What are the best things to see and do in South Beach?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Amanda Arnold

South Beach has such a fun, vibrant energy — you’re sure to get swept up in the lively atmosphere. Here are a few things to do while you’re in town:

1. Stroll down/eat on Espanola Way. This little pedestrian-only street in South Beach is rumbling with music and decorated in white lights. The historic architecture and vibe will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a quaint European town. Outdoor seating at restaurants and cafes stretches out into the street, so pull up a chair and enjoy anything from Italian to Cuban food.

2. Enjoy the spoils of your hotel’s beachfront amenities. South Beach hotels aren’t shy about making your beach time as luxurious as possible. At the James Royal Palm, for example, guests are given a complimentary cushioned beach chair and optional umbrella, along with a complimentary basket of fruit and water to keep them hydrated. You can even order food and drinks from a server on the sand.

3. Take in an outdoor showing of a movie. Set up on a blanket, enjoy a picnic, and watch a movie projected onto the 7,000-square-foot wall of the New World Center, with the Soundscape Cinema Series. Movies take place on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., and they're free. 

4. Lounge. Swanky lounges and clubs abound in South Beach. So slip into your South Beach-appropriate duds and hit up the subterranean FDR at the Delano South Beach (for DJs) or The Regent Cocktail Club at the Gale Hotel (for a classic cocktail and a cigar).

5. Eat. South Beach isn’t short on delicious food. Popular restaurants include: Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, which serves Northern Italian cuisine; Casa Tua, which has a lovely lantern-lit patio for a romantic dinner; and, Villa Azur, which offers French Mediterranean cuisine. Or hit up one of the hotel restaurants — The Restaurant at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Setai, Miami Beach offers delicious Asian cuisine along with a dim, dressy atmosphere, while Catch at The James Royal Palm offers top-notch seafood, including a raw menu.

6. Indulge at the spa. Many of South Beach's hotels spoil their guests with spa treatments, steam rooms and much needed pedicures — The Spa at Setai, Agua Spa at Mondrian South Beach, Renew the Spa at The James Royal Palm, to name a few. Why not take advantage? At art deco Dream South Beach, we enjoyed a unique herbal poultice massage at boutique Shala Spa that did the trick to soothe aching muscles. Plus, we were even given a fragrant, to-go poultice to try at home.  

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