Why go to South Beach, Florida, instead of the other beaches in America?
Its gorgeous ocean views and sandy shores near downtown will entertain you without leaving the convenience of city establishments and commercial businesses.
Found in the southern part of Miami Beach, this neighborhood houses residential areas, businesses, and lots of exciting destinations to explore.
But South Beach wasn’t a well-visited tourist destination in the past.
It was a coconut farm in 1870 before businesspeople came into the area and began investing in oceanfront development.
South Beach has become a powerhouse destination, especially in the summer, as tourists flock to its famous beaches, vibrant nightlife, modern museums, and architectural masterpieces.
Discover the 15 best things to do in South Beach, FL.
Get a Glimpse of Ocean Drive
If you’re traveling to see remarkable sights, you shouldn’t sleep on Ocean Drive.
Beginning from South Pointe Drive, this road strip is celebrated for its incredible view, especially at night.
You’ll see the moment when bright, vibrant lights attached to buildings turn on to create a stunning mirage of colorful lights and busy cars passing by.
The buildings along this road are also renowned for their Art Deco styles, featuring hard-edged designs and metal accents.
Ocean Drive is a famous location that has already appeared in popular media such as Scarface and Dexter.
Your visit to South Beach will be incomplete without a drive down this legendary road, so check it out.
See a Show at the New World Center
On its own, the New World Center is a postmodern-style architectural masterpiece by world-famous architect Frank Gehry.
Combined with high-tech visual and audio equipment, intimate seating, and talented musicians, the New World Center evolves into a premium musical experience.
Opened in 2011, this concert hall sometimes offers free films and public showings, which reportedly led to a better sense of local community among residents.
If you’d like to hear top performances from talented musicians, the New World Center is a great place to start.
You’ll find this concert hall north of Lincoln Road, so check it out!
Play Sports at Flamingo Park
In the middle of South Beach, you’ll find Flamingo Park, where you can spend your whole day playing recreational sports at their facilities.
From their swimming pool, tennis field, and basketball court to a baseball stadium, soccer field, and even a place for dogs, Flamingo Park has space for popular athletic and recreational activities.
It’s perfect for anyone looking to let out their playful side since most of the places in this park encourages you to try a sport.
Their facilities are well-maintained with friendly staff, so you have no reason to skip it.
Check Out the World Erotic Art Museum
This museum, situated along Washington Avenue, has a unique central theme—fine erotic art.
This unusual theme has made it one of the most exciting museums in the state and the only woman-founded museum that focuses on erotica.
Naomi Wilzig established the museum in 2005.
She wanted to share her collection with the public, a product of her cultural interest and curiosity.
Despite following a single theme, the works in this museum come in diverse mediums and come from a range of well-known artists and rising stars.
You can browse Wilzig’s massive collection of over 400 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and more.
Give it a chance, and you might learn something new!
Admire the Art in the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
Established in 1995, this museum puts the spotlight on all things Jewish with themes involving Jewish history, culture, and traditions.
You could trace the settlement of the Jewish people in the area back to 1763.
They nourished and developed their identity as a united community.
Their exhibits teach guests how the Jewish community influenced Florida and how the city influenced them.
Explore over 100,000 pieces of art and artifacts, ranging from photos, oral recordings, religious objects, old books, textiles, etc.
Visit this museum nestled along Washington Avenue, and learn more about the Jewish community.
Visit the Art Deco Museum and Welcome Center
The Art Deco Welcome Center is an impressive piece of 20th-century architecture.
Located along Ocean Drive, the Miami Design Preservation League developed this place to complement their Historic District, which features a line of iconic buildings in the neighborhood.
You can learn about three specific styles from the 20th century: Art Deco, Mediterranean, and Miami Modern.
It’s a go-to location for architectural enthusiasts and those who want to look at unique buildings.
Read self-guided brochures to give you a better understanding of the buildings.
They also have a gift shop where you can purchase vintage items, Art Deco-related memorabilia, and other souvenirs.
Don’t miss this architectural gem!
Relax at Nikki Beach Miami
Nikki Beach Miami is one of the best spots in South Beach.
With chic decor, seaside location, and quintessential palm trees, Nikki Beach Miami presents itself as a tropical oasis.
Feel the soft, fine sand at your feet and smell the fresh air as you dine on one of their classic wooden tables under a large parasol.
During the day, its vibe will lean toward leisure and relaxation, while at night, the beach transforms into party central with DJs and classic lighting.
If you want to experience South Beach at its finest, head to Nikki Beach.
Take Pictures in South Pointe Park
The South Pointe Park is a spacious urban park where you can roam around with a calming, panoramic view of the beach and the ocean.
