South Beach is a neighbourhood in the city of Miami Beach in Florida. Thanks to its great nightlife, balmy weather and lovely beaches, it is a very popular spot for tourists to come and stay. It´s known as a hangout of the rich, young and beautiful, but it has a lot to offer anyone who comes to visit. There is gorgeous original Art Deco architecture to admire, fine oceanside dining to enjoy, and a range of sports such as tennis, golf, biking and water sports to get involved in. A number of festivals takes place here over the year, such as the Miami International Film Festival and Miami Fashion Week in March, the LGBT White Party in Spring, and the hip hop Urban Beach Weekend held on Memorial Day. Up until the 80s, the area was considered very poor and had a high crime rate. Gradually, a number of developers, especially from the gay community, moved in and redeveloped the delapidated old hotel and club buildings into successful businesses, followed by major developers who started the construction boom.
- South Beach was the first part of Miami Beach to be developed back in 1910.
- South Beach starts at 1st Street and ends at 23rd Street.
- In 2008 South Beach was voted the #1 beach in America by the Travel Channel.
- The 80s TV show Miami Vice used South Beach as a backdrop for filming.
- Due to a large number of European tourists the laws regarding topless sunbathing are rather lax on South Beach.
Things to Do
South Beach is a major entertainment destination and as such offers plenty of day and nighttime options to its visitors. There are hundreds of restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques lto choose from, plus plenty of shopping opportunities!
1) For some great shopping, head over to Lincoln Road´s open air pedestrian mall with a trendy atmosphere. Formerly rather run-down, it now is a vibrant arts and cultural center filled with unique boutique shops, night clubs and restaurants, and a reputation as the premiere shopping area in South Beach. Its esoteric and trendy atmosphere.
2) If you have an image of Miami as being full of beautiful hunks and bikini babes rollerskating along the boardwalk, then head South Beach´s Ocean Drive. The easternmost street of the neighbourhood is filled with prominent restaurants such as Mango´s and News Cafe, and famous night spots such as Pearl and Nikki Beach.
3) As the name suggests, South Beach´s most prominent feature is the clean white-sanded beach and the warm waters lapping its shore. Enjoy the relaxed vibe while going for a swim, sunbathing, or just lying back and people-watching!
4) For some culture take a trip to the Bass Museum, which specializes in art from the Renaissance period up to modern day. Some of the highlights consist of artwork by Rubens, Benjamin West and Cornelis van Haarlem.
5) For some proper nightclub action, Washington Avenue is where you want to be. The most famous street in South Beach offers you some of the world´s largest nightclubs, eg. Mansion and Cameo. The World Erotic Art Museum is also located on Washington Avenue and has over 3,000 erotic art exhibits from ancient to modern times. Despite only opening in 2005 it has established itself as one of the world´s most renowned permanent museums for this genre. An interesting architectural feature on this street is the synagogue Temple Emanu-El.
6) For a night not spent partying or clubbing, how about a visit to the Miami City Ballet, one of America´s most respected regional ballet companies.
Getting Around South Beach
Miami International Airport has a direct Airport-Beach-Express (line 150) that connects to all the major points in South Beach and runs every 30 minutes, 6am - 11pm, 7 days a week.
South Beach, like some other Miami neighbourhoods, has a mostly car-free lifestyle. People get around on foot, by bike, motorcycle or by using taxis and the public transport services. Many residents and tourists alike use the Metrobus to connect to Downtown Miami. The SBL (South Beach Local) is the most heavily used lines in Miami and connects you with all the major points in South Beach. Recent bicycle initiatives such as increased bike parking and bicycle lanes have made biking much more popular. The area is also very pedestrian-friendly as these days it is very safe and urban.
Accommodation and Apartments for Rent in South Beach
As is the case in any tourist destination, there is no shortage of accommodation to be found in South Beach. There are many hotels and motels to avail of, but if you would prefer staying in a self-catering accommodation such as an apartment for rent, a beachside villa or a private room with bed and breakfast, then look no further than Wimdu. We have plenty of attractive offers online, each allowing you a glimpse into the life of a local resident. Your friendly Wimdu host can hopefully provide you with insider tips to the area, where to get the best coffee, beer, seafood or nightlife! Also, the option to self-cater can save you the cost of eating out three times a day, allowing you to spend more of your budget on the fun activities on offer in South Beach.