I’ve been living in Miami for a few months now, and I’m still a fan of South Beach. This isn’t something I usually admit to my local friends, though. That’s because it seems pretty fashionable to poke fun at Miami’s most popular tourist destination, but personally, I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving this delightfully eclectic staple of the Miami-Dade community.
For those of you who are curious about this popular vacation spot, here are some of the things I love most about this waterfront community — and why you just might adore it, too.
My absolute favorite thing about South Beach: Everyone acting like they’re on South Beach.
There’s no other way to say it: South Beach is over the top. From the restaurants blaring all brands of reggaeton, bachata, salsa and pop music on Ocean Drive to the runway model-esque men and women gliding down Lincoln Road, South Beach is a place to see and be seen. (FYI: Things calm down a little toward the west end and the farther north you get.) For the real fun, be sure to check out everything from about 20th Street down. You’re either guaranteed to spot a celebrity or someone who looks suspiciously similar to one.
Not-so-surprisingly, South Beach features some pretty great natural scenery — and I’m not just talking about the beaches.
I don’t like the beach. I don’t like the sand. And I don’t like saltwater. So I can’t comment on whether or not Miami Beach actually has a nice beach. But what I can say is that the parks around the water are top-notch. Whenever I want ocean vibes without actually being in the water, I swing by Lummus Park or South Pointe Park. They’re two of my favorite parks in the entire Miami-Dade area. They offer amazing views of the water and the surrounding city streets — my favorite version of surf n’ turf.
The public transportation
You can get anywhere on South Beach using public transportation.
I’m kind of obsessed with public transportation. It’s always a key factor for me when I decide whether or not I like a city. And Miami Beach has pretty amazing public transportation. Free trolleys can take you all around South Beach, and the South Beach Loop trolleys can link with other trolleys to take you all the way up to North Beach. Several Miami Metrobuses also make stops on the beach. My favorites are the 150 (which takes you directly to the airport) and the S (which can take you either up to Aventura Mall or over to the Omni Station and Government Center.) When I’m on South Beach, a bus can take me anywhere I’d want to go.
South Beach is synonymous with Art Deco architecture — one of my favorite styles.
I took an architecture class in college, but I knew nothing about Art Deco before coming to Miami. Unfortunately, I still don’t know too much about the style, but I know it’s gorgeous and fun and reminds me of the 1950s. Sometimes I even like to take my own mini tour of the area, snapping pictures of the hotels and restaurants that sport the Art Deco style. The Art Deco Historic District is the official name for this part of town, and there’s a great Welcome Center nearby that can help you learn about the style. This whole area is a great place to pass an afternoon alone or with a group of friends.
While restaurants can be expensive and the streets are always crowded with eager tourists, I still have a soft spot in my heart for South Beach.
What are some of your favorite things about South Beach? Be sure to drop me a line in the comments!
(Header image: Views from South Pointe Park)