The 6 top beaches in Miami for soaking up the sun
Swimming, surfing, sunbathing, strolling along the seashore… whatever takes your fancy. If you feel like getting your swimsuit on and enjoying the sun, these are the top Miami beaches (or our favourites at any rate).
Before you head out, though, there are a few things you should know about Miami beaches. In addition to the usual red, yellow and green flags, they also have purple flags, which warn of dangerous marine life. This flag is usually raised for jellyfish, although it can sometimes indicate sharks. And while topless sunbathing is allowed—and there are even some nudist beaches—most women keep their bikini on.
Miami has a wide range of beaches, from very popular ones with lots of services, generally close to the city, to truly idyllic stretches of sand.
South Beach is the most famous beach in Miami—you’ll have seen it in dozens of films. Right next to Ocean Drive, this huge beach is packed with beautiful people showing off their tanned bodies they’ve been working on for hours at the gym as they rollerskate under palm trees. On South Beach you’ll also see the typical wooden lifeguard stands. This beach has a vast range of services and is usually very busy.
Bill Baggs Cape
Bill Baggs is at the far end of Key Biscayne and is home to the famous Cape Florida Light lighthouse. They run free guided tours, so you can get some sun, beach and history all in one. Bill Baggs is a very quiet, almost virgin beach, and its white sand and clear waters make it ideal for families.
Crandon Park Beach
Crandon Park is very close to Bill Baggs but has a very different feel, with far more services: restaurants, showers, sunloungers for hire… The north end is popular with tourists, while families and couples head for the south. It’s over 3 km long and also has an area with palm trees offering welcome shade.
Virginia Key Beach
Close to the Miami Aquarium, this is one of the city’s most charming beaches. It has a picnic and barbecue area, but if you walk a bit further you can find quieter spots where you can sunbathe without almost no one else around. You can take dogs (on a lead) and the north end is popular with surfers. The children’s play area makes it a great option for families.
If what you really want is to get away from all the crowds and tourists, Homestead Bayfront is the beach for you! You can hire kayaks to explore the ocean and there is even an area for sport fishing.
The only official clothing-optional beach in Miami, Haulover Nude Beach is the north part of the larger Haulover Beach Park, so if you head southwards, you’ll need to put your swimsuit back on. This is a great beach for surfing and other sports. It’s right in front of a marina with restaurants, tennis courts, shops and more.