Looking for the classic South Florida vacation vibe? Slide over Ocean Drive, the most famous stretch of road in Miami. Stretching between 1st Street and 15th Street in South Beach, Ocean Drive is everything you’d expect from Miami Beach, from white-sand beaches to all-nighters with cocktails in hand.
Ocean Drive is famed for its colorful Art Deco architecture, harkening back to Miami’s mid-century tourism heyday. It’s hardly surprising that the strip provides the backdrop for countless films and TV shows like Scarface, Bad Boys, and Miami Vice. Within the avenue’s historic Art Deco buildings hide some of the coolest and most well-known cafes, restaurants, clubs, and resorts in South Beach Miami.
Ready to experience Miami Beach’s most iconic street? Dig deep into Ocean Drive with this complete guide, including what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay!
What to see & do along Ocean Drive
Wedged between Ocean Drive and the Atlantic Ocean, Lummus Park is Miami Beach’s most iconic green space and the perfect spot to start your adventure. This famous urban park stretches from 5th Street in the south to 14th Place in the north.
Feeling a burst of morning energy on your holiday? Wake up before dawn to be in Lummus Park just in time to catch one of South Florida’s most epic sunrises. Afterward, hit the urban oasis’s paths alongside locals for an early morning jog or bike ride in perfect Miami weather. Or, if you’re looking for a pump, challenge the pipes with some pull-ups or muscle-ups at Muscle Beach at 9th Street.
For a more relaxed visit to Lummus Park, rent a beach chair and umbrella to chill on the shoreline. Work on your tan, cool down by swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, or challenge your family & friends to a game of beach volleyball.
If you time your visit to Miami just right, you might even catch one of the special events Lummus Park hosts throughout the year, including Art Deco Weekend, Art Basel Miami Beach, and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Art Deco Historic District
Step back into the 1920s and 1930s with a jaunt through Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the area sprawls between 5th Street and 23rd Street in South Beach along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue.
The Art Deco Historic District showcases over 800 historic Art Deco buildings representing the finest examples of this unique and colorful architectural style in the United States. In fact, Miami Beach has the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the entire world! Unsurprisingly, these iconic streets have appeared in many Hollywood movies, from Bad Boys to Scarface.
To learn more about the style, pop into the Art Deco Museum & Welcome Center on Ocean Drive, run by the Miami Design Preservation League. The welcome center runs daily two-hour walking tours of the Art Deco District, introducing visitors to Miami Beach’s distinct Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MiMo) architectural styles.
Want to explore the style on your own along Ocean Drive? Keep on the lookout for the neon-studded Beacon South Beach Hotel, Mango’s Tropical Café, and Colony Hotel, or enjoy the nightlife with a couple drinks at the more subdued Clevelander South Beach Hotel and Bar.
To see the Miami Beach Architectural District at its most opulent, check out the Villa Casa Casuarina. Once known as the Versace Mansion, the famed villa of fashion icon Gianni Versace is Miami Beach’s most iconic example of the palatial Italian Mediterranean Revival style.
Want to add a little excitement to your South Beach visit? Pop by BouYah Watersports in Lummus Park to see what’s on the agenda! The local outfitter, with several locations around Miami Beach, offers plenty of exciting water activities to add zip to your Miami itinerary.
Spike the adrenaline by renting a jet ski to ride wild Atlantic waves. Or, for a more relaxed experience, paddle around the Miami Beach shoreline on a kayak or paddleboard.
South Pointe Park
Although it’s technically on Washington Avenue, South Pointe Park lies just steps from the southern fringes of Ocean Drive. The park occupies the southern tip of Miami Beach, offering a multitude of fun activities and attractions for visitors.
One of the most popular activities in Miami is to meander along the walking paths of South Pointe Park to gaze upon dramatic views of the beautiful shoreline of South Beach, Fisher Island, and Downtown Miami. Try your luck fishing at South Pointe Pier, jutting 450 feet into the Atlantic coast.
If you need to cool down, dip your toes in the crystal-clear water at South Pointe Park Beach. One of the best beaches in Miami, South Pointe Park Beach features a ton of amenities, including restrooms, outdoor showers, and a splash pad.
