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Miami Beaches to Escape the Heat: Where to Find the Best Beaches in Miami 2024

by Roslie L.
Published: Updated:
Signage and pathway to beach in Miami Beach South Beach Florida

Looking for sun, fun, soft sand, or waves crashing on the shore? Whether you’re looking for the best beaches in Miami, restaurant gems, or nightlife, Miami will not disappoint. From South Beach to Key Biscayne, the city has countless opportunities to enjoy fun in the sun. And a trip to Miami is not complete without visiting at least one of the area’s beaches.

With so many options, it can be hard to know where to find the best Miami beaches to visit. So, we compiled a list of beaches worthy of your time. From our favorite spots in Miami Beach to the best beaches in Miami for couples, we’ve got it covered!

Whether you’re looking for the best beaches in Miami for families, want to chill with friends at an adult-only beach, a Miami beach for water activities, or catch up on some much-needed R&R, there’s a beach in Miami for you! No matter what type of beach experience you’re looking for, there’s something in our guide for you!

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Miami Beach Essentials: Don’t Hit the Sand Without These

Before we get into the best Miami beaches to visit, we want to make sure you have everything you need to take with you to the beach.

You can check out our beach essentials checklist for a more extensive guide. But for a quick rundown of the bare beach necessities, here’s what you’ll need:

sun protection and beach gear on the sand

Beach Bag or Tote for Your Beach Gear

Since you will likely be carrying quite a bit to the beach, you want to have a durable beach bag like this that you can bring along with you. The bag size will vary based on how much stuff you want or need to bring. If you have a large family, you are going to need a large beach tote similar to these or more than one.

Sun Protection

The Florida sun’s rays can be intense, especially from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., so limit your exposure and apply sunscreen (SPF 30+ is ideal) to protect against sunburn. Tanning oil is a poor choice!

Always have a pair of sunglasses that you can take with you to the beach. These don’t have to be the expensive pair that you use while driving or while out shopping. They can be a cheaper version like these polarized ones since they may see rougher use.

Sun protection from damaging sun rays also includes:


Additional beach necessities to pack for your Miami trip

Given the warm climate and sunny days, a wide-brimmed sun hat like this one is a good investment, as are the usual beach destination essentials such as:

Stay hydrated!

The Florida sun can dehydrate you faster than you might realize, so always have water handy, even if you are only going to be outside for an hour or so.

Now, let’s dive into the top beaches in Miami!

Beaches in Miami to Visit: Which Ones are Actually Worth It?

Below is a list of the best beaches in Miami to visit, their available amenities, their unique vibe, and what makes them special.

1. South Pointe Park Pier & Beach

This scenic beach near the port of Miami is ideal for both couples and families, offering beautiful views of the Miami skyline and the emerald green water.

South Pointe Pier Park Miami Beach, South Beach Florida with beach and city buildings view

The locals call this urban park and pier stretching out into the cove in the South Beach neighborhood, South Pointe.

The 17-acre green space, with direct access to the beach, is a popular location for paddleboarding, jet skiing, and picnicking in South Beach.

With shaded palm trees, sandy shores, and an ocean-themed children’s playground, it’s a great place to eat, catch the sweeping seascapes or relax and enjoy the sunset with the family.

You will find superb views of the Miami skyline, Fisher Island, and more, and you can even watch as the cruise ships pass by while lying on the beach.

South Pointe Park Pier: 1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; Admission is free. Open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset.

2. Lummus Park Beach

This lively beach park along the famous Ocean Drive is a popular spot for people-watching and a definite must-see if you want to immerse yourself in the center of South Beach.

Sunny Miami Beach Boardwalk with bicyclists and volleyball players

Lummus Park Beach, also part of Miami Beach, encompasses ten blocks of South Beach (from 5th to 14th Street), featuring the Miami Beach boardwalk with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Ocean Drive on the other.

You might recognize Lummus Park Beach from its many cameos in movies and television shows like Miami Vice and Burn Notice.

One of the most Instagram-worthy places on South Beach, the sprawling beach park, always bustling with activity, is a huge hit with vacationers.

Lummus Park Beach is one of the most crowded Miami beaches, perfect for strolling the sandy shores and people-watching – pets, families, skaters, and more are welcome.

This is the Miami beach for you if you want to see the heart and soul of South Beach in action. You will find kids’ playgrounds, public art, volleyball courts, and even an outdoor gym at the park.

Adjacent to the park, you will also find the highly photographed Miami Beach Art Deco buildings.

Lummus Park Beach: 1130 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; Admission is free. Open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset.

3. 12th Street Beach

The iconic 12th Street in South Beach is a popular hangout spot for the LGBTQ+ community in Miami.

