The top 5 beaches in Miami

No Miami vacation would be complete without spending some serious time on one or more of its many superb beaches. From lively bays with plenty of party action to tranquil spots where you can enjoy crowd-free swimming and sunbathing, there’s plenty of beach-based fun for everyone.

The most popular beach: Lummus Park Beach

It may be famous for its vibrant art deco architecture, buzzing nightlife and beautiful people but South Beach’s top attraction is still its sand, sea and surf. The neighborhood’s free public beach otherwise known as Lummus Park Beach begins around Ocean Drive at 5th Street and stretches all the way up to 21st Street and Collins.

On the ocean front you will find the best shopping, dining and people-watching in Miami, no matter what the season. The beach is lined with art-deco style lifeguard stands, volley ball courts and sidewalks for walking, jogging and rollerblading. South Beach is without doubt the best beach in Miami for watching the rich, famous and fabulous as well as topping up your tan, enjoying great entertainment and sipping a cocktail or three!

Lummus Park Beach in Miami

The best beach for swimming: 85th Street Beach

85th Street Beach is one of the quieter bays along Collins Avenue with no large hotels or apartments looming over the bay. White sands and calm seas make this beach a top spot for peaceful sunbathing and swimming without the crowds. Lifeguards patrol the area from 9am–5pm and there are plenty of bathroom facilities.

A few blocks further north is Bal Harbor Beach, an ideal spot for shell hunting. There’s also an exercise area, along with various shaded zones – however, no lifeguards or bathrooms are available on this beach. Expect to find an array of restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and shops along the way.

The best beach for surfing: Haulover Beach

Located close to Bal Harbour, Haulover Beach gets the biggest ocean swells in Miami and is great for catching some serious waves. Watch out for nude bathers as Haulover is the only legally nude beach in the area. Nevertheless the stunning sands, clear seas and great amenities draw in crowds from across the globe.

Other beach-based facilities at Haulover Beach include tennis courts, BBQ areas, plenty of watersports suppliers and various shops. The powder-white sandy shores are perfect for swimming, relaxing or getting that all-over tan – with or without a swimsuit!

Haulover Beach in Miami

The best beach for picnics: North Shore Park Beach

North Shore Park Beach is an often-overlooked area located along Miami’s northern shores, slightly off the beaten track. Voted one of the best for its beautiful green spaces and excellent walking trails, North Shore is not to be missed.

The crowd-free beach is maintained to the highest standards with luxurious sands, great picnic areas and some of the best lifeguards in Miami. An outdoor amphitheater hosts regular shows including the North Beach Skates and the annual Florida Dance Festival. The bathroom amenities are top rated and the area boasts plenty of metered parking spaces.

North Shore Park Beach in Miami

The most scenic beach

The beach at Matheson Hammock Park is the epitome of tranquility, providing the perfect peaceful beach experience. This bay features an incredible man-made lagoon that is regularly refreshed with the clear waters of nearby Biscayne Bay.

Mangrove trees, otherwise known as hammock trees, line the pearly white sands providing a stunning natural backdrop. This family-friendly beach is great for kids, boasting calm waters, great bathrooms, snack bars, walking trails and a nearby marina.

Matheson Hammock Park