South Beach#1 in Best Things To Do in Miami Beach
Price & Hours
- 5.0Food Scene
With nicknames like "America's Riviera" and the "Art Deco Playground," it's no wonder so many people flock to South Beach. Travelers see South Beach not only as one of the best vacation areas in Florida, but as one of the best in the country. Popular perception has somewhat pigeonholed the area as being reserved exclusively for the young and beautiful and 24-hour partiers, but that's not necessarily the case. The truth is that South Beach welcomes anyone looking for pristine sand, amazing food and yes, a buzzing nightlife.
The options are limitless: you can spend the whole day shopping at boutiques, getting pampered at an opulent spa or just strolling along Ocean Drive. Families can take the kids over to see the animals at Jungle Island or to play at the Miami Children's Museum for some educational fun. South Beach also hosts numerous festivals and events, including volleyball tournaments, Art Deco Weekend and music and art shows.
And of course, there's the beach itself. Many choose to set up camp in Lummus Park, which runs roughly from 5th Street to 14th Street. Here you'll find white sand, beautiful water, volleyball nets and ample people-watching opportunities. Recent visitors said they appreciated how clean the beach is kept and noted the clear blue water sometimes makes you feel like you're no longer even in the U.S. You may notice a lot of preening going on here, but that's just part of the fun.
South Beach has a well-deserved reputation for not being the most affordable of neighborhoods. (It's home to some of Miami Beach's best hotels.) While it's possible to explore the area on a budget, you're sure to have a fuller experience if you have some funds at your disposal.
South Beach takes up the southern chunk of Miami Beach; most agree that the northern boundary of South Beach runs from Dade Boulevard on the western bay side until it hits 24th Street on the eastern ocean side. Hotels in South Beach are expensive, but your nightly rate might include a resort fee, which might cover the cost of beach chairs and umbrellas. Otherwise, those can run anywhere from $10 to $35 a day. Cost-conscious travelers should look farther north, between 24th and 192nd streets, where they'll find accommodations with much more palatable prices.
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#2 Ocean Drive
One of the most famous boulevards in the city, the country, or maybe even the world, Ocean Drive is characterized by its distinct art deco buildings, its constant streams of crowds and its glittering hotel and club fronts in the nighttime. Suffice it to say that you're truly blessed if you've booked a hotel along Ocean Drive because you're guaranteed to be in the thick of things. Shopping, dining, beach activities and more are all within a comfortable walking distance.
Travelers say the best way to experience Ocean Drive is just by walking down the street, taking in the expertly decorated hotel and storefronts and snapping some photos along the way. Day or night, visitors say you'll find something to do along Ocean Drive, whether it's dining in an upscale restaurant, grabbing a cocktail at a rooftop bar or dancing the night away at one of the clubs. Though, many warn that partaking in the revelry of food and drink along Ocean Drive does come with a high price tag.
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