Commonly known as SoBe, South Beach is located at the southern tip of Miami Beach, flanking Ocean Drive from 5th Street to 23rd Street.
The 3km-long, 50m-wide, white-sand beach is edged by a palm-fringed promenade and Lummus Park (between 5th and 15th streets) and is lined with restored Art Deco buildings, shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, nightclubs and boutique hotels.
Pick a spot to sunbathe on the soft white sand and people-watch as the frenetic, ever-changing parade of quirky individuals makes the beach such an entertaining spectacle. Swim in the calm Caribbean-like waters, rollerblade the palm-fringed boardwalk or score points in a beach volleyball game with the locals.
Beach facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire, showers, toilets and lifeguards who operate from the many colourful stands. A beachside cabana service offers everything from sandwiches to salads.
Stroll the promenade to admire the pastel-coloured Art Deco buildings along Ocean Drive – the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the world.
Visit the historic neighbourhood of Plaza de España and Little Havana, see the oldest building in the US at the Spanish Monastery Cloisters and ponder the works of Albrecht Dürer and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the Bass Museum of Art.
Go shopping amid the fountains and palm trees of the exclusive Bal Harbour Shops, where you can browse shops such as Cartier, Hermes, Prada, Tiffany, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Neimann Marcus.
See animal shows and get wet on the water slides at Parrot Jungle Island or see wild animals roam in cageless habitats at the Miami Metrozoo. Watch huge cruise ships arrive and leave the Port of Miami from South Pointe Park or check out the reef in Biscayne National Park from a glass bottom boat.
Further afield, explore South Florida's Gold Coast and Florida Keys by hire car or tour the Everglades swamps on an airboat, looking out for alligators, crocodiles and a variety of birdlife as you cruise.
After dark, choose from an international culinary smorgasbord of fine dining restaurants then dance the night away at South Beach’s choice of über-chic nightclubs including Mynt, the multi-level Opium Garden and the Shore Club, with its themed pool-side rooms and legendary Skybar – the best place to spot hot supermodels. Or choose from three state-of-the-art dance arenas at Crobar.
Hire a convertible and join the locals cruising up and down Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive, bathed in the warm glow of neon lights. Surrounded by water, Miami is ideal for pleasure cruising, sailing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving.
The Setai, Miami Beach
Location: 2001 Collins Avenue, South Beach, Miami
Ave nightly price: AUD921 per room
Description: Located directly on the beach in Miami’s famous Art Deco district, this resort offers yoga and tai-chi classes. Suites are furnished in Asian-style décor. Free WiFi and an iPod docking station are provided in every spacious suite at The Setai, Miami Beach. Rooms are equipped with espresso and coffee facilities along with a minibar. Miami Beach Setai features 3 infinity swimming pools and a business centre. The on-site spa offers a number of massages and treatments, including a 60-minute Nepalese Body Polish. Concierges are available to provide recommendations. Guests can dine at 4 on-site restaurants including The Setai Grill, an American steakhouse serving Asian-inspired dishes. The Bar & Courtyard offers nightly drinks and snacks. Bayshore Golf Course is 1.6 kilometres from the resort. The Setai, Miami Beach is 1.6 kilometres from Lummus Park and 320 metres from Bass Museum of Art.
