Miami is one of the crown jewels of South Florida, bringing flocks of tourists to the “Magic City” throughout the year. The vibrant cityscape is jam-packed with nightlife, restaurants, cultural richness, and over a dozen beaches.
While the city is known for its over the top and extravagant style, there is no doubt that the natural beauty found throughout Miami is what keeps visitors coming back for more. Whether you are indulging in the robust art scene with a stroll through the Wynwood Arts District or feasting on the rich Cuban culture of Little Havana, Miami has a lot to offer.
And no Miami vacation is complete without a trip to some of the best beaches in Florida. Each beach in Miami has its own style and flavor, and for those looking to find the perfect day by the ocean, there are lots of options to explore.
Whether you are looking for a secluded beach paradise, pristine white sand, or a location where both men and women are dressed in as little as possible, Miami has the beach for you!
Here are among the top beaches in Miami, FL, in no particular order:
South Pointe Park Pier, Miami Beach
If you plan on bringing children or are looking to discover one of Miami’s most well known sandy spots, South Pointe Pier is the beach for you. It’s known for its fabulous 360-degree views and some of the most iconic vistas in the city.
Located at the southern tip of Miami Beach, this site offers panoramic views of South Beach, Fisher Island, Biscayne Bay, as well as one of Miami’s most frequented cruise hubs: PortMiami. On a clear day, you can expect to see picturesque views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
The beach juts out into the water between the Atlantic Ocean and the Government Cut Channel. South Pointe Park Pier boasts amenities like outdoor showers, a kid’s play area, a fishing pier, and a park with over 17-acres to explore.
Lummus Park Beach, Miami Beach
If volleyball and tan lines are more your style, you’ll find a lot to love at Lummus Park Beach. This beach is situated on the eastern side of the iconic Ocean Drive and offers a less-crowded, quintessential Miami experience.
One notable landmark at Lummus Park is a beautiful promenade that has been featured in a few iconic movies and television scenes. The beach also sports dozens of lifeguard stands and staple beach amenities like showers, changing rooms, and toilet facilities.
The park saw an overhaul in the late 80s, so be prepared to soak in the style of that era as you seek shade in the grassy enclaves or break a sweat in the fitness area.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne
Located on the south side of Key Biscayne, just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park offers beachgoers some respite from the urban jungle. With breathtaking views of the Atlantic and the famous Biscayne Bay, this beach is more intimate than others in Miami.
Bill Baggs boasts a lighthouse that was erected in 1825, one of the oldest structures in South Florida, and several pristine beaches that are often rated as some of the best in the country. Additionally, visitors to the state park can participate in outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, and even on-site dining options.
Crandon Park, Key Biscayne
Crandon Park is undoubtedly one of the more breathtaking beaches on this list. Located on Key Biscayne, this public park has some of the most transparent waters in all of Miami.
With outdoor grills and volleyball courts, Crandon is an excellent option for families and offers great amenities for a beach picnic. It even features a winding boardwalk, a nature center for outdoor education, and cabana rentals.
If you want to take in the natural wonder of South Florida, then you will be delighted to explore the rich density of mangroves, dunes, seagrass beds, and all the rich biodiversity of the ocean ecosystem that Crandon Park has to offer. The Nature Center located at the park also offers guests a glimpse into the natural history of the area, which is great for kids and adults alike.
Oleta River Recreational Area, North Miami Beach
Located on the edge of Biscayne Bay, the Oleta River State Park is a sprawling urban park that encompasses over a thousand acres of some of the best natural beauty Miami has to offer. The park follows the Oleta River and offers visitors unparalleled access to over 1,200 feet of pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear water.
Much like Bill Baggs State Park, the Oleta River Recreational Area has much more than just incredible beaches. It also offers 15 miles of bike trails, hiking, and even camping in rustic air-conditioned cabins located inside the park itself.
Oleta River State Park is a bit of a drive from downtown, taking about a 30-minutes, but once you arrive, you will be greeted with a natural haven for swimmers, beachgoers, kayakers, and nature enthusiasts.
Virginia Key Beach, Miami
Just past the Rickenbacker Causeway, near the Miami Seaquarium, Virginia Key Beach provides guests with a quirky beach adventure. This sandy oasis has all kinds of fantastic amenities including shelter rentals, two huge playgrounds, and a unique, antique carousel. There is even a pavilion area that hosts live events and music from time to time.
While Virginia Key Beach is usually a hopping place filled with tourists and locals, overall, it’s a great experience, especially if you are going with the family.
Miami Beach, South Beach
When it comes to famous Miami beaches, you can’t skip out on the most iconic of them all: Miami Beach, South Beach. This stretch of ‘fun in the sun’ is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations for beachgoers looking to take in all the style and flair Miami has to offer.
Whether it’s the flashy cars that stroll Ocean Drive or the mesmerizing Art Deco architecture that Miami is known for, you can bet that South Beach will be a memorable experience for everyone in your group.
Since this beach can get very crowded, especially during peak season, you might want to venture to the stretch of sand past 5th street where you might find a few quieter spots.
Walking a few blocks from this area, specifically between 15th and 22nd street, visitors can party the day, or night, away at one of the famous beach clubs peppered down the stretch.
Homestead Bayfront Park and Marina, Homestead
There is a lot to do at Homestead Bayfront Park, so much so that you might consider spending more than just an afternoon there. This park offers a full-service Marina and is the perfect location for those trying to get away from the crowded shores of some other Miami hot spots.
Homestead Bayfront Park is located just a bit north of the Florida Keys and can be an excellent spot for boaters and swimmers alike.
Due to its proximity to Biscayne Bay National Park, Homestead Bayfront has spectacular views of Biscayne Bay, especially from the restaurants located nearby.
Sunny Isles Beach, Sunny Isles Beach
For those of you who enjoy outdoor activities during your vacation, like snorkeling, the crystal clear waters of Sunny Isles Beach are perfect for you. This two-mile stretch of sand hugs the coast and offers visitors not only beachside access but also fun activities in the adjacent Samson Oceanfront Park. Home to great restaurants and live music, Sunny Isles Beach offers the Miami experience without being directly on Miami Beach.
Haulover Beach, Miami Beach
Certainly one of the more exotic options on our list, Haulover Beach, which rests up against the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the few clothing-optional beaches in the area.
The 177-acre Haulover Park is more than just for naturists, though. The park offers some of the best areas to fly a kite in Miami as well as other amenities like bicycle rentals, a fishing pier, and a state of the art skate park. Furthermore, this beach also has a stretch that is dog friendly, so if you have Fido in tow, he can get some beach time too.
Whether you’re looking to get away from tourists, hit one of the most famous beaches in the world, or simply wish to spend time with family, any one of these locations is the perfect addition to a Florida vacation. And while there are a few more beaches worth mentioning within the “305”, these are among the best in Miami.
Check our this longer list of Florida beaches if you’ll be traveling more in the Sunshine State!