Magnificent beaches can be found all over the world, but what sets Miami’s beaches apart is not only the beauty of their tropical settings —it’s their great variety. Along AlA Highway (Collins Avenue) from the southern tip of Miami Beach (1st St.) to Sunny Isles (192nd St.) are ten miles of sandy shore. Just across the Rickenbacker Causeway are three more miles of beaches on Key Biscayne.
With an average annual air temperature of 75.3 degrees and an average surf temperature of 74 degrees, Miami’s subtropical climate offers ample opportunity to enjoy waterfront activities year round.
Information on those beaches operated by the County may be obtained from the Metro-Dade County, Parks and Recreation Department. For information on beaches located within the City of Miami Beach, check out the Parks and Recreation Department website or call 305-673-7730. Specific information on surf conditions and lifeguard hours can be obtained by calling the Beach Patrol at 673-7714.
Best Beaches in the Miami Area
The barrier between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Miami Beach extends from South Pointe Park north to 87th Street. The beach itself was restored in 1981 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a three-year project to reverse the effects of erosion. Today, the now 300-foot-wide sandy shoreline accommodates over seven million beach lovers annually.
Beaches within the City of Miami Beach are open daily with lifeguards on duty. The beaches have public parking lots, restrooms and outdoor showers. Metered parking is available at city beaches. The lots fill up by 10 a.m. on weekends and holidays; after that time, leave your car at the hotel and take one of the frequent Collins Avenue buses or the numerous cruising taxicabs. The beach area recognized as the best location for swimming is between 21st and 64th streets.
Ocean Drive between 5th & 15th Street
Lummus Park is recognized as a great swimming beach. The park has a food concession stand, children’s playground and walking trails.
North Shore State Recreation Area
79th to 87th Streets
East of Collins Avenue
If you like your beaches romantic, with nothing louder than the waves lapping the shore, try secluded North Shore State Recreation Area. All park amenities are present including a food concession stand, picnic shelters and barbecue grills. For active sun worshipers, there are also walking trails, a bike path, and vita course. Fishing is permitted.
South Pointe Park
1 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach’s First Street beach area is a choice surfing spot; only experienced surfers should try the waves after summer tropical storms. The wide beach, pier, boardwalk, vita course, picnic area with barbecue grills, children’s playground and nearby marina provide a lively ambiance. The park is also a prime spot to watch ocean-bound cruise ships.
Heading south on the Rickenbacker Causeway over the Bear Cut Bridge toll road, you arrive in Key Biscayne with its three miles of carefully preserved beaches. This subtropical island has retained much of its natural beauty despite its proximity to metropolitan Miami.
4000 Crandon Blvd.
A 500-acre fully equipped park and beach area operated by the Metro-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department. Park amenities include baseball/softball fields, picnic and barbecue grills, playground equipment, shower facilities, boat rentals, bike path, vita course, walking trails, tennis course, golf course and food concessions.
North side of the Rickenbacker Causeway
The best windsurfing beach in the Miami area. Virginia Key Beach, which is located off North Rickenbacker Causeway in Virginia Key, is also a prime spot — but only for the more advanced windsurfer.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida
State Recreation Area
1260 South Crandon Boulevard The best picnic beach in the area, this 400-acre park has picnic tables set in peaceful, wooded surroundings. Much of the park’s waterfront provides panoramic views of the City of Miami skyline. Also at this location, shower facilities, food concession stand, playground, walking trails, children’s playground, bike path and fishing.
Metro-Dade County Parks and Beaches
10800 Collins Avenue
South of Sunny Isles
Haulover Park and Pier, located on AlA, north of Bal Harbour, has the best pier fishing in the area. The park and beach areas are operated by Metro-Dade County. The well-equipped park also has walking trails, bike path, vita course, picnic and barbecue facilities, shower facilities and food concessions.
Matheson Hammock Park
9610 Old Cutler Road
The best location for kids, this park has lifeguards, boating facilities, guided nature walks, a picnic area with barbecue grills, a bait and tackle shop, food concessions and restrooms. There is also an atoll pool with bay water for pleasure swimming and wading without the surf or rough currents.