1 Hotel South Beach
Location: 2341 Collins Avenue, South Beach, Miami
Ave nightly price: AUD630 per room
Description: This historic oceanfront hotel features a private beach area and an on-site restaurant. There are 4 swimming pools, including a rooftop pool, available at 1 Hotel South Beach. A tablet with daily digital newspapers comes standard in every room, as do a 55-inch smart flat-screen TV and Bluetooth speakers. A mini bar, in-room water filtration system, and espresso machine with organic coffee are included. 1 Hotel South Beach guests can access the on-site fitness centre and spa and wellness centre. Guests looking for adventure can enjoy watersports activities while kids can explore the children's club activities. Beach Craft restaurant by Chef Tom Colicchio offers seasonal farm-to-table Mediterranean fare. Four on-site snack and beverage bars, as well as 24-hour in-room dining, are available. Shopping at Lincoln Road Mall is 1.2 km away from this hotel. Guests will be 5 minutes’ drive from the nightlife and dining of South Beach city centre.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Location: 3201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Ave nightly price: AUD798 per room
Description: The oceanfront Faena Hotel is situated in Miami Beach, Florida and features an outdoor pool and a South American-inspired spa with massage, nail care, and salon services. The fitness centre with an ocean view offers daily indoor and outdoor classes. A relaxed meal or cocktail can be enjoyed at Veranda, which boasts views of the pool and ocean. Pao serves Asian cuisine with international influences, including original rice dishes and fresh meats and fish. The restaurant, Los Fuegos, boasts an open-fire kitchen and dishes made with local ingredients. Guests can retreat to the late-Deco styled rooms with free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, and a safety deposit box. Each Carrara marble-tiled bathroom has bathrobes, slippers, and complimentary toiletries. Nearby, the Miami Beach Convention Center is 2.5 km away, and golfing is 2.9 km away at Bayshore Municipal Golf Course. Premium shopping at the Lincoln Road Mall is 8 minutes' drive from the Miami Beach Faena Hotel, while the Art Deco District is 9 minutes' drive away from the hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
Location: One Lincoln Road, South Beach, Miami
Ave nightly price: AUD631 per room
Description: On the beach in the city’s Art Deco district, this 5-star hotel features a full-service spa and on-site dining with Mediterranean and North African cuisine. Rooms have a minibar. The guest rooms at Ritz-Carlton South Beach include dark cherry furniture and blackout curtains. Guests can watch cable TV or listen to music with the iPod docking station. A work desk and laptop safe are also provided. The outdoor pool overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by day beds. This Miami Beach hotel also has a 24-hour fitness center and a business center. An extensive wine list is available at the Lobby Bar. Other dining choices include local seafood, steaks and specialty drinks at the contemporary Bistro One LR. The beachfront DiLido Beach Club serves Mediterranean cuisine. The Ritz-Carlton South Beach is 2.4 km from the Bayshore Golf Course, and the Miami Beach Convention Center is less than 1.6 km away. Miami International Airport is 19.3 km from the hotel.
COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach
Location: 2445 Collins Avenue, South Beach, Miami
Ave nightly price: AUD442 per room
Description: This beachfront Miami Beach hotel boasts a full-service spa, rooftop pool, and on-site restaurant. WiFi access is available in every room. Traymore restaurant pares Floridian seafood with American dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests can enjoy juices, appetizers, and entrees at COMO Shambhala Juice Bar while Traymore Gin Bar crafts over 30 gins. COMO Shambhala Urban Escape features Asian-inspired therapies that include deep tissue massages, restorative skincare, and facials. Nail care and waxing services are also available. Yoga and meditation are offered at the on-site fitness centre. Each guestroom features a 42-inch flat-screen cable TV, minibar, and an iPod docking station. Tea and coffee-making facilities are provided in each vintage-inspired Metropolitan by Como, Miami Beach. The hotel is 2.8 kilometres’ drive from South Beach and 15 kilometres’ drive from the Miami International Airport. The Art Deco District and luxury shopping at Lincoln Road Mall are each 6 minutes’ drive.
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From June to September the temperatures average 28°C (82°F) but can climb to 31°C (87°F). August is hot and humid and September has the highest rainfall with the chance of hurricanes.
Long considered the gateway to Latin America, the Port of Miami is the largest cruise port in the world and the starting point for cruising adventures to the Caribbean and South and Central America.
By air, Miami is serviced by Miami International Airport (MIA), located 10km from downtown and around 16km from the beaches.
Less-crowded Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) receives daily flights from all major US cities and is located around 28km from Miami.
Latest update Miami Beach honeymoon destination: 28 January, 2019