Introducing Miami Beach
Experience a South Miami Beach honeymoon or romantic getaway at what is arguably the coolest beach in the world, famous for its heritage-listed Art Deco architecture, high energy and steamy nightlife.
What to do and see in Miami Beach
Rub shoulders with celebrities and super models, be pampered in luxurious accommodation, enjoy fine dining, shop at high-end boutiques and mix with the über-hip crowd at sleek space-age nightclubs on the so-called American Riviera – the place to see and be seen among the world’s bon vivants.
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.
South Miami Beach offers honeymoon couples a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including: the luxurious and elegant Setai, Miami Beach, probably the most expensive hotel on the beachfront; the historic Mediterranean revivalist-style Biltmore, whose guests have included Al Capone and the Duchess of Windsor; the trendy Shore Club, a favourite with A-list Hollywood celebrities; the stunning Art Deco Raleigh Hotel, dating back to 1940 and home to a fabulous palm-lined swimming pool; and the Ritz Carlton South Beach, probably the best beach hotel, with its dedicated DiLido Beach Club and instant beach waiter service.
If budgets are tight, try the inexpensive Crest Hotel Suites or the Loews, which is especially suited to families with its activity-filled Loews Loves Kids program.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotels in Miami Beach at TripAdvisor.
Best time to honeymoon in South Miami Beach
The best time for a South Miami Beach honeymoon is from December to May, with sunny skies and temperatures averaging 23°C (rising to 28°C in May).
From June to September the temperatures average 28°C but can climb to 31°C. August is hot and humid and September has the highest rainfall with the chance of hurricanes. For more climate info: Miami Beach Weather Guide
South Miami Beach is located at the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula, Miami Beach is the largest of a series of flat barrier islands separating the Atlantic Ocean from Biscayne Bay and the city of Miami, which lies to the west. To the south lies Florida Keys.
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.
Note: MIA is the second largest airport in the US and is presently undergoing extensive renovations that are expected to continue until July 2011.