It’s been called The American Riviera, Hollywood of the East. Some know it as Sobe, or the Art Deco District, but whatever you call it, Miami’s South Beach is open year-round. This is excess to the max. What makes South Beach an international playground is the non-stop nightlife in the beautiful Art Deco hotels and night clubs – and of course the wide, sandy shores.
And some of the best shopping on the planet, including Kourtney and Khloe Kardashians DASH boutique. (Actually we didn’t find much in their tiny boutique store in South Beach, but it was fun to see the crowds.) Okay, so maybe you love the beach more than shopping (like us.) No problem – let’s get to it.
The beach at South Beach, also known as SoBe, is very wide and home to strikingly colorful lifeguard shacks, still in use. It’s hard to imagine that at one time South Beach was a coconut plantation. The plantation was sold to make room for a small town apart from Miami and South Beach began.
Native Floridians flock to Ocean Boulevard as well as tourists. Yes, there are crazy street parties, and picturesque neon-lit buildings. Cruising in luxury cars up and down “The Strip” is where it’s at. But, hey, that’s not the “beach”.
The beach has a very cool boardwalk/sidewalk that runs along close to the street. There are facilities all around and parking in garages a block from the beach, or it you get uber-lucky you can park right next to the sidewalk.
There is valet parking as well. Expect higher prices for valet as the sun goes down. Once onto the beach, it is wide and you’ll find people gather in certain areas with beach chairs or that they find not too far from the water and not too far from the changing facilities.
Food is abundant. During the day the street that runs along the beach, Ocean Blvd, has club and after club that offers “specials” which a placarded on boards that are strategically placed near the sidewalk. In addition, these places pay people to hand out fliers that announce various specials for either food or booze and can address the club they are associated with as well. Don’t expect much to start as far as clubs until late into the night, but there are a few clubs that have shows going on most of the afternoon.
Pictures can’t do justice. So think for a moment of “Baywatch” with “Art Deco”. Here you’ll find that even the lifeguard stands are in style. Now, South Beach in Miami, Florida is man-made. But don’t let that stop you. It’s huge and the sand is nice and soft. It hugs the Atlantic for miles and has been the perfect place for joggers and walkers. From the beach you can see the whole “South Beach Scene” at night – neon lit buildings that have a warm glow taking you back to the 30’s. Tons of culture, many tourists come to South Beach simply to get a taste of the world. The city is a melting pot of nationalities. The Latin-American population has inspired affected the area, and the diversity of the people is apparent in the various ethnic neighborhoods, food and music. Pack your shades and cut-offs and get ready for a break from the stress. Book your South Beach hotel soon and come bake in the Southern Florida sun.
Even though were are in club district, this is known as a beautiful family beach. There are the usual fast food places near the beach, along with Starbucks and other food shops. The beach is so wide and so gently slips into the Atlantic Ocean that your kids will spend hours playing here. The surf can get fairly strong so remember that because it is shallow, the waves take longer to crash and retreat and can be a challenge for youngsters.
South Beach, Miami – Beach Index:
- Sand – dark, fine powder, some debris
- Facilities – full service
- Shade – none, but umbrellas are available for rent and sale along the strip
- Sports – a few rental facilities, note that ocean bottom is all sand, no coral, some rock
- It’s HOT/Humid during the early summer all the way into the fall with the ocean and drinks to cool you
- Notes – shopping close by, never too crowded, great for people watching