Located along Lummus Park, 12th Street Beach can be easily spotted by the rainbow flags near the lifeguard stations.

You will run into the biggest turnout during the Winter Party Festival and the annual Miami Beach Pride Festival. Outside of the party season, it’s a laid-back beach for sunbathing — and showing off those sculpted bodies.

Beach parking along Ocean Drive can be a huge pain, so take note of the multiple paid parking garages available along Washington Avenue and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. More on the city of Miami Beach parking lots and garage locations here.

Ocean Drive and 12th Street, Miami Beach; Admission is free. Open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset.

4. Mid-Beach, Miami Beach

Lime Green and Yellow 41st Street Miami Beach Lifeguard Tower South Beach, Florida

Miami’s coastline is so long that it’s split into different portions, including mid-beach, which features a boardwalk, beach access, upscale MiMo (Miami Modern) hotels, and trendy beachside cafes.

While the mid-beach section, located from 21st to 45th streets, is popular, you will find that it tends to be less crowded and one of the quietest beaches in Miami Beach.

Views include the famous and historic Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel, Eden Roc, and the Faena District.

5. North Beach Oceanside Park

This relaxed park beach is a laid-back and peaceful haven that’ll make you feel like part of the local community.

People relaxing in North Beach Miami Beach Florida

North Shore Beach is a popular residential and family-friendly beach in Miami. Featuring soft sands, it’s another one of the relaxing beaches in Miami that doesn’t get as much traffic as other locales. Those who are looking for a space that’s a bit quieter may find this is a good solution as well.

Though we recommend avoiding the water during jellyfish season (designated by the warning flags), you shouldn’t miss the monthly full moon drum circle beach party. Feel-good vibes and excellent company.

North Beach Oceanside Park: 8328 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; Admission is free. Open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset.

6. Surfside Beach

If you’re looking for another family-friendly experience, this quiet beach in the primarily residential area is great for interacting with the local community.

Path to Miami Beach trees and sunny blue skies

Located in the community of Surfside between 88th and 96th Street, the small-town beach feel is a personal favorite with locals, offering walking paths and lovely views.

This quiet stretch of beach makes it ideal for paddleboarding, snorkeling, or just taking in the view. Jellyfish are also surprisingly common in the waters, so swim with caution.

Surfside Beach: Between 88th and 96th Streets on Collins Avenue; Admission is free. Open daily from 7 a.m. to sundown.

7. Bal Harbour Beach

For a more luxe vacation experience, this beach in an upscale neighborhood might be the ideal choice for a romantic couple’s date in Miami or a posh girls’ day out.

Blue sky sandy path to Miami South Beach Florida

Bal Harbour Beach is a popular beach for couples and families in a ritzy Miami neighborhood. However, this is a public beach, and all are welcome. 

If you are staying at one of the luxury hotels, you will have access to the amenities of chairs, umbrellas, cabanas, and beverage services. Luxury comes at a price, so expect to pay relatively high fees for parking, beach chairs, and umbrellas here.

Along this exclusive beach, you will find some of the best luxury hotels, restaurants, and high-end shopping in Miami at the Bal Harbour Shops.

Bal Harbour Beach: The beach access path is located on 102nd Street and Collins Avenue; Admission is free. Open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset. Street metered parking is available.

8. Haulover Beach

The only legal nude beach in Miami, this clothing-optional beach is the best place to strip down and achieve that perfect tan.

How confident are you when it comes to your body? While you don’t have to go nude when you head to Haulover Beach, it is important to note that this beach is clothing optional.

It’s the only legal nude beach in Miami and is considered by many to be one of the best nude beaches in the United States. But you’ll want to look out for jellyfish here too.

  • The facilities are well-maintained, and there are a variety of great food trucks nearby.
  • No floatation devices are allowed, but fishing is permitted in designated areas. 
  • Bikes are available for rental, and it is a terrific place for kite flying in Miami.

It is located just to the north of Bal Harbour, and like nearby Bal Harbour Beach, expect to pay for parking, beach chairs, and umbrellas.

Haulover Beach: 10800 Collins Avenue, Miami; Parking entrance fee is $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. Open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.

9. Sunny Isles Beach

This charming beach, surrounded by towering hotels and residential developments, has something for everyone in the family: great weather, water sports, and fishing.

Beach lounge chairs in Miami Beach Florida

Sunny Isles Beach is particularly popular in the winter when Miami’s year-round tropical weather pays off. There are places to shop and dine with a good mix of old and new things to do and places to live.

22 beach access points and endless waterfront views make this a popular beach in Miami for families.

Visit the Newport Fishing Pier, from which you can cast into the ocean and see what you can snag. For the more adventurous, this is the place to charter a boat.

