You’ve heard of South Beach and of course Miami Beach, maybe even SoFi — the up-and-coming South of Fifth neighborhood. But have you been to North Beach? The area, lovingly nicknamed NoBe (like SoBe), covers Collins Avenue up to Normandy Isles and extends from 63rd Street to 87th Street on Miami Beach. It’s a little quieter and older than its Southern counterpart, but there’s still lots to do for families, couples, and even groups of friends on a girls’ only getaway.
Chill by the Beach in North Shore Open Space Park
We can bet that once you make it to Bark Beach, there’s no other beach you’ll ever want to visit in Miami. This beach is dog-friendly and has a dog run, playground, picnic tables and even a barbecue area. If you don’t have a pup of your own thats OK, this beach is fun, carefree, and cool for everyone. Don’t forget the water and snacks for you and your furry friends, along with eco-friendly baggies in case Fido has a beachfront accident.
Go on a Shopping Spree at Aventura Mall
A mall may not sound like the best place to spend a vacation, but Aventura Mall is worth checking out. The third largest shopping mall in the United States, this newly-renovated shopping center is home to stores like Adidas, Bloomingdales, Chanel, Fendi, Prada and more. It’s also got some of your favorite big-name restaurants, including Tap 42, Pubbelly Sushi, Genuine Pizza and Le Pain Quotidien. That’s not all — if you’re looking for a bit of a thrill, Aventura has a free slide (open to anyone who’s at least 44-inches tall) that is a nine-story stair-climb up and then a 15-second, high-speed plunge down.
Relaxe at The Spa at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
In the mood for a spa day? Carillon Miami Wellness Resort should be your go-to when in North Beach. This spa is the biggest in Miami — at 70,000 feet! — and has everything from a Finnish sauna to a state-of-the-art fitness center to a rooftop swimming pool and even a crystal steam room. Book your massage and facial here; you can also try an energy healing or acupuncture session.
Catch a Concert at the North Beach Bandshell
An open-air amphitheater built in 1961, the North Beach Bandshell is the place to catch an outdoor concert in South Florida. Close enough to the ocean to just feel the ocean breeze, the Bandshell’s architectural style is Miami Modern and its aluminum bench seats and string lights give it an air of charisma that can only be found in beachside towns. Truly a North Beach gem, the Bandshell can be found on the National Register of Historic Places and is now managed by the Rhythm Foundation, a nonprofit cultural organization known for presenting international music in the U.S.
A 1,043-acre Florida State Park, Oleta River State Park is located on Biscayne Bay and is the place to visit when you want to spend a day outdoors biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, or just soaking in the sun. What feels miles and miles away from city life and civilization is actually just around the corner, which makes it even more appealing to both visitors and locals, alike. Relax amongst the mangroves, go for a swim, enjoy a picnic — possibilities abound here. Oleta River State Park is open 365 days a year, 8 a.m. until sundown, and even has cabins available for rent on-site.
Visit an Ancient Spanish Monastery
The tale of Miami’s Ancient Spanish Monastery is hard to believe. This Medieval monastery was built in the 12th century and occupied by Cistercian monks for close to 700 years. There was a social revolution in the 1800s and because of it, the Monastery’s structures were dismantled and transported from Spain to the U.S. in pieces after being purchased by William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s. The Monastery was rebuilt in Miami in 1964 and is now open to the public for Sunday mass, guided tours, weddings, events, and more. It’s truly incredible being able to witness this monastery, to take a stroll there, or even sit for a minute and soak it all in.
Check Out Contemporary Art at the MOCA North Miami
There’s tons to do outside in North Beach, but how about a little arts and culture? Enter the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami. Dedicated to making contemporary art accessible to diverse audiences, the MOCA has been open for nearly 40 years (originally called the Center of Contemporary Art) and is keen on showcasing and preserving the best of the best when it comes to contemporary art as well as educating visitors on art’s historical influences. The museum has both permanent collections and rotating exhibitions and is open to guests every day of the week but Monday. The last Friday of every month is truly special as the museum offers a pay what you wish night with Jazz@MOCA from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Explore an Enchanted Forest
Many people have lived in Miami their entire lives and have never heard of Enchanted Forest Park. You might even say it’s North Miami’s best kept secret. The 22-acre park on a creek hosts pony rides, and has various jogging/riding trails and picnic areas for guests to enjoy the great outdoors under the shade.
If you think that there’s a lot of green space in North Beach, then you are absolutely right. Greynolds Park is a 249-acre park lined by the Oleta River. There’s a historic boathouse here; there’s also a 46-foot Observation Mound on site. Participate in a Guided Historic Nature Walk or reserve a spot for an EcoAdventures tour. These include Creatures of the Night and the Oleta River Canoe Trip. You’ll run into various flora and fauna at Greynolds Park. Keep your eyes open for foxes, squirrels, bats, turtles, raccoons, butterflies, and other living things.