Best Things to Do in Miami Beach: Shopping, Beaches, Hotels, Spas & More
With all of Miami Beach’s generous offerings, its beaches, stretching across the glistening Atlantic coast, are the undeniable stars of the show. Here are some beaches and parks you won't want to miss.
Nothing needs to get between you and the sunshine at famous Haulover Beach, one of the only clothing-optional and most all-accepting beaches in the United States. Images by Patrick Farrell for Visit Florida.
Beaches, Parks and Recreation
Rent some chairs and mingle with the singles at South Beach’s 12th Street Beach, sited close to Ocean Drive’s signature Art Deco district. This wide swath of sand is the most popular gay beach in Miami Beach, populated mostly by men, a few women, and curious tourists engaged in people watching. Just look for the rainbow flags posted at the lifeguard stations.
Nothing needs to get between you and the sunshine at famous Haulover Beach, one of the only clothing-optional and most all-accepting beaches in the United States. Renowned as one of the best nude beaches in the world, this 99-acre beach features multiple tennis courts, a golf course, and multiple hotels within walking distance.
Unleash the joy in your best friend at Pine Tree Park or Flamingo Bark Park, the largest two of six “bark parks” (dog parks) designated by the city. Flamingo Bark Park offers agility equipment, drinking fountains, lights, grass, and benches; Pine Tree Park offers drinking fountains and both grassy and mulched areas.
Breathe deep among the blooming exotic trees and Japanese-style landscaping, complete with a striking red bridge and stone lanterns, at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. You can participate in a yoga session or meditate in these gardens, a respite meant to encourage an appreciation of both nature and culture.
Stroll Lincoln Road Outdoor Antique and Collectable Market for hours on end, looking at the booths of vintage jewelry and clothes, Art Deco furniture, American pottery, quirky art, retro cameras -- the finds are endless. Image by Ginger Harris for Visit Florida
Home to celebrated shopping and dining destinations like Lincoln Road Mall, where you can nosh on local produce from the weekly Farmer’s Market, and shop at designer stores, Miami Beach delivers almost endless opportunities to search for and scoop up treasures.
Stop by the quirky gift shop (think finger puppets of world leaders and First Lady paper dolls) at The Wolfsonian-FIU, a seven-story museum that focuses on the power of design in the persuasiveness of art. For an in-depth experience, take one of their free guided tours to explore the intriguing permanent and temporary exhibits.
Browse through one-of-a-kind antique Miami memorabilia, including vintage clothes, designer furniture and must-have jewelry at the Lincoln Road Antique and Collectible Market, billed as ‘the largest Sunday social event in South Florida.’ The ongoing events lure enormous, eclectic crowds of Treasure Hunters from all over the world, making the crowd as fascinating as the merchandise.
Check out more area shopping options from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The Colony Hotel at Miami's Art Deco District. Image by Patrick Farrell for Visit Florida
Miami Beach Hotels and Spas
Miami Beach encompasses a stunning variety of restored Art Deco hotels, including The Plymouth, sited in historic Collins Park a mere block from the beach, a lush getaway that features private terraces and French clawfoot tubs; as well as distinctive, sophisticated places to stay like the Palihouse Miami Beach, Greystone Miami Beach and the Cardozo Hotel. Here are some offerings to tempt you.
Pay a visit to the SLS Hotel, the tallest art deco building in South Beach, restored and revamped from its 1939 glory into a towering, glittery palace with gorgeous bars and restaurants. You can spend a day at the resort, where old French luxury is met with a modern playful energy, and feast on anything from masterfully crafted sushi to local Latin cuisine. At night, visit Hyde Beach, its premier nightlife destination.
Splurge on an oceanfront view room at Eden Roc, a historical wonder that blends nostalgic glamour with plush modern comforts. Unwind at a cabana at one of their three sumptious pools, or enjoy resort activities like jet skiing and nature trails. You don’t even need to be a guest to slip into luxury at their world class spa, a serene playground offering massages, facials and other spoil-you-silly services.
If staying at a resort isn’t your style-- or budget --go out and make some new friends at the Bikini Hostel Cafe & Beer Garden. Centrally located at the core of South Beach, you can ditch the car keys and walk to the nightclubs, restaurants, and beautiful beaches. A pool, ping pong tables and large apartments are among its amenities.
If you need any form of restoration – from skincare to mindfulness – The Standard has the cure for what ails you, promising soothing Hamam baths, Finnish Saunas and group baths. Its spa services marry traditional treatments with holistic ones; choose from facials and massages to astrology and health coaching. The main pool, the heart of the outdoor hydrotherapy playground, boasts an arctic plunge pool and waterfall hot tub.
Here are more hotels from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Experience sunset at the quietly beautiful Holocaust Memorial. Photo Credit: Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Miscellaneous Things to Do in Miami Beach
The adventures are just getting started; Miami Beach serves up museums, tours, and even ice-skating. Here are some ideas.
Experience sunset at the quietly beautiful Holocaust Memorial. The memorial is a large arm, outstretched to the sky with over 100 smaller figures clinging to it and each other. In a city with one of the largest populations of Holocaust Survivors, since 1990 this memorial has served as a reminder of the suffering that occurred in Nazi concentration camps and hosts a number of community and educational events.
Go ice skating year-round at the Scott Rakow Youth Center, which welcomes children of all ages. Featuring a 12,885-square-foot rink and a pro shop that provides skates, pads, leg warmers and gloves, they’ve got everything you need for an afternoon of skating.
SOUTH OF FIFTH STREET & SOUTH POINTE PARK
To see how the other half lives, take a stroll through SoFi, the enclave South of Fifth Street and South Pointe Park, known for its hip, elite residents and multi-million-dollar penthouse suites. Eyeball the most vibrant Miami Beach houses and condos, or get a yummy taste of luxury at any number of high-end restaurants along the way. If you’re going to run into a celebrity in Miami Beach, it will probably happen here.
To soak up all the sights of Miami Beach, climb aboard a Miami Beach Duck Tour, with a specially designed tour vehicle that’s equally at home on the land and the water. Pick from multiple excursions that offer spectacular views of the local architecture, the homes of the rich and famous, and some history lessons on the city narrated by entertaining tour guides who all have backgrounds in comedy and performance. The tours are wheelchair-friendly, so everyone can join in and see the sights.
Check out more things to do from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.