All the South Beach sightseeing got your appetite roaring? Savor some mouth-watering steak and fresh seafood at Smith & Wollensky, cocktail in hand, as the sun dips below the city.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Beach Park
Located along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach’s affluent South of Fifth (SoFi) neighborhood, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Beach Park is a quiet, family-friendly alternative to bustling Lummus Park and South Pointe Park. Thanks to its laid-back vibes, it’s one of the top destinations in the area if you’re traveling with children in your group.
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Set the kids loose at the playground or grab a seat on a bench to read a book under the shade of palm trees. When you’re tired of lazing around, hit the waves on the beach, one of the quietest stretches of sand around South Beach.
Where to eat & drink
There’s no better place to start digging into the South Beach culinary scene and food culture than Ocean Drive. The stretch is home to some of the finest restaurants in Miami Beach, serving everything from delicious local fusion to international favorites.
Seafood fans can’t miss A Fish Called Avalon, a local favorite decked out in Art Deco style. Gobble down inspired seafood dishes like macadamia-crusted snapper and sesame-seared ahi tuna to the soundtrack of nightly live music.
Enjoy fresh Asian and international fusion appetizers at The Sandbar By Georgios to beautiful ocean views with a tropical cocktail in hand. Or drool over handcrafted “fresh-from-Japan” sushi at the cozy Azabu Miami Beach, located in the Marriott Stanton South Beach Hotel.
Remind yourself of Miami’s Latin and Cuban flair by stopping in for a meal at Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine Ocean Drive. Modeled after a 1950s Havana restaurant & rum, the popular South Beach restaurant serves a delicious combo of Cuban food and an endless variety of mojitos.
Looking for the classic South Beach beach club vibe? Dress to the nines and slink over to Nikki Beach Miami Beach. Open for almost a quarter century, this upscale beachside haunt in SoFi is a Miami Beach favorite. Enlighten the taste buds with its global menu, spun with fresh local ingredients while sipping classic and signature cocktails.
Or, for a less-refined beach bar experience, skip over to Wet Willie’s. The South Beach location of this popular Southeast-based chain of party bars serves up its world-famous frozen daiquiris, sporting quirky names like Attitude Adjustment, Call-a-Cab, and Shock Treatment.
If you’re looking for more eating and drinking options, take a journey north of the main thoroughfare to Lincoln Road. Lined with restaurants, bars, and boutique shops, Lincoln Road is yet another of Miami Beach’s top destinations for eating and shopping and one of the city’s coolest areas for locals and travelers alike.
Where to stay
As the city’s most iconic stretch, Ocean Drive is one of the top choices for where to stay in Miami. The best hotels on Ocean Drive are some of Miami’s finest, ranging anywhere from budget-friendly guesthouses to 5-star luxury hotels and resorts.
Stay on Ocean Drive in style by spending your nights at The Local House. Featuring spacious, colorful rooms, this boutique-style hotel offers guests a prime location along the main strip at a reasonable price for the area. Cool off with a dip in the rooftop pool before ending the evening with tapas at the on-site restaurant & lounge.
Get a homier vibe for your South Florida vacation with a stay at the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse. The studios & suites at this resort feature kitchenettes to bring a dash of home to your trip. Although there’s no pool, the property is just steps from the shores of South Beach.
With its rooftop sun terrace and outdoor pool, the Prime Hotel Miami is one of the top hotel choices along beautiful Ocean Drive. End the evening by sipping a cocktail on your private balcony to lovely views of the SoFi neighborhood.
Dating back to the 1940s, the legendary Betsy Hotel is a top-rated Ocean Drive hotel for luxury travelers. The hotel’s sophisticated modern rooms give way to a slate of luxurious amenities, including direct beach access, a rooftop pool, a library, and several on-site restaurants. Enjoy relaxation along the coastline and soak up the natural beauty in this little slice of paradise.
Craving the ultimate in Miami Beach luxury? Book yourself a night at The Villa Casa Casuarina. This boutique hotel occupies the former Versace Mansion, showing off the opulent Mediterranean Revival architectural style in its full glory. Escape from the buzz of Ocean Drive at this 19,000-square-foot villa, where just ten luxurious rooms await guests prepared to pay a premium to luxuriate in Miami’s history.