Miami’s best beaches


By Danny Baggott

Photography by Getty.

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Updated January 2019

Miami’s beaches may all boast powder-soft sand and a gently lapping aquamarine ocean, but the similarities end there. So whether you’re after a party hotspot or a family-friendly oasis, there’s a stretch of coastline with your name on it, says Danny Baggott.

Miami Beach

Best for: exercise enthusiasts

Miami Beach’s central stretch of shoreline has a long, elevated boardwalk, which runs from 5th Street to 46th Street - and it’s a Miami must-do. Not only does it offer fabulous views of the rolling Atlantic on one side and the opulent hotels and condos on the other, but it’s the go-to spot for those wishing to jog, skate, bike or simply stroll (plus there are workout stations if you’re really looking to exert yourself). Thanks to the ocean breeze and plenty of beach shacks selling cool drinks, you won’t get too hot either. If you’re more into exercising your credit card, hit the open-air boutiques on nearby Lincoln Road.

  • Sunny Isles beach lies between the flowing Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.

    Here comes the sun

    As its moniker might suggest, there’s plenty of opportunity to get your vitamin D fix at Sunny Isles. Known as Florida’s Riviera, expect three kilometres of pristine white sands, a laid-back vibe and lavish resorts for the ultimate cocktail and hammock combo.

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  • The rainbow-hued Art Deco houses in Miami are as photogenic as they are famous © Getty.

    Did you know…?

    Art deco architecture - which originated in Paris in the 1920s - is a modern take on the neoclassical style and is marked by its bright colours. In Miami Beach's Historic District, there are some 800 art deco buildings and structures.

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  • Sunrise on Miami South Beach. © Songquan Deng / Alamy Stock Photo.

    In good sands

    Whether you’re staying in one of the luxury properties along the beachfront or flexing your credit card at nearby Las Olas Boulevard, make sure you leave ample time for people-watching on the promenade - it’s a magnet for runners, in-line skaters, walkers and cyclists.

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South Beach

Best for: the glam squad

When you think of the quintessential Miami Beach resort checklist - pastel-coloured buildings, swaying palm trees, white sand - South Beach has it all. SoBe is also the place for fun – by day, bag a hammock at the effortlessly cool Nikki Beach, order a cocktail and settle back for some serious people watching. By night, the neon-hued resort is a haven for those looking to let their hair down. From world-famous dance clubs (check out LIV at Fontainebleau Miami Beach), to cocktail lounges and dive bars, you’ll be partying from dusk till dawn.

With its candy-coloured buildings and funky lifeguard stations, it’s an Instagrammer’s dream

Sunny Isles Beach

Best for: Zen seekers

Until a few years ago, Sunny Isles Beach was lined with quaint waterfront motels. While these have since been replaced by luxury high-rises and hotels, the vibe along this two-mile stretch remains peaceful and a lot calmer than some of the neighbouring beaches. As well as the requisite flawless sand and warm waters, the charming Newport Fishing Pier is a great spot for an al fresco drink. But if you only do one thing, set your alarm clock and join a free early morning yoga session. What could be better than soaking up the sunrise while doing your downward dog?

  • The verdant Lummus Park in South Beach offers shady respite from the Californian sun © Getty.

    Lights, camera, action

    Feel like you’ve been to Lummus Park before? The 74-acre public park near Ocean Drive has been the backdrop for many a television and film scene, most notably the popular TV drama series Miami Vice.

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Lummus Park

Best for: movie lovers

The palm-fringed Lummus Park - with its candy-coloured buildings and funky lifeguard stations - is an Instagrammer’s dream, while the 74-acre meticulously kept public park, situated on the doorstep of South Beach near Ocean Drive, it’s the perfect spot for a shady picnic. But the biggest pull of all is its movie and TV credentials, which include being the backdrop for a number of scenes in hit American show Miami Vice. Take time out from your sunbathing schedule to stroll around the nearby Historic District, for enchanting views of the whimsical art deco architecture.

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Bal Harbour

Best for: those with kids in tow

Bal Harbour is a tranquil enclave along the Atlantic Ocean, boasting one of the cleanest, most peaceful beaches in Miami. The warm, turquoise ocean is ideal for swimming and families will want to unfurl their beach towels on the powder-soft stretch of shoreline. There’s a pretty path that runs along the length of the beach and a seawall jetty at the northern end, which is the perfect spot for watching the pelicans and the fishing boats bobbing on the sea. If you can drag yourself out of bed, the sunrise here is worth the wake-up call.

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Where to stay

Sóle Miami – A Noble House Resort

Located in the relaxing area of Sunny Isles, this lavish four-star boutique hotel is a beach break haven. Savour views of the glistening Atlantic Ocean at the Private Beach Club – or kick back and top up the tan by the pool. In the evening, relish oceanfront dining at the BALEENkitchen and be sure to book a table under the stars for dinner during your stay.

Book a stay at Sóle Miami – A Noble House Resort

The Palms Hotel and Spa

Looking to book an epic stay on Miami Beach? This swanky four-star retreat offers beautiful architecture and unique style. Relish its tropical pool surrounded by palm trees and direct access to a powder-soft sand beach, as well as Sunset Yoga on Thursdays. Keep an eye out for Happy Hour in the Essensia Lounge – the cocktails are delicious.

Book a stay at The Palms Hotel and Spa

The Plymouth Hotel

Just a short stroll from South Beach, this four-star Art Deco inspired retreat provides good vibes and a great time. If you prefer, you can hop in the hotel’s golf cart which will drop you directly to the Plymouth’s Exclusive beach. With its stylish suites, poolside bar and massage services – this place makes for a winning time. Top tip: Sushi lovers must-try the Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill for mouth-watering dishes.

Book a stay at The Plymouth Hotel

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