If you want an authentic taste of Miami in all its glory, head to South Beach. The Miami Beach neighborhood, also known to many as SoBe, is home to more than 40,000 people and regularly welcomes visitors from all across the world. In South Beach, just a quick 10 to 15-minute drive from downtown Miami, you should feel at home amongst both those who crave a healthy lifestyle (yoga, biking around town, vegan eats) and those who are fascinated by the glitz, glamour, and sparkle of South Beach’s effervescent shopping, architecture, and nightlife. Keep reading for our favorite things to do in South Beach. A long weekend is the perfect length of time to experience all that the South Florida beach city has to offer.
Stretch It Out with Yoga at 3rd Street
Whether you want to start or end your day with yoga on the beach, 3rd Street has you covered with a by-donation class that takes place daily at sunrise and sunset. Every day of the year, this yoga class takes place on 3rd and Ocean Drive. Students and the instructor meet at the lifeguard hut. Bring a towel, water, and some sunblock and get ready for some fluid movements that will get your blood flowing. Between April and October, classes take place at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.; between November and March, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., rain or shine. Detoxify your body and get your mind right so you can truly enjoy all that SoBe eating and drinking.
Get Cultured at Various South Beach Museums
Whether you choose to visit The Bass, Miami’s contemporary art museum founded in 1964 and housed in a historic art deco space with a garden, or The Wolfsonian—FIU, a museum, library and research center with an extensive art collection, South Beach is bound to have a museum that will tickle your curiosity. Like something a little wilder where art is concerned? The World Erotic Art Museum is a museum, library, and education center that focuses on the history of erotic art with a collection owned by Naomi Wilzig. Find everything from paintings, drawings, photos, and sculptures here. You’ll even recognize pieces by world-renowned artists like Salvador Dali, Picasso, Fernando Botero, and Rembrandt.
Enjoy It All With Your Four-Legged Friend in Tow
Luckily, South Beach is a super dog-friendly town, so if you’re traveling with your pups, they don’t have to be excluded from the fun. The boardwalk and Ocean Drive allow dogs, and so do most of the restaurants with outdoor seating. Hotels like the W and 1 Hotel South Beach are all dog-friendly, and if you want to take your pooch to play in the sand and swim in the ocean, you can do so just a short car ride away at Haulover Beach Park. Dogs are allowed to hang here daily until 3 p.m.
Dance and Drink the Night Away
Start or end your evening with a pina colada at Mango’s Tropical Cafe, a nightclub with live Latin music and entertainment until 5 a.m. daily. You haven’t truly experienced South Beach until you’ve done some dancing at Mango’s. Then there’s Nikki Beach. This indoor-outdoor club has been around for more than two decades, has a DJ on deck, and is the perfect place to party, day or night. If you want something a little quieter and more sophisticated, head to Rose Bar at the Delano Hotel. A glass of champagne is a no-brainer here; you can also indulge in LVE Wines, John Legend’s exclusive brand of rosé. Swizzle Rum Bar and Drinkery is the spot to hit up for a rum cocktail. Inside the Stiles Hotel, this 24-seater bar (plus additional seats in the lounge and outdoor pool area) is open until 5 a.m. daily and hosts happy hour daily from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. as well as themed nights like Tiki Monday, Smuggler Tuesday, and Prohibition Thursday. East Coast meets West Coast at the new Blind Barber inside the Nautilus Hotel. Neon lights and hip hop define this speakeasy-style club that you must enter through the barbershop—nothing like a not-so-secret secret bar in SoBe.
Get a Taste of Tropically-Influenced Cuisine
If it’s vegan dining with breathtaking decor you’re going for, look no further than Planta South Beach. For a hint of Southern style (think mint juleps and fried chicken), Yardbird never disappoints. The seasonal Joe’s Stone Crabs will give you a real taste of South Florida, whether you’re in the mood for stone crabs, good old lobster, or a key lime pie. And then there’s Katsuya—consistently delicious no matter what city you’re in, the sushi here is always fresh, and the food presentations are impeccable. When you want to celebrate with steak frites and some terrific people-watching, Prime 112 will be your go-to. In the Prime family, there’s also Prime Italian, Prime Fish, and Big Pink, so no matter what you’re in the mood for this restaurant group will have you covered from all angles.
Spot Celebrity Homes on a Stand-Up Paddleboard or Kayak
You may choose to just rent stand-up paddleboards or kayaks on your own and head out on an adventure tailored by you, or you may want a little guidance if it’s your first time out on the Miami waters. The good thing is that here waters are relatively calm, weather permitting. If it’s a sunset excursion you’re looking at, spend a little more money for the tour. You can also take a two-hour guided tour to Monument Island Beach, which is secluded and only accessible by water.
Take an Art Deco Walking Tour
It’s not the most affordable tour you’ll ever take (nothing in South Beach is cheap), but we can say with confidence that it’s absolutely 100 percent worth it. This two-hour walking tour will introduce you to Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MiMo) architectural styles that are found in the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District. Tours are $30 per person, discounted at $25 per person for seniors (65 and over), veterans and students, and they take place rain or shine, so dress appropriately. Comfortable walking shoes and a rain jacket or an umbrella should do the trick.
Do Some Window Shopping on Lincoln Road
Just a few blocks from the beach, Lincoln Road Mall is a superb place for shopping, dining and people watching. From Madewell and Urban Outfitters to Pottery Barn, Taschen, CB2, and Williams-Sonoma, Lincoln Road has all your clothing, home, shoes, decor, and gift needs. Enjoy happy hour on weekdays (a few of the dining spots even offer happy hour on Sundays) at some of the outdoor mall’s restaurants, like Doraku, Havana 1957, Meat Market and Sushi Samba. There’s even a movie theater on Lincoln Road in case you want to catch a pre-shopping matinee or a flick after dinner. Regal South Beach ScreenX, IMAX & VIP is everything you need a theater to be with multiple screens, new release films, comfortable seating for lounging, and, of course, a concession stand with all the sweet treats and popcorn you’d want to pair with a movie.
Transport to Europe’s Quaintest Streets at Espanola Way
If you’re looking for a European getaway without the price tag, head to Espanola Way, Miami’s historic Spanish village just three blocks south of Lincoln Road. Here, you can take a leisurely walk up the paved and tree-lined street, stopping in at different restaurants for Spanish, Cuban, French, Italian, and Mexican food, along with cocktails, coffee, and dessert to enjoy pre or post-dinner.
Discover the Beauty of South Pointe Park
Take a stroll through the 17-acre space known as South Pointe Park, which includes playgrounds, a dog park, a fishing pier, and more. Break for meditation or sit on one of the benches and listen to the sound of the ocean with a good book. Rollerblade or jog on the sidewalk, and if you get hungry, Smith and Wollensky is within walking distance with great steaks, wine, and all the excellent views.