Miami is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for the best Miami beaches to visit, nightlife, local restaurant gems, or exploring nature, Miami will not disappoint.
With so many incredible options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to find the best Miami beaches to visit. So, we compiled a list of 15 Miami beaches worthy of your time.
From our favorite spots in Miami Beach to enjoy a day on shore to the best beaches in Miami for couples, essential beach items you don’t want to forget, beach tips, and what to know and expect before heading to the beach.
Looking for sun, fun, soft sand, or waves crashing on the shore? Whether you want to chill with friends at an adult-only beach, the best beaches in Miami for families, a Miami beach for water activities, or want to catch up on some much-needed R&R, we’ve got it covered!
No matter what type of beach experience you’re looking for – there’s a beach in Miami and 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:
Beach Bag or Beach Tote for Your 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 these or more than one.
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 the damaging sun rays includes:
The Miami sun can be intense, especially from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., so limit your exposure and be sure to apply sunscreen – SPF 30 or higher is ideal.
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.
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:
Now, let’s dive into the top beaches in Miami!
Psst: Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a FREE downloadable Google Map featuring the best Miami Beaches!
Best Miami Beaches 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.
The locals tend to 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.
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
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.
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 absolutely 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.
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.
The 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.
Bal Harbour Beach is a popular spot for couples and families in a ritzy Miami neighborhood. It is a free public beach that tends to be quieter than other local beaches in Miami, with many local beachgoers.
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.
Luxury comes at a price so expect to pay relatively high fees for parking, beach chairs, and umbrellas here.
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.
The facilities are well-maintained, and there are a variety of great food trucks nearby. But you’ll want to look out for jellyfish here too.
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.
The community of Sunny Isles Beach has a lot going on. There are places to shop and dine with a good mix of old and new in terms of things to do and places to live. 22 beach access points and endless waterfront views make this a popular beach in Miami for families.
Sunny Isles Beach is particularly popular in the winter when Miami’s year-round tropical weather really pays off. 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.
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 sweet spot between being a lively tourist destination and a tranquil place to enjoy nature.
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, 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.
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!
There are also find dining options in the park, 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
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. Some of the best beaches in South Florida popular include:
- Hollywood Beach
- Fort Lauderdale Beach
Beach Safety Tips
Although a good beach will have sand and water, that certainly doesn’t mean that all beaches are the same. Below are some beach tips to help you find the perfect beach in the Miami area.
Check beach amenities
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.
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 only 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.
- Green Flag – “Low hazard” mean 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
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.
Beaches in Miami Map
Save this map of Miami Beach destinations on your phone and use it to plan your itinerary.