Miami South Beach
Photography: Shutterstock/Mia2you

The best beaches in Miami to visit right now

Looking to have an amazing beach day in Miami? From South Pointe Park to Haulover, these are our top picks.

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Not all beaches are created equal. That becomes abundantly clear when you live near one of the world’s best and then try leaving. (Sorry, Rockaway. You’re cute but it’s just not the vibe.) In Miami, it’s actually hard to find a beach you won’t like. Still, we all have our favorites, and different occasions call for different beaches. Yes, we have that many.

Looking to chill in nature? Perhaps try a beach on Key Biscayne. Wanna strip down to your birthday suit? Haulover (the nude section) is your destination. Ready to party? We probably don’t have to tell you which beach is best for that. From sunbathing meccas to shady spots for picnicking, these are our picks for the best beaches in Miami.

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Best Miami beaches

1. Lummus Park Beach

Good for: If you don’t know where to start with Miami’s ample beach offerings, start here.

Why go? Lummus Park is your go-to for incredible views, clear water and a buzzy vibe, and your buddies will all be impressed you went there. That’s right, Lummus Park is famous. It’s been the backdrop for multiple movies and TV shows, and it’s got that distinctly ’90s nostalgia about it. 

2. Haulover Beach

Good for: Miles of perfect sand and surf make Haulover a great family beach.

Why go? It’s one of South Florida’s best places to fly a kite (which you can rent at Skyward Kites) and it boasts a state-of-the-art skate park and pump track. There’s also a bark park and designated dog beach between lifeguard stations #2 and #3.

But maybe what’s most notable about Haulover Beach is what you can’t see: clothing! Between lifeguard towers #12 and #16 you’ll find one of the most well-known nude beaches in the world. Rent a chair, grab some concessions and enjoy the show.

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3. South Pointe Park Pier

Good for: This beach sits at the very bottom of Miami Beach, and is great for families in particular.

Why go? There’s a picnic area, a playground, and plenty of spots for going crabbing, as well as the 450-foot-long pier itself. When you and the kids get a little hungry, check out the iconic Joe’s Take Away for the freshest seafood for your beach picnic. And be sure to stop by Nikki Beach next door for the softest day beds and possible celebrity sightings. 

Go on an Art Deco bike tour of Miami.

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  • Key Biscayne

Good for: Nature-lovers and active types.

Why go? A short drive over the Key Biscayne bridge feels like a world (and century) away from modern-day Miami. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is anchored by Miami-Dade’s oldest structure: the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse. Climb all 109 steps of this 1825 structure to get a panoramic view of Biscayne Bay and tour the lighthouse keeper’s cottage to revisit Florida’s past. Be sure to stick around for sunset at The Cleat, a chill beachside grill where you can enjoy a fresh catch with your toes in the sand.

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5. Mid-Beach (21st–45th Street)

Good for: You want the ocean, but you’re not trying to do Ocean.

Why go? Locals know to head to Mid-Beach between 21st to 45th streets. Here, you can take a romantic stroll down the Miami Beach boardwalk, a perfect place to people watch and peek into all the fancy resort and condo pool decks. You could also pop into any of the resorts for a bite, including the Miami Beach EDITION and the Faena Hotel.

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  • Key Biscayne

Good for: Crandon Park is a classy beach with postcard views of Key Biscayne. This is 100 percent a locals' park, a family favorite for sandy barbecues and reunions. But there is SO much to do here, especially for nature enthusiasts.

Why go? Enjoy kid-friendly, hands-on learning at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, explore the ecosystem with a light hike through Bear Cut Preserve or walk the ruins of the abandoned Crandon Park Zoo. You could rent kiteboards or paddleboards in Crandon Park North, or circle around the skatepark or carousel at Crandon Park South. But, if vegging out all day is more your speed, Crandon has umbrella, chair and oceanside cabana rentals as well as two delicious beachside restaurants where you can get a plate of paella delivered to you on the sand.

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7. North Beach (63rd–87th Street)

Good for: It’s all chill times and good vibes in North Beach, another one of Miami's locally loved stretches of sand with so much to offer. To walk around the area is to glimpse the beach in its sleepier days, with plenty of small art deco buildings, mom-and-pop restaurants and small touristy shops.

Why go? North Beach Oceanside Park is the star of the show here with its expansive green space, dog beach and laid-back feel, though the best time to come out is during full moons for its legendary full moon party at 80th Street and Collins Avenue. Ocean Terrace Beach on 74th is also a nice little section, with a beachfront Taquiza and the Miami Beach Bandshell nearby, as is Allison Park with its turtle sculptures and play area.

8. Mid-Beach (46th–63rd Street)

Good for: The beach between 46th and 63rd Street is pleasant, not too crowded and very family-oriented.

Why go? Sure, there’s a soulless backdrop of bland condos, with a few hotels from Miami Beach’s golden era in between, but if you’re coming to this side of the beach, you’re not really coming to see and be seen. Most people will stick around Indian Key Beach where there’s a public lot and playground, though there are other kids' play areas and parking around 53rd Street.

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9. Surfside

Good for: Small-town vibes. Everyone knows each other in this sleepy residential enclave that’s less than a mile long. 

Why go? Summer Fridays are a real thing here, as residents gather on the sand to listen to music, feast and participate in kid-friendly activities on the first Friday of every month from June through August.

10. Bal Harbour

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11. Sunny Isles Beach

Good for: Dubbed Little Moscow for its large concentration of Russian expats, this is where you go when you’re craving calm but feeling luxurious.

Why go? Architectural kitsch and older tourists once defined Sunny Isles, but the past two decades have brought a luxury beachside condo boom to this two-mile-long town.  There are plenty of fine dining establishments and a few worthy resorts, though you could also keep it low-key by strolling down the classic Newport Fishing Pier or taking the kiddos to Samson Oceanfront Park.

12. Hollywood Beach

Good for: This is the beach to take your rum-loving uncle. He’ll love this pretty beach and boardwalk, catering to an older crowd.

Why go? Sandwiched between Broward and Miami, Hollywood Beach has always been famous for its wide, walkable broadwalk. More recently, it’s known as the home of Jimmy Buffett’s humongous Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. Stop by for a few rum runners after the beach or—better yet—grab the best burger in town over at the famous Le Tub Saloon.

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  • Miami

Good for: This peaceful, circular swimming area is great for those who don’t have the energy or ability to trudge through beach surf.

Why go? Tucked behind the lush mangroves and banyan trees of Old Cutler is a man-made atoll pool flushed by the tidal action of Biscayne Bay. When you get hungry as the sun sets, make your way over to the (finally!) reopened Red Fish Grill for fresh seafood, great wine and the kind of ambiance that will solidify your love for this city.

14. Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

Good for: a unique beach day.

Why go? You can head to Virginia Key for more than festivals and special events. Once Miami’s “Colored Only” beach, it holds a special place in this city’s history. Reopened in 2008, Virginia Key boasts serene ocean views plus some other fun features, like a mini train through wetlands, biking trails, kayaking, paddleboarding and adorable beachside cabins you can rent in all the colorful hues of the Caribbean.

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15. Hobie Beach

Good for: Want to hit the beach quickly, without a long trek to the sand? Hobie Beach is your answer.

Why go? This slim, narrow, and teeny tiny beach is a paradise for local windsurfers, and rentals for these as well as jet skis and sailboats are all available onsite. It’s also one of Miami’s few dog-friendly beaches, so expect lots of canines splashing around in the shallow waters.

16. Fort Lauderdale Beach

Good for: On days when the Miami crowds just won't quit, you'll want to take the drive north for this postcard-perfect beach.

Why go? While not technically a Miami beach, our northern neighbor’s shoreline is worth touting for its wide and handsome sandy strip and brick promenade that's ideal for skaters, joggers and cyclists. It comes complete with bronzed lifeguards and coconut palms, and draws an altogether more laidback crowd than the beaches in Miami (except during Spring Break). Just looking to cruise? Fort Lauderdale Beach offers direct water views from the street—like driving down the Pacific Coast Highway without all of the cliffs.

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17. Hallandale Beach

Good for: Convenience ranks high on the reasons to check out Hallandale Beach, which packs the metered lots and paved walkways.

Why go? Follow the colorful water tower that looks like a lollipop to Broward county’s southernmost strip of sand with plenty of public parking options for locals. The best part? It's just over the county line so you could still pretend you're in Miami proper. It’s also home to the Japanese restaurant Etaru. It overlooks the water and is the ideal place for a post-beach day meal outdoors.

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