Miami Beach is actually a barrier island, running south to north across beautiful Biscayne Bay from the City of Miami, extending from its southernmost tip (1st street) to its northern end, 88th street. Famous for its brightly painted, whimsical lifeguard stands and a great place for people-watching, Miami Beach is divided into 3 parts: South Beach, Mid Beach and North Beach. You can stroll along the beach from 5th street to 48th street. Soon, Miami Beach will extend the Beachfront Boardwalk from 1st street all the way to its north end.
5th Street to 24th Street
This area includes famous Ocean Drive, with its outdoor cafes and intense nightlife. It has a paved, lighted Ocean Walk that is excellent for jogging, roller blading, biking, and people watching. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available to rent; parking is challenging but available. Miami Beach is what is known as a 5AM city, and the busiest times in South Beach off the beach are after midnight! Miami’s most famous gay & lesbian beach is located in this area at 12th street, and all beaches in Miami Beach are topless optional.
25th Street to 63rd Street
This area is quieter and easier to access, with more available parking and less crowded beaches. The pristine Indian Creek Intercoastal Waterway parallels the beach here, and is a hot spot for rowing teams and novice kayak and rowing aficionados from all over the country. Easily accessible from Miami, the largest hotels in Miami South Beach (the Fontainebleau and the Eden Roc) are located here.
64th Street to 88th Street
Miami Beach’s Latin community is centered here, and it has a quaint neighborhood feel to it. The restaurants in this area are less expensive than those in South Beach, and reflect Cuban, Colombian, Uruguayan, and a wide variety of influences from South and Central America. This area also has the North Shore Open Space Park, a beachfront park extending from 78th to 88th streets for picnics, outdoor recreation, beautiful nature trails.