The park was once a stable for police horses, but the development of urban buildings forced the government to turn it into a public park in 1984.
Besides the beach, you can visit the South Pointe Park Lighthouse.
It's a fresh, unique, and modern take on the traditional lighthouse.
There are also nearby restaurants, dessert concessions, and a dog park.
Visit the South Pointe Park, located on Washington Avenue, for a calm day of leisure and relaxation.
Explore the Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Expect a wide assortment of beautiful plants and flora inside the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
Home to over 100 species of plants, flowers, and greenery, this garden offers an endless parade of pleasing sights and aesthetic backdrops.
Besides its vibrant verdure, Miami Beach Botanical Garden also houses stunning fountains, ponds, and a few of Miami’s wildlife.
You can bring home a piece of the garden because they sell an array of native plants, flowers, succulents, and many others in their garden center.
If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry because they also sell products that don’t need nurturing, such as jewelry, totes, t-shirts, and other souvenirs that will remind you of this lush garden.
Feel the Vibes at Mango’s Tropical Cafe
Mango’s Tropical Cafe is one of the iconic nightlife spots in South Beach, Florida.
Feast on their delicious tropical-themed menu while watching live entertainment amid vibrant, flashing lights and decorations.
Their performances vary from live bands and dance performances to intriguing magic shows.
You can also partake in salsa lessons and dance parties if you get lucky!
Expect a fun-filled night out in Mango’s Tropical Cafe, situated along Ocean Drive.
Roam the Bass Museum of Art
South Beach is home to many unique museums, such as the Bass along Collins Avenue.
Built in 1964, the Bass came from the private collection of John and Johanna Bass, from whom the museum gets its name.
It features a collection of contemporary art, as seen from the artwork on display and even within the museum’s design and decoration.
The exhibits here are in the contemporary style, which often aims to make the audience think and reflect instead of focusing on the artwork's technique and beauty.
Some examples are the giant light bulb installation art, a white room with pink gloves, and various types of live performance art.
Ride a Boat with Miami Boat Charters
A trip to South Beach would not be complete without an engaging cruise tour around Miami.
Climb aboard their yachts and discover life beyond the beach into the water territories of Miami, from marine wildlife and ocean waves to nearby islands and famous hotspots.
You can choose from various tour options, such as four-hour or eight-hour day tours.
Otherwise, you can splurge on the more expensive, luxurious experiences.
Either way, you will get a chance to ride one of their boats and experience another side of South Beach and Miami.
This place is along Alton Road, on the left side of South Beach.
Watch a Game at Abe Holtz Stadium
Abe Holtz Stadium, located next to Flamingo Park, is an enclosed, public track and field where guests can freely run and exercise to finish their daily dose of necessary workouts.
There’s plenty of space in their track and fields!
It’s also constantly well-lit with well-maintained toilets and friendly staff.
You could also watch your favorite team from the bleachers.
Even on vacation, don't forget your workout routine!
Head to the Abe Holtz Stadium and burn some of your unspent energy.
Take a Walk along Espanola Way
Developed in the 1920s, the Espanola Way is a historic street filled with romantic ambiance as lights twinkle overhead, lighting up quirky restaurants, local shops, and sometimes, live performances.
The buildings in this narrow street resemble three styles: Mediterranean, Spanish, and French.
It’s a beautiful place to walk through, and with shops closely lined up on both sidewalks, you can choose firsthand which restaurant best fits your taste and current mood.
There’s also a variety of cuisine on the streets, from Spanish and Mediterranean to Italian, Japanese, and Vietnamese types of food.
Strolling through Espanola Way is a wonder that you shouldn’t miss.
Head to 5th Street, near Sugar Factory Express, to find this golden street!
Test the Waters at BouYah Watersports
Head to BouYah Watersports and try their diverse offers for a more explosive, fun activity.
They have all the makings of a thrilling, water-focused adventure in South Beach.
From kayaks, paddleboards, and banana boats to parasailing and guided jet skis, BouYah Watersports can give you that heart-pumping adrenaline rush.
Don’t worry about safety because their agency guarantees top-quality equipment, clean records, and friendly, professional staff.
Head to Alton Road, Pier A, to experience their exciting ventures.
South Beach boasts a superb blend of modernity and an island where you can see the contrast of pristine beaches with cool, towering buildings.
Whether you want to relax or have an exciting time, South Beach has attractions that can cater to your next mood.
There are plenty of options to try in South Beach, Florida, from scenic beaches, historical hotspots and unique museums to lively nightlife and water activities.