There’s more to South beach than just the beach – it can be as much or as little as you want! I stayed near 16th and Pennsylvania which is a great base to see more, and not too far to wander down to the beach, without being in the midst of the party area!
It’s a gorgeous beach, lovely sand and clear water and plenty of space – something we definitely lack on UK beaches when the sun is out! Anything goes in Miami, beach wear, dress it up or dress it down!
Like most US places there’s a standard grid system making it easy to get around. There’s a free trolley to get around the area if you need it. Currently (early April 2022) masks are still required on public transport. This is the only place currently where masks are necessary whilst here.
The main party area with a large choice of bars is between 5th and 13th mainly on Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. Some of the best clubs are in the Wynwood area. In South Beach you have Story on 1st and Collins. Liv is on 44th and Collins.
Palace is also a lot of fun! Though it’s a gay bar with an amazing drag show so won’t suit all tastes but a great night!
Sawgrass Mills is a huge outlet mall that’s worth a visit. Some people turn up with a suitcase to carry all their purchases and I can see why! Outlet prices on sale items and sometimes current stock is cheaper too. Give them your email address and you’ll often get additional discounts. Coming from the UK fair to say I got some bargains!
There’s a food court with a variety of choices to refresh. It’s about an hour or so from South Beach and an ideal one to drive to.
Aventura mall is in north Miami Beach, around 40 minutes drive, can be longer depending on the time of day. I got the local bus – definitely an experience! I witnessed an argument between two guys and the driver had to shout at them to calm down! A guy who got on and did not stop talking, except when he was singing. Then he tried to offer everyone around him some pills. Plus a drunk guy who refused to get off at the stop he’d specifically asked the driver to wake him up at so stayed on sleeping until Aventura mall which is the end of the line and he got kicked off, a fair distance away from where he wanted to be, let’s hope it was a good night!
Aventura has plenty of choice of shops, a food court and some lovely restaurants. Including some really good Peruvian restaurants. There’s also a small food market on Sunday’s.
There are choices aplenty and to fit any budget. It’s very multicultural in terms of food options.
As well as the usual taxes and tips that get added to your bill, it’s also worth noting that there is a beach tax added on certain roads. Restaurants on Lincoln Road, Espaniola Way and Ocean Drive add a further 18-25% to bills.
A few I enjoyed and would recommend are Ceviche 105 – delicious food and wine. Cuban Havana 1957, great food and cocktails. I recommend the pina colada! I love Thai food so also enjoyed Thai House South Beach.
I also love Sushi and recommend Ginza Japanese buffet it’s in north Miami Beach and it’s 25 dollars each (plus taxes, tips) for all you can eat. Definitely worth it, loads of choice of sushi as well as hot food like egg fried rice, some choice of meats, gyozas and several desserts. Definitely ate my moneys worth there and the sushi was good!
A few places for lunch in South Beach I recommend are Juice & Java. Great for lunch, cakes and açaí! And Arepas & Sand Wish great for breakfast and lunch and generous portions. Arepas are a little like a pitta bread but corn based and a classic Columbian meal with your choice of filling. They offer a larger selection of food including burgers. Both are close to the beach meaning neither are cheap but portions are decent for the price.
Sriracha House is a cheaper option for dinner but also good at lunch. Lots of choice of noodles or rice with your choice of meat or vegetables. Reasonably priced, informal and take away is also an option.
There is a Time Out food market on 16th usually open from 11-11. It has a bar and often a DJ with a cool vibe. And a great choice of food options, Peruvian, Vietnamese, Caribbean to name a few!
Definitely worth a visit, accessible by bus or car from South Beach. There’s a museum there you can pay to access to see work by various artists. Or if you prefer you can just wander around the area which is a huge outdoor destination that features large colourful and varied street murals by artists from around the world.
Plenty of different street art to see and lots of instagramable venues to stop at throughout the day for food and drink!
If you enjoy açaí I recommend OOH RAW! Poke & Juice bar, where you can get your delicious açaí served in a pineapple. Cheaper than South Beach too!
Aubi and Ramsa makes alcohol infused ice creams and sorbets in a beautiful setting. You can enjoy one on a swing at the bar should you choose!
In order to keep your balance you must keep on movingAlbert Einstein
A lovely little area with plenty of shops and restaurants with a great view of all the boats in the bay. Apparently manatees can be seen here at the right time of year if you’re lucky – usually November- March. Another place you might see them is Biscayne Bay.
There’s a few daiquiri bars and I concur they were nice and strong, unlike some of the seemingly watered down ones I got in South Beach! Bubba Gumps Shrimp restaurant along with gift shop and a bench where you can slip your feet into Forrest’s shoes!
I ate is Cafe Mambo which is a blend of Cuban and Caribbean food. Delicious and good portion sizes. Some great cocktails and you can keep your glass after!
More Sightseeing options
A few more great areas to visit or chill out day or night:
Coconut Grove is an upscale, leafy neighbourhood with a great choice of shops, cafes and restaurants. A number of celebrities live here including Serena Williams.
Little Havana is a vibrant Cuban area with plenty of history and a great selection of Latin American cafes, restaurants and Art Galleries.
Some beautiful spots to watch the sunset are South Point, Biscayne Bay and Haulover Park. For the park which has a beach too there’s a small entrance fee, or if you live close enough it’s $60 for an annual pass. Lovely to spend a day or afternoon there and catch the sunset in the evening.
A few other famous spots within South Beach include the stairs that feature in the 1983 film Scarface starring Al Pacino.
Another spot is the iconic Versace mansion, now turned into an opulent boutique hotel with a gold lined pool.
Pride is early April, a multi day celebration of arts and culture, including a festival and parade.
There’s a food market on Lincoln Road on Sunday’s – the açaí is delicious from the stall run by a lovely guy from Rio!
There is plenty more to see and do, whatever your preferences, you’ll enjoy a stay in Miami!
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