Best Things to Do in South Beach, Miami: 12 Must-See Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do in South Beach, Miami
This post may have affiliate links, where I receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Are you thinking about vacationing in South Beach, Miami this year? Here are some of the most interesting, scenic, and unique things to do in South Beach. These sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable getaway experience.

Welcome to the sun-kissed shores of South Beach, Miami, a vibrant neighborhood that’s a playground for the adventurous and a haven for those seeking the finer things in life. This tropical paradise, nestled within the city of Miami, is a melting pot of cultures. It is a hub of exhilarating nightlife, and a sanctuary of serene beaches and parks. The variety of options in so far as the best things to do in South Beach can be truly overwhelming.

South Beach, or SoBe as it’s affectionately known, is a place where the rhythm of the salsa beats in the heart of the city. This is also a place where the art deco skyline paints a picture of its rich history. It’s a place where you can savor the flavors of Cuban cuisine in the morning, bask in the sun on a white sandy beach in the afternoon, and dance the night away in a world-class club.

From the iconic Ocean Drive to the tranquil South Pointe Park, South Beach offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to all types of travelers. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a party-goer, or a nature lover, South Beach has something to offer you. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in South Beach, Miami.

The top places to visit in South Beach, Miami right now
This article on the Best Things To Do in South Beach, Miami contains affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Best Places to Visit in South Beach, Miami

Ready to explore all the coolest things to do in South Beach, Miami? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this vacation paradise. So keep reading to discover all these unique South Beach places to visit.

Let me take you through the must-visit attractions, the hidden gems, and the unforgettable experiences that this neighborhood has to offer. So, get ready to embark on a journey through the streets of South Beach, and discover why it’s one of the most popular destinations in Miami. Here’s all the best attractions in South Beach that you should know about.

1. South Pointe Park and Pier

Looking for the best things to do in South Beach, Miami? Don’t miss this one! Start your journey in South Beach,Miami with a visit to the picturesque South Pointe Park and Pier. This beautiful area, located at the very edge of Miami Beach, offers a plethora of activities and stunning views. Whether you’re seeking a traditional beach experience with swimming, surfing, and volleyball or simply want to relax in the sand, South Pointe Park has you covered.

Don’t miss the South Pointe Pier, a visually striking boardwalk. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or some quality photo opportunities. If you’re up for a bit of fishing, you can even cast a line off the dock.

For art enthusiasts, the Obstinate Lighthouse is a must-see. This artistic take on a nautical stronghold. It is made up of 19 irregularly stacked disks and crowned by a beacon of strobe lights, pays homage to the role of lighthouses in coastal areas.

After a day of exploration, unwind at the world-class steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky, which offers incredible views of the water. With its diverse activities and breathtaking scenery, South Pointe Park and Pier is a fantastic starting point for your South Beach adventure. As such, this South Beach attraction is one of the most popular sights in Florida.

South Pointe Park: Miami's beautiful beach retreat with activities and stunning views.
South Pointe Park: Miami’s beautiful beach retreat with activities and stunning views.

2. Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Nature lovers will love this top thing to do in South Beach, Miami. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a lush, verdant oasis nestled in the heart of South Beach. This 50-year-old, 2.6-acre urban garden underwent a facelift in 2011. It has since regained its popularity as a serene spot to escape the city’s bustle. Both visitors and locals alike find solace in its tranquil environment.

The garden hosts a variety of activities. This includes yoga and meditation classes, orchid exchanges, horticultural seminars, and live music events on weekends. Its flora is a diverse mix of native Florida plants, including bromeliads, palms, and cycads. But it doesn’t stop there. The garden also features a Japanese garden and a wetland area populated with mangrove and pond apple trees.

The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is more than just a garden; it’s a community hub that brings people together through the shared appreciation of nature. It’s a place where you can find peace amidst the city’s chaos, learn about different plant species, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a yoga devotee, or someone seeking a quiet retreat, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a must-visit when you’re in South Beach. So, next time you find yourself in this vibrant neighborhood, take a moment to stop and smell the roses—literally—at this charming urban garden. For those seeking tranquility and relaxation, visiting the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is one of the coolest things to do in South Beach, Miami.

Miami Beach Botanical Garden is also a community hub celebrating nature through peace, education, and scenic strolls.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden is also a community hub celebrating nature through peace, education, and scenic strolls.

3. The Goodtime Hotel

Experience Miami in style at this unique place to visit in South Beach. If you’re looking for an experience that’s quintessentially South Beach, look no further than The Goodtime Hotel. This whimsical establishment is the brainchild of music mogul Pharrell Williams and nightlife entrepreneur David Grutman. With its pastel hues and quirky Wes Anderson-inspired aesthetics, The Goodtime Hotel is a destination in itself.

Every corner of this hotel is an Instagram-worthy moment waiting to happen. From its sprawling indoor-outdoor bar and lounge adorned with luxe materials to the central water feature where fire dancers perform throughout the night, The Goodtime Hotel is a feast for the senses.

The hotel’s restaurant and club, Strawberry Moon, is a hotspot for locals and visitors alike. Here, you can enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired menu while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re here for a summer pool party or a daily happy hour, you’re sure to have a good time at The Goodtime Hotel.

But it’s not just about the parties and the food. The Goodtime Hotel also offers a unique blend of comfort and style. This includes rooms designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia and whimsy. There’s so much to see and experience at the Goodtime Hotel. That’s why it’s no wonder this is among the best things to do in South Beach, Miami!

The Goodtime Hotel: Pharrell Williams and David Grutman's whimsical South Beach spot.
The Goodtime Hotel: Pharrell Williams and David Grutman’s whimsical South Beach spot.

4. Mac’s Club Deuce

For a unique experience like no other, you’ll want to check out this top place to visit in South Beach, Miami. For a taste of the authentic South Beach nightlife, make your way to Mac’s Club Deuce. This iconic spot, beloved by the late celebrity chef and travel journalist Anthony Bourdain, is a charmingly out-of-character dive bar in the heart of South Beach.

The Deuce, as it’s affectionately known, attracts an eclectic crowd of locals and tourists alike. With its pool table, jukebox, and vintage neon wall art, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring South Beach. And the best part? The legendary daily two-for-one happy hour that runs from 8 am to 5 pm.

Whether you’re a night owl looking to mingle with the locals or a traveler seeking an authentic South Beach experience, Mac’s Club Deuce is a must-visit. So, pull up a stool, order a cold drink, and soak up the unique atmosphere of this South Beach institution. Is this one of the coolest things to do in South Beach? Absolutely!

"The Deuce": South Beach's eclectic spot with pool tables, jukebox, vintage art, and a daily two-for-one happy hour from 8 am to 5 pm.
“The Deuce”: South Beach’s eclectic spot with pool tables, jukebox, vintage art, and a daily two-for-one happy hour from 8 am to 5 pm.

5. Lummus Park

A visit to South Beach, Miami would be incomplete without a stop at the vibrant Lummus Park. This park is the epitome of the Miami lifestyle, brimming with energy and activity at all hours of the day. It’s a place where you can catch a glimpse of the iconic Miami vibe, with people rollerblading, playing volleyball, or simply lounging on the beach.

The park stretches along the beachfront, offering ten blocks of lush greenery, sandy beaches, and a bustling promenade. It’s a fantastic spot for people-watching, soaking up the sun, or getting active with the outdoor gym equipment. If you’re lucky, you might even stumble upon one of the many pop-up markets that line the park. They offer a range of local crafts and food.

One of the park’s unique features is the contemporary art show, Scope Miami Beach. It showcases experimental, genre-defying pieces from hundreds of artists. For a fun and unorthodox means of exploring this massive area, consider booking a dual trike tour. This allows you to pedal along at a leisurely pace, taking in the park’s lush scenery and hidden gems.

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax, get active, or immerse yourself in local culture, Lummus Park is a must-visit destination in South Beach, Miami. It’s easy to see why this is one of the unique things to do in South Beach!

Beachfront park with lush greenery, sandy beaches, a promenade, outdoor gym, and pop-up markets for local crafts and food.
Beachfront park with lush greenery, sandy beaches, a promenade, outdoor gym, and pop-up markets for local crafts and food.

6. Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive

Looking for what to do in South Beach, Miami? Well, you can shop around at Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive. Among the many famous streets that run through this area, two of them stand out: Collins Avenue and neighboring Ocean Drive. These roads are heaven on earth for shopaholics, with dozens of high-end boutiques selling the contemporary, luxurious clothing that has earned the city its reputation as an arbiter of cool.

You can also soak up some culture at the many art galleries, or grab a bite to eat at its acclaimed restaurants. Later in the evening, party it up at the bars, before collapsing into a well-earned sleep at one of the many classy hotels nearby. Or just stroll along and soak up the iconic scenery. This includes plenty of brightly colored buildings in the classic Art Deco style.

It’s little wonder that this area has been used as a filming location for such classics as Miami Vice and Scarface… after just a few minutes of exploring, you’ll feel like a star yourself! So, whether you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, a culinary adventure, or just a leisurely walk amidst beautiful architecture, Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive have got you covered. There’s just so many reasons why a visit to this area is among the most fun things to do in South Beach!

Experience culture, art, dining, nightlife, and iconic Art Deco scenery in this vibrant destination.
Experience culture, art, dining, nightlife, and iconic Art Deco scenery in this vibrant destination.

7. Art Deco Historic District

Looking to visit one of the best places in South Beach, Miami? Add this to your bucket list! South Beach is renowned for its Art Deco Historic District, which boasts the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture. This area, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a must-visit for architecture and history enthusiasts.

The district is home to over 800 historic buildings, all beautifully preserved and painted in pastel hues. The architecture is characterized by its geometric shapes, curved corners, and neon signs. All of which are a throwback to the Roaring Twenties.

Take a leisurely stroll down Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue to admire the iconic buildings. This includes the Colony Hotel, The Carlyle, and The Breakwater. These structures are not just beautiful during the day, but also at night when they’re illuminated by neon lights, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere that’s quintessentially Miami.

To learn more about the history and significance of these buildings, consider joining a guided walking tour. The Art Deco Welcome Center offers daily tours that provide fascinating insights into the architectural style and the city’s history. Whether you’re an architecture buff or just a casual tourist, the Art Deco Historic District is a sight to behold. There’s so much to see at the Art Deco Historic District that it’s no wonder this is among the best things to do in South Beach!

South Beach's Art Deco Historic District is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts.
South Beach’s Art Deco Historic District is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts.

8. Time Out Market Miami

Attractions in South Beach, Miami come in all shapes and sizes, but this one is among the best! The phrase “Eat, drink, and be merry” truly comes to life at Time Out Market Miami. This is where the city’s famously diverse cuisine and excellent drink options all come together in a delicious fashion. Set up like an upgraded food court, it features 13 different amazing eateries to choose from. This also includes cuisine ranging from Trinidadian dishes at Clyde’s Cuisine to the Peruvian treats at 33 Kitchen.

Grab a hearty burger at Little Liberty, or try a new take on classic Southern fried foods at Chick’n Jones. If you don’t want a full meal, get your caffeine fix at Bebito’s Cafecito, or indulge your sweet tooth with some Middle Eastern desserts at Baklava Bakery. And don’t skip out on the cocktail menu, created especially for the market, which features input from beloved local bars.

As if the food and beverages weren’t incentive enough to visit, there are also tons of fun events in the space, from boozy disco-themed brunches to drag queen bingo. Swing by and find a new favorite treat at Time Out Market Miami! As one of the top South Beach attractions, you’ll definitely want to add this to your travel itinerary.

Time Out Market Miami: South Beach's diverse food court with 13 eateries serving Trinidadian to Peruvian treats.
Time Out Market Miami: South Beach’s diverse food court with 13 eateries serving Trinidadian to Peruvian treats.

9. Jewish Museum of Florida

As far as things to do in South Beach, Miami go, this activity is among the coolest! For a touch of culture and history, make your way to the Jewish Museum of Florida. This unique museum, housed in two historic buildings that once served as Congregation Beth Jacob, offers a deep dive into Florida’s rich Jewish history.

The museum has a massive collection of artifacts, objects, photographs, documents, and religious objects relating to Florida Jewish heritage. As you wander through the galleries, you’ll be transported back to the Art Deco era, with exhibits that beautifully capture the vibrancy of that time. This is more than just a museum; it’s a journey into a significant part of Florida’s cultural tapestry. As such, I recommend this thing to do in South Beach, Miami to everyone I meet.

Visit the Jewish Museum of Florida in South Beach for a unique dive into the state's rich Jewish history.
Visit the Jewish Museum of Florida in South Beach for a unique dive into the state’s rich Jewish history.

10. The Bass Museum of Art

Yearning for a getaway like no other? This thing to do in South Beach, Miami has got you covered. For those with an appreciation for the arts, a visit to The Bass Museum of Art is a must. This contemporary art museum, located in the heart of Miami Beach, houses over 2,000 works of art, offering a diverse range of exhibitions that rotate every few months. From modern sculptures to innovative installations, The Bass is a hub of creativity and inspiration.

The museum’s dynamic programming and community engagement make it a vibrant part of South Beach’s cultural landscape. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the world of contemporary art. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a casual observer, you’ll find something to captivate your interest at The Bass, which is considered by the most discerning tourists as one of the most unique South Beach things to do in.

The Bass Museum of Art: Contemporary art hub in South Beach, Miami, with over 2,000 diverse works of creativity and inspiration.
The Bass Museum of Art: Contemporary art hub in South Beach, Miami, with over 2,000 diverse works of creativity and inspiration.

11. Lincoln Road Mall

It would be a crime to write an article on the top things to do in South Beach, Miami without mentioning Lincoln Road Mall. Shopping enthusiasts, rejoice! Lincoln Road Mall is a fashion mecca, boasting iconic stores like Lacoste, ZARA, Gap, Original Penguin, Anthropologie, Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21, and NIKE. Whether you’re hunting for the latest trends or classic clothing, you’ll find it all on this bustling street.

But Lincoln Road is more than just a shopping destination. It’s also one of South Florida’s most popular people-watching spots. With the endless Florida sun and plenty of outdoor seating at restaurants and cafes, it’s the perfect place to watch the world go by. Located just blocks from the beach, Lincoln Road Mall is a premier destination for shopping, dining, and outdoor entertainment in South Beach Miami. Whether you’re a shopping enthusiasts or you just enjoy people-watching to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle, a stop at the Lincoln Road Mall is one of the coolest things to do in South Beach, Miami you don’t want to miss.

Lincoln Road Mall: South Beach's fashion mecca with iconic stores and the latest trends.
Lincoln Road Mall: South Beach’s fashion mecca with iconic stores and the latest trends.

12. New World Center

This is one of the best things to do in South Beach, hands down. The New World Center is a must-visit for any music lover. Home to the renowned New World Symphony, this center is where some of the world’s most talented young musicians come to perfect their craft.

Adjacent to the concert hall is SoundScape Park, where you can enjoy free outdoor concerts and movies throughout the season. Whether you’re seeking an evening of sophisticated culture or just want to relax in the park with a picnic, the New World Center is one of the best places in South Beach, Miami you should know about.

The New World Center: South Beach's must-visit for music lovers, home to the renowned New World Symphony.
The New World Center: South Beach’s must-visit for music lovers, home to the renowned New World Symphony.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in South Beach, Miami

Looking for more content on the top things to do in South Beach? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to South Beach, Miami:

What are the best places to visit in South Beach, Miami?

South Beach, Miami is a treasure trove of attractions. From the vibrant nightlife of Ocean Drive to the historic Art Deco Historic District, there’s something for everyone. For nature lovers, Lummus Park and South Pointe Park offer beautiful green spaces and beach access. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Wolfsonian-FIU and the World Erotic Art Museum. Foodies can indulge in a variety of cuisines at Time Out Market Miami.

What activities can I do in South Beach, Miami?

South Beach offers a plethora of activities. You can enjoy water sports like paddleboarding and jet skiing, explore the area on a bike or Segway tour, or take a boat tour for a different perspective. For a unique experience, try an escape room or visit the Museum of Illusions.

What is South Beach, Miami known for?

South Beach is famous for its stunning beaches, historic Art Deco architecture, vibrant nightlife, and diverse culinary scene. It’s also home to a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries and museums.

Is South Beach, Miami family-friendly?

Yes, South Beach has plenty of family-friendly attractions. Parks like Lummus Park and South Pointe Park are great for kids, and the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a beautiful spot for a family picnic. The Museum of Illusions offers interactive fun for all ages.

Stroll along the serene promenade at South Pointe Park.
Stroll along the serene promenade at South Pointe Park.

What’s the best time to visit South Beach, Miami?

The best time to visit South Beach is between March and May when the weather is warm, but not too hot, and the winter crowds have thinned out.

Is South Beach, Miami worth visiting?

Absolutely! South Beach Miami is a vibrant destination that offers a unique blend of beautiful beaches, historic architecture, world-class dining, and a lively arts scene. This makes it a must-visit for any traveler.

Which is better, Miami Beach or South Beach?

Both Miami Beach and South Beach offer unique experiences and it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re after a vibrant nightlife, historic Art Deco architecture, and a bustling dining scene, South Beach is the place to be. On the other hand, Miami Beach offers a more relaxed vibe with its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, and family-friendly attractions.

Final Thoughts on Exploring South Beach, Miami

South Beach, Miami is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a beach lover, a foodie, an art enthusiast, or just looking for a fun getaway, South Beach won’t disappoint. From its stunning beaches and historic architecture to its world-class dining and nightlife, South Beach is a place where memories are made. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore all that South Beach has to offer.

The top things to do in South Beach, Miami for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top things to do in South Beach, Miami? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment