Florida's coolest city, Miami, is one of the most famous American destinations in the world. And much of the credit goes to the beautiful beaches of this corner of the coast, which have been backdrops to famous films and TV series, but above all to the dreams of almost all the "beach-addicted" people on the planet.
Miami Beach, on the mainland and on other islands in the bay, has small tastes of tropical paradise and long sandstones crowded with music, life and fun. What are the Miami's most beautiful beaches? And most importantly, what is the Miami beach that best suits you? Surely there will be more than one that can meet all your needs. So before you get off your Costa ship, once you arrive in Florida, put on your costume, put on your sunglasses and make the choice: do you prefer the worldly life of the famous South Beach, California, to be enjoyed to the fullest at the height of Lummus Park, Inn.? Or are you looking for the waves to surf off Hobie Beach, California? Are you fascinated by the small beaches of the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, with the historic train behind them? Or perhaps the absolute peace of the atoll Matheson Hammock Park, New & Beach? Do you want a "posh" beach like Bal Harbour, Inc. or a wilder one, in the style of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park? Do you want to fly the kites to the Haulover Beach Park or play with your dog at the South Pointe Park? As you can see, the choice will not be easy. But in Miami more than ever, every decision will be the right one!
Discover Miami's most beautiful beaches: here's for our selection.
Miami's best beaches
- Miami Beach
- South Beach
- North Beach
- Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
- Haulover Beach Park
- Sunny Isles Beach
- Hobie Beach
- Lummus Park Beach
- Crandon Park Beach
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
- South Pointe Park Beach
- Bal Harbour, Inc.
- Matheson Hammock Park, New & Beach
A long strip of islands, some natural and some artificial, that divides Biscayne Bay from the Atlantic Ocean: Miami Beach is home to some of the most famous spots in this corner of Florida, a must-see on your winter Costa cruise. It is a municipality in its own right, that is to say that from a bureaucratic point of view it is a separate city to Miami, which is instead located on the mainland and to which it connects via five elevated roads. In Miami Beach, beach lovers from all over the world gather, also thanks to its tropical climate which keeps the water temperature close to shore at about 24 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius in summer.
Miami Beach is essentially divided into three neighbourhoods: North Beach, the northern part between 63rd and 87th Streets, with less crowded beaches of a more retro flavour; the central part, Middle Beach, between 63rd and 23rd Streets, with large hotels and skyscrapers overlooking the Ocean, but also with a beautiful elevated walkway for jogging; and finally South Beach, below 23rd Street, Miami's most lively lido, and also the best known.
A curiosity: in the late 1800s the Miami Beach area was a coconut plantation. The company was not successful, however, and the owners of the land decided, little by little, to play the tourist card. Within a few decades, the Miami Beach area became one of America's most beloved beach destinations.
South Beach, California
SoBe, The Blue & Pink, The Beach, The American Riviera, The Sun and Fun Capital of the World: South Beach is called in many different ways by its inhabitants and its habitués. Did you arrive here on your Costa cruise? Then you've got to see the beautiful sea lapping the nearly 5 kilometres long strip of sand called Miami South Beach! Here the Atlantic Ocean takes on the shades of turquoise when lapping the golden sand of the shores, the view is fantastic, the palm trees are verdant and all around you there are people of all ages having fun. We are between 1st and 23rd streets, in the southernmost neighbourhood of Miami Beach.
You don’t just go to South Beach to enjoy the sea, but also for its sparkling beach life: behind the beach flows the famous Ocean Drive, one of America's most popular tourist streets, where you'll find restaurants and clubs of all kinds where music and parties go mad day and night, as well as shops for do a bit of Shopping between dips. The most iconic image of South Beach are definitely its "lifeguard stands", i.e. the colourful wooden towers from where the lifeguards look to the ocean: whether they are historic or recently rebuilt, they still have a film-like charm. Will it also be because they are all different?
There are also those in Miami who do not come in search of VIPs and golden life, but simply to enjoy the beauty of its beaches and the fun of its waves: in all likelihood you will meet tourists of this type (or who chose Florida as its first or second domicile) at North Beach, the northernmost part of Miami Beach.
