lines, and even from different countries to enjoy. If you’re lucky enough to live in the area or are considering relocating to the area, then you likely want the full rundown on the best beaches nearby.  No matter if you’re looking for a secluded, quiet destination or you want a bustling tourist beach, Miami has it all. It’s full of stunning beaches to cater to all sorts of tastes and preferences.

Keep in mind that a lot of Miami’s beaches have trained lifeguards on duty to help ensure the safety of guests. It’s not uncommon for the waters off the coast of Miami to become dangerous with strong tides and undercurrents, so pay attention to the lifeguards as they may have a flag up to warn visitors of dangerous conditions in the water.

Public parking spaces stretch along the shoreline, and there are endless helpful amenities and conveniences like restrooms, showers, picnic areas, convenience shops, and even on-site grills to make your beach day more enjoyable.

12 best Miami beaches

Lummus Park Beach

Lummus Park Beach is the perfect beach destination on the eastern side of Ocean Drive. It has volleyball, areas for sunbathing, and grassy spaces with palm trees for shade. The beach is sandwiched between 14th and 15th streets, and it’s the prime location if you’re looking to find some postcard-worthy Miami Beach views. Enjoy the sugar-fine beaches and the glistening Atlantic Ocean as long as you like.

Lummus Beach is a popular spot for photoshoots and even filming, so keep an eye out for models, celebrities, and other prominent characters in the area. Rest assured that there are lifeguards along the beach to help make the waters safer for visitors.

There are many dining and shopping options nearby, so if you get tired of lounging on the beachside, there are plenty of other things to do. Walk along the boardwalk and enjoy a relaxing day under the sun.

Crandon Park

Located on Key Biscayne, this is one of the best parks in Miami. Crandon Park is famous for its crystal clear waters that are shallow and easy to explore. In fact, Crandon Park boasts some of the clearest waters in the whole area, thanks to a ban on floatation devices and the convenient offshore sandbar.

It’s ideal for families with small children who want a stress-free beach day where they don’t have to worry about strong tides or waves. This park has a boardwalk offering a lovely, winding stroll as well as a nature center and family amusement center to keep the kids entertained.

The beach is by far the main attraction. You can jump in a volleyball game, host a picnic using the on-site grills, and even rent a cabana at the south end of Crandon Park Beach to enjoy a full day out on the beach. The showers and parking spots make your experience easier and more enjoyable.

Haulover Beach

This is one of the most scenic beaches in the entire city of Miami, featuring stunning landscaped dunes, picnic areas, glittering waters, soft sands, and lifeguards to keep visitors safe.

Keep in mind that Haulover Beach is one of the state's only “clothing optional” beaches, so while the landscapes are beautiful and the waters are irresistible, it may not be the best fit for all types of visitors. It’s considered one of the best nude beaches worldwide due to its lovely sand and glistening waters.

Surfers enjoy this area, especially when the currents are strong, since it provides some of the best conditions for surfing in the area. It’s also a popular spot for food truck festivals, local vendors, and live music.

South Beach

This is easily one of Miami’s most popular beaches. South Beach is a great place to go if you’re hoping to spot some celebrities or if you just want to be part of the exciting Miami crowds, join the nightlife, and have a day of crazy fun. The beach is very trendy, attracting both locals and travelers from all over. You want to check out the Art Deco District and dine in some of the most famed restaurants in the entire state.

South Beach is always bustling with life and excitement. You’ll never be short of things to do, new foods to try, shopping, or sunshine and stunning waters.

South Pointe Park Pier

The beach here is part of a 17-acre park that offers a fun playground, picnic areas, and a fishing pier that features washing stations. South Pointe Park Pier is a great way to get some distance from the buzz of downtown Miami.

There are outdoor showers, a few delicious restaurants, and stunning views of Fisher Island and Biscayne Bay. When it’s the season for it, you can get a bag of tasty crab claws to enjoy on the beach.


If you want something that has more of a small town beach vibe, then Surfside is a great community to visit. With only 6,000 residents, this oceanfront neighborhood is quaint and beautiful.

The area attracts tourists and locals, so there is plenty of entertainment whether you’re visiting or if this beach is close to home. The Surfside Community Center has one of the best water parks in the city, but you can also check out the charming beaches, restaurants, and shops to complete your beachside experience.

Fort Lauderdale Beach

When you’re looking for a beach that also provides opportunities for cycling, jogging, or skating, then you want to check out Fort Lauderdale Beach. This is a beautiful sandy strip with stunning coconut palms and bright blue ocean views, and it also has a promenade that’s perfect for some cycling or running.

While it used to be a college town, now there are many luxury properties along the coastline, and the area has transformed into a trending destination near Miami. This beach tends to have fewer crowds than the beaches closer to downtown Miami so anyone looking for a slightly quieter afternoon at the ocean would likely prefer this strip of stunning coastline.

Sunny Isles Beach

This lovely beach is located just beyond Haulover Beach Park, north of Miami Beach. It has two miles of upscale hotels and a lovely public beach.

Sunny Isles Beach has trendy souvenir shops, world-renowned restaurants, bustling nightclubs, exciting theaters, and plenty of other beachside things to do. There are many nearby attractions if you want a break from the beach, such as tennis courts, museums, and shopping malls. You’ll never be out of things to do.

Hobie Island Beach Park North

This is a popular beach for water sports like windsurfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. There are water sport gear rentals nearby in case you don’t have your own equipment. It’s also a dog-friendly beach, so you can bring along all your furry friends and not worry about dangerous waters since it’s primarily shallow and pet-friendly. Enjoy the beautiful view of Downtown Miami’s skyline.

Homestead Bayfront Park and Marina

If you’re hoping to avoid the typical tourist scene, you may enjoy Homestead Bayfront Park. It’s located north of the Florida Keys and has plenty of opportunities for water sports like boating and swimming. Enjoy palm-shaded beaches, snack bars, and sunny skies on some quieter beaches. This is a great beachside destination thanks to the full-service marina and tropical setting.

Mid Beach

Between 21st Street and 45th Street is a beautiful stretch of sand and ocean that’s a short walk from some of Miami’s most luxurious hotels, restaurants, and beach clubs. Mid Beach has a lot of options when it comes to food, snack shacks, drinks, and beachside views. This area tends to be a little bit quieter than South Beach, but it’s still a popular spot and worth checking out for some fun summer experiences.

Virginia Key Beach

Located off the Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key Beach is a lovely stretch of surf that’s great for lazy sunbathing and gentle swimming. This is a barrier island with a park that’s full of wetlands, picnic pavilions, and a charming historic bathhouse. It’s a popular spot for both tourists and locals. Virginia Key Beach is a popular area for parents with young children, thanks to the welcoming playgrounds.

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