6 beaches near Miami: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted
Beaches near Miami

Miami's beaches are the stuff of legend. This tropical location is blessed with almost nonstop sunshine, and its location close to the Caribbean means it has warm, swimmable water all year round. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the best beaches in Miami are some of the best beaches in the whole of the United States, and you can't come to this beautiful city without experiencing at least a few of them for yourself.

Beach culture is part of the culture of Miami, and spending some time on the city's beaches is like hanging out in Miami's living room. This is where locals and tourists alike rub shoulders as they enjoy exceptional weather, wonderful food, a lively atmosphere, and everything else that makes Miami so special.

In fact, the hard part about visiting the best beaches in Miami is choosing where to concentrate your efforts. Just about everywhere you go in South Florida, you'll find another incredible beach, so it pays to do your research. Are you looking for a lively city beach complete with excellent nightlife? Or would you prefer somewhere a little more low-key and unspoiled? Whatever kind of beach you're looking for, the best beaches in Miami can accommodate.

Along with legendary locations like South Beach and Miami Beach, the city offers some hidden gems. Leave your bags behind at a Miami luggage storage so you only need to bring the bare minimum to make the most of your South Florida coastal adventure.

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Miami Beach

Miami Beach

To many people, both locals and visitors, Miami IS Miami Beach. After all, this is where you'll find some of the best food, the liveliest parties, the most beautiful scenery, and the best people-watching in the whole city. Located on a barrier island outside downtown Miami, Miami Beach is technically its own city. A city defined by its beach culture and its beautiful views out over Biscayne Bay and the city of Miami on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.

Travel distance from Miami

Miami Beach is only seven miles from downtown Miami over the MacArthur Causeway. It takes around 25 minutes to drive here and about the same amount of time on bus route 119.

Activity recommendations

North Beach Oceanside Park: Miami Beach is divided into North Beach and South Beach, and each has its own flavor, atmosphere, and attractions. Still, it's hard to find a destination in this area more iconic than North Beach Oceanside Park. Generally a laid-back place with beautiful ocean views that's great for lounging in the sun and taking a break, North Miami Beach heats up every month during the full moon when it hosts a legendary full moon party on Collins Avenue that is one of the best in the area.

Lummus Park: South Beach's answer to North Beach Oceanside Park is this beautiful waterfront park with not only a fantastic beach but also children's play areas and even a workout area. South Beach also has tons of other attractions, from great restaurants and bars to interesting museums, so it's almost impossible to get bored here.

Sunny Isles Beach in Miami

Sunny Isles Beach

Located to the north of Miami, close to Haulover Beach and Oleta River State Park, Sunny Isles Beach offers a two-mile stretch of sand that is often called Florida's Riviera. A great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine and turquoise waters South Florida is known for, it's no surprise Sunny Isles Beach is generally regarded as one of the best beaches of Miami.

Travel distance from Miami

The towering residential condo buildings of Sunny Isles are around 20 miles north of downtown Miami. Expect a drive of about 45 minutes, or you could spend an hour and 20 minutes on bus route 119.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: Swimming is always very much on the menu no matter where you go in Miami. Still, with warm clear waters and lifeguards on patrol, Sunny Isles Beach is one of the best options in town. Along with swimming, the clear water makes it great for snorkeling and diving, so if you're interested in water sports, you won't regret visiting this location.

Gateway Park: One of many urban green spaces along the length of Sunny Isles Beach, Gateway Park stands out thanks to its butterfly garden and stage that hosts performances throughout the year. In this high-tech park, you'll also find a solar-powered phone charging station and free Wi-Fi so you can stay connected while enjoying the beach.

Crandon Park Beach near Miami

Crandon Park Beach

At the north end of Key Biscayne, Crandon Park Beach provides great options for anyone looking for adventure. Part of the beautiful Crandon Park, which provides a great introduction to the Florida Keys, this beautiful beach feels a lot further from the city than it really is.

Travel distance from Miami

Astonishingly, it's only six miles from central Miami to Crandon Park Beach. That means a drive of around 20 minutes. Unfortunately, public transport is tricky in this area, so while you can get here by taking several different buses, the journey will take well over an hour.

Activity recommendations

Water sports: The warm waters off Key Biscayne are ideal for exploring via kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or on a kiteboard. And don't worry if you've never tried any of these activities before, because there are plenty of local businesses that will give you lessons or rent you equipment to explore by yourself. There are few better ways to stay active here than by getting out on the water, so don't miss this opportunity to explore the Atlantic Ocean.

