Is the Sunshine State calling out to you? Answer Florida’s siren song by exploring all the best things to do in South Beach, Miami!
Originally a 19th-century coconut farm, today, “SoBe” is the most popular spot in Miami Beach and the ultimate playground for fans of surf and sand. This picture-perfect neighborhood is renowned for its white sugar beaches and vibrant nightlife, but it’s loaded with other treats to tempt travelers.
Flex your shopping muscles in high-end boutiques. Explore South Beach’s enchanting Art Deco Historic District, and browse world-class art museums like The Bass. Discover hidden speakeasy lounges, and savor delicious meals at some of Miami’s best restaurants.
Ready to unleash your inner explorer? Check out this guide to all the best places to visit in South Beach, Miami—and grab your Ray Bans!
Looking for more ideas for your trip? Check out our Miami Travel Guide for more recommendations on when to visit, where to go & what to do!
Best places to visit in South Beach, Miami
South Pointe Park
Looking for a spot where you and your crew (including Fido) can roam free? Set your sights on South Pointe Park, an expansive oceanside green space on the southern tip of South Beach.
Set on Washington Avenue in the affluent South of Fifth (SoFi) neighborhood, this beautiful 17-acre park is surrounded by water on three sides. The lush lawns, hills, and walking paths invite you to wander. (But don’t fret, sand fans: You’ll have direct access to the beach and South Point Park Pier.) Let the kids and pooches run loose in their very own play areas.
When hunger hits, check out local favorites like My Ceviche or Joe’s Stone Crab, one of the most historic restaurants in South Beach.
Prefer to picnic? Hit Joe’s Take Away for some of Miami’s freshest produce, spread out a blanket, and settle back to take in stunning views of Biscayne Bay, passing cruise ships, and the setting sun.
If you’re looking for a beachside multi-tasker, zero in on Lummus Park. This ten-block multi-use playground is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Ocean Drive within Miami’s vibrant Art Deco District.
Pack up your bike or runners and experience this slice of oceanside beauty as it comes to life with a stunning sunrise. Climb up the steps of one of the lifeguard towers and take in sweeping ocean views. (Got your camera?)
If you’ve got youngsters in tow, hit Lummus Park’s playgrounds. Rent a bike or some skates and enjoy the breeze as you coast along the beachfront. Got energy to spare? Work up a sweat with a round of beach volleyball. Or strut your stuff alongside other fitness fans on Muscle Beach at 9th Street.
Want to chill out? Take a dip, then settle back in the shade of a beach umbrella. When you’re ready to refuel, stroll over to Ocean Drive, where you can dig into everything from burgers to sushi to haute cuisine.
If you’re an art enthusiast, put The Bass at the top of your South Beach must-see list. A striking example of Art Deco, this historic building is a work of art itself. The Bass made its debut as the Miami Beach Public Library and Art Center in the 1930s, and today it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This renowned contemporary art space boasts 16,000 square feet of exhibition space. Explore multiple galleries highlighting works ranging from 15-century European painting and sculpture to contemporary North American, Latin American, and Asian artworks. Take a self-guided tour, interact with virtual reality exhibits, or customize your museum experience with a docent-led tour.
When you’re ready to reboot, grab a table at the museum’s café, then hit the museum store for some take-home keepsakes.
Before you leave, check out the amazing “Art Outside” exhibit, featuring impressive works ranging from massive sculptures to light shows to sound and wall murals.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Grab a map at the entrance to help you navigate a self-guided tour, then explore the beautiful ponds, stunning fountains, and an amazing array of plants and flowers at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
You’ll even catch glimpses of wildlife here. This subtropical gem is home to over 100 species of palms, orchids, and native plants – along with an idyllic Japanese garden and koi pond.
Lose yourself in the lush landscape and vivid plant life of “Miami Beach’s Backyard.” And be sure to keep an eye out for the black and yellow-striped zebra longstring – the state’s butterfly – as it flits among the flowers.
Take home a green keepsake from the site’s garden center, or check out the gift shop for mementos of your visit.
Art Deco Historic District
Ready to go retro? Then cruise over to Ocean Drive and immerse yourself in the Art Deco Historic District, one of the most picturesque destinations in Miami.
Pack your camera because you’ll want to capture the rich colors, bold architectural design, and flowing fountains that dot this neighborhood. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Art Deco Historic District boasts the country’s biggest concentration of the Parisian-inspired styles of the 1920s and 1930s.
Browse the Art Deco Museum and learn more about the rich history of the Art Deco District with a tour guided by the Miami Design Preservation League. Get up-close views of the stunning landmarks, hotels, and restaurants that feature the ornate carvings and mosaics of the vibrant Art Deco and “Miami Modern” styles.
Not-to-be-missed highlights include the stunning Villa Casa Casuarina (the former home of famed fashion designer Gianni Versace), the classic 1940-era National Hotel, and The Delano South Beach (a fave celebrity hangout).
Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach
Whatever your background, time spent at the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach is guaranteed to move you. The site is a sobering commemoration of a dark chapter in human history – but it’s also a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
Set next to the tranquil Miami Beach Botanical Garden, the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach was created 40 years ago by a group of Holocaust survivors to honor the lives of the six million Jews who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
Take an emotional and historical journey as you wander the outdoor spaces of this inspiring site and explore its compelling sculptures. View the names of thousands of Holocaust victims that have been carved into the black granite of the Memorial Wall.
End your journey at the memorial’s haunting centerpiece: The Sculpture of Love and Anguish. Rising dramatically out of a reflecting pool, this massive bronze sculpture depicts an outstretched arm etched with an Auschwitz tattoo and covered with hundreds of minute human forms.
Powerful and unforgettable.
History buffs with an eye for design are guaranteed a fine time at The Wolfsonian. Housed in a beautifully restored 1927 building in the Art Deco Historic District, this multi-tasking museum/library/research center offers an intriguing look at how art and design have shaped the modern world.
With a massive collection of over 180,000 pieces, the Wolfsonian offers plenty for art lovers to savor – so get set for some visual treats. How about an Art Deco postbox from NYC’s Grand Central Station? Or some classic Cuban cinema posters?
Feast your eyes on a treasure trove of multi-era-spanning paintings, furniture, ceramics, books, sculptures, and more. You never know what you’ll discover: The Wolfsonian regularly supplements its permanent collection with touring exhibits, films, and lectures.
Hungry for more? Pop across the street and snag a seat to catch an indie flick at the O Cinema, housed in South Beach’s historic city hall.
Lincoln Road Mall
Are you a fan of shopping on the hop? Then skip along to Lincoln Road Mall, set between 16th Street and 17th Street in the heart of South Beach. Sprawling across 17 acres, this is one of the city’s shopping hotspots, and for over 50 years, it’s been the place to give your wallet a workout in Miami Beach.
Explore a vibrant mix of restaurants, clubs, cafes, and boutiques along Lincoln Road. Stroll and browse specialty shops for clothing, art, jewelry, and collectibles. Dig into some of the best food Miami has to offer at the TimeOut Market Miami, featuring over 20 restaurant and beverage kiosks.
And if you happen to be on Lincoln Road on a Sunday, be sure to check out the weekly farmers market for locally sourced goodies, including fruits and vegetables, baked goods, flowers, and more.
Want to take in some wrap-around sights and sounds? Map out some time for Soundscape Park, a 2.5-acre urban park in the heart of the South Beach neighborhood. This vibrant, multi-use space is a community hub that exudes the city’s energy.
Set next to the Frank Gehry-designed New World Symphony campus, Soundscape Park is a magnet for visitors and locals looking for a spot to unwind under the trees or the starlit sky.
Immerse yourself in the park’s unique blend of culture, music, and design. Take in visual delights that include lush open spaces, sheltering palm trees, stunning reflective pergolas, and spectacular vines of bougainvillea blooms.
Fancy a family-friendly flick? Spread out a blanket and unpack a picnic beneath Soundscape Park’s 7,000 sq ft. projection wall. And music lovers can savor both the sights and sounds of the New World Symphony, the city’s world-renowned orchestral academy. Musical magic under the stars!
World Erotic Museum
A museum devoted to erotic art may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you’re planning a trip to South Beach, but shed your doubts at the door as you head into the World Erotic Art Museum. Chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Home to the largest collection of erotic art in the country, this isn’t exactly your grandma’s museum – and it’s definitely not for anyone under 18. But take note: the World Erotic Art Museum promises to deliver a “tasteful” depiction of “the Art of Love and Love in Art.” Check out their delivery.
Housed in over 20 rooms, the museum’s unique collection includes one-of-a-kind paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and artifacts reflecting the “Art of Love” as it’s been depicted around the world throughout human history. It also highlights the important work of prominent pioneers like Alfred Kinsey and Masters and Johnson in the research field.
But it’s not all academic or esoteric. The World Erotic Art Museum doesn’t shy away from poking fun at beloved Disney characters in ways that Walt could never have imagined. Hi ho!
Whether you’re a culture vulture or a serenity seeker, you’ll want to put Collins Park at the top of your must-see list. Nestled on the northeastern point of the South Beach Historic District, this oceanfront site is rich in greenery and a perfect place to chill out and do some people-watching. But don’t sit it out too long: There are loads to do here!
As the cultural center of South Beach Miami, the Collins Park neighborhood is home to a treasure trove of uplifting establishments.
Art lovers will want to peruse The Bass, a world-class contemporary art museum. If you’re really into cutting-edge art, check out Art Bassel at the Miami Convention Center. Dance enthusiasts can take in performances by the acclaimed Miami City Ballet, and music aficionados can tune in at the SoBe Music Institute.
Ready to give your weary right brain a rest? Explore the park’s gorgeous botanical garden, then hit the 20-block South Beach boardwalk and do some browsing at a fantastic array of shops along the way.
Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
Miami is renowned for its vibrant Jewish community, so make time for one of the most thought-provoking places to visit in South Beach: the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.
Set inside a beautifully restored Art Deco building in the SoFi neighborhood, this site was home to Miami Beach’s first Jewish congregation.
Take a cultural journey through the Jewish Museum of Florida as you explore a wealth of photos, artifacts, and films that document the history of Miami’s Jewish community dating back to 1763.
Originally built in 1929, this striking Art Deco-style building features beautiful stained-glass windows, a copper dome, and a striking marble bimah.
Take time to peruse the museum’s core exhibit, “MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida,” a fascinating collection of over 600 photos, artifacts, and oral histories that explore Jewish culture, history, and traditions across the Florida peninsula.
If you’re a techno nerd or a fan of cutting-edge art, you’ll definitely want to carve out time for ARTECHOUSE Miami. The name tells the story: this four-year-old attraction uses digital technology to explore and challenge traditional notions about art and its place in contemporary life.
Set on Collins Avenue adjacent to Lummus Park, ARTECHOUSE is a one-of-a-kind creation that blends art, technology, and science to come up with a new twist on the traditional definition of “the museum.”
It explores the past and projects into the future. A recent exhibit, Renewal 2121, used digital technology to imagine life in the 22nd century. Thrilling—and a little spooky.
All the exhibits at ARTECHOUSE Miami invite interaction, so go hands-on for a thoroughly immersive experience!
Time Out Market Miami
If you want the best food and drink that South Beach Miami has to offer, make tracks for Time Out Market Miami. Featuring the city’s hottest bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions, this is a one-stop shop that will satisfy all your cravings.
Housed in a sprawling 17,000-square-foot space one block south of Lincoln Road, Time Out Market is a carefully curated food hall that’s packed with an impressive 17 kitchens, three cocktail bars, a cooking demo area, and a video installation wall. Be entertained while you eat!
But let’s focus on the food. Time Out Market is home to some of Miami’s top chefs, including a recent Michelin star inductee. Dig into everything from burgers created by a James Beard Award winner to savory Caribbean food to mouthwatering pho.
And if you’ve got a thirst that needs quenching, don’t miss out on the daily happy hour and a late-night weekend happy hour. They make this culinary enclave one of the most affordable (and happiest) places to imbibe in South Beach.
Got a yen for nostalgia? Then take a journey into the past on Española Way in the heart of South Beach. Sequestered on a pedestrian-only, palm tree-bordered street embellished with twinkling overhead lights, Española Way oozes historic charm.
Dating back to 1925, this two-block neighborhood was originally intended to replicate the romantic Spanish and French towns of the Mediterranean. With its lovely pink stucco buildings, striped cafe awnings, and Spanish tile rooftops, Española Way is picture postcard perfection.
And it’s a perfect place to take a break from the buzz of Washington Avenue. Take a lazy stroll and browse the shops.
Snag a spot at one of the neighborhood’s inviting restaurants or lounges, sit back, and savor a drink or a meal. Check out local faves like A La Folie, where you can dig into down-home French classics. Or hit the rooftop at the trendy Esme Hotel for a great birds-eye view of the neighborhood action.
Time it right, and you can catch fun weekly events like salsa dancing, yoga, and an open-air market.
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila South Beach
All swished out from the uber-trendy Miami bar scene? Refresh your palate at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila South Beach in South Beach’s West Avenue neighborhood – and experience a blast from the past.
Upfront, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila South Beach looks like a modest Mexican eatery. But it gets more than modest ratings from regulars, who swear the restaurant serves up the best Mexican food north of the border. Think smothered burritos or mouthwatering seafood tacos – all washed down with your favorite beverage, of course!
But wait – there’s more! Crack open the blue portapotty door in the dining area (yes, really!), and step back 100 years into what could be a prohibition-era speakeasy.
Relax on a cozy vintage couch, or take in the scene from a loft above the main bar as live DJs do their thing. Take your pick from a drink menu featuring everything from prohibition-style cocktails to Bartender’s Choice – a bespoke concoction made just for you.
Aren’t you glad you opened that door?
Nikki Beach Miami Beach
If you’re looking for the quintessential (as in straight-outta-Miami-Vice) experience, roll up your jacket sleeves and sashay down to Nikki Beach Miami Beach.
A South Beach landmark for over 20 years, Nikki Beach Miami Beach is the ultimate in oceanside chic. With its trendy restaurant decor, seaside location, and iconic palm trees, this upscale enclave is a place to see and be seen.
By day, you’ll luxuriate in the feel of soft sand beneath your feet and the heady scent of ocean air as you savor a meal or sip a cocktail beneath the shade of a broad umbrella.
In the market for some stylish beachwear? Browse the “lifestyle boutique,” and you’re bound to find something that fits you to a T. Stroll the beautiful tree-lined garden and enjoy a Zen moment.
Conserve your energy during the daylight hours to prepare for nighttime action because after dark, the beach comes alive with sound and light. Break out the party duds!