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Beaches that aren’t South Beach

Crandon Park Beach
Cape Florida
Relax on the sand
Rickenbacker Causeway in Biscayne Bay
Lifeguard hut on North Miami Beach

While Ocean Drive may be what we think of when we think of Miami, the city has much more to offer. This part of Florida has many kilometres of beaches and they are really worth visiting.
Miami is synonymous with the beach. And the city's most famous is South Beach, thanks in no small part to its starring role in countless films and TV shows. It is host to a constant flow of sculpted, tanned bodies. But, beyond South Beach, there is an entire coastal paradise you can - and should - visit on any trip to Florida.

Crandon Park Beach is celebrated for being one of the best beaches in all of the United States. It is located on Key Biscayne and comprises 3km of sand and a sea that is, we might say, bipolar: to the north, the waves are great for surfing; to the south, the calm waters are ideal for families. The palm trees invite you to lie in their shade and relax, with the sea lapping in the background. It is not too crowded and a range of amenities and comforts are available, including restaurants, bars and showers. This is the perfect place to spend a day with your family.

Also on Key Biscayne (to the far south), you will find Bill Baggs beach, which is the best place to indulge your inner explorer. This is the location of the Cape Florida Light, also known as “el farito”, the oldest structure in Miami-Dade County. The lighthouse was built in 1825 and is 29m high. It is worth climbing the 119 steps for the reward: incredible ocean views. Back at the beach, bathing in the azure waters or fishing from the breakwater are truly unbeatable pleasures.

Sunny Isles Beach has 3km of white sands and transparent waters. It is north of Miami Beach and you can get there on free public transport. Its dock, built in 1936, is its emblem. Not far from here, you will find South Pointe Park: large beaches with spectacular ocean views. This is a favourite among local walkers and the paths here make for a unique picture postcard, particularly at night, when they are illuminated with colourful columns of light.

Virginia Key Beach also has a lot of fans. It is in southern Florida, near Miami Seaquarium. You will not be guaranteed any alone time here because the excellent location makes it one of the most popular coastal areas for locals and tourists; even so, it still manages to maintain its charms plus some quieter areas can be reached on foot. Windsurfing is popular to the north, while to the south, dogs are welcome.

Our overview of beaches beyond South Beach ends at Haulover Beach. Its claim to fame is being the only legal nudist beach in Miami, although, in reality, only the north part is nudist. Further to this, it is the ideal place for doing sport: surfing, tennis and golf.

For some alone time

If you want to escape from the hordes of tourists destroying the beaches of Miami seven days a week, we recommend Homestead Bayfront. This is the least touristy of all the beaches mentioned here. It is located to the south of Miami-Dade County, next to Biscayne National Park, famous for its coral reefs. as well as enjoying a swim, you can rent a canoe and go out into the Atlantic.

Guidance for visiting Miami beaches

In addition to the adviceyou would follow at any beach (a good dollop of sun protection, respecting the rules and not leaving rubbish behind), there are several things to remember about Miami. For one, a lot of beaches have areas dedicated to surfing. You also have to pay attention to the colours of the flags. On the coast of Florida, it is not unusual for migrating sharks to pass by. When sharks are nearby, the lifeguards put up two red flags, one next to the other. If you see them, it is better not to go into the water.

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