Loved as a getaway for spring breakers, a haven of relaxation for tired businessmen and women, and a Mecca of nightlife, gastronomy and gorgeous beaches for all, South Beach has made quite a name for itself as the sun-soaked, crown jewel of Miami Beach. While Miami itself is home to plenty of amazing vacation rentals and adults-only hotels, those planning to stay close to the renowned South Beach or “SoBe” will enjoy a vacation in one of the liveliest neighborhoods in the country, and arguably the world. Want to know how to make the most of your time in SoBe? Be sure to do these 15 things before leaving this infamous city in the sunshine state.
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South Beach is a 2.5 mile (4 kilometer) stretch of gorgeous white sand met with Caribbean water. It’s the perfect place to bring a towel, rent a chair and soak up the splendor of the Miami sun. Miami’s tropical climate means that the beach is swimmable almost all year-round, so there is no bad time to go, however, most head to SoBe when the weather in their own hometown is too cold to bear.
The Golden Beaches Helicopter Tour
Duration: 17 to 19 minutes
Merely a few blocks from the beach and world-famous Ocean Drive is Lincoln Road Mall – a famous SoBe shopping area, lined with trendy boutiques, upscale restaurants and plenty of places for travelers to take pictures and bask in the lively, yet laid back South Miami culture. This mile-long pedestrian promenade is a must-see when in South Beach.
Miami Beach: Art Deco Segway Tour
Duration: 2 hour
Merely walking on Ocean Drive is an irreplaceable Miami experience. The iconic Ocean Drive is the centerpiece of Miami’s Art Deco District and contains over 900 art-deco, 1950’s-style buildings, like the Colony Hotel, a South-Beach landmark, built in 1939. Walking down Ocean Drive is like walking through a time capsule, one where the past and present of Miami intersect. This is the perfect spot to people watch, take pictures and watch the nightlife of Miami unfold.
Miami South Beach Art Deco Walking Tour
Duration: 2 hours
4. Attend a pool party at one of the area’s most famous hotels
South Beach is home to a plethora of iconic, world-class hotels, who all love a good party. During peak tourist season, from March to October, many of these hotels hold unforgettable, can’t-miss, pool parties. Best of all, at most hotel pool parties, you don’t have to be a guest to attend, though guests often receive free admission. Looking for the best hotels to make a splash in during pool party season? Be sure to check out the pool parties at the Delano, the Fountainebleau, and the Clevelander to name a few.
Loved by tourists and locals alike, this famous Miami restaurant turns into a lively beach club at night. Filled with beautiful people, tiki bars and torches, Nikki Beach makes the perfect venue for a night of dancing, drinks and tapas.
Website: Nikki Beach
South Beach Nightclub Party Package
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
In a city known for its Latin flair, Taquiza is some of the best Mexican street food found, without venturing south of the border. This trendy eatery also has an outdoor patio, perfect for enjoying tacos outdoors on a gorgeous Miami evening.
Secret Food Tours Miami w/ Private Tour Option
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Rollerblading is a South Beach pastime that never goes out of style. SoBe’s plethora of pedestrian walkways make it easy and enjoyable to throw on some rollerblades and skate along the main streets of Miami Beach.
Rollerblade Rental in Miami Beach
Duration: 1 to 12 hours
Just a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of Ocean Drive is a street reminiscent of the romance and culture found in Spain. Not only is Espanola Way a great place to stop and take pictures, it is also the perfect place to have dinner and drinks after a long day at the beach. The gorgeous European-style buildings and traditional cafes and restaurants will have you confusing this sunny city with Barcelona.
More Information: Espanola Way
Miami: Food Tasting and Art Deco District Walking Tour
Duration: 3 hour
9. Have a seafood lunch at Joe’s Stone Crab
Over a hundred years old, this Miami restaurant has a reputation as South Florida’s most famous restaurant. Joe’s Stone Crab attracts locals, tourists, and celebrities with its famous seasonal stone crabs with a “secret” garlic sauce. Be prepared for a wait, but one that is worth the while.
Website: Joe’s Stone Crab
Cuban culture is alive and well in Miami, and the best way to soak it all in is by starting your day with a cup of Cuban coffee, or a cafecito.
Facebook: Las Olas Cafe
Miami: South Beach Food Tour
Duration: 3 hour
11. Dance the night away at LIV
A five-star hotel by day, the Fountainbleu Hotel turns into a renowned bustling nightclub at night, called LIV. Without a doubt the most high-profile and exclusive club in SoBe, LIV is frequented by celebrities, supermodels, Miami elite and tourists with plenty of cash. Does it live up to the hype? DJs like David Guetta, and socialites like Kim Kardashian sure seem to think so. The exclusive club has a strict dress code and a hefty cover fee, but once you’re in, the party goes on until 5 a.m.
12. Attend Art Basel
Each December, South Florida’s art scene comes alive in the form of Art Basel, an international art festival that comes to Miami and Hong Kong once a year. While any reason is a good reason to make a trip to Miami, those fortunate enough to be in town during Art Basel can experience world-class art, meet artists and art aficionados from around the world, and attend some of the best art-related parties in Miami, and arguably the world.
Website: Art Basel
Running out of things to do in the city, but not quite ready to go home? Miami is a port city with rock-bottom fares to the Caribbean with cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival and more. So while a trip to Miami itself is a getaway, by extending your trip, you won’t have to pack away your sunglasses and flip flops just yet.
Website: Royal Caribbean
Bimini North Bahamas Day Trip from Miami with Hilton Day Pass
Duration: 17 hours
A perfect place to catch the sunset and escape the chaos of Miami Beach, South Pointe Park is a green oasis that overlooks the city – making it the ideal spot to relax, enjoy the view and bask in the Miami sunshine. South Pointe Park’s walking paths, food stands, open-grass area, contemporary art sculptures and 360-degree ocean views, make it a must-see while in South Beach.
More Information: South Point Park
Miami Sunrise or Sunset Small-Group Segway Tour
Duration: 2 hours
Miami is known for its boat-life and water culture, so it’s no surprise a local favorite on a day off is renting jet-skis and heading out into the ocean! There are plenty of companies in the area that rent out jet-skis, and some even offer lessons for beginners.
Jet Ski Rental 90 Minutes
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Art, beaches, food and more!
Making your way to the party city of South Beach, Miami? From unbeatable art to gorgeous beaches to delicious food – this vacation city is the perfect place to put your life on pause and soak up the sun!
Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in South Beach, Miami
1. What are the top attractions to visit in South Beach Miami?
You definitely can’t pass up the chance to spend a day at South Beach, but if you’ve already added that to your itinerary, other attractions you can’t miss are South Pointe Park, Espanola Way, and the stunning Art Deco buildings at Ocean Drive.
2. What are the best outdoor activities in South Beach Miami?
Besides lounging on the beach, some outdoor activities you can enjoy in South Beach include biking or joining a Segway tour at South Pointe Park and taking a stroll down the world-famous Ocean Drive.
3. What are the best day trips from South Beach Miami?
While in Florida, a must-visit is definitely Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. From South Beach, it takes about four hours on the road via Florida’s Turnpike, so be sure to head out early so you’re in front of the gate as soon as the park opens!
4. What are the most popular things to do in South Beach Miami with kids?
If you want foolproof fun with your kids in South Beach, you can take them on a helicopter ride to see the Golden Beaches or invite them to spend the afternoon rollerblading down Collins Avenue.
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