Bill Baggs Cape: On the southern tip of Key Biscayne, Bill Baggs Cape is a fantastic place to explore. Florida has lots of white sand beaches, but this is one of the most charming, and the barrier reef six miles offshore helps to keep the water calm and warm right through the year. Close to the city as it is, this beautiful beach will give you a glimpse of old Florida at what is generally recognized as one of the best beaches anywhere in the United States.

Haulover Beach near Miami

Haulover Beach

Located close to Sunny Isles, Haulover Beach is a place to let it all hang out – quite literally. The nude beach here is legendary throughout Florida, so if you're looking for a more natural beach experience, this is where you'll find it. However, not all of the beaches are clothing optional, and the parts that aren't also make a great place for families.

Travel distance from Miami

Around 16 miles separate Miami from Haulover Beach. Given the city's traffic, that can drive anything from 30 minutes to over an hour. Trusty bus route 119 can also get you there, but it will take well over an hour.

Activity recommendations

Naturist beach: This secluded spot at the north end of Haulover Beach makes it ideal for nudists, so if you want to even out those tan lines, this is the place to come. As is usually the case on naturist beaches worldwide, this part of Haulover Beach offers a more anarchic and friendly vibe than lots of other places, so whether you've always wanted to try a nude beach or you're a practiced naturist, this is a great place to come.

Kite flying: Not all of Haulover Beach is clothing optional. And the parts that aren't make a great place to fly kites. In fact, the nearby park often hosts kite-building workshops, so you can build your own kite and then attempt to fly it on the beach. This is a great family activity and a fun way to enjoy a beautiful Florida beach.

Food trucks Tuesdays at Haulover Park: Every Tuesday, Haulover Beach becomes one of the best places to eat in all of Miami. Dozens of food trucks descend on this popular park to sell their recipes to locals and tourists, making this possibly the best venue in all of Miami for a picnic. Bring your appetite and enjoy some of Miami's most creative dishes with the incredible scenery of the beach as the backdrop.

Oleta River State Park mangrove forest

Oleta River State Park

Right next to Haulover Beach, Florida's largest urban park offers a huge beach and tons of fascinating waterways to explore. With over a thousand acres of protected wilderness here, it's the perfect place to see the more natural side of Florida without straying too far from Miami itself.

Travel distance from Miami

It's about a 20-minute drive from downtown Miami to the State Park. You can also get here by taking the Line 3 bus, which takes about an hour to go direct to the park.

Activity recommendations

Paddling: Florida in general, and Miami in particular, are blessed with many great places to explore with a self-propelled watercraft. But maybe none are quite as impressive as Oleta River State Park. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and journey through the mangrove forest the park is famous for, and you'll be exploring the primeval nature of Florida. Keep an eye out for local wildlife in the crystal clear waters, and you'll feel like a pioneer setting out for uncharted lands instead of a tourist exploring just outside one of the country's major cities.

Biking: The park offers more than 15 miles of designated biking trails. In low-lying Florida, exploring by bike is a great way to get around and see more of what the state offers, and don't worry if you didn't bring your bike because there are several businesses that will happily rent you one. Download a map and set out on your own two-wheel adventure in this incredible location.

Best beaches near Miami

Matheson Hammock Park Beach

If taking on the Atlantic Ocean is a bit much for you, but you still want to do some swimming and cool off from the oppressive Florida heat, Matheson Hammock Park Beach might be just the place for you. This man-made pool channels the waters of Biscayne Bay, so you'll be protected from the surf but still able to enjoy the warm coastal waters of Florida.

Travel distance from Miami

It takes a drive of around 20 minutes south of Miami to reach this park. Public transportation in this area isn't great, so a car is probably the best way to get here.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: The main attraction in this peaceful park is the lagoon swimming area. This man-made beach is shallow, which makes it easy to get into the water, so it's an excellent choice for families and anyone with physical challenges or bad balance.

Marina: Matheson Hammock Marina lets you rent paddleboards and kayaks to continue to explore the mangrove forest. You can also take waterskiing lessons or try your hand at kiteboarding. Either way, it provides excellent ways to get the adrenaline flowing and enjoy this beautiful seaside location.


When it comes to beaches in Miami, you really are spoiled for choice. And these beautiful parks also provide some of the best activities when you're visiting Miami on a budget.

You can stick to easy-to-reach places like South Beach or head further afield to places like Fort Lauderdale Beach to enjoy some of the best weekend trips from Miami. Plus, there's always the outstanding tropical beauty of the Florida Keys just waiting to be explored from here.

However you want to enjoy your vacation, you can rest assured that Miami and South Florida have a beach view. Leave your bags behind at a convenient Miami luggage storage so that you don't have to bring more than you need to and enjoy these incredible coastal locations in and around the city.

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