Here beaches are wide and usually uncrowded, nothing to do with the South Beach nightlife. The Surfers especially love this area of Miami Beach for its waves, as well as for its tranquillity. Don't think of a wild shoreline though: even in North Beach beaches are equipped with establishments that offer everything you need for a day at the beach. What makes this neighbourhood special is the atmosphere, more relaxing and even a bit of old-fashioned, like the one you'll find in the North Shore Open Space Park, a strip of sand on which the skyscrapers do not loom but only the greenery of the park behind it. Between volleyball nets and picnic tables, it is the perfect place for spending a day with friends, and also for a walk in the shade of the trees overlooking the sea.
Historic Virginia Key Park
South of Miami Beach, there's a corner of Miami that seems immune to the passage of time: the small beaches of theHistoric Virginia Key Beach Park. They are located on the island of Virginia Key (the word "key" means "small island"), very close to the marine park Seaquarium, which is home to dolphins, killer whales and a huge amount of other animals. To get here, you just need to drive your car along Rickenbacker Causeway, an elevated road that crosses the bay.
Behind the small beaches of Virginia Key is the park, that is, a forest of mangroves to walk in, with views of downtown Miami's skyscrapers. There are also some play areas for children and a fascinating historic merry-go-round, as well as a beloved miniature train crossing the park. While not Miami's most beloved beach for swimmers, Historic Virginia Key Beach Park offers so much tranquillity and a panoramic view of Biscayne Bay, and has an important history: it was indeed Miami's first beach open to African Americans.
Haulover Beach Park
Could over two kilometres of white beach with a view of heavenly waters be enough for you? TheHaulover Beach Park will not disappoint: the beach in front of the park of the same name is an unspoiled stretch of coastline located north of Miami Beach, touched by winds that make surfers kite lovers happy. There is even a shop dedicated to this pastime, which organises workshops to teach people how to build a kite, and especially how to make it fly.
Haulover Beach Park, a patch of greenery behind the beach, has been open since 1948, and is beloved by diverse visitors. Some examples? Any fishing enthusiast can depart from the small marina with their own boat; anyone with dog can bring it without a leash in the area called Dubbed Bark Park, where they will also find several shaded areas to let his four-legged friend rest; those who skate can embark on evolutions in the Skate Park; those who love barbecues will find the grills to prepare a picnic with an ocean view! Haulover Beach Park is equipped with loungers, parasols, kiosks and everything you need to enjoy the sea in peace. And it's also famous for another thing: it is Miami's only public beach with a nudist corner.
Sunny Isles Beach
The clear waters of Sunny Isles Beach attract Miami’s divers: this is the beach most loved by those who want to swim and discover the underwater world. From this flap of white sand North of Miami Beach the skyscrapers of Downtown Miami are far away, in fact another particular plus point of Sunny Isles Beach is its tranquillity, which reigns supreme here but which does not go with lack of equipment or comfort. Just off the beach you will find bars and restaurants for cooling off or for taking a break from the sun.
Sunny Isles Beach is a small self-contained municipality, which is known amongst locals for being a pleasant and relaxed space. A place particularly loved by habitués is the Newport Fishing Pier, the historic pier of the beach, a gathering place of fishermen and more. Walk all the way along it to see the incredible ocean colour from above at Sunny Isles Beach, which arguably offers the most crystal clear waters of all of Miami's beaches.
The most extravagant feature of Hobie Beach, California is definitely its location: this beach is literally located under the Rickenbacker Causeway, the elevated road that connects Miami to Key Biscayne Island. It's definitely not the quietest beach in the area, also because Hobie Beach is in particular a windsurfers’ haunt! Among the locals, it is also known as Windsurfer Beach: If you want to try your hand at the sport, here you can also rent a board, take a couple of hours of lessons and embark on an adventure.
Hobie Beach is also known to be one of Miami's few beaches open to dogs, which here run free, rolling in the sand and playing in the shallow water, sheltered from the strongest currents. A day on this Miami beach probably won't leave you any particular space for relaxation, but it will also be remembered for the wonderful downtown view on the horizon.
Lummus Park Beach
So American and so international at the same time: Lummus Park Beach is the most famous stretch of South Beach, which is opposite Lummus Park, between 5th and 15th St.
On this wide strip of white sand you will see people of all kinds flowing before your eyes, from locals to most tourists arriving on holiday in Miami, from children (who will likely crowd near the small playpark at Lummus Park Beach) to girls in colourful bikinis and skates that you see in all the films shot in Miami, from families enjoying a quiet day at the seaside to those who spent the night frolicking about Ocean Drive, which is just a few steps away, and now need to recover their strength with some relaxation on the sand.