You can book a kayaking or paddle boarding lesson or fish at the nearby pier for a fee.

Sunny Isles Beach: It runs along Collins Avenue from Haulover Park to 195th Street; Admission is free. Open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset.

10. Matheson Hammock Park Beach

The laid-back Matheson Hammock Park Beach in Coral Gables has a little bit of everything: picnic areas, swimming, gardens, and Instagram-worthy scenery.

A little farther from the touristy beaches in Miami, this hidden gem in Coral Gables has quite a bit to offer.

There are few crowds even during the peak season, and the lush park and unique atoll are the perfect places to relax, immerse yourself in nature, and take in the view.

The atoll offers calm waters and has become a popular and safe area for children to swim.

You will also find opportunities for fishing, stand-up paddle boards (SUP), kiteboarding, canoeing, and kayaking at the Matheson Hammock Marina.

The rest of the park is just as impressive and beautiful as the beaches. The park features picnic areas and pavilions and has the only waterfront restaurant in Coral Gables—Redfish.

Matheson Hammock Park Beach: 9610 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables; Parking entrance fee is $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. Open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.

11. Hobie Island Beach Park

This quaint Key Biscayne beach just off the Rickenbacker Causeway is your go-to for water sports and pet-friendly activities.

Couple walking dog playing in Hobie Beach Key Biscayne Miami Florida

Do you enjoy watersports? If you do, you’ll likely want to make your way to Hobie Beach, also known as windsurfer beach, a popular spot for windsurfing in Miami.

The water here is shallow, making it great for other water activities in Miami. This is a dog-friendly beach, so you can feel free to bring along your pup when you visit.

Rent a kayak or paddleboard, spend some bonding time with your dogs, or relax and enjoy the warm sun and cool water. As a bonus, Hobie beach also offers free parking.

Hobie Beach: 3501 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, $2.25 toll to cross the Rickenbacker Causeway into Key Biscayne; Parking is free. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

12. Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

This secluded beach in Miami hits that perfect spot between being a lively tourist destination and a tranquil place to enjoy nature.

Virginia Key Beach Park walking trail Key Biscayne Miami Florida

Historic Virginia Key Beach Park is a mile-long beach nestled on lovely Key Biscayne. Well-known for its place in Miami’s Black history as the first “colored-only” beach, this historic destination has plenty to offer.

Historic Virginia Key Beach has ample parking space, colorfully painted cottages, walking trails, wetlands, concession stand, and offers some tranquility you won’t find elsewhere.

For an $8 entrance fee, you can bring your pets, have a picnic, hike, cycle, swim, kayak, or even paddleboard.

Historic Virginia Key Beach: 4020 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami; Parking entrance fee is $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $8 on weekends and holidays. Open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.

13. Crandon Park Beach

This sprawling Key Biscayne beach is a popular choice for local families looking for a wide variety of fun activities and amenities.

Crandon Park Beach path in Key Biscayne, Miami Florida

Crandon Park Beach, also located in Key Biscayne, offers a range of outdoor activities in Miami for folks of all ages. It’s considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Miami, and it’s hidden from most. 

Whether renting a kayak, learning how to kiteboard, or having a barbecue, there is always something new to do here.

You will find biking, walking paths, and places to skateboard, or you could spend your day relaxing on the beach. 

Crandon Park Beach is a popular option with locals and is the perfect Miami beach for a picnic. There’s also a nature center, a golf course, and a tennis center.

Crandon Park Beach: 6747 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne; Parking entrance fee is $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. Open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.

14. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Home of the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, this beach in Key Biscayne is a great tourist spot without any of the usual drawbacks.

Bill Baggs State Park, Cape Florida Lighthouse, Key Biscayne, Miami Florida

Located at the southern end of Key Biscayne, about 15 minutes from downtown Miami, you’ll find plenty to do here. You can visit the lighthouse, check out the trails, or spend time sitting on the beach and soaking up the sunshine.

Of all the Miami beaches to visit beaches, this is one of the clearest waters in Miami.

If you’re looking for somewhere with lively crowds minus the mess and shabby facilities, take the drive to this Key Biscayne beach – you won’t regret it!

The park also offers dining options, including Boater’s Grill and Lighthouse Café.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: 1200 S. Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne; Parking entrance fee is $8 per vehicle. Open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.

15. Homestead Bayfront Park

Located in Homestead, FL, this park features a lovely beach and a shallow atoll pool that makes a great swimming area for the kids.

Homestead Bayfront Park also features a full-service marina and a restaurant. Whether you are into swimming, sitting on the sand, boating, or fishing, there is something to do for everyone.

Homestead Bayfront Park: 9698 SW 328th Street, Homestead, FL; Parking entrance fee is $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. Open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.

BONUS! South Florida Beaches Near Miami

White wooden boardwalk to Miami Beach South Beach Florida

Of course, the Miami area isn’t the only place in South Florida teeming with the best beaches. You will find some of the best beaches in Florida throughout the area, including:

  • Hollywood Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach

Beach Tips for Visiting Miami’s Beaches

Understanding Miami’s beach culture and etiquette will help you make the most of your time on shore. Here are some beach tips and what to know when visiting Miami’s beaches:

Lock your car - take your keys remove your valuables posted signage

Check beach amenities

Although a good beach will have sand and water, that doesn’t mean all beaches are the same. Before you head to just any old stretch of sand, familiarize yourself with the beach to get a better idea of the amenities, the type of experience, and what you expect.

  • Does the beach have nearby places to grab some water and food?
  • Are there cabanas you can rent?
  • What is the parking situation like?
  • Is it a clothing-optional beach?

Once you know the beach or the park you want to visit, you will want to know the address and get a sense of the area’s layout to make navigating much easier.

Best time to go to the beach in Miami

The sun in Miami can be extreme! The best times to enjoy the beaches in Miami is in the morning and late afternoon. Avoid the beach during midday when the sun is at its strongest; use this time to do some site-seeing from your Miami bucket list.

Local Tip: Show to the beach early (around 8 or 9 a.m.), and you’ll have most of the beach to yourself. Wait until the late afternoon (around 4 pm), and the crowds will have dissipated a bit.

Dress code

Nude sunbathing isn’t allowed, although you’ll see much of it, particularly in South Beach. Don’t take off your swimsuit unless you’re at the “clothing-optional” beach. If you’re looking for the only legal nude beach, it’s Haulover Beach.

Alcohol is a no-no

Consuming alcohol on Miami’s beaches is illegal, but yes, you’ll see a lot of that too! If you want a refreshing cocktail by the beach, pop into a nearby restaurant or bar to enjoy a cool cocktail.

Protect your belongings

Do not leave your valuables in your car or unattended on the beach. While the beaches are safe, passersby may take the opportunity to take advantage.

Protect the beaches – don’t litter.

Possibly the most important thing to remember when visiting any beach. Trash and debris can hurt marine life, such as turtles, dolphins, fish, and corals. The sea carries it hundreds of miles away, increasing the likelihood of causing harm. The takeaway beach tip here is to take a trash bag and dispose of your trash as you leave.

Beach Safety Tips

Below are some tips to help you have a safe beach experience in Miami.

Always have a beach buddy.

To ensure your safety, never swim alone. It’s always better to have a buddy with you. It is always recommended to swim near a lifeguard. However, this tends to be more important when there aren’t lifeguards around or when the beach is sparsely populated.

It’s also nice to have someone who can watch any items you leave on the beach, so you don’t have to worry about thieves.

Miami Beach Conditions Warning Flag System

Use the Florida uniform flag warning system to identify different tide and surf conditions and safety risks throughout Miami’s beaches. The warning flags are usually found near beach entrances and lifeguard towers.

Miami Florida Beach Warning Flag Signage
  • Green Flag – “Low hazard” means calm conditions. Exercise caution.
  • Yellow Flag – “Medium hazard” means moderate rip currents/surf conditions. Exercise extra care.
  • Red Flag – “High hazard” dangerous rip currents and surf conditions. Avoid entering the water.
  • Double-Red Flag – “Beach is closed” to swimmers and the public.
  • Purple Flag – “Dangerous marine life” spotted.

Find more tips for staying safe on Miami’s beaches here.

Finding the Best Miami Beaches

Path to Miami Beach surrounded by trees and sunny blue skies

Miami wouldn’t be Miami without its iconic beaches. Miami’s beaches are incredibly diverse, all with their unique vibe. Whether you’re looking to party with friends, chill with the family, or perhaps you want to find a secluded Miami beach to enjoy the sun and sand. There’s a perfect beach in Miami for you!

If you’re heading to the fabulous Miami beaches, you might as well check out the rest of what this electric city has to offer with our Miami bucket list. And consider this Miami vacation packing list your ultimate guide to everything you’ll need for a trip to Miami.

Best Beaches in Miami Map

Save this map of Miami Beach destinations on your phone and use it to plan your itinerary.

Looking for more information on things to do in Miami and South Florida? You may also find these posts helpful:

35 Essentials to Pack for Your Florida Road Trip

20+ Charming Places to Stay in Miami: Best Hotels, Neighborhoods, & More

65+ Unique Date Ideas & Romantic Things to Do in Miami for Couples

Essential Day Trips from Miami: 15 Best Places to Visit in South Florida

Discover the Best of Miami in 48-Hours

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