In Miami, life’s a beach—literally! With a coastline marked by the endless Atlantic Ocean and the shores of Biscayne Bay, there’s so much more to do than simply relaxing when it comes to a day at the beach in Miami. Read on for the top 10 waterfront activities in this top destination.

1. Rent a cabana from a fancy South Beach hotel

Sunning in the lap of luxury from a cabana or daybed directly on the sand is a quintessential South Beach experience. Splurge on one of these plush setups from any of the lavish Art Deco hotels lining the shores of South Beach. You’ll enjoy access to a dedicated beach concierge with a special menu for food, drinks and water sports.

2. Play volleyball on Ocean Drive

Volleyball courts and sidewalk in Lummus Park

Ocean Drive is arguably the heart of South Beach, lined with historic Art Deco hotels and the lush greenery of Lummus Park. This energetic strip of beach is also where you’ll find public volleyball courts for pick-up games with locals and visitors. Test your skills on the sand or enjoy the spectacle of a rousing game, all with the dazzling Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop.

3. Go stand-up paddleboarding on Virginia Key

Virginia Key is a historic park and beach that feels miles away from city life. Head straight to the Virginia Key Outdoor Center to rent stand-up paddleboards or kayaks for the afternoon. Explore their tranquil lagoon, where you have a good chance of spotting manatees in the wild, and then embark on the open waters of Biscayne Bay for stunning views of Downtown, Fisher Island and South Beach.

4. Canoe Oleta River State Park

Aventura Oleta Park Canoes and Kayaks MS

Oleta River State Park is the largest urban park in Florida. In addition to its 1200 feet of secluded sandy beach, the park is beloved for its miles of mountain biking trails and mangrove forests ideal for exploring by canoe or kayak. Slow down the pace and listen to the nature around you as you look for migratory wading birds, crabs, fish and other marine life in the shallow water.

5. Attend a concert at North Beach Bandshell

For live music mingling with the ocean’s salt breeze, end your beach day at the North Beach Bandshell for an evening under the stars. Just a block from the beach, with string lighting twinkling overhead, this Art Deco amphitheatre plays host to world music concerts, dance lessons with live bands and food-truck meet-ups for a festive way to enjoy an evening out in Miami Beach.

6. Scale the lighthouse at Bill Baggs

Key Biscayne Bill Baggs Cape Florida Light House LS

At the tip of Key Biscayne, Bill Baggs State Beach is home to the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, dating back to 1825. Tour the lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper’s cottage and then enjoy the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the sandy beach. Bikes, beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent. The park is home to two restaurants serving authentic Cuban fare.

7. Fish off the pier in Sunny Isles Beach

Take a stroll onto the Newport Fishing Pier in Sunny Isles Beach for gorgeous views of the coastline. It’s one of the only spots in Miami Beach for pier fishing. Bring your bait and tackle or simply cruise the boardwalk to see what the fishermen are catching.

8. Take kiteboarding lessons at Crandon Park

Crandon Park Parasailers

Try something totally unexpected and take kiteboarding lessons at Crandon Park. This adrenaline-pumping pastime involves flying across the waves on a board while harnessing the wind with a kite. It’s a thrilling way to experience the beach and a fun way to spend an afternoon in Miami.

9. Rent jet skis on Miami Beach

If you have a need for speed, jet skiing is the ultimate Miami Beach activity. There are many points along the beach to rent these powerful machines. Zoom around the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay to get a totally new perspective on the Miami skyline, all while having the time of your life.

10. Discover Biscayne National Park

For boaters and snorkelling enthusiasts, Biscayne National Park is a watery wonderland ripe for exploration. With mangrove shorelines, sea grass beds, sand flats, coral reefs and shipwrecks, it’s an incredible destination for both fishing and snorkelling. You can even camp out on Elliott Key, just offshore.


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