South Beach, Miami, Florida. Beautiful people in a beautiful setting is what makes this beach an irresistible temptation to many. Tall, gorgeous, and thin Europeans lounge among even taller, more gorgeous, and thinner models from across the globe. There are ugly people in South Beach, the locals call them "tourists". On this beach, human scenery rivals nature’s beauty, it’s a coin toss as to who wins. Nature, however, certainly is a worthy contender.
South Beach itself is a strip of sand about 2 miles in length located in the hippest part of Miami, Florida. The beach is not very wide. In the off season, the size of the beach is not a problem. During the high season, however, the beach will feel crowded. The sand is glistening white and the finest I’ve ever seen. The sand, I’ve been told, is why the beautiful locals tend to congregate on South Beach. The sand provides a soft pillow for sun-bathing bodies and the glistening of the white sand reflects and intensifies the sun’s rays, bronzing their perfectly tone bodies (but burning many tourists to a cinder, so be careful). The water is crystal clear blue, and usually calm and as smooth as glass. The contrast between the glistening white sand and the crystal blue water is a breath-taking sight that will mesmerize.
South Beach is bordered by a board walk. When the heat permits, the athletic run, rollerblade, and bike on the boardwalk, so pedestrians beware. A-1A beachfront avenue separates the beach and boardwalk from the rest of South Beach. An impressive strip of exotic and European restaurants border the far side of A-1A. The sidewalk outside the restaurants is lined with umbrellas and bistro tables. A stroll down the sidewalk will delight the senses with the smells of fine European food and the sounds of chatter in languages from far-off countries. The atmosphere is very intoxicating, but a word to the wise, you will pay dearly for this hip atmosphere. Venture to the end of the beach to dine cheaper or take a stroll inland, your wallet will be rewarded.
The adjacent streets house the world’s finest shops; Gucci, Dolci Gabanna. Armani, but surprisingly, you will also find Express, Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch, often with sale racks just like any other. For those architecture buffs, South Beach was the center of the American Art Deco movement. Strolling the streets and back alleys of South Beach is the best way to appreciate this architecture, which is really a pleasurable experience. It is my favorite feature of South Beach. Also, many of the Art Deco buildings are now boutique hotels that are a cooler and cheaper option than any chain hotel you will find.
Though South Beach is more crowded in the high season, it is not as crowded as other beaches can be. The reason is that the hippest of the hip only come out at night. This is when South Beach shines.
From dusk to dawn, the city is alive with the young, rich, and the very, very beautiful. La Espanola Way is a popular street at night for dining. This street is closed off for pedestrians, and if you let yourself, you will feel like you are walking in the streets of Europe. Lincoln Avenue is also popular, but is also closed off for pedestrian traffic. If you plan on enjoying the night life, Mansion is the hippest of the hip night clubs, but is often closed off to the regular folk and is hard to find for those not in the know. The façade of Mansion is a plain theatre marquis a few blocks from the beach (probably not walking distance). The door is marked with an M, if you are lucky, you can find it.
Other hot spots are Bed and Nikki Beach. Delano Hotel is a great place to scout for celebs. Just walk through the lobby with its billowing white sheets, to the pool area. You will find a small bar on the far end of the pool. Casually scan the beds and bungalows lining the pool, you never know who you might see (Lindsey Lohann, Shaquille O’Neal, Colin Farell, and Jamie Fox and many more, regularly patronize this hotel).
South Beach has beautiful beaches and is a vibrant and exciting place. For the young and hip, it is the place to be.
For those looking for a beach bum experience or a kid-friendly place, South Beach is not the best option. The pace is fast and the shops and restaurants are hip, not relaxing or kid-accommodating. Also, most of the beautiful women bath topless on South Beach, which may make for an uncomfortable experience for families. Anyone visiting should come with their wallets’ full, South Beach may be the most expensive beach you will ever visit. Depending on what you’re looking for, it may or may not be worth it.
Thank you to my sister, Brandi McLavy for contributing this review.
Watch the video for a nice look at the water and sand.
South Beach and Miami Beach Florida
are actually the same place, but the popularity of "South Beach" has created confusion, especially for international travelers. My younger, cooler sister and her husband wrote this review for me and I wrote the one on
but you can rest assured they are the same place for all intents and purposes.