Miami’s most exciting area, South Beach, which occupies the southernmost three miles of Miami Beach is the natural place to start this list. Filled with pastel-coloured Art Deco buildings, up-and-coming art galleries, modish diners and suntanned beach addicts, it’s often celebrated as one of the hippest places in the world. Socially, South Beach has an unbeatable buzz. Here, Latin, black and white cultures happily collide, gay and straight tourists soak up the sun together, and Cuban cafés and chic boutiques sit side by side. Though elsewhere Miami’s cultural schizophrenia may cause friction, here it’s at its riotous, cocktail-clinking best. Try to turn in early one night and wake up for an early-morning stroll– the lucid white light and wave-lapped tranquillity are striking.
When planning your trip to Miami, read our detailed guide to the best places to stay in Miami and choose the best option for you.
Bahia Honda State Park
Beaches are rarely found in the Keys, owing to the reef, but the sands at the 300-acre Bahia Honda State Park are some the best. Among the finest are Sandspur Beach, Calusa Beach and Loggerhead Beach, all of which offer golden sand, good swimming and snorkelling, and the opportunity to view rare plants, eagle rays, jackfish and the occasional nurse shark.