Are you heading to Miami soon? Keep reading for a complete travel guide to Miami Beach.
Miami Beach is broken down into three different sections. South Beach, Mid-Beach, and North Beach. While most people opt to stay in vibrant South Beach, both Mid-Beach and North Beach are worth checking out. This post will focus mainly on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in the South Beach and Mid-Beach areas.
**Updated July 2019
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Complete Travel Guide to Miami Beach
Where to Stay
Shelborne South Beach. There are a lot of beautiful hotels in Miami Beach. Everything from budget to high-end. We stayed at the Shelborne South Beach on Collins Avenue and it was amazing. The rooms, the pool, and the food was wonderful. The hotel is right on the beach and includes private cabanas and chairs for those staying at the hotel to use. The chairs are free, but the cabanas are around $60.00/day. The hotel also provides attendants at the beach so you can order food and drinks.
Delano South Beach. If you prefer five-star, glitz, and glamour the Delano South Beach is the place for you. The hotel is also on Collins Avenue, about a block south of where we stayed, and the hotel is beautiful. This hotel is also right on the beach and offers many of the same amenities that most hotels in Miami Beach provide. There are a few restaurants and lounges on-site and poolside service.
El Paseo Hotel. For those of you who prefer to save a buck, or two, and don’t mind not being right on the beach, El Paseo Hotel is a great choice. It’s a boutique-style hotel (my favorite) and located on beautiful Espanola Way. I actually looked into this hotel before we booked anything, but we decided that we preferred to be on the beach since we were only in Miami Beach for three days. There are a lot of restaurants and bars located near the hotel and also lots of
Fontainebleau Hotel – Probably the most famous hotel in all of Miami Beach. The Fontainebleau originally opened in 1954 and has been featured in several films and television shows. The property boasts several restaurants and nightclubs and a 40,000 square foot spa. If you want to be treated like a Queen (or King), then you definitely want to book a room at the Fontainebleau.
1 Hotel South Beach – This hotel is right on the cusp of South Beach and Mid-Beach, but it’s technically in Mid-Beach. I am a huge fan of the 1 Hotel brand. Their hotels are known for using reclaimed material so the hotels have this rustic chic vibe about them that I love.
Where to Eat
Versailles – Although not technically in Miami Beach at all (it’s on the mainland) you can’t go to Miami and not dine on some authentic Cuban cuisine. Head to Versailles during the day for a Cuban sandwich and try the black bean soup and Yucca, too.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Yardbird is a restaurant dedicated to serving classic southern dishes and serves everything from a fried green tomato BLT to chicken biscuits to shrimp and grits.
Pane & Vino – You don’t want to miss this Italian restaurant located in the heart of Miami Beach. The pasta is handmade and there are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options, so it really is a restaurant everyone can enjoy. Pane & Vino offers indoor and outdoor dining, but I would recommend dining outside so you can people watch with a glass of wine.
Santorini by Georgios – Located in the Hilton Bentley and hailed by some as the best greek restaurant in South Florida, you’ll definitely want to grab dinner here during your visit to Miami. You can also check out Happy Hour for $5 Lamb Gyro’s and $7 cocktails.
Indomania Restaurant – If you’re looking for some authentic Indonesian food while you’re in Miami, then definitely check out Indomania. Fill your bellies with a plate of Rendang or Nasi Goreng.
Matador Room – Enjoy dishes inspired by Caribbean, Spanish, and Latin and South American cuisines. Matador Room creates seasonal menus that embrace fresh and locally sourced produce.
Bird and Bone – If you get a craving for a Nashville hot chicken sandwich in Miami, then Bird and Bone is the place to go.
Cecconi’s – Located in the courtyard of the Soho Beach House, Cecconi’s serves brunch, lunch, and diner. A modern Italian restaurant be sure to try the spaghetti with lobster or the chicken paillard.
Best Way to Get Around
Citi Bike Rentals. This is a great way to explore Miami Beach instead of walking or spending a ton amount of money on Uber or Lyft. The bikes are rented from a bike station with a credit or debit card and then returned to a bike station when you are finished. The bikes don’t have to be returned to the same station you rented from.
What to Do
Have a Picnic at South Pointe Park. We rode our CitiBike’s to South Pointe Park from the northern part of the island. It’s a really neat place to explore and get some beautiful pictures of the ocean. There is a pier that’s nice to walk down, but if you rent a bike, you cannot take the bike on the pier. There are also a few restaurants located in the park with beautiful, relaxing views of the water– Smith and Wollensky is one of them – if you like steakhouses.
Shop at Lincoln Road Mall. This is an outdoor shopping mall with a lot of different stores and restaurants. We spent several hours here on the first full day we were in Miami Beach and did some shopping and just walked around. I also picked up some macaroons at Laduree.
Walk Around Ocean Drive. This is a must. It’s probably cliché but I enjoyed it and I loved looking at all the art-deco buildings. There is a lot of shopping in the area and tons of restaurants on Ocean Drive.
See Art at Wynwood Walls. I feel like everyone who goes to Miami Beach goes to the Wynwood Walls. It’s a neat, artsy part of Miami with a bunch of urban graffiti art by artists from all over the world. There are also tons of cute cafes in the area so you can grab something to eat, too.
Get a History Lesson at the Ancient Spanish Monastery. If you are a history nut, like me, you’ll want to check out the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach. It is said to be the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere. It was originally built in Spain in the 1100s and during a social revolution in the 1830s the cloisters were sold and shipped to the United States. That’s not the whole story, of course, but if you want to know the rest you’ll just have to visit!
Have you ever been to Miami? What are some of your favorite things to do? Leave me a comment and give me some ideas!
Did you enjoy this complete travel guide to Miami Beach? I have also written travel guides for St. John, Tulum, New York City, and Los Angeles. Check them out if you are planning a trip to any of those destinations in the near future.
Complete Travel Guide to Miami Beach