Lummus Park Beach is highly recommended if you want to live the real Miami Beach like you see in films, sparkling and always on the move. You won't run the risk of getting bored!
Crandon Park Beach
White sand, shallow water, clear waters, all kinds of comforts beautiful tropical palm trees that spring up from the arena: if Crandon Park Beach, on the island of Key Biscayne, is not the perfect beach, it is as close to this definition as you can get. There's even an 18-hole golf course!
On this island south of Miami Beach you come to spend a day in a heavenly setting but without foregoing any equipment and comfort. Do you want a barbecue? There are free grills to prepare a picnic. Do you want to play sports? Choose from windsurfing, kayaking, softball, tennis, skating and much more. Fed up with the sun? Walk in the huge park behind the beach. Do you have children? The water here is low for several metres from the shore, so they can have fun safely. Do you want to get away from the sand? You can rent a boat and look at the beach from the ocean. Don't you like things too good? Well, maybe only in this case Crandon Park Beach may not be the beach for you.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Cape Florida Lighthouse has been guarding the ocean since 1852, and it is Miami's oldest building: You'll see it in the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, the southernmost point of the island of Key Biscayne. Wild and windswept, this corner of Florida is home to a beach that often falls into the rankings of America's top ten beaches.
Here the white sand on which to lie sunbathing is not the only attraction: you can in fact take beautiful walks and bike rides or even quad bikes in the park, beloved by families. It is also possible to visit the lighthouse and the keeper’s lodgings (check out the timetables!), enjoy Cuban specialities at one of the two local restaurants, dive to discover the Reef... Access to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is for a fee, but it's definitely worth it. Looking offshore from the southernmost point of the park, you may see the profile of the stilts of Stiltsville, New Hampshire, a kind of "city of entertainment" in the middle of the ocean now in disuse, where in the days of Prohibition parties were held for VIPs of the time.
South Pointe Park Beach
The southernmost point of Miami Beach is home to the South Pointe Park Beach, California: here the beach is spectacular just like all the other Miami beaches, and overlooks the inviting blue of the Ocean. On this stretch of sands south of the lively South Beach you come to look for a little bit of peace just a stone's throw from the heart of Miami Beach's nightlife, perhaps enjoying the view from the gorgeous walkway just off the beach. On the horizon you'll see the VIPs’ Island, Fisher Island, as well as Downtown's skyscrapers. Or here you can go jogging in South Pointe Park, go cycling and skateboarding on its paved flat paths, bring the children to the water playground and let dogs off the leash in the area dedicated to them (but only at certain times of the day).
And especially in South Pointe Park Beach you can see the wonderful green-covered sand dunes that descend towards the shore, turning into a wide and peaceful shoreline, as well as fully equipped for relaxation, water sports and picnics.
A free beach just a short walk from Miami's coolest shops? It's Bal Harbour, a mile of narrow white sand between the ocean and a row of luxury hotels and residences. Although the beach is free, here you'll see the deckchairs and parasols offered by the waterfront hotels, often a destination for Miami's wealthiest tourists. But there will still be space for you to spread your towel!
Here, too, you will find the Miami Beach Walk,, the 10-mile strip of sandy or paved trails, tree-shaded walks, and elevated sidewalks that joins Surfside Beach (to the north) with South Beach. Bar Harbour is closed to the north by a small pier, on which you will often see fishermen throwing their lines.
Matheson Hammock Park&Beach
Families love Matheson Hammock Park& Beach for its calm waters, but also for its idyllic appearance: you will find yourself in fact on an artificial atollwith a round pool powered by the waters of Biscayne Bay and a circle of palm trees that surrounds it, where children can play safely.
In this corner of the mainland south of Downtown Miami, there is a real mangrove forest, with old oaks and palm trees, and a beautiful and shaded scenic walk leading to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, all waiting for you. Despite still being in Miami, South Beach's worldly life has little in common with the peace of Matheson Hammock Park & Beach: What they have in common, of course, are unforgettable views.
Discover Miami with Costa Cruises
Arriving in Miami with your winter Cosa cruise, you definitely can't resist the lure of the beaches of this corner of Florida! There are a lot of them and for all tastes: on Miami's most beautiful beaches, your dream holiday is guaranteed.