Miami Beaches are dominated by the combination beachfront activitoes and nightlife of Ocean Beach. The beaches of Virginia Key Park, South Pointe Park and Biscayne National Park don’t register as high of the excitement scale, but are nonetheless interesting for families.
DESCRIPTION: Aside from the bold and beautiful, this avant-garde beachfront attracts a preponderance of Europeans and Latin Americans. Many visitors go topless on the beach. In the summer, jog in the early morning or sunset to prevent dehydration. If insist on sunbathing during the day, consider renting a private cabana in front of a hotel. Those with more active lifestyles can rent a bike or motorized scooter at 5th and Washington. Along Ocean Drive, tour art deco buildings from 5th Street to 22nd Street that feature magnificently restored boutique hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The Versace Mansion at 1116 Ocean Drive, which was one of the most expensive homes in America, reopened as 5-star luxury hotel. Million dollar condos and luxury resorts line the beachfront North of 22nd Street. Metered parking on Ocean Drive is expensive. For that reason, many people park one block west on Collins Avenue. Enjoy the bounty as long as it lasts, since the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has an endless job to re-sand the beachfront washed away each year.
ADDRESS: Ocean Drive from 1st Street to 22nd Street, Miami Beach, FL MAP
Playtime Water Sports
DESCRIPTION: This facility provides umbrellas, cabanas, hammocks, wave runners, boat rentals, kayaking, parasailing, Hobie Cat and banana boating equipment.
ADDRESS: 4833 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL MAP
South Beach Divers
DESCRIPTION: Miami Beach’s only PADI 5-Star facility also offers refresher dive classes. Weather permitting, daily dives are available to shipwrecks off Miami Beach, plus dive and snorkel trips to Key Largo.
ADDRESS: 850 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL MAP
South Pointe Park
DESCRIPTION: At the southern-most point of Miami Beach, catch a weekend concert at the band shell. This is a great place to take a walk, roller blade, watch people and watch cruise ships go by as they exit Government Cut. There are picnic tables, restrooms and a nearby seafood restaurant. The best times to see cruise ships arrive is before 9am. Most people leave between 3pm-6pm.
ADDRESS: at the foot of Washington Aveue, Miami Beach, FL MAP
Virginia Key Park and Beach
DESCRIPTION: Built on a narrow man-made strip of land, Virginia Key is a nice bayside beach loved by families and features lots of water sports.
ADDRESS: Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL MAP
Biscayne National Park
DESCRIPTION: A 53-foot glass-bottom boat and a 45-foot diving-snorkeling catamaran takes adventurers across southern Biscayne Bay, through wilderness, mangrove creeks, islands, and out to tropical coral reefs teeming with sea life. Canoe and kayak rentals, picnic area, walking trails and shower facilities are available. Waterfront visitor center is open daily 8am-5:30p. For more excitement, check out the glass bottom boat tour: adults $20, age 12 and under $13; scuba diving $45, snorkeling $30. The glass-bottom boat departs at 10am, scuba snorkel departs in the afternoon. Reservations for activities are generally required.
ADDRESS: 9700 SW 328th Street, Homestead, FL MAP