Of course there’s the beach — so much beach. But locals know there’s so much more to this neighborhood. If you’re not feeling the warm Atlantic water, stroll through South Beach’s many parks or one of its Instagram-worthy side streets, crammed with Art Deco architecture. Trying to beat the heat? We have museum and performing arts spots galore. (If you’re feeling some type of way, pop over to the World Erotic Art Museum.) There’s plenty to do on South Beach, so get exploring.
Basement, in the bottom of The Edition, is the kind of nightclub you would expect in South Beach, but so, so extra — and we mean that in a good way. What sets Basement apart are the rooms for ice skating, bowling, and video games. They also have some of the best parties, hosted by hilariously raunchy drag queens, and the occasional visit from celebrities like Trey Songz and Lil Wayne. The music is your usual assortment of Top 40 and classic hip hop, so it’s great for the weekend turn up with the crew.
Books & Books
It’s hard to imagine Miami without Books & Books. The local book store chain is the epicenter of the literature scene in Miami, with a constant stream of author talks and educational lectures. Roam the stacks and grab a bite to eat at the cafe. You won’t regret a single second spent at Books & Books.
Campton Yard, located behind the Hall hotel — where Ace Ventura lived during “Ace Ventura Pet Detective” — is destined to be the next Sunday Funday gathering spot on the beach. This cute beer garden has a gigantic banyan tree keeping everyone cool during the day, plus a bunch of fun games such as ping-pong, giant jenga, and a giant Connect Four board. We recommend noshing on one of the giant pretzels or the 3-0-5 dog. There’s even Kombucha on tap to complete the hipster checklist.
If you’re tired of the usual SoBe vibe, take a stroll down Española Way and get transported to a delightful cobblestone European enclave. The street is blocked off to traffic, so you don’t have to worry about that crazy Miami traffic killing your vibe. There are tons of awesome restaurants, and we couldn’t just pick one — but we especially love Tapas y Tintos for their fantastic nightly flamenco performances and A la Folie Cafe, because we just can’t resist an adorable French café.
What they do: Restaurants
Website: Visit Here
Hours: Everyday, 8 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Address: 419 A Española Way, Miami Beach
This 36.53 acre park has everything you need in the outdoor activity department. It’s got an aquatic center; a dog park; soccer, baseball, and softball fields; basketball courts; a tennis center; and a football stadium. Oh, and there’s also an eight-lane track, if running is your thing. There are also plenty of classes for kids and adults. It’s in the heart of South Beach, so after your workout you can pop over to a bodega and grab a healthy smoothie or post-workout beer.
No place on Miami Beach has as much foot traffic as this South Beach drag of shops and restaurants, so feast your eyes on the tourist splendor. It’s basically our Times Square, complete with bougie restaurants and street performers posing with tourists. The only difference: ours leads straight to the ocean. Come, people watch, then go find reasonably priced food a couple blocks away.
What they do: Shopping
Website: Visit Here
Address: Lincoln Rd Mall, Miami Beach
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is not big (2.6 acres to be exact), but it’s horticulturally jam-packed. The garden has an extensive orchid and bromeliad collection, along with a Japanese garden and edible and native gardens. It also serves as a venue for visual and performing arts, provides space for environmental education endeavors, and hosts yoga and meditation classes. It’s a good place to relax and enjoy mother nature off the beach.
Miami Beach Cinematheque
The Miami Beach Cinematheque feels like your most indie, hipster friend’s living room. Housed in the historic city hall building, the theater often screens obscure national and international films in its single 20-something seat auditorium. It’s the kind of theater where it’s totally normal to go and watch a movie by yourself — it’s actually what most people do. There’s also a small bookstore and cafe inside, if you want to get there a little early and awkwardly linger. Like all good movie theaters, they’ve got candy and popcorn for your viewing pleasure.
Miami City Ballet
The Miami City Ballet has blossomed into one of the top ballet companies in the world. For novice ballet fans, we recommend snagging tickets to an open barre session, an intimate evening with Artistic Director Lordes Lopez, a choreographer, and dancers for a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming programs. Ballerina hopefuls can take beginner classes for as little as $20 each.
New World Symphony
New World Symphony is a cultural treasure, with its Frank Gehry-designed venue, impeccable interior, amazing acoustics, and award-winning, bold programming. Over the years they’ve hosted musical genius Philip Glass, performed Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking Rite of Spring and hosted PULSE, a series dedicated to jazz-influenced works and contemporary hits. However, The Wallcast Concert series is probably NWS’s most popular program. Concert goers can watch the live indoor performance from a big outdoor screen — for free. BYOB.
Dirty Purdy, as the kids call it, is one of the best turn up spots in Miami; no cover, dope music on the regular, and all around good vibes. The main room’s dance floor is always banging and the DJs have some crazy sixth sense about what to play because every song is the jam, while the small room off to the side is home to the chill Caribbean and reggae vibes. Pretty much any night at Purdy will be a good time, but easily the best night is “Chocolate Sunday,” when it’s only the best variety of old school hip hop.
Soundscape Park is most beloved from October to April, when hundreds sprawl out with blankets, food, and wine for WALLCAST concerts, a projection of the New World Symphony’s concerts on one of the building’s walls. They screen movies too. But this shady park is open year round, 24 hours a day, and it’s quirky aluminum sculptures filled with vines and colorful flowers at the front entrance make it a pleasant place to wander.
What they do: Park
Website: Visit Here
Hours: Park open always, showtimes vary
Address: 400 17th St, Miami Beach
South Pointe Park and Pier
The southernmost tip of South Beach is also one of its most beautiful spots. A pier juts out, separating the beach from Government Cut, the waterway headed to PortMiami. It’s also got a big, shady park with bike paths, a field, an observatory deck, and a small water park for the kids. You can keep biking north from here until the boardwalk begins. When you’re ready to relax you can find a spot on the pier to watch the cruise ships come in, or find a spot to sunbathe on the beach.
The Fillmore Miami Beach
Ah, The Fillmore, thank you for the memories. It’s been one of the best places to see live music in the area for a long time, although the Miami Beach Convention Center expansion could end up claiming it. The turquoise blue Art Deco building has been on the beach since the 1950s, when greats like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Jack Benny played there. In more recent years, classic greats like Phil Collins and indie stars like Little Dragon have set the vibe for this place.
Tucked between a late night diner and a pizza place sits a peculiar museum, one that houses the country’s largest collection of modernist materials. And they were all collected by one man — Miamian Mitchell “Micky” Wolfson, Jr. The museum’s exhibits group together Wolfson’s collection in unique and quirky themes. On Fridays, the museum is free from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pro-tip: Their cafe is one of the the best spots to get a nice coffee, get a little work done, and be inspired by the walls of books surrounding you. Also, they have a great happy hour.
What they do: Museum, cafe
Website: Visit Here
Price: Members: free, Adults: $10, Seniors, students with ID, and children 6-12: $5
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (free 6 p.m. to 9pm)
Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
What is a trip to South Beach without a foray into the land of gay? Boring, that’s what. TWIST, however, is anything but. With rooms for everything from house to hip-hop, your little rainbow tinted heart will find whatever you’re looking for under this roof. The boys are cute and playful, the bartenders are flirtatious, music is on point and the crowd is friendly.
The Venetian Causeway was built in 1913 and it remains the best way to get from the mainland to South Beach. Locals and tourists collide to bike, walk, run or drive the Venetian, which provides the safest and most scenic route over the bay. Our advice: rent a Citibike, pack some snacks, and enjoy the view!
What they do: Things to do
Website: Visit Here
Address: Venetian Causeway, Miami Beach, FL, United States
World Erotic Art Museum
The erotic is everywhere, especially in Miami. From hibiscus petals to voluptuous beach bods, our tropical wonderland is pretty sexy. So it’s no surprise that we house the country’s only museum dedicated to erotic art. But don’t be confused– this isn’t a shrine to dildos and avant-garde condoms. The museum showcases Picasso, Botero, and other masters’ appreciation of the erotic.