The laid-back enclave below Miami’s bougiest waterfront nabe, Bal Harbour, fittingly bills itself as the “uptown beachtown” and offers equal parts relaxed fun and refined experiences. Start your day on the casual side of things with a stroll down Surfside’s Turtle Walk, a short boulevard lined with hand-painted sculptures of loggerhead sea turtles, the town’s unofficial mascot. Pick up the pace with a bike ride along the beach path: Rent a Citi Bike on Collins Avenue and 93rd Street and cruise from Bal Harbour to Mid-Beach. On your way back, stop for a macaron and café au lait at the chic Gourmet Temptations. The sleek French bakery doles out artisanal chocolates and other small treats as well as made-to-order cakes.
If you’re not swimming in Surfside, you’re shopping. The former happens at the beautiful public beach and at the Town of Surfside Community Center, which has a zero-depth entry pool and multiple waterslides. (The center is only open to residents and their guests, so befriend a local before you go!) Retail therapy happens along Harding Avenue, the town’s main drag that’s lined with shops. Guys, treat yourself to a bespoke Italian suit at Condotti, a men’s boutique brimming with European fashions. Ladies will find lots of mommy-and-me getups and designer-inspired accessories at kids’ boutique Koukla Kouture.
Surfside is teeming with options for places to eat and drink, packing 31 bars and restaurants into a tiny one-mile radius. Chase the sunset at Grand Beach Hotel’s Sky Bar, a lovely rooftop spot with plush couches and ocean views. Take your happy hour indoors to Le Sirenuse at the historic Four Seasons hotel at the Surf Club. From 4 to 6pm, order a Bellini at the bar and receive a free assortment of Italian canapés. Café Ragazzi is a cozy Mediterranean restaurant where you’ll find delicious pastas, plus a sexy hidden bar with room for just four guests.