South Beach Miami is a beachgoer’s playground, nightlife hotspot, and architectural wonderland.

What makes this South Florida destination such a dreamy escape? You’ll find an eclectic assortment of eateries, sidewalk cafes connected to art deco history, and ultra cool oceanfront accommodations.

Paddleboard ocean waves in South Beach Miami. FWT Magazine.

Paddleboard ocean waves in South Beach Miami © CT Shier.

Miami Beach Culture

There’s plenty to explore in and outside of South Beach Miami. For a thorough tour of iconic local architecture, stroll through the Art Deco Historic District. Take a walk along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue between 5th and 23rd Street.

For an in-depth cultural experience, visit The Wolfsonian-FIA (Florida International University) to peruse more than 180,000 objects. The museum explores progress of the modern world through exhibits, tours, and community workshops. Further along the shore, explore the art and culture of Palm Beach, Miami.

Your Miami Beach visit wouldn’t be complete without ocean playtime! Paddleboard lapping waves or soak up the sun with a beachside cabana rental.

Stay & Play in South Beach Miami

For a stunning oceanfront property with direct access to the beach, consider Stanton South Beach Hotel. My room had a private balcony with amazing views of the beach and neighboring art deco architecture. I also appreciated the crisp contemporary décor and in-room amenities, including a mini-fridge and bar.

Stanton South Beach Hotel. FWT Magazine.

Stanton South Beach Hotel © CT Shier.

The best feature of this hotel, though, is the immediate beach access. Few hotels in South Beach are located directly on the beachfront, so this was such a perk! I could stroll effortlessly from the beautiful pool deck to waterfront lounge chairs and umbrellas in no time.

Beach concierge service offers access to paddleboards, jet skis, and other water sporting equipment. If you prefer something more relaxing, try Stanton Spa for facials, wraps, and pedicures. Or try a Hot Sea Shell Therapy massage for a unique local experience.

Breakfast burrito at Lolo’s Surf Cantina. FWT Magazine.

Breakfast burrito at Lolo’s Surf Cantina © CT Shier.

Miami Beach Cuisine

Stroll along Ocean Drive and you’ll find a wide variety of sidewalk cafes and nightlife venues. Or wander through the Spanish village of Española Way to find an abundance of Italian, Cuban, and French eateries.

Along the beach, visit Lolo’s Surf Cantina for savory breakfast burritos or lunchtime tacos. I’m a big fan of the Baja Fish Taco with Modelo battered Mahi, red cabbage slaw, shaved radish, and Serrano aioli. If you’re a taco fan, visit on Tuesdays for half price tacos and tequila drink specials.

Baja fish tacos at Lolo’s Surf Cantina. FWT Magazine.

Baja fish tacos at Lolo’s Surf Cantina © CT Shier.

For a sophisticated dinner, visit Azabu to sample Chef Masatsugu Kubo’s culinary creations. The Robata Wagyu Steak was super tender and presented beautifully. My favorite menu items include Azabu’s Tempura Corn and the very popular Tempura Lobster served with spicy mayo.

Robata Wagyu Steak at Azabu Miami Beach. FWT Magazine.

Robata Wagyu Steak at Azabu Miami Beach © Azabu.

If you’re a foodie at heart, plan your visit to coincide with The Food Network & Cooking Channel’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The five-day event features celebrity chefs, cooking demos, and wine tastings. Or sample one of FWT’s favorite food festivals, the annual Seed Food and Wine Festival, in Miami.

Need additional planning ideas? Go to or Visit Florida for more helpful resources.

Note, a portion of the writer’s itinerary was made possible by